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20 Small Kitchen Examples with Photos: Tiny Treasures for All

In our bustling world, where urban living often means sacrificing square footage for location, many of us find solace in the intimacy of our petite cooking quarters. So, whether you’re a city dweller in a snug apartment or a suburbanite making the most of your modest kitchenette, this blog is dedicated to celebrating the charm and ingenuity of small kitchen cooking.

Here, we’ll embark on a journey together, exploring ingenious hacks, clever storage solutions, and mouthwatering recipes perfectly suited for limited spaces. From whipping up gourmet meals in a studio apartment to mastering the art of culinary improvisation in a tiny galley kitchen, we’ve got you covered.

Forget the notion that small kitchens limit your culinary prowess. Instead, embrace the challenge and let your creativity thrive in the cozy confines of your culinary sanctuary. So, grab your apron, sharpen your knives, and get ready to transform your compact kitchen into a culinary oasis where delicious possibilities know no bounds.

Join us as we uncover the secrets to making the most of your small kitchen, one delicious dish at a time. After all, good food knows no square footage, and with the right mindset, even the tiniest of kitchens can become the heart and soul of your home.

20 Small Kitchen Examples in Photos

1 Galley Kitchen

A galley kitchen is characterized by its narrow layout with countertops, appliances, and storage units arranged along two parallel walls. This design maximizes efficiency by allowing for a straightforward workflow from one end to the other. While it may feel snug, galley kitchens can be incredibly functional, especially when incorporating clever storage solutions like pull-out pantry shelves or overhead racks. Lighting is crucial in galley kitchens to ensure the space feels bright and inviting despite its narrow dimensions. Consideration of traffic flow is essential to prevent congestion, and creative design touches like mirrored backsplashes or light-colored cabinetry can help visually expand the space.

small kitchen examples Galley-Kitchen

2 One-Wall Kitchen

A one-wall kitchen optimizes space by placing all kitchen components along a single wall, making it an excellent choice for smaller homes or studio apartments. This layout typically includes appliances like a refrigerator, oven, and sink, along with storage solutions like cabinets or shelving. Despite its compact size, a well-designed one-wall kitchen can still offer ample workspace and storage options. To maximize functionality, consider installing multi-functional appliances and utilizing vertical space for additional storage. Incorporating a breakfast bar or movable island can also add versatility to the layout, providing extra seating or workspace as needed.

small kitchen examples One-Wall-blue-Kitchen

3 L-Shaped Kitchen

L-shaped kitchens utilize two adjacent walls, forming an L-shaped layout that offers flexibility and efficiency in small spaces. This design allows for seamless flow between different kitchen zones, such as cooking, prepping, and washing areas. The corner space in an L-shaped kitchen can be optimized with clever storage solutions like carousel cabinets or pull-out drawers. Additionally, incorporating a kitchen island or peninsula into the design can provide extra counter space and storage without sacrificing floor space. Lighting plays a crucial role in L-shaped kitchens, with strategically placed fixtures helping to illuminate work areas and create a welcoming ambiance.

small kitchen examples L-Shaped-mint-Kitchen

4 U-Shaped Kitchen

U-shaped kitchens feature cabinetry, countertops, and appliances along three walls, forming a U-shaped layout that maximizes storage and workspace. This design offers plenty of room for multiple cooks to work simultaneously and facilitates efficient traffic flow within the kitchen. To prevent the space from feeling cramped, it’s essential to incorporate elements like ample lighting, light-colored cabinetry, and reflective surfaces. Clever storage solutions such as pull-out pantry shelves, corner cabinets, and overhead racks help make the most of every inch of space. Consideration should also be given to the placement of appliances to ensure a smooth workflow and easy access to essentials while cooking.

small kitchen examples U-Shaped-modern-Kitchen-

5 Pullman Kitchen

Also known as a single-line kitchen, a Pullman kitchen (1) features all kitchen elements arranged along a single wall, making it a practical choice for compact living spaces like studio apartments or tiny homes. Despite its limited footprint, a Pullman kitchen can still offer functionality and efficiency with careful planning and design. To maximize space utilization, consider installing tall cabinets for vertical storage and incorporating built-in appliances to save on counter space. Open shelving or wall-mounted racks can provide additional storage without making the space feel crowded. Lighting is essential in Pullman kitchens to ensure that work areas are well-lit and visually appealing.

