How to Design Small Kitchens for Easy Use

A small kitchen can be challenging to use efficiently and can easily end up cluttered or cramped. However, with the right eye for design, it’s possible to turn your kitchen space from a nightmare to a thing of beauty. Our article shares some tips on how to streamline your kitchen design for convenience.

A vast, spacious kitchen is the dream of most serious home cooks. However, a small kitchen does not mean the end of your dinner party dreams. In fact, smaller kitchens can be cozy and convenient spaces with the right interior design. In this article, we look at some ways you can arrange your kitchen to make the most of your space. We’ll also take a look at the best tools to own if you’re working with limited storage.

Common Problems with a Small Kitchen

Usually, when people complain about limited kitchen space, they refer to one of three things. They complain that their kitchen is dark, easily becomes cluttered, or is impossible to cook in comfortably. Lack of storage space and minimal room for furniture and appliances are also common concerns.

Many renters and buyers can even be put off by properties with small kitchens as they worry that they will never make the space work. If this is something you worry about – or if you currently live with a small kitchen – it may be time to reconsider your space. With some simple interior design hacks, you can change a cramped, dingy kitchen into a delightful nook where you love to spend time.

Small Kitchen Interior Design Tips 

  1. Lighten Your Walls

One of the best interior design tips for making a small space look larger is to tone down any dark colors on your walls, ceiling, or cabinets. While dark shades will close a space down, painting your walls a lighter color will help them reflect light and create an airy, spacious feel. Pale tones, like white, cream, or light blue, are ideal for this.

You don’t need to paint your whole kitchen stark white to get the benefits of this either. Instead, choose light, complementary shades for cupboards and backsplash to inject some personality into your design. Monochromatic or patterned tile stickers are also a great option if you want to brighten up your small kitchen without repainting the whole thing.

  1. Use Wall Space

Rather than opting for cupboards or bulky cabinets in your small kitchen plans, shelves and empty walls can be handy places to store cookware and utensils. A magnetic wall panel is perfect for storing knives within easy reach of your stove and preparation surfaces. You can also use pot racks with hooks to hang pans, mugs, and other kitchen equipment. These handy space savers can be attached to the ceiling or can hang above the stove or countertops.

Shelves and drawers are also better space-saving options than cupboards. Consider choosing shelves that have hooks underneath to hang utensils from or that have an in-built wine rack. You can also easily add shelves to any unused nooks or wall spaces without having to overhaul your small kitchen arrangement totally.

  1. Easy to Stash Furniture

Chunky or antique furniture may be fashionable in many dining rooms, but it is totally impractical if you only have a small cooking and dining space. Small kitchen tables and chairs need to be neat, compact, and easily stored away when not in use. If your home has a small kitchen, hideaway furniture or pull-down countertops are excellent safe saving options.

Choose stools that can easily be piled up or stashed underneath counters, and that don’t take up too much room. A fold-down table or food preparation counter is another great option if space is extremely tight. Make the most of space underneath countertops too and opt for a roll-out table that you can store once you’re finished eating.

  1. Be Smart with Lighting

Dark kitchens make it hard to do your best work. It can be difficult to see what you’re cooking and hard to get surfaces and appliances clean if your space is gloomy. Attaching LED light strips to the undersides of cupboards or shelves can make small kitchens feel brighter and make cramped areas easier to use. You can also have spotlights fixed inside glass-fronted cupboards to double up on wall space, or mount sconces on your walls for a warm, cozy vibe. Ceiling spotlights are also a great solution for smaller kitchens as you can space them out, meaning that light spreads further than with a traditional single bulb.

  1. Buy Small or Multipurpose Appliances

When designing small kitchen layouts for refurbishment, or if you’re moving in somewhere new, it’s important to think about how your appliances will fit into your kitchen. After all, you don’t want a huge fridge if it’s going to take up all your floor space. Try to organize appliances so that they can be kept underneath counters or so that one appliance has multiple functions.

For example, a combined washer and tumble dryer is an ideal choice for a small kitchen. Small kitchen trends also commonly feature microwaves built into the wall or cabinets, freeing up vital countertop space below. Remember to find places to store portable appliances when you’re not using them so that they don’t clutter up your surfaces.


Living with a small kitchen does not mean that your cooking space needs to be dowdy or infuriating to use. Even the smallest of spaces can be trendy and effortless with a few design tweaks. We hope these small kitchen ideas have given you food for thought!

Final Call: Do you live in a house with a tiny kitchen? How do you arrange your cooking space for convenience? Do you find it cozy, or wish you had more room? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Author’s Bio:

Kevin is a content writer for about 3 years. He studied Design and Arts at College in Pennsylvania. A fan of home interior design and, he has taken it upon himself to spread his love for decorating homes by informing people on some of his ideas through his articles.

