Top 12 Modern Small Kitchen Ideas

A small kitchen doesn't have to be a challenge. These modern small kitchen ideas will show you how you can get everything done without feeling cramped.

In small kitchen remodel ideas 2020, it seems like the trends are all about decluttering, simplifying, and making things as functional as possible—and these are great things! But in 2022, small kitchen designs can be a big challenge when it comes to space, planning, and storage. You want it all, and you want it to look great, too, but it can sometimes seem like this just isn’t possible without a full-sized space to work with. It is possible to have your small kitchen, and cook it in, too; these 12kitchen remodel ideas for small kitchens will show you just how easy it is to incorporate some serious storage into a tiny space. You'll see that kitchen remodels for small kitchens can be truly beautiful even in a limited space. 



Small Kitchen Design Idea #1- Tall Cabinets

No matter how little space you’re dealing with, you can always find room for cabinetry, as long as you’re thinking about the room as a whole. In this small kitchen design, the cabinets extend straight to the ceiling, giving you additional storage space for the whole room. The clean lines of the cabinets, paired with the bright white finish help make the space seem larger and more open than it really is.

Built right into the opposite wall is another set of cabinetry that extends floor to ceiling to more than double the amount of storage the kitchen has. Now you have space for all your small appliances that might not fit on the counter, as well as for pantry staples, dishes, or anything else you need nearby. For 12 x 12 kitchen design layouts, this is an excellent way to use the space you have.


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Small Kitchen Design Idea #2-Think outside the kitchen


Open floor plans in lofts and condos often have very small kitchens tucked away at the end of the open space. So why not move some of your kitchen storage outside of the kitchen and into the rest of that area? One of the many unique kitchen ideas for small spaces is shown in this open kitchen. The same cabinets are used in the area adjacent the bookcases. This area can be used as a pantry, small appliance storage, or for china. It’s close enough to be accessible, and the matching cabinets help make the statement that this area is really part of the kitchen, too.

In the kitchen itself, the cabinets are extra tall, extending right to the soffits in the ceiling to help give you extra storage there as well. This is matched by the height of the bookcases and cabinets outside the kitchen, giving the entire room more height and function at the same time. While we have you, are you interested in learning more about how Mod Cabinetry can help you with your small kitchen project? 



Small Kitchen Design Idea No. 3-Drawers not Doors

A lot of people assume that you need to have doors on your lower cabinetry, but that isn’t always the most efficient use of the space in a small kitchen. Here is one of the many kitchen efficiency ideas for you. These deep drawers give you a lot more storage options and solutions.

Drawers allow you to stack plates, hold canned goods, and even install all kinds of pull outs such as cutting boards, baskets, and rolling shelves. A well designed drawer can also include dividers for glasses or compartments for odds and ends. They’re a lot easier to organize than a standard cabinet and can often hold a lot more.

In addition to the drawers down below, this kitchen also features some extra shelving above the window in the center of the cabinet run. Paired with the window, this helps to open up the small kitchen and make it seem a little larger than it really is. 



Modern Kitchen Design Ideas


Most people assume that cabinets need to run in straight, even rows to be effective, but this isn’t always the case. In this tiny kitchen, the cabinets make up several different layers to give you a much more versatile space with more storage than if the cabinets had all been created equally and hung at one height.

In this case, oversized cabinets flank either side of the sink area, then travel up above it, framing out the space and giving you storage for many different sizes of appliance, dish, and food items. Then, set inside the frame of cabinets is a second, smaller set of cabinetry that offers not only additional storage, but additional style as well. Finally, located right next to the stove on the island, is additional storage facing the kitchen itself, so you not only get the divide from the next room; you get more versatility as well.



Modern Kitchen Design Ideasvia

Just because floor space is tight in your kitchen, doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a mini cabinet design or no storage. In this tight space, the cabinets are not only hung on the walls, but built straight into the hallways and the room dividers as well. The integrated kitchen ideas make this modern small kitchen so special. The light color and clean lines of the cabinets make everything seem built of one piece, which helps make the room appear larger than it is.

The cabinets themselves run straight to the ceiling, then around the corners offering you lots of hidden storage that you can use to keep things organized not only in the kitchen, but in adjacent rooms as well. This particular storage solution works well both in small kitchens, and in homes with semi-open floor plans as well due to the continuing color of the cabinet design. Built in kitchen cupboards ideas are one of the most popular kitchen storage ideas for small kitchens as they help to keep things organized and tidy with a minimal amount of space.




Small Kitchen Design Idea No.6-Roll up to your cabinets


In kitchens that make up in height what they lack for floor space, some homeowners may be hesitant to build straight up. After all, what good is all of that upper cabinet storage if you can’t reach any of it?

In this innovative kitchen, a rolling library ladder is attached to the upper section above the cabinets. Now everything can be at your fingertips even if it’s a little out of reach from the ground. To gain even more storage and cabinet space, a divider rail can be installed above the first set of upper cabinets, with another layer installed above these. With the ladder rail attached between them, you could utilize the space straight to the ceiling, keeping seldom used items there for when you need them later. A movable kitchen cupboard is also one of the new kitchen designs for small spaces that is just as useful as it is good looking.