small kitchen examples Pullman-stylish-Kitchen

6 Kitchenette

Kitchenettes are compact kitchen setups commonly found in guest suites, small apartments, or office spaces. They typically include essential appliances such as a mini-fridge, microwave, and sink, offering basic cooking and food preparation capabilities. Due to their limited size, kitchenettes require thoughtful organization and storage solutions to maximize functionality. Compact, multi-functional appliances and space-saving furniture are often utilized to make the most of the available space. Additionally, incorporating clever design elements like fold-down countertops or pull-out cutting boards can further enhance usability in a kitchenette.

small kitchen examples kitchenette

7 Corner Kitchen

Corner kitchens make efficient use of space by utilizing the often-underutilized corners of a room. These kitchens typically feature a compact sink, countertop, and storage solutions situated within a corner area. To optimize storage in a corner kitchen, consider installing corner cabinets with rotating shelves or pull-out drawers. Clever design elements like diagonal corner sinks or fold-down countertops can help maximize workspace without sacrificing functionality. Lighting is crucial in corner kitchens to ensure that all areas are well-lit and visually appealing, especially in the corners where natural light may be limited.

small kitchen examples Corner-Kitchen-grey

8 Island Kitchen

Island kitchens incorporate a small kitchen island into the layout, providing additional workspace, storage, and sometimes seating options. This design adds a focal point to the kitchen while enhancing functionality and workflow. Islands in small kitchens should be carefully proportioned to ensure they don’t overwhelm the space. Consider incorporating features like built-in storage, a sink, or a cooktop into the island to maximize its utility. Additionally, choosing a visually lightweight design for the island, such as open shelving or slim-profile countertops, can help maintain a sense of spaciousness in the kitchen.


9 Peninsula Kitchen

Similar to an island kitchen, a peninsula kitchen includes a countertop extension connected to a wall or cabinetry, offering additional workspace and storage without requiring extra floor space. Peninsulas can help define the kitchen area in open-plan layouts while providing a seamless transition between different zones. To optimize functionality, consider incorporating features like built-in appliances or open shelving into the peninsula design. Additionally, using a peninsula with a cantilevered countertop can create a space-saving dining area, making it a versatile solution for small kitchens.


10 Compact Loft Kitchen

Compact loft kitchens are designed for loft apartments or small urban spaces, integrating seamlessly into the living area while maximizing functionality and style. These kitchens often feature minimalist design elements, such as sleek cabinetry and integrated appliances, to create a clean and modern aesthetic. To make the most of the available space, consider incorporating multi-functional furniture, such as a kitchen island with built-in storage or a dining table that doubles as a workspace. Clever storage solutions, like floor-to-ceiling cabinets or concealed pantry shelves, can help maximize storage without sacrificing style or usability. Lighting is essential in compact loft kitchens to create a bright and inviting atmosphere, especially in areas where natural light may be limited.

small kitchen examples Compact-peach-Loft-Kitchen

11 Tiny House Kitchen

Tailored for the unique constraints of tiny houses or micro-living spaces, tiny house kitchens are ultra-compact yet fully functional. These kitchens often feature space-saving appliances, such as combination microwave/convection ovens and compact refrigerators. To maximize storage, consider utilizing every available inch of space with clever solutions like under-cabinet storage racks, pull-out pantry shelves, or magnetic knife strips. Multi-functional furniture, like tables with built-in storage or fold-down countertops, can help maximize usable space in tiny house kitchens. Additionally, incorporating elements like reflective surfaces and strategically placed lighting can help create a sense of openness and brightness in a small kitchen.

small kitchen examples Farmhouse-style-Tiny-House-Kitchen--

12 Open Shelving Kitchen

Open shelving kitchens eschew traditional upper cabinets in favor of open shelves, creating an airy and open feel in the space. These kitchens often feature minimalist design elements, such as floating shelves and sleek cabinetry, to maintain a clean and modern aesthetic. To make the most of open shelving, consider displaying attractive dishware, glassware, or cookware to add visual interest to the space. However, it’s essential to maintain organization and cleanliness, as open shelves can quickly become cluttered. Additionally, incorporating adequate storage solutions for less visually appealing items, such as pots and pans, can help maintain a cohesive and tidy appearance.

small kitchen examples Modern-sage-Open-Shelving-Kitchen-

13 Convertible Kitchen

Convertible kitchens incorporate innovative design features that allow for flexibility and adaptability in a small space. These kitchens often feature elements like fold-down countertops, collapsible tables, or retractable appliances that can be tucked away when not in use. To maximize functionality, consider incorporating multi-functional furniture, such as kitchen islands with integrated storage or dining tables that double as workspace. Clever storage solutions, like hidden cabinet doors or pull-out pantry shelves, can help maximize usable space in a convertible kitchen. Additionally, using light, neutral colors and reflective surfaces can help create a sense of openness and brightness in a small space.

