41 Small Kitchen Design Ideas and Tips That Will Be Huge in 2024

PinterestPieter Estersohn

Work seamlessly with counters and backsplash

Small kitchen, blue cabinet, marble backsplash, New York City, Nick OlsenThomas Leaf

In this New York apartment, designer Nick Olsen outfitted the small kitchen with Carrara marble countertops and backsplashes to minimize the use of materials in a small space. Open shelving creates a slightly airier atmosphere and allows the owner to display his blue and white porcelain collection. The shelves and cabinets are in Parma Gray from Farrow & Ball.

Choose Petite Plumbing

Mahogany countertops, Abaco pine beams, and vintage wicker pendant shades give the kitchen an organic island simplicityBrie Williams

For the tiny kitchen in his Harbor Island cottage, designer Matthew Carter downsized his sink—and its plumbing fixtures (Rohl)—to fit the space. Mahogany countertops, Abaco pine beams, and vintage wicker pendant shades give the kitchen an organic island simplicity.

Opt for wall lighting

Small modern Aqua kitchen cabinets by California designer Suzanne Rheinstein and architect Gil SchaferPieter Estersohn

For the small kitchen in this Newport Beach, California, home, architect Gil Schafer and designer Suzanne Rheinstein ditched upper cabinets to create a more airy feel. This left room to decorate the paneled walls with botanical art, illuminated by brass chandeliers with movable arms (Robert Kime).

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Shine bright with dazzling tiles

Small modern kitchen, iridescent tile backsplash, ocean island, Ellen KavanaughCarmel Brantley

In this Ellen Kavanaugh-designed Sea Island, Georgia home, the small kitchen reflects more sea light thanks to iridescent tiles from Paris Ceramics. Adding to the glamor factor are the brass accents, from the floating shelves and hood cover to the furniture hardware and sink faucets.

Go monochrome with color

Small luxury kitchen design ideas, green color, vintage paintings by Fran Keenan, Los AngelesDavid Tsay

For this Los Angeles kitchen, designer Fran Keenan painted the walls, trim, cabinets, shelves, and even the adjacent hallway the same color: Castle Gray by Farrow & Ball. The seamless palette visually expands the space and provides a fantastic backdrop for vintage -Oil painting.

Roll up a busy trolley

small cottage kitchen beverage cart, california, suzanne tuckerRoger Davies

In the small kitchen of their Montecito cottage, design luminaries Suzanne Tucker and Timothy Marks rely on clever storage solutions like this three-shelf rolling cart (Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair), which serves as a beverage cart, additional prep space, and serving dish storage. Large baskets can be stored under the rafters.

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Expand the space with geometric floors

Small kitchen, painted floors, black cabinets, Palmer Weiss, CaliforniaFrancesco Lagnese

For the small kitchen in her San Francisco home, designer Palmer Weiss worked with artist Willem Racke to embellish the hardwood floors with a painted geometric pattern. The large format medallions add visual interest to the floor and create the illusion of a larger space.

Get smart with custom storage

Small cottage kitchen, green cabinets, Clella design, Leipers-Gabel, TennesseeEmily Dorio

Go retro with home appliances

Small cottage kitchen, retro appliance, green cabinets, Clella design, TenesseeEmily Dorio

In this Tennessee kitchen, designer Meg Kelly of Clella Design and renovation expert Holly Williams embraced the charm of cottage proportions with old-fashioned fixtures, like this refrigerator with brass-colored hardware reminiscent of antique ice boxes.

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Look up at the vaulted ceilings

Small Cottage Kitchen Tiles Countertops Black Cabinets Elizabeth Law HollywoodJenna Ohnemus Peffley

The airy, open feel of designer Elizabeth Law's small kitchen in her Hollywood home is thanks to the vaulted ceilings and casement windows on three walls. Black cabinets ground the space, while tiled countertops are in keeping with the Spanish-style architecture. The 1930s French iron chandelier is from Liz's Antique Hardware.

Install a waterfall countertop

Small All White Kitchen Whealon Dixon North Carolina Mountain House KitchenBrie Williams

For this mountain home in North Carolina, designer Timothy Whealon wrapped the kitchen island in a waterfall countertop made of fine Calacatta Oro marble (natural marble stone) as a sophisticated statement in a small space. The backsplash tiles were handmade in Morocco. The rattan counter stools and cushion fabric are from Soane Britain.

Go big with small paintings

small cabin, kitchen, calacatta, viola marble, gallery wall, lake michigan, summer, thorntonAnnie Poor

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Stay elegant with stainless steel

a small kitchen with white cabinets and metal countertops inside the Honey Fitz yachtCarmel Brantley

Inside the Honey Fitz yacht (which once served as a presidential yacht), designer Jack Fhillips has retained the streamlined profile of the galley kitchen from its 1960s heyday during the Kennedy administration. Maintaining just one finish – stainless steel – on almost everything helps make the small kitchen feel more spacious.

Consider unique furniture

Paul Bates Birmingham Cottage KitchenBecky Stayner

With little storage space left in his traditional Birmingham kitchen, architect Paul Bates made a big statement by designing geometric white oak cabinets inspired by doors in David Alder's Clow house in Chicago. The catchy design makes a statement without overwhelming the small space.

Upgrade with elegant hardware

Small soapstone kitchen backsplash gray colonial style cabinets williamsburg heather chadduckAnnie Poor

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Change the perspective with a mirror

Garrow Kedigian's Manhattan apartment in the iconic Carlyle Hotel.  A 19th-century butler's mirror offers a glimpse into the kitchen and its leather sheet brass stools, Le Forge and Christian Lacroix wallpaperTHOMAS LEAVES

Make a grand gesture with window treatments

Little Kitchen Anthony Baratta New York CityMark Roskams

In this small kitchen designed by Anthony Baratta in New York City, a theatrical pelmet and painted trim draw attention to the large window. The Apthorp's original mosaic tile floors remain and their grandeur is repeated in a lily wallpaper in the dining area. The bench is upholstered with diamond leather in “1940s glamour” (Dualoy). The table is a Biedermeier reproduction commissioned by Baratta.

Attract an ancient island

small kitchen todd romano san antonioDOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

In the kitchen of his San Antonio home, designer Todd Romano used an antique iron table instead of a built-in island, which would have made the small kitchen feel even more crowded. Custom-made Talavera tiles are arranged in a graphic chevron pattern with glossy ebony cabinetry (Black, Fine Paints of Europe).

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Pattern a checkerboard floor

small kitchen Cece Barfield Thompson New YorkThomas Blatt

Assess the island

Porch Luxury Kitchen Design Ideas Robert Passal New YorkRobert Passal

Despite its small size, this Robert Passal-designed New York kitchen accommodates a large island that not only seats four people but also has a stovetop. In combination with the wall ovens (on the right of the frame), the built-in hob eliminates the need for a large stove and creates storage space under the counter. Sculptural metal counter stools are finished in antique brass and upholstered in pistachio leather (Jerry Pair).


Steele Marcoux is editor-in-chief at VERANDA and covers design trends, architecture and travel for the brand.

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