Yikes! Tiny kitchen alert!
When you scroll through Pinterest, it’s rare to see a small kitchen highlighted as the kitchen of your dreams.
They’re difficult to work in and with, or at least this is what I originally thought when I moved into our 864 square foot home with a tiny kitchen.
But over the past two years, I’ve found ways to make my tiny kitchen function. If you’re stuck with a tiny kitchen, don’t be discouraged.
Instead, tune into my tips as I walk you through a few options to make your tiny kitchen a great place to be:
The number one way to make a small kitchen something you embrace instead of hate, is to declutter it. There should be no such thing as a ‘junk drawer' in a tiny kitchen.
You can’t leave a ton of appliances, canisters, or collectibles out in a kitchen when you’re limited with overall space and counter space.
Make sure you take a step back and look at what you have out. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, try to find it a different location in your home.
2. Create Counter Space
When we first moved into our borderline tiny home, I had an L-shape counter. There was no dishwasher and basically no prep space.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out how to install a dishwasher on the wall opposite of our sink. You can also purchase a portable dishwasher which will roll across your kitchen.
They come with a wooden top, but in our case, we installed a permanent dishwasher and added a wood countertop. This created additional workspace, and I love it.
3. Move Out
It’s hard to create a great deal of space for food storage when you have a tiny kitchen. Therefore, in my opinion, you shouldn’t try to store food in your kitchen.
Instead, you should store your canned goods in a root cellar. There are a ton of easy root cellar options for you to consider.
If not, you can turn a small closet into a pantry or store food under your bed. In our case, we have a root cellar in our basement, and we also turned an unused hallway in our basement into a makeshift pantry.
This took a ton of pressure off my kitchen.
If you live in a small space, you’ve probably already learned organization isn’t optional. Everything must have a place, and everything must be in its place.
Your small kitchen is no different. You must give everything a home. The dishes should go in one cabinet, silverware in a specific drawer, baskets for larger utensils which can be stored out of sight in specific drawers or cabinets, and the list go on.
Part of organization is only keeping kitchen pans and gadgets I regularly use in my kitchen. The rest go to the pantry in the basement. You’ll find your own organization method for your kitchen, but the sooner your kitchen is organized, the better it will be for you.
5. Add Storage
Storage is a necessity for small spaces. Your kitchen requires it too. You can add taller cabinets in your kitchen, more baskets you can place on open shelves, or even add shelving to your kitchen.
In my kitchen, I added shelving over my dishwasher. It holds all of my baking or dry good which I use frequently.
If you have a space for open shelving, it could be a great place to store jars or canisters and stop the clutter on your counter.
6. Keep It Clean
Small kitchens have to be cleaned regularly. When the space is dirty in one area, it can make the whole kitchen feel dirty because space is limited.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure you keep your kitchen tidy. It can be hard at times. In my house, after dinner is the worst because we have five people in our home.
Our children like to postpone doing dishes, but I make sure before we go to bed, the sink is empty and the kitchen back to normal. Waking up to a dirty, small kitchen is enough reason for me to want to stay in bed.
7. Lighten’ Up
Because your kitchen is small doesn’t mean it has to feel small. When we first moved into our home, we had dark wood cabinets, cream walls, dark countertops, and medium colored wood floors.
It made the room feel even smaller which meant a change had to be made before I became claustrophobic while cooking.
It was an easy and inexpensive fix. I painted the cabinets a bright white, added a faux white brick backsplash, and lightened up the countertops. The floors and walls are getting lightened next.
8. Open the Window
If you have a window in your small kitchen be thankful! This is an excellent way to make the room feel larger without doing anything.
I added a cute valance to my window, and I did add blinds to the window when we enlarged our front porch. I didn’t like the idea of people being able to look in easily.
However, as soon as I wake up in the morning, those blinds go up, and the daylight comes in. If you have a window, let natural light do its job.
9. The Walls Are Your Friend
My parents have a bigger house than mine, but they don’t have a ton of storage. Therefore, they used their creativity and began hanging things on the walls.
I copied this idea when we moved into our smaller home with a smaller kitchen. Instead of trying to store everything, I used some items as décor and hung them up.
When you walk into my kitchen now, you see meat saws hanging on the walls. It provides rustic, farm décor which is functional too.
10. Open Up Your Shelves
I had open shelving in my previous home where I had a larger kitchen, and I wasn’t a fan of them, though they were cost-effective.
In a smaller kitchen, if you need more breathing room, go with open shelves. I opened up my corner cabinet because my kitchen didn’t have room for two cabinet doors to open easily.
Now, it makes my kitchen feel a tad bit bigger because everything doesn’t look closed off. Consider opening up some of your cabinets if your kitchen feels boxed in.
11. Add a Deep Sink
This was a game-changer in my kitchen. When we moved in, we had a shallow stainless steel sink. It was functional, but it didn’t do anything to make the room feel or function better.
Therefore, I invested in a white, cast-iron sink. I couldn’t be happier. It has space for dishes to sit in the sink without peaking out when I’m baking.
The white also helps to brighten the area and make it feel larger. If you’re tired of having dishes all over your counter, consider adding a deeper and brighter sink to your kitchen.
12. Hide or Hang
There are some items we must keep in our kitchen. One of which is dish towels or paper towel holder.
But these items don’t have to go on a holder as this takes up precious counter space.
Instead, buy a paper towel holder which hangs under your upper cabinets. You can also buy a hand towel holder which fits on your kitchen cabinet door. This keeps functional items close-by without adding clutter.
13. Tuck Away Your Trash
The trashcan can be a substantial obstacle in a small kitchen. You’re limited on cabinet space and wall space, but you still must have a trashcan.
When creating your additional counter space, consider adding an extension onto it as a place to set your trash can.
We did this on the side of our dishwasher. It gave me additional workspace, allowed the trashcan to be close by, but also tucked neatly away under the counter where it isn’t noticeable.
14. Add an Island
This option is one I wish I had for my kitchen, but it’s small enough I don’t even have room to add an island without tripping over it.
But if you’re fortunate enough to have a small kitchen layout which would work to add an island, you definitely should.
They’re easy to build, are great for adding additional counter space, you can have extra storage, and also have a neat place to hide your trashcan.
15. One More Space Option
Let’s say you can’t add an island, and you don’t have room for a dishwasher in your small kitchen, you do have one more option.
Consider creating a murphy counter or a counter space to go over your stove or sink. I’ve considered both at one time or another.
If you have a vacant wall, you could create a murphy table which would work great for prepping veggies. If you don’t have space, you could use a cutting board to go over your stove or sink to give you additional workspace but could also be stored away when not in use.
Hopefully, these tiny kitchen ideas will encourage you while you’re learning to embrace your small kitchen. It took me a while to adapt, but now, I wouldn’t go back to a larger home.
I love how everything functions, it looks pretty, and I can clean my entire kitchen from top to bottom in a matter of minutes.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Keep dreaming, keep being creative, and you’ll find a way to make your tiny kitchen the most awesome kitchen you’ve ever had.