7 Space-Savvy Ideas to Maximize a Small Kitchen

What these designs lack in size, they make up for in cleverness


Small kitchens come with all manner of design quirks that homeowners have to deal with—whether they like it or not. Not having enough prep space or storage can be tough, and adding square footage isn’t always possible or practical. Creative design choices, like the ones below from Sweeten—a free service matching renovating homeowners with vetted general contractors—can help make the most of what you’ve got in your kitchen renovation.


Desperate for more storage in her tiny kitchen, Mollie decided to get rid of her full-size dishwasher. In a stroke of genius, her Sweeten contractor designed a pull-out drawer that could conceal a much smaller unit. The swap also meant one less bulky appliance in sight.

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Dealing with limited counter space in their kitchen, Casey and Kumar added a pull-out cutting board to make prep simpler. It’s part of a custom, floor-to-ceiling built-in and serves as a small but thoroughly useful update.

small kitchen ideas

Looking to add a microwave to their studio without sacrificing counter space, Frans and Dalal found a spot beneath their kitchen peninsula and installed a pull-out rack for the appliance, concealing it behind a cabinet door.

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A counter bridge expands Brad and Michelle’s kitchen into an L-shaped layout by connecting the existing countertop to a custom built-in. The new joiner makes use of previously dead space without blocking the nearby window or radiator.

small kitchen ideas

Since a washer and dryer were must-haves, Rashmi realized that she needed to get creative to keep her kitchen from getting cramped. By forgoing lower cabinets on that half of the room, she preserved some space to make the room feel larger and added a dining perch.

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Cara and Jared topped their kitchen island with a bar block, a signature design move from cabinet maker Henrybuilt. For professional chef Jared, the slim addition provides easy-access storage for spices and other cooking essentials.

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Upon walking into Evelyn’s kitchen, her Sweeten contractor immediately envisioned a window seat to make better use of the small space. The idea stuck, and by the end of the renovation, the dining nook was complete with storage underneath.

This post has been revised and updated from its original publication on June 6, 2016.

Love to entertain friends and family in your home? Draw inspiration from these party-ready kitchens.

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