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In a previous post, Small Kitchens That Still Inspire, I traversed the world of small kitchens and showed examples of space-starved rooms that were full of beauty. Although space may first be perceived as an issue, creative solutions can be jaw-droppingly elegant and finishes, that would be cost prohibitive in a large kitchen but affordable in a small one, can make the diminutive dimensions quite exquisite.

I love the dichotomy of the worn, warm, wide-plank floors with the sleek, modern appliances …. and the pendant light fixtures centered on each window looks smart!

A great example of maximizing space by going up to appropriate the dead area above the cabinets. The arches take it a step further to make this kitchen grand. Who would think that a galley kitchen could be described as grand??

However….I would pull the rug out as its style is in direct conflict with the light fixtures and weighs the room down a bit. And I’d remove some of the things from the countertops, especially on the right…way too much “stuff” for me.

Mirrors are one of the oldest tricks in the book, but have only recently been a trick capitalized in kitchens. The ceiling, which is all too often neglected, is painted an ethereal blue. (Designed by Jonathan Berger)

Baskets above and a smaller, recessed shelf underneath take advantage above and below. One thing to note, it would have been better to run the tile length-wise; compare this picture with the first two of this post and you will see what I mean.

I love anything shiny – it’s the crow in me – and in a small kitchen having shiny pendants as a foil to the grey is very sophisticated.

If you have it, flaunt it. Copper pans that is ;-)

Why not use the area under the staircase?

Open shelving is a designer’s trick to keep a room looking as large as possible. Here is an unique way to make shelving appear very high end: brass railing! I would totally do this! Finding unusual things turn an ordinary kitchen into the extraordinary.

I’m usually not an advocate of open shelving, as it seems that dishes would get dusty and dirty and they sometimes seem thrown up haphazardly, but here it is done well, which is why I’m showing this kitchen even though it has appeared once before in a previous post. Plus, this kitchen is 60 square feet!!

Despite a very awkward layout, every inch is maximized…

and how utterly brilliant is it to use the typically unused portion, the toe kick, below the base cabinets for a drawer?!?!?!

Glass doors and shelving are a good option (but only if you can keep them neat and your dinnerware matches)!

Large, framed artwork turn a galley kitchen’s unusable wall into a focal point.

Turning a galley kitchen into a gallery kitchen ;-D Note the matching frames and monochromatic theme.

Just because your dimensions are small does not mean you can’t have a dark, heavily saturated color. Break the “rule” of “small space = light color” by adding drama with a deep, sexy black, slate grey or navy.

If possible, go up, up, up!! And, while you’re up there, add an intriguing light fixture to draw the eyes up.

A small floor costs less to do the tile work, so maybe splurge if you can and inset a tile mat.

Some small kitchens are part of a larger space, like a loft, so they need to flow with the overall design and architecture of the entire space.

I hope it is just the photography or time of day, as this kitchen seems a little dark, but pay attention to lighting. An illuminated space does appear larger…and happier.

A small city kitchen can still yield fresh herbs!

Infuse color strategically into a neutral palette.

Note the cabinets above and below painted on the interior! And look at the clock above.

Beautiful, serene Tiffany blue.


A glass wall separates and delineates the kitchen from the living area. I love how the pendant light fixtures’ drop are kiwi green!

You can have color in a small kitchen, but be wary of too much clutter. It is visually disrupting and noisy.

House Beautiful labelled this a small kitchen, but I think any kitchen that has room for a table in the middle of the room seems more medium sized. (Designer Suzanne Kasler)

Again, House Beautiful categorized this as a small kitchen, and maybe it is, but it has a very large island! Designer (and owner of the house) Ken Fulk acquired salvaged items to outfit his kitchen, like the bar stools.

With the dimensions of counters and floors being small, you may be able to luck out and get overages, discontinued tile, remaining tiles that do not add up to any large surface area, or what may be labelled scrap pieces of marble/granite slabs because they aren’t large enough for most kitchen counters, but would be perfect for yours. It pays to call around and see.

Well, that’s all I have! I hope that these smaller kitchens were inspirational and gave you some ideas, regardless the size of your kitchen. If so, please consider subscribing to my blog (if you haven’t already) and I hope to see you for my next post :-)

PS – Is it wrong that I am counting down the days until school starts ;-)

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