Small kitchen? No problem! The options are nearly endless when it comes to designing a functional space out of your small kitchen, so whether you’re renting or remodeling, it’s all about working with what you’ve got. Our list of small modern kitchen ideas will help you get started! Once

Essential Kitchen Design Tips & Facts

The kitchen layout is a critical step in kitchen design. Here are some of the most important things to consider when planning your kitchen’s flow. Consider where you want your sink, refrigerator, range/stovetop, cooking island, cabinets, and prep areas located.

Don’t Forget About Safety

Safety is always an important consideration – so remember to keep your stove, oven, etc., out of the way of traffic flow. Be sure there is enough space for people to stand at the sink and move around with ease, especially if you have an island or peninsula in your kitchen.

Utilize Your Vertical Space

In a small kitchen or any small room, bookshelves and other storage solutions can take up a lot of valuable floor space. So it’s important to fully utilize all of your vertical space with open shelving, hanging storage, tall vs. wide bookshelves, etc. Likewise, in your kitchen, hanging pots and pans or utensils on the walls free up tons of floor or countertop that can be used for everything else that you don’t need quick access to.

More Key Kitchen Design Tips & Facts

  • Where will you place your trash can? Keep it accessible, but not in the way.
  • Make sure that you leave room for people to move around with ease and comfort – don’t let your design hinder your lifestyle!
  • Electrical outlets should be accessible to appliances without being near the sink.
  • Think about ways to save energy: like using eco-friendly lighting and Energy Star-rated appliances.

Beyond your space’s actual layout and functionality, you can take advantage of some cool modern designs that look amazing while also boosting storage, functionality, and making the space appear larger even if you didn’t remodel a thing.

Here are some of our favorite small modern kitchen design ideas to give you some inspiration on sprucing up your own space and making the most out of little square footage.

1. Modern Minimalism

When it comes to design, sometimes less is more. A modern functional space maximizes the storage available with open shelving while still looking sleek and stylish. Modern design may include white subway tile backsplashes, clean lines, chrome hardware, open shelving, very little things on the counter, etc.

The idea is to be clutter-free with no wild patterns or extravagant designs. Even if you have a lot of things in your kitchen, if they match the white colors and simple aesthetic, it can give the illusion that you have more space than you actually do.

small modern kitchen

2. Multi-Functional Kitchen Peninsula

In a small kitchen, it can be hard to fit in multiple functions. Incorporating a peninsula adds extra countertop space without taking up too much floor space. The peninsula is big enough to include both stools for dining and storage underneath (or above), which can help when you don’t have the wall space for more shelving or seating.

scandinavian kitchen remodel by amis

3. Loft-Style Open-Concept Kitchen

Open-concept kitchens and living rooms go hand in hand (or room to room, if you will). A modern loft-style open kitchen can give your small space an amazing feeling of openness and spaciousness. The high ceilings combined with open shelving and additional storage above the fridge, oven, etc., create a larger look even though you’re working with 100 square feet (or less).

4. “Hidden Kitchen”

A hidden kitchen is one where you have “hidden” panels for cabinets. They don’t have hardware and instead blend pretty much flush with the walls and cabinets. You can also have a kitchen island or peninsula that is so deep, the chairs can slide all the way underneath for a sleek look without cumbersome bar stools.

small modern kitchen

5. Make it Compact

If you can’t make it bigger, make it smaller and more efficient. Many people like this idea because it does make the most out of minimal space — everything is compact and close together, but with creative rearranging and storage, there’s at least a home for everything.

You can even get appliances that are smaller than standard sizes to utilize even more space. For people living alone in a smaller apartment or loft, a smaller-sized refrigerator, microwave, and stove can do wonders for their small kitchen area. They can get more counter space and mobility out of the space and not have to waste energy with larger appliances they don’t need.

6. Bringing the Outdoors In

Bringing plants into your living space is a great way to add greenery and freshen the air. Living in small spaces can be dreary, but terrariums and potted plants can help bring some life to the space. Of course, you don’t have to fill the space entirely with plants either — just having a few on top of cabinets or tucked away on the kitchen island can do wonders.

