Small Space Kitchen Design Suggestions

Find hints and tricks for making a small kitchen feel open, efficient and comfortable.

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Floating shelves provide a serene and airy feeling and can also act as part art gallery for your housewares and decor. Image courtesy of Trina via A Country Farmhouse

Open Shelving Works
Super-small kitchens can benefit from floating or open shelves. Typically free of hardware and heavy structure - open shelving provides a clean and contemporary look. It encourages the eye to continue all the way to the wall, allowing the space to appear bigger. Of course keeping your dishware and glassware nice and tidy is something you will have to maintain, but this can be considered a positive since an organized and clutter-free kitchen is a small-space tip in its own right. Use one color of dishware and stack them for cohesive look. Add personal items in your kitchen by leaning a frame or signature plate behind the stack of everyday plates or row of glasses.

From glass to wood to cork, there really are a variety of affordable, eco-friendly options for shelving. Solid color and clean lines, like Ikea's "Lack" shelf are very popular. The Ikea shelf comes in a range of colors and lengths and has a simple yet modern shape. Or try acrylic shelving, it provides floating look that lends to the illusion of a bigger space.

A Kitchen Cabinet Palette
For color, use one neutral hue for the entire space - the cabinets, hardware, appliances, floor coverings. This creates the appearance of a fluid and balanced space that allows the eye to continue to move around the entire space. Use simple flat cabinets without a lot of detail or replace solid cabinet doors with glass ones -  just make sure the inside of the cabinets are painted the same color as the trim and cabinet exterior. If you are building or renovating, consider adding a soffit or trim and then hanging your cabinets flush so they appear to be receding into the wall instead of sticking out of the wall.  When planning vertical space, remember base cabinets are normally 36 inches tall, countertops are normally 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick and the standard height between the countertop and upper cabinets is 18 inches. If you plan on taking your cabinets up to the ceiling, double check the contour of your ceiling to make sure it is level.

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