Woman working at a home office

Best Use of Space: Home Office Edition

With the spread of the COVID-19 virus causing offices to close, it looks like we’re all gonna be working from home for a while. So, for productivity purposes, it’s a good idea to set aside a space in your home for a home office. But what if you don’t have any room for a home office? The answer is: you do. It doesn’t matter if you’re working out of your garage or inside a tiny closet, a home office is essential for productivity. With that in mind, here are 5 ideas for the best use of space for a home office:

Under the Stairs

It may seem a little unorthodox, but that little space under the stairway is a great place for your home office! It’s quiet, it’s out of the way and just by adding some office supplies and decorations, you can give it a workplace feel that’s just right for you.

Inside a Closet

For those of you with smaller one-story homes, this’ll be a good option. You don’t even need to have a walk-in closet for your work space to be effective, just add some shelving and other supplies and it’ll be like you never left the office!

In the Garage

If you have a garage – use it. The best home office spaces are spaces that you already associate with work. Put your office in a spot that you wouldn’t have to move around too much (like if you park your cars in the garage, make sure your office wouldn’t be in the way), and set your office up with comfy furniture and a work desk.

***Tip: when you’re going to work, act like you’re actually going to work, i.e. dress professionally, grab your lunch and briefcase and head out to your office

Out in the Backyard

It might be risky, because you never know what the weather will be like, but working from your backyard is a great way to be productive while also staying healthy. During times like these, its important to get outside as much as possible. So, if you can, set up your home office in the backyard!

Create a romantic space using the 5 senses

When designing your home, you have a lot of options. Sure, you want to keep the interior design in line with the physical space and, yes, there are some basic design rules you should follow, but after that anything goes. Which is great… but what if you’re looking for a little more direction?

In honor of Valentine’s Day this year, we’re demystifying what makes a space “romantic” by calling out specific examples using the five senses.

First things first: Design is personal. While you may think “romantic interior” and envision something akin to Barbie’s dream hotel, your partner may be picturing something a little more 50 Shades of Grey. Before you start making any plans or purchases, it’s important to consider what romantic means to you.


They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, which makes this the perfect place to start your romantic room transformation. Lighting is the big universal here. While you probably want to limit the clutter and choose pieces that represent you, lighting can make or break a room.

  • Hot - String lights are a great way to add in dim-but-not-too-dark lighting to any room. Gently drape light string across bed frames, bookshelves, furniture, or even the floor to add a subtle, yet sexy glow to the room.
  • Not - Not only are too many candles a likely fire hazard on a steamy night, they also transform the look of your space from sexy to solemn.
  • Hot - Neon or neon-esque lighting in blues, pinks, and purples are another great way to add a rock-n-roll romantic vibe to any room. While true neon lights can be very expensive, LED versions are now readily available in a variety of sayings and designs.
  • Not - Yellow and red neon signs give off a convenience store vibe. Great if you're trying to recreate your first date at a 7-Eleven, but not ideal for a traditionally romantic look. Pair the color with a too suggestive double entendre and you'll end up with a design that looks more cheap than chic.
  • Hot - Natural lighting is the best option for photos for good reason -- it makes everyone look better! If your space has large or nicely oriented windows, you may not need any additional lighting.
  • Not - Lighting that is too harsh feels more clinical than classy. If your fixture requires a bare bulb look, select one with a warm glow and interesting filament pattern to soften the look.


Sounds have a bigger effect on our mood than we tend to give them credit for. If you’ve ever tried to spend a night with a leaky faucet or a mosquito in the room, you know the grief a bad sound can cause. Conversely, you can create a romantic space in your home by consciously eliminating unwanted noises and replacing them with positive notes.

  • Hot - Music is the universal language and if you're trying to create a romantic space, it's helpful to be able to get your groove on. Record players can be a fun, vintage addition if that's your thing, but don't discount the effect you can get from a quality portable speaker.


Smell and taste are tightly wound together so it makes sense to think of these senses in tandem. Depending on which room you’re designing, the exact smells and tastes you’ll choose may vary. While pleasant florals and musks work well almost anywhere, you may want to avoid food smells (vanilla, cinnamon rolls, butterscotch, etc) in certain areas, like a bathroom or bedroom where they’ll feel out of place and just make you hungry.

  • Hot - Finger foods and wine are the go-to classics when creating a romantic sensory experience


Arguably the most important aspect to creating a romantic room is the texture of the room. Things that are sharp, stiff, or generally uncomfortable typically do not lend themselves to a romantic aesthetic. Instead, choose items that are soft, smooth, and have a just-gotta-touch-it vibe.

  • Hot - A soft rug adds instant warmth to any room both visually and physically. Bear and sheepskin-like options are classics, but any plush rug will do wonders for your space.

One of the best parts about interior design is that you can make changes like these in almost any space whether you rent or own. From classic Victorian homes to modern abodes (with impeccable coastal views!) to international escapes you can find it all on RealtyHive!