16 Small Modern Kitchen Examples, Ideas & Inspiration 1

7. Reflective Surfaces

Stainless steel appliances and reflective surfaces of your cabinets, walls, or countertops can give the illusion that the room is bigger. Kind of like people in the 80s and 90s used to do with full mirrored walls—lol.

whole home remodel kitchen view

8. Open Shelving and Storage

Open shelving is a modern way of adding kitchen decor without making it look cluttered. It’s also an efficient use of space, maximizing your storage potential with open cabinets.

modern scandinavian kitchen by puustelli usa

9. Wallpaper, Yes, Wallpaper

Sticking wallpaper on the wall may not be a new idea, but it’s still a fantastic way to add some oomph and style to your kitchen. The right wallpaper can make a small space seem larger or more open, with visual interest that otherwise wouldn’t be there in a plain white room. Modern kitchens have been incorporating wallpaper more and more, even on the ceilings or on just one wall. Now that you can purchase removable wallpaper, the options to change up your small kitchen are infinite!

10. Dual Toned Walls

Dual-toned walls are great for small kitchens because they create the illusion of depth. Contrasting color on one wall can open up the space and give it a roomier feel. Darker colors make spaces look smaller, but using them as accents can still add dimension without feeling cramped. We love the look of dark cabinets on the bottom half and a lighter or contrasting color on the cabinets or walls above.

11. Kitchen Island Alternatives

Many people don’t have the space for a kitchen island, so other alternatives are needed. A large table instead of an island can be used as your primary countertop (which means lots of extra room for cooking and prep). If the table is big enough, you might even be able to fit two stools underneath to act as a bar. We’ve even seen vintage bar carts used as interim kitchen islands as they have the counter space and storage to hold utensils, glasses, and other cluttering items.

kitchen renovation and cabinetry 02

12. Statement Wall

A statement wall with your hanging pot rack, utensils, art, or other decorative elements can be a great way to show off some of your personality. Placing it above the cabinets is an excellent idea for people who have limited cabinet space, as they can utilize that extra storage instead.

Another method of an accent wall is painting just one wall, putting wallpaper on one wall, or making a gallery wall at one end of your kitchen. These methods help draw the eye upward, which elongates the space, giving it the illusion that it’s much bigger.

13. Playing With Colors

Who said modern design only included all white everything? We continue to see people playing around with bold colors in their kitchens or bathrooms. The boldness creates a wow factor that makes your space pop and gives it a unique flair, which is the essence of modern design anyways! Dark blues, greens, and even charcoal cabinets have made their mark in today’s small kitchen designs.

14. Statement Backsplash

Installing a small backsplash with some color or patterned design helps break up the space between the countertop and cabinets. Again, this helps elongate the space like an accent wall but also gives your small space some modern appeal, even if that’s the only design update you do. It can completely transform the space.

Scandinavian kitchen

15. Black or White Subway Tile

Black or white subway tile is timeless kitchen backsplashes that create a sleek and modern look. For the more conservative folks, you can use a smaller white tile and mix in a little bit of accent color with a glass mosaic.

New black and white contemporary kitchen with subway tiles splashback

16. In-Cabinet Lighting

In-cabinet lighting is another alternative to having overhead lights or too many fixtures at all. Give your cabinets lighting so you can see what’s inside. It’s a great way to have the light source out of your line of sight and create cleaner-looking lines elsewhere in the kitchen.

white scandinavian kitchen by puustelli

Small kitchens aren’t all bad — far from it. If you utilize what space you do have and follow these rules (and a few others we couldn’t fit in), your space can be transformed into something modern and functional. Who would’ve thought that the key to having a more open kitchen was painting one wall forest green?

If you want to do a complete remodel of your kitchen to modernize it for today, plus increase functionality, consider Puustelli Scandinavian cabinets. Our custom designs help bring your kitchen from drab and outdated to beautiful, modern, and functional. Reach out to us today to get started!

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