Modern Kitchen Design Ideas


One of the nicest things about shelving is their ability to be installed in areas where cabinets can’t go. Shelves often hold just as much if not more than traditional cabinets, they come in all styles to match your existing cabinets and design, and you can put them just about anywhere.

This small kitchen makes use of a very short wall to install floor to ceiling shelves for additional storage. The shelves aren’t as deep as traditional cabinets would be, so they don’t cut into the space quite as much, while offering an open concept look to the room. Placed next to the stove, they make a great place to store things like tea kettles, small appliances, pots, dishes, and cookbooks; all of which you’d probably want to have close by when you’re working in the kitchen. This also frees up valuable counter space, making the kitchen more user friendly as well. Seen in this picture is a kitchen counter across low window that allows for plenty of light and makes the space seem bigger.




Small Kitchen Design Idea No. 8-Divide and conquer


What do you do when you have a long, narrow kitchen in an open floor plan and not enough storage or work space? Divide the room in half horizontally by installing a kitchen island right down the middle.

While at first glance an island will break up the space and make the kitchen seem even smaller, in actuality it’s adding a lot more. Not only do you gain the extra storage, you also gain an extra work top, more seating, and a smaller working triangle that can help make the room more streamlined for busy chefs.

Best of all, you can now repurpose the cabinetry on the other side of the room, storing things that you don’t use as frequently, or that are better suited to entertaining, such as wine bottles, where they’re away from the heat and hustle of the kitchen itself.



Small Kitchen Design Idea No. 9- Stretch out your drawers


Galley kitchens are a great way to use space in certain styles of home. Unfortunately, they come with a lot of design and storage challenges, particularly if they open up onto a window like this kitchen does.

Rather than using traditional cabinets along the window and below the countertop, this kitchen makes great use of elongated drawer banks. These long drawers allow you to fit in more and gain more in utility than cabinets would in the same space. Use the drawers not only for storage, but for organizational purposes as well.

Across the way the lack of height on the window wall is compensated for by extending the cabinets to the ceiling, then installing a setback set of cabinets behind the cooktop to gain even more storage and versatility in the space.



Small Kitchen Design Idea No. 10- Roll in roll out


One of the problems of small kitchens is the fact that by the time you give a purpose to every inch of space, it sometimes doesn’t create the best kitchen layout for use. That’s why rolling storage solutions make so much sense; have a dining table and just tuck it away beneath the countertop when not in use, roll the storage to the area of the room you most need them in later on. These can also be cabinets for short people who find it difficult to reach the top shelves in a kitchen or those living in tiny condo spaces. Condo kitchens tend to be on the smaller side, so making use of rolling storage can help you make the most of your space while still providing plenty of storage. This is a must-try if you are considering a condo kitchen remodeling project.


This extra small kitchen uses a rolling cart with shelving for storage, as well as modular furniture that tucks away out of sight when not in use. Together they help open up possibilities for use that might not have been possible in such as a small space if only static cabinets and furnishings were used there. Best of all, rolling carts like this one can be painted in fun colors to help make the whole space pop. If you have a small u shaped kitchen, this is a great way to add storage and style.




Modern Kitchen Design Ideas


The backsplash is the area between your upper cabinets and the countertop. Kitchen backsplashes are already a beauty to behold, like a glass tile backsplash that offers a sleek and shine look in the kitchen. Its primary use is to be decorative and to help protect the wall from splashes and potential water damage. But have you thought of making them functional too?

In a small space, it can also serve as a potential place to add a little more storage for the types of things you use in that area such as spices, knives, and utensils.

Backsplash storage makes a great solution in small kitchens. In this space, shelves hold small items like bottles, oil, and spices that are used right at the nearby stove. Below the shelves are magnetic strips that can help hold and organize your knives. Magnetic strips and hooks can also be used to hold a variety of different cooking and baking utensils, further opening up space in the drawers and cabinets of the kitchen to take care of larger storage needs. This is a fantastic add-on to the many small kitchenette ideas.





Small Kitchen Design Idea No. 12-Now you see it


Having a lot of cabinets and lines in a kitchen that’s tight on space can sometimes be overwhelming to the eye. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to do away with these things entirely when you also need storage for all the food, utensils, and appliances you use there each day.

This innovative kitchen uses open shelving to keep everything organized at one end of the kitchen. Don’t want to look at it anymore? Folding doors pull shut across the entire unit at once, hiding everything from sight with simple, clean lines that will fool the eye into thinking this wall is much larger than it really is. Beside stove storage is a great way to save space in a small kitchen. With doors at either end of the cabinet run, you can also personalize how you use the space and how much of the cabinetry is showing by opening one section at a time or both. 

Final Thoughts

Make the Most of Your Small Kitchen! Just because your kitchen is small doesn’t mean that it can’t meet all of your needs. Invest in some great storage solutions for your small kitchen to ensure that you make the most of every last inch of space you have. Get more ideas and inspiration on how to style your modern kitchen on our article, "Modern Kitchen Ideas" in The Modernist

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