Published on January 11, 2020

We’re told over and over again that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but how are those of us with size-challenged spaces supposed to interpret this maxim? Where are we meant to throw our get-togethers over cheese platters when countertop space is nonexistent? We’ll admit it’s not always easy to see the plus side of tiny-home living (if for no other reason than the lack of storage), but these cozy kitchens reveal more than one silver lining.

Between their mood-boosting bright colors and smart organizational solutions, these eight rooms defy their size. You might just find yourself wanting to downsize. 

The One With Zero Empty Corners

small white kitchen with lots of greeneryPin It
Photography by Dabito

When you see a smaller space, your immediate instinct might be to keep it as bare as possible—but there are other ways. Layering in potted plants and bowls brimming with fruit adds character (and will inspire you to get your five-a-day in), made possible by the homeowner incorporating storage elsewhere. A paper towel holder spans the window and knives hang on a metal wall strip. 

The One That Looks Like a Black-and-White Cookie

black and white kitchenPin It
Photography by Rikki Snyder

With the top and bottom rows of cabinetry divided by color, there’s so much visual intrigue that you barely notice this tight floor plan. Plus, painting the upper cupboards a lighter color brightens the room. Who couldn’t use a bit of design-minded trickery in their back pocket? 

The One That’s Neutral but Not Boring

white galley kitchen with butcher block countersPin It
Photography by Rikki Snyder

With butcher block counters and a retro stove, this all-white kitchen is anything but one-dimensional. We love that the homeowner made use of the dead space above the cupboards, housing storage baskets for some extra function. 

The One That Makes the Case for Open Shelving 

blue kitchen with white smeg fridgePin It
Photography by Sarah Tramp for Emily Henderson Design

You might think floating shelves equal more dust, and to that we say you’re right. But when they look this good, they’re worth it. Keep bulky utilitarian cooking equipment tucked away behind closed doors, and use the open space to display your favorite tools (and that artisanal pepper grinder you got for Christmas). 

The One That’s Barely a Full Kitchen

studio apartment with green kitchenPin It
Photography by Dabito

Don’t let having only one usable wall stop you: Differentiate the area from the rest of the space with color. Green cabinets, wallpaper, and pink paint ensure the cabinets stand out, despite being across from a vibrant ochre sofa. 

The One With Multipurpose Everything

tiny white kitchenPin It
Photography by Esteban Cortez

See that little table? The sides fold out for dinner and up to become an extra meal-prep space. Plus, it looks like it was sourced from a vintage shop, so it was likely an inexpensive addition. Similarly, a cutting board on top of the stove turns the surface into the perfect area for chopping veggies. 

The One With a Whole Lot of Red

bright red kitchenPin It
Photography by Hejm

With everything from the countertops to the electrical outlets in this kitchen coated in a rather striking shade of tomato red, even boring old storage doubles as decor. 

The One That Would Make Justina Blakeney Proud

maximalist colorful kitchen with red cabinetsPin It
Photography by @colorful_kimmes via Instagram

Between the patterned backsplash, vivid orange cabinets, checkerboard floor, and plethora of hanging plants, anything this room lacks in square footage it more than makes up for in style. If you go a similar route, be sure to keep surfaces and floors clear to offset the eclectic display. More can definitely be more—but sometimes it can also be too much. 

See more tiny spaces that inspire:
The Hacks That Finally Saved Our Tiny Bedrooms
What 5 People Wish They Knew Before Renovating Their Tiny Bathrooms
9 Ways to Make Your Small Living Room a Whole Lot Bigger

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