43 Small Kitchen Ideas That Won't Make You Feel Claustrophobic

Sky-high cabinets and mirrored backsplashes are your friends here.

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Courtesy of Sugar & Cloth

When your prep space is no larger than a closet, even one person can feel like too many cooks in the kitchen. These tricks will help you make the most of your counter space and cabinetry. And when you want to plan for your future giant dream kitchen, check out even more inspiration.

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Courtesy of Tessa Neustadt for Emily Henderson Designs
Store Things Up High

If you've got space between your cabinets and your ceiling, you've got storage. Add wicker baskets and it's the perfect spot to keep lesser-used tools.

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Storage Baskets, $20, amazon.com

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Courtesy of Sugar & Cloth
White on White on White

You know the drill: whiter=brighter. Keep everything white, then add in pops of color from your serving ware, or even a SMEG fridge.

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SMEG Fridge, $2,174, wayfair.com

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Courtesy of Lark & Linen
Subway Tile

Here's one more reason to love subway tiling. Use it all around your kitchen and it will help the space feel wider.

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Subway Tile, $5, wayfair.com

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Courtesy of Zeke Ruelas for Emily Henderson Designs
Organize Strategically

If you're adding shelves for storage, you don't want them to look cluttered. Arrange bowls and mugs by color so everything feels cohesive.

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More: 20 Cool Kitchen Gadgets You Need In Your Home

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Courtesy of Zeke Ruelas for Emily Henderson Designs
DIY a Pantry

It's not ideal, but shelves are good for more than just plates. If you're lacking a traditional pantry, stack your snacks instead.

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More: 20 Pantry Organization Tricks and Solutions

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Courtesy of Lark & Linen
Reclaimed Wood Shelving

Keeping things white will brighten up a small space, but that doesn't mean you have to swear off wood forever. Reclaimed wood shelving adds contrast — and necessary storage.

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Courtesy of Sugar and Charm
Create Your Own Storage Nook

If you have zero space in your kitchen, don't stress. Create your own storage nook on a nearby wall in your house by putting up shelves and placing some stools underneath. You'll have a place to put your bag, shoes, and hats when you come home, and a place for all those gifted cake stands you've accumulated. That's a thing, right?

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Courtesy of Lark & Linen
Go For The Galley

Sure, galley-style kitchens lack counter space, but you can make up for it by thinking of the space in stations: an area to prep, an area for stovetop cooking, and so on. Then you can make dinner assembly-line style.

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Courtesy of Bethany Nauert for Emily Henderson Designs
Go Modern

If you want your space to look larger, go for an ultra-modern kitchen. The more minimal the decor, the bigger it'll seem.

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Courtesy of Erin Gates Design
Embrace The Cozy

The smaller, the cozier. Embrace it with a cushy rug.

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Courtesy of Elements of Style
Keep Stools Low

Don't choose large or bulky chairs for your island. Instead, opt for low seating that doesn't detract visually from the room.

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Courtesy of Erin Gates Design
Make It Flawless

It's tiny, so every inch should be perfect. Wallpaper? Check. Patterned backsplash? Check. Art? Check. And obviously, you need fresh flowers, too.

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Courtesy of Lark & Linen
Get A Functional Kitchen Island

If you are going to get an island, make sure it's got as much storage as possible. Towel racks, cabinets, or a storage rack underneath are musts.

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jon de la cruz 2017 kitchen of the year appliance garage
Jonny Valiant
Appliance Garage

To keep countertops clear, tuck the toaster and coffeemaker away in a sleek appliance garage. A stand mixer can pop up from its own designated cabinet if you install a spring-loaded shelf.

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sarah bartholomew kitchen
Ngoc Minh Ngo
Wicker Kitchen Furniture

A farm table can do double-duty as a dinner spot and work surface, but make sure to choose wicker chairs. The open design makes a small room feel light and airy, as opposed to overly cramped and crowded.

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justina blakeney jungalow kitchen counter
David Tsay
Breakfast Kitchen Counter

Connect a kitchen and dining area with a cute pass-through. Not only does it open up both rooms, but the countertop adds a spot for breakfast if you don't have room for a book in the kitchen.

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nick olsen colorful kitchen
Francesco Lagnese
Glossy Lacquer

Once you decide what color to go with, don't forget about the finish. A high-gloss coating can help a small space feel larger.

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pale powder kitchen
Eric Piasecki
Rolling Kitchen Ladder

Adding extra storage up top is a great idea—but reaching it, on the other hand, is a challenge. Install a rolling ladder to access ceiling-height cabinets.

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faux malachite galley kitchen
Thomas Loof
Moveable Kitchen Bar

To gain counter space, add a movable bar to the doorway of your kitchen. When you need to get in and out, you can easily roll it out of the way.

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amanda nisbet kitchen
Tara Donne
Tiny Kitchen Cabinets

To squeeze in extra storage, try adding little cubbies to fill in the space above a window or your range hood. Just make sure you have a step ladder handy.

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Thomas Kuoh
Singular Kitchen Shelf

No counter space? No problem. A single shelf adds a spot to put the not-so-necessary (but actually, totally necessary) kitchen items like candles, art, and vases.

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celerie kemble white kitchen
Christopher Sturman
Subway Kitchen Tile

To fake a lighter kitchen in a small space, paint the cabinets white. White-tiled walls, along with brass hardware and a milk-glass chandelier, also create the illusion of added sunlight.

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Designer Katie Ridder installed open shelves and Urban Archaeology's Industrial pot rack in the existing kitchen to make everyday items easily accessible. The elegant barstools from Cherner Chair Company are a 1958 design by Norman Cherner and are cushioned in MK Collection's Summer Strié.
Eric Piasecki
Pot Rack

Bulky pans can take up valuable space, so install an industrial pot rack. It's functional and stylish.

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rose cumming zebrine wallpaper
Thomas Loof
White Kitchen Cabinetry

Replace any dark cabinetry or tiles with white. It'll make the room feel twice as big.

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Courtesy of Kohler
Copper Shelving

If you're low on cupboard space, add storage on shelves. Copper-pipe shelving has hooks for hanging mugs, shelves to stack dishes, and looks super chic.

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hidden kitchen
Simon Watson
Folding Doors

Create folding doors to close off the dining room from the kitchen. If space is tight, you'll benefit from the extra room when guests come over.

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black kitchen cabinets
Maura McEvoy
Black Kitchen Cabinetry

Embrace small space by going for black cabinetry. It'll look sleek and sophisticated.

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Tara Striano
Functional Kitchen Island

If your kitchen is small, you likely won't have room for an island and a breakfast nook. Choose an island that'll do double duty — you can use it as counter space when you're prepping dinner, and eat at it later.

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mirrored cabinets
Francesco Lagnese
Mirrored Kitchen Cabinets

Mirrored glass on cabinet doors instantly enlarges a small kitchen. Fake it til you make it!

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scot meacham wood black kitchen
Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Stovetop Shelf

To expand a tiny kitchen, add extra shelves in places they'd be most functional, like above the stove. That way, you won't have to spend a lot of money, or take up valuable floor space.

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