small kitchen examples Convertible-light-orange-Kitchen--

14 Mobile Kitchen Cart

Mobile kitchen carts offer versatility and flexibility in a small kitchen, providing additional storage, workspace, and sometimes even seating options. These carts are typically on wheels, allowing them to be easily moved around the kitchen as needed. To maximize functionality, look for carts with features like adjustable shelves, built-in utensil holders, or towel racks. Additionally, consider incorporating carts with butcher block or stainless steel tops for durable and easy-to-clean surfaces. Mobile kitchen carts are also ideal for entertaining, as they can be used as serving stations or beverage bars when hosting guests.

small kitchen examples Mobile-Kitchen-Cart-

15 Understairs Kitchen

Understairs kitchens make efficient use of otherwise wasted space beneath a staircase, typically featuring compact appliances and customized cabinetry. These kitchens often require creative design solutions to maximize functionality and storage. Consider incorporating features like built-in refrigerators or dishwashers to save floor space and maintain a streamlined appearance. Additionally, utilizing pull-out drawers or cabinets with adjustable shelving can help make the most of tight spaces. Lighting is essential in understairs kitchens, as they may lack natural light; consider incorporating recessed lighting or under-cabinet lighting to brighten the space and create a welcoming atmosphere.

small kitchen examples understairs kitchen

16 Nook Kitchen

Nook kitchens are designed to fit snugly into alcoves or small nooks within a home, often found in older houses or compact apartments. These kitchens maximize space efficiency by utilizing every available inch, typically featuring custom cabinetry and appliances tailored to the dimensions of the nook. To optimize functionality, consider incorporating space-saving solutions like slide-out pantry shelves or built-in spice racks. Additionally, utilizing light colors and reflective surfaces can help create a sense of openness and brightness in a small space. Nook kitchens offer a cozy and intimate atmosphere, perfect for preparing meals while maximizing space in compact living areas.

small kitchen examples Nook-Kitchen

17 Movable Kitchen Island

Movable kitchen islands provide flexibility and versatility in a small kitchen, allowing for easy reconfiguration to suit various needs and spatial constraints. These islands are typically on wheels, allowing them to be moved around the kitchen as needed for additional workspace or storage. To maximize functionality, look for islands with features like built-in storage, adjustable shelves, or drop-leaf countertops. Additionally, consider incorporating islands with complementary design elements to enhance the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. Movable kitchen islands are ideal for small kitchens, as they provide additional workspace and storage without the need for a permanent installation, making them perfect for renters or those with limited space.


18 Studio Kitchen

Studio kitchens are integrated into the main living area of a studio apartment, featuring a compact layout with multifunctional furniture and storage solutions. These kitchens are designed to maximize space efficiency while offering all the essentials for cooking and dining. To optimize functionality, consider incorporating features like fold-down countertops, pull-out pantry shelves, or built-in appliances. Additionally, utilizing light colors and minimalist design elements can help create a sense of openness and brightness in a small space. Studio kitchens offer a seamless transition between cooking, dining, and living areas, providing a cohesive and efficient layout for compact living environments.

small kitchen examples Baby-blue-Studio-Kitchen

19 European-style Kitchen

European-style kitchens emphasize sleek design and efficient use of space, often incorporating modular units, integrated appliances, and minimalist aesthetics. These kitchens are designed to maximize functionality while maintaining a clean and modern look. To achieve the European-style kitchen aesthetic, consider incorporating features like handle-less cabinetry, high-gloss finishes, and hidden storage solutions. Additionally, utilizing space-saving appliances and multi-functional furniture can help maximize usable space in a European-style kitchen. Lighting is crucial in European-style kitchens, as it helps enhance the clean lines and minimalist design elements, creating a bright and inviting atmosphere.

small kitchen examples European-style-small-black-Kitchen--

20 Cottage Kitchen

Cottage kitchens combine vintage charm with modern functionality, featuring cozy elements like farmhouse sinks, open shelving, and painted cabinets. These kitchens are designed to evoke a sense of warmth and nostalgia while providing all the amenities of a modern kitchen. To achieve the cottage kitchen aesthetic, consider incorporating features like beadboard paneling, decorative moldings, and antique hardware. Additionally, utilizing natural materials like wood and stone can help enhance the rustic charm of a cottage kitchen. Lighting is essential in cottage kitchens, as it helps create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, especially in the evenings. Overall, cottage kitchens offer a timeless and welcoming space for cooking, dining, and gathering with loved ones.

small kitchen examples Cottage-Kitchen