15 Tips for Designing a Stunning Small Kitchen

small kitchen renovation

Personal style knows no bounds, and as the heart of the home, the kitchen is often the place where people want to express themselves the most. From something as simple as the colour of your appliances to a dramatic backsplash or custom cabinetry, a custom designed kitchen renovation can truly allow you to make your mark and set the tone for the rest of the home.

You may be reading this and agreeing wholeheartedly yet feel disenchanted by the size of your kitchen. Whether you live in a small home or are remodelling your granny flat kitchen, we have good news for you!

When it comes to expressing style in your kitchen; size doesn’t matter! From the smallest apartment kitchen in the CBD to the small cottage packed with charm but not much space – there is always an opportunity to make your kitchen uniquely yours. In fact, with some thoughtful planning, you can turn a tight squeeze into a place that you love to hang out in, with functionality to boot. Keep reading to plan the perfect layout for a petite kitchen.

15 Tips for a small kitchen redesign

We’ve compiled 15 of our favourite ideas for small kitchens to inspire you to make the most of your full kitchen renovation, no matter the size. As long as you design your next kitchen to fit your needs, the possibilities for beautiful but functional petite kitchens are endless!

1. Consider open shelves

open shelves in petite kitchen

Open shelving can make a space seem much larger while giving you plenty of space to add splashes of style and personality. Get nanna’s porcelain or your quirky mugs out in the open and away from behind closed doors.

2. Think vertically

Small kitchen white vertical shelving

A lack of storage space can be enough to make a family flee from what would otherwise be a perfect forever home. However, with some smart planning, you can boost both your style and your storage points. Consider where in your kitchen you could add cabinetry, such as above your sink, on the sides of the pantry or even up as high as the roof for those seasonal pie dishes and gifts you only bring out ‘on occasion’.

If numbers and precise measurements intimidate you, consult a professional kitchen designer to find out if vertical cabinets will work for your kitchen. 

3. Embrace natural light

natural light filtering into kitchen from windows

Keep the windows bare and bright, especially if you have a galley kitchen with a window at the end or a kitchen that backs onto an outdoor entertaining area. This will make the outdoors feel like an extension of the indoors, and vice versa, giving the illusion of more space and keeping your connection with nature in check.

4. Try different dining options

Island dining in petite kitchen

Instead of the traditional large dining room table, consider some other options such as a dining nook, breakfast bar or a bench with high stools for quick snacks and family meetings. A breakfast nook can be stylised with unique pillows, placemats, and pops of decorative colour to bring your unique edge to every meal. 

5. Embrace the light side

White coloured kitchen design

White does wonders for small spaces, and something as simple as clean white cabinets or light wood cabinets can make a small area look larger and more inviting. This allows you to add your personal style through fresh flowers, pastel pops of colour or unique appliances.

6. Be intentional with colour

Modern design allows a lot of room to play with colour, from speckled bench tops to pastel-coloured cabinetry and gold finishes with an accent wall. Adding your favourite colour or colours that are calming, inspiring and cohesive can make you wish that your meals took longer to make and dishes longer to clean.

7. Don’t be afraid of texture

Texture backsplash in small kitchen

Design choices such as hallway runners have been designed to elongate the space and draw the eye away from how narrow it is. A vintage-style runner can bring a unique charm to your kitchen while adding depth and comfort. Texture can also be added with elements such as laminate benches, wallpaper, and even funky tea towels.

8. Refine the details

small hamptons style kitchen with blue cabinet

Sometimes, all that’s needed to bring a tired kitchen back to life is a simple upgrade to the lighting or a splash of paint. Examine your kitchen for elements that are outdated, oversized or not functional, and start your improvements there. 

9. Say no to handles

kitchen cabinets without handles

Modern kitchen architecture is all about push doors and magnetic closures. Removing the hardware or including cabinetry without hardware can be a surprisingly effective way to make your kitchen look modern, intentional, and sleek.

10. Create custom cabinetry

custom blue cabinets in a small kitchen

The joy of custom cabinetry is that you can design it based on your exact storage needs and the parameters of your kitchen. Perhaps you’re starting your kitchen design from scratch in a new home, or you’re planning a complete kitchen renovation; custom cabinetry will give your kitchen a functional and stylish edge above the rest.

11. Be strategic with your layout

well designed small kitchen layout

Nobody likes running a marathon to get to their stove in time to turn down the burner or needing to awkwardly twist to access the fridge in a cramped space. No matter the size of the kitchen, it’s important to plan it strategically in order to have your appliances easily accessible and keep the flow of traffic running without incident.

12. Use your wall space

Small kitchen with wall space used as cabinets

Modern design allows for a lot of freedom in the way you plan your storage. From hanging pans above the stove to drying herbs along your windowsill; by including the free wall space in your small kitchen design, you could be solving both your lack of function and desire for style.


13. Don’t be afraid of blending

Blended kitchen design

Just because you’ve chosen a modern style kitchen, doesn’t mean your rustic wood furniture or favourite creative kitchen pieces don’t have a place. A mix of traditional and modern styles can bring a healthy balance and a fun point of difference to kitchens of any size.

14. Get industrial

Industrial design does wonders for small kitchens, with subway tiles, floating shelves, exposed beams, swinging pendants and stainless-steel appliances. Your kitchen will have a sleek and sexy finish while giving your dining space or living space freedom to provide colour and incorporated style.

15. Think outside the box


The most useful tool you have at your disposal when making the most of a tiny kitchen is your ability to think outside the box. Something as seemingly minor as a magnetic knife strip or open shelving can free up storage and bring a unique point of difference to your space. Consider how much storage you actually need, along with ways to free up your counter space, and don’t be afraid of pairing down your kitchen tools to make your small space feel larger.

Whether you have a small galley kitchen in a designer studio apartment, or you need ideas to make your small kitchen space work for your whole family, we can help. Our kitchen renovations are 100% custom designed, and we have small kitchen design ideas to suit every lifestyle, budget, and floor space down to the last inch.

Contact Easy Living Kitchens today to make your small kitchen ideas come to life, or click here for your free design consultation.


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