Interior Design Tips & Tricks for Renters

7 Small Kitchen Design Ideas for Any Apartment

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Whether you’re a fully-fledged home chef or just starting out in the kitchen after a lifetime of takeout, a small, dark space with little room to move around can really take the joy out of cooking. The good news is that there are plenty of small kitchen design ideas that turn even the tiniest of rooms into delightful culinary playgrounds. Here are seven tips to maximize the space you do have and fake a larger room:

Get smart storage options 

While you don’t want to make your kitchen look cramped, you should be able to store everything you have. This is where smart storage options come in handy. For example, get an over-the-sink drying rack to free up counter space. Or, replace two of your chairs with a bench with built-in storage. Likewise, if you have any nooks and crannies you don’t use, consider installing a thin-slide kitchen tower. And, if you have cabinets, place some beautifully woven baskets on top of them. 

Install hooks or a pot rack

small kitchen design ideas - pot rack

The best small kitchen design ideas simultaneously create the illusion of a larger room and maximize the space you do have. Pot racks do just that. By hanging your pots from the ceiling, you add more elegance to the design of the room while also saving cabinet space for other items. Alternatively, if you don’t have the option to drill holes in your ceiling, try installing adhesive hooks or magnetic knife boards on your walls, cabinet doors or backsplashes. This instant classic will also give you the chance to display your most beautiful utensils. 

Create reflective surfaces

One of the most common tips to create more space in any room is to add mirrors. They can give the illusion of an entirely different place and make it seem like there’s a lot more square footage. Of course, they can also take up valuable space when you’re working with a tiny kitchen, so apply them to your backsplashes, if you can. Or, if mirrors are a bit too much for your style, create a similar effect by getting glossy tiles and cabinets and buying (or faking!) stainless-steel appliances.

Go for open shelving

small kitchen design ideas - open shelving

If you want to create the illusion of more space, remove your cabinet doors or replace the cabinets on one or more sides of your wall with open shelves. Too often, cabinets take up more space than they offer, and a lot of it goes unclaimed. Plus, enclosed storage makes small kitchens feel boxy and cramped. Open shelving is one of the most popular small kitchen design ideas for a reason: You save up on storage and add to the design — without taking up space with knick-knacks or wall art. 

Hide your appliances 

For many, small kitchen appliances like microwaves or toasters take up valuable counter space that we could use for food prep. And, although you can’t just get rid of these essentials, you can hide them. So, consider moving some of your countertop appliances to your bottom or upper kitchen cabinets when you’re not using them. In fact, toasters, blenders and mixers will fit on practically any cabinet shelf. You could even install your trusty microwave in a cabinet from the very beginning. 

Get a table that fits the space

small kitchen design ideas - tall table

If you’re the type of person who enjoys eating a home-cooked breakfast in your own kitchen and don’t have room for a full-sized kitchen table, don’t worry. You can still design a cozy, yet trendy, breakfast area without a table that seats four. One option is to get a tall table and some stools. The height not only makes the narrow table seem like a natural placement in the room, but it also creates the illusion of a larger kitchen because of the visible free space beneath it. Alternately, you could also install a floating table or, better yet, a folding table that hides in the wall when you’re not using it. 

Buy a rolling kitchen cart

For kitchen island lovers, this is the best of the best when it comes to small kitchen design ideas. While you most likely don’t have room to install a full-fledged kitchen island, you can fake a smaller one with a rolling kitchen cart. By doing so, you’ll get some valuable prep space, a healthy amount of storage and an added design element for your kitchen — all with one ready-made cart. Plus, the best part about kitchen carts is that you can move them anywhere when you’re not using them and serve any meal with style by rolling it into the dining area. 

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About the author

Irina Lupa

Irina Lupa is a creative writer for RENTCafé, where she covers market trends and topics relevant to today’s renters. Before developing a passion for real estate, she focused on fields ranging from automotive electronics to digital business development, digging into tech news from a critical perspective. Irina holds a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication. You can connect with Irina via email.

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