Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas to Rejuvenate Your Kitchen Space

Your kitchen is the heart of your home and when the space is small, it’s important to design in a way that’s functional. You can consider small kitchen design ideas that help make the small space more open, airy and reflect your personal style. For guidance and inspiration as you make your plan, check out these ideas for remodeling a small kitchen to see how you can make the most of your small and essential space.

How Do You Renovate a Small Kitchen?

There are myriad ways to adjust aspects of your small kitchen to feel more modern, stylish, airy and spacious. By maximizing storage, shelving, major and small appliances, color and decor, these kitchen remodel ideas can transform your small space into a special room where you love to gather and create.

Woman preparing food on a kitchen island Woman preparing food on a kitchen island

1. Install Open Shelves

A great way to create visual space in a small kitchen is to replace the upper cabinets with open shelving. Shelves allow you to organize and more easily reach dishes and glassware while prominently displaying family heirlooms, antiques and handcrafted items. 

2. Choose the Right Size for Major Appliances

Having the right size major appliances can help a small kitchen feel more spacious. Built-in refrigerators, wall ovens and dishwashers are easy to access and create more space for moving around the kitchen. Appliances that are flush with a cabinet face or wall make a room feel more seamless. 

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KitchenAid® stainless steel undercounter refrigerator drawers KitchenAid® stainless steel undercounter refrigerator drawers

3. Install an Undercounter Refrigerator

In small kitchens, a freestanding refrigerator can dominate the space. If you’re wondering where to put a fridge in a small kitchen, there are a few options to consider. An elegant solution is to install an undercounter refrigerator and keep a freezer in your basement or garage. The sliding drawers make it easy to organize and access your refrigerated food and beverages while creating a sleek look for your small room.

4. Incorporate Striking Light Fixtures

Small kitchens can sometimes feel dark, and adding lighting can do the double-duty of making a room brighter while also creating a statement. Use interesting pendant lights, sconces and track lights to help make your small kitchen feel larger, vibrant and stylish.

Woman making a pie in a modern kitchen Woman making a pie in a modern kitchen

5. Add Task Lighting

Consider installing brighter, more direct lighting above the zones in your kitchen where most of the prep, cooking and cleanup tasks occur. Task lighting fixtures can also add unique style to your small space.

6. Include Small Appliances

Countertop appliances can offer powerful cooking versatility in a small kitchen. You can save space with small appliances with versatile tools like a KitchenAid® countertop oven  and a KitchenAid® stand mixer.

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7. Hang Items from the Wall or Ceiling

Use rods mounted on the ceiling or at the top of the wall or special racks that suspend from the ceiling to hang your pots and pans, mugs and other items that can hang easily. This is a stylish storage solution for kitchens that have less cabinet space.

8. Install Floating Shelves

If you have even a small area of empty wall space, you can hang one or more floating shelves for a sleek storage solution. The shelves can be a complimentary wood, painted a contrasting color to add dimension or painted the same color as the wall to help them blend in. Use the shelves to store jars of dry foods, dishes, glasses or herbs.

Contemporary kitchen with stainless steel appliances Contemporary kitchen with stainless steel appliances

9. Hang Pegboard

Like floating shelves, pegboard is one of several affordable ways to remodel your kitchen. Store teacups, mugs, pans and lids by hanging them from pegs against the wall and free up prime cabinet and shelf storage for things that don’t have a way to hang easily.

10. Hang Rods or Hooks Under Upper Cabinets

Small items like mugs and cups with handles can also hang on hooks mounted on the underside of your upper cabinets to add more storage. You can also mount a dowel rod on the underside and use hooks that loop over the dowel to hang these items.

Black stainless steel appliances in a kitchen with blue accents Black stainless steel appliances in a kitchen with blue accents

11. Add Color to Your Kitchen

Just because the space you’re working with is small, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on adding your personality. Add color by painting an accent wall or ceiling or by choosing color tile or laminate for your flooring. KitchenAid brand offers appliances in a variety of rich colors that complement your decor – and your cooking style. Tie color elements together with rugs, artwork, light fixtures, faceplates and displayed dishware.

12. Highlight Areas with Wallpaper

There are countless options for adding design elements to your kitchen remodel using wallpaper. Just like with paint, you can use wallpaper to create a visually arresting accent wall or backsplash.

13. Paint Cabinets High-Gloss Color

A small kitchen can feel more spacious with the addition of super high-gloss paint on cabinet faces. The gloss adds light, depth and dimension, which brightens the space and makes it feel bigger.

Stainless steel appliances in a gray and white kitchen Stainless steel appliances in a gray and white kitchen

14. Choose Light Colors

To help a small kitchen feel larger than it is, you can also choose matching or coordinating light or white neutral colors for appliances, walls, cabinets and flooring. This creates a unified visual flow for the eye without the interruption of different colors and textures, which can make a space feel smaller.

15. Include a Kitchen Rug or Runner

A small kitchen can feel more warm and cozy with the addition of a rug or runners. This is another way to tie color into the overall design flow while also adding personality and comfort in a nearly endless variety of style possibilities.

Black stainless steel KitchenAid® wall ovens in a black and white kitchen Black stainless steel KitchenAid® wall ovens in a black and white kitchen

16. Use a Wall Oven

If you plan to install a cooktop, the addition of a wall oven helps create clean, efficient lines in a small kitchen while providing all the functionality passionate cooks need. Wall ovens can also be installed double-decker, giving cooks even more options when cooking for a crowd.

17. Add a Storage Bench Dining Nook

Turn the dining area of your small kitchen into a cozy dining nook with a built-in storage bench. This bench is the perfect place to store less-frequently used items such as large serving ware, table linens and kitchen items you buy in bulk like paper towels or pet food.

18. Add a Mini Wine Cellar for More Storage

If you find beverages like beer, wine and kombucha take up too much precious storage space in your fridge, consider adding an undercounter wine cellar like one of these models from KitchenAid brand. These appliances are built to fit under standard countertops seamlessly and help free up refrigerator space for food items. 

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19. Add Drawers to the Inside of Cabinets

You can maximize the storage capacity of some cabinets by adding drawers or shelves. Using more of the interior cabinet space can help you most efficiently organize your utensils, baking dishes, storage containers and more.

20. Remove Cabinet & Drawer Handles

By removing handles from cabinets and drawers, you create clean lines without the visual interruption that hardware makes. This can subtly help a small kitchen feel more spacious, modern and open.

Slate gray kitchen cabinets Slate gray kitchen cabinets

21. Create a Pull-Out Pantry

If your kitchen has an empty tall, narrow space next to the refrigerator, you can build a custom rolling pantry with shelves that are open on both sides. A pantry like this is ideal for storing canned goods, jars and boxes of dry food, as well as spices, nut butter, oil and vinegar.

22. Open a Wall Between Rooms

You can make a tiny kitchen feel larger by opening up the wall between it and either the dining or living room. Adding a counter that overhangs the cabinets between the rooms creates an additional seating area with stools and helps make the kitchen feel like the center of the home. 

Your kitchen remodel is an opportunity to take your small space and optimize it to function in a way that supports your creativity and highlights your unique style. Even with a small kitchen, you can design a space for making.

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