For families of all sizes, the kitchen is where memories are made, whether that’s making Nana’s cookie recipe or getting together for Taco Tuesday. A small kitchen can be just as warm and inviting (and efficient!) as a larger space. Pairing the right floor plan with space-saving design choices will allow you to have the kitchen that you’ve always dreamed of, no matter the size.

Galley layout

Named after a galley aboard a ship, this layout fits everything you need in tight quarters. A galley layout can be symmetrical or can distribute cabinets and appliances on opposing walls. No matter the configuration, this design makes room for traffic and simplifies workflow, enhancing your efficiency in the kitchen.

One-wall design

A popular choice for loft- or studio-style homes is a kitchen layout where all necessities are set up utilizing one wall. If you have the extra space, add a kitchen island to increase your work space.

Open floor plan

Before you begin to “work with what you have,” see if you can take the remodel a step further and knock down some walls. If the walls aren’t load-bearing and it makes organizational sense, opening up your space might be your best bet.

Cabinets and shelving

Storage is always a key focus in a small kitchen remodel. If you are installing traditional open-and-close cabinets, extend them to the ceiling to not only provide more storage but also to elongate the room. When choosing your cabinetry, double-check that the drawers and doors can be maneuvered with enough space. Consider open shelving as it will make the room feel spacious.

Organize space

Kitchen drawer organizers will ensure that everything has its place and stays put! Don’t let any space go unutilized- install vertical drawers for awkward gaps between appliances, walls or cabinets. Walls are also efficient but overlooked storage spaces. Instead of hanging frames and art, opt for hooks and racks.

Appliance shopping

An all-in-one range isn’t your only appliance choice, and in tighter spaces, it isn’t the most efficient option. A separate cooktop and oven can provide a functional layout while making more room for counter space and storage where you need it. Concealing features is not only a space saver, but makes the room feel larger, so think of integrating appliances that can be put away. Opt for smaller appliances if the layout calls for it.

Technology and trends

Modernize your kitchen by installing a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that looks out to your outdoor space. This design choice lets the natural light in and opens up your kitchen space. Look for multi-functional technology trends that will free up space such as a sink that doubles as a dishwasher.

Paint colors

The wrong wall color or pattern can make your kitchen feel small and heavy. Use whites, off-whites or light colored paints on walls and cabinets to make your tiny cooking space feel open and light. Go for unity and stick to one color- at most, add one accent hue.

Style details

When you are getting down to the design details of your space, consider connecting your style choices to the adjoining room so that it flows from one area to the next and feels like an extension of its neighbor space. Think about recessed lighting and adding skylights or windows- an extended windowsill provides a useful ledge for storage. Find items that pull in and out such as a hidden pantry or even a workspace that can be put away when the chopping is done.

Seating

Don’t eliminate seating because of the size of your kitchen- you might be surprised what can fit in a tight space! Backless stools that can be tucked under the kitchen island or armless chairs that can slide under a small table take up little space. If you have room for a small eat-in area, consider a built-in booth with storage underneath or a small table with transparent chairs so that your line of vision isn’t interrupted. A retractable eat-in peninsula provides extra space when you need it and is out of view when you don’t.

A floor plan design should be focused not on how much space you have but what you do with the space that you have. Take a thoughtful approach to designing the floorplan of your small kitchen space. Consider how you use your kitchen and prioritize your wishlist. Try multiple configurations and utilize every corner with the goal of making your small space an ideal kitchen.