Inspiration for Tiny Kitchens

By Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza

When space is at a premium, there’s little room for extras and flourishes, but with prudent use of space and color, a tiny kitchen can rival a full-size in style, storage, and charm. We take a look at 10 tiny kitchens that inspire us to make the most of limited room.

The tiny kitchen digest

Here’s what these successful miniatures have in common.

  • Welcoming lightSmall spaces feel claustrophobic quickly unless they can soak up plenty of light. If you can’t let in natural rays, incorporate soft, electric lighting or cool colors to open the space. White kitchens reflect light and are a timeless choice.
  • Taking advantage of vertical spaceThe urban principal of building upward applies anywhere space is at a premium. Successful tiny kitchens take advantage of as much wall storage space as possible.
  • Using colorTiny doesn’t demand stark white walls and sterile countertops. Great tiny spaces are often bold in their use of color, and these are no exception. Notice one to two bold accent colors softened by a neutral.

1. Sunset pink

This microkitchen, in a dusty sunset pink, makes the most of limited space by tucking refrigeration under the counter and offering more space to expand upward as collections grow. In the meantime, the negative space about the counter balances the deep fuchsia of the backsplash.

2. Clean and modern

This tiny kitchen takes advantage of every sliver of space, tucking cabinets into even the slimmest corners. The blonde backsplash–countertop pairing keeps the small space from feeling too loud. Covering the overhead shelving does the same, allowing dishes to be stacked without adding clutter to the room.

Plenty of lighting—both natural and artificial—keep the kitchen feeling bright and open.

3. Tiny industrial

A tiny kitchen doesn’t necessitate a minimalist style. This sleek miniature uses stainless steel, exposed storage, and a white tile backsplash to impart an industrial feel to the space. The retro refrigerator in zaffre blue injects playfulness that contrasts the harsher materials in the room.

4. Retro sexy

Limited space doesn’t preclude you from using rich colors and loud patterns. This tiny kitchen in lacquered ruby red and old-school taxi cab checkerboard feels snappy and sexy at the same time.

The use of space here is brilliant. The high-top counter on the right provides both prep surface and dining space. And notice the cabinets above the hood and wire basket for silver hanging to the right of the sink, which can serve as storage bin and drying rack.

5. Minimal efficiency

This efficient apartment sports a kitchen with a surprising amount of storage and counter space given that it’s just a few feet in length. The red exposed shelf offers storage and airiness all at once, and the countertop extension pulls double duty as prep top and seating area.

6. The tiniest of tiny

This is, without a doubt, the tiniest space on our list. This kitchen, situated at the end of what’s essentially a hallway uses color to its advantage. A polished black tile at the back of the kitchen anchors the room, while matte white tile flanks the approach, expanding the slender walkway.

Despite the lack of room, this kitchen uses wall space to hang accoutrement and even provides a window to let in fresh air and rejuvenating light.

7. Tiny for renters

This shabby chic meets farmhouse tiny kitchen uses a soft, earthy color palette, natural fibers and textures (basket weave, blonde wood, burlap, and light water glass), and tidy storage solutions.

Hanging natural textiles are a cost-effective alternative to installing cabinets and is the perfect solution for renters looking to increase storage space. The mug hooks and rolling shelf on the left are also perfect for those who don’t own their own space.

8. Urban tiny

Urban dwellers are no strangers to space limitations. This city kitchen makes use of a collapsible wall-mounted table to create counter space when necessary.

Even though the kitchen boasts no windows to bring in natural light directly, the nearly one-wall kitchen remains open to the rest of the room and uses whites and creams to keep the temperature cool.

9. Tiny mod

This tiny mod kitchen uses gentle sherbet and medium-tone imitation wood grain offset by a single frosted glass cabinet to add interest. A stainless steel range, hood, and sink make the space feel modern.

This space takes advantage of deep windowsills to incorporate more covered storage space. A companion wall mounted table mimics the countertops and unites the room.

10. Sleek tiny

This tiny modern kitchen makes such good use of its space that it manages to incorporate a dishwasher and full-size range. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets provide plenty of room for storage while keeping the kitchen feeling crisp and clean.

The gray-blue tiled backsplash against stark white cabinets balances traditional with modern.

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