Very Small Kitchen Renovation Ideas to Uncramp Your Style

Just because you have an itsy bitsy teeny weeny kitchen doesn’t mean you have to skimp on design. A small kitchen can be just as showstopping as any large kitchen. It’s all a matter of perspective. And a few tricks can flip that small kitchen perspective on its head.

With these very small kitchen renovation ideas, you’ll stop seeing your kitchen as cramped and start loving it for what it is: a haven of style worthy of your Instagram feed.

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Cabinet Tricks for the Small Kitchen Renovation

In a small kitchen, it might seem that there is never enough storage space. However, you might be surprised just how many cabinets you can fit in your kitchen without making it feel overcrowded. 

Countertop Cabinets

Instead of more bare countertop, what you might need is more cabinet space. Placing the cabinet right on top of the countertop (or the base cabinets) might be your ticket to bigger and better storage. If you’re worried about this approach looking too forced, countertop cabinets are right on trend, even in larger kitchens.

Cabinets to the Ceiling

Too often there’s wasted space in the kitchen near the ceiling. Go for taller cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling and make the most of all the space you have in your very small kitchen. This looks especially sleek when you choose a flat front cabinet. The minimalistic approach simplifies the design and makes the space feel more open.

Frameless Cabinets

Frameless cabinets, as opposed to framed cabinets, meet door to door rather than having a space between. These cabinets don’t necessarily give you more storage space inside the cabinet, but they do have a more seamless look that makes the kitchen look bigger. The less you break up the space visually, the larger it will feel.

Open Shelves

Open shelves in the kitchen may seem like a luxury reserved for larger kitchens, but they also have the benefit of opening up a space and are therefore excellent for very small kitchens. Use your open shelves as functional rather than decorative and you’ll gain an openness that expands the feel of your kitchen.

Small kitchen with big windows that light up the white and blue space.
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Design Tricks for the Small Kitchen Renovation

How you design and decorate your kitchen can be a huge help in making it feel bigger and function better. From color and finish choices to decorative storage, these tricks are multitaskers. They add style, broaden your small kitchen, and increase its functionality.

Light Color Palette

Lighter colors can help make your little kitchen feel bigger and more open. All white is the obvious choice, but other neutrals work well too. The idea behind this concept is to limit how much you are breaking up the space. The more monochromatic, the larger the space will feel.

Sunshine Time

Let in as much natural light as possible then supplement with plenty of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Light up every corner and expand the space. Enhance the effect by choosing glossy and reflective finishes like glossy countertops, gloss or semi-gloss paint, shiny fixtures, mirrors, etc.

Hanging Out

Enhance your storage space and style by adding pot racks on the ceiling and rails or hooks on walls or under the cabinets. Not only does it give you more places to put things, it also adds to the design. Modern farmhouse styles are especially conducive to this tactic but even a minimalist design can be warmed up with the lived-in feel that displaying your kitchen wares provides.


If you’re working with a very small kitchen, sometimes the larger items like the range or refrigerator can become the center of attention and make the space seem cramped. Use distraction to move attention to other elements of the design or decor. A feature wall with bold colors, attention-grabbing art, or a luxe backsplash can all have this effect and keep attention on the design instead of the size of the room.

Small kitchen with high ceilings in a decorative brick look.
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Structural Tricks for the Small Kitchen Renovation

Though these renovations require some pretty big changes (and probably a contractor), they can make the footprint of your kitchen feel much bigger. Plan on these from the start to achieve small kitchen nirvana.

Raise the Roof

Bringing the ceiling up can create a sense of spaciousness that makes the kitchen feel larger. Add vaulted ceilings with beams to draw the eye upward to all that space. Use large pendant lights or an eye-catching chandelier to the same effect. Other ceiling design elements like coffers, trays, etc. are fabulous options too.

Open Concept

If you have an enclosed kitchen, knocking down a few walls can do wonders. Even if you don’t expand the footprint of your kitchen, opening up the space will make it feel much bigger. An open concept might even allow you to capitalize on some extra space by adding seating on the other side of the countertop for a bar, further expanding the feel of your kitchen.


Building your appliances into the wall can smooth out the space in the kitchen and make it seem bigger than it is. Recess the oven and microwave, refrigerator and more for a seamless look with fewer interruptions and an expansive looking design.

No More Soffits

The soffits are the boxy looking things in between the ceiling and the top of your kitchen cabinets. Not only do they date your kitchen, they rob you of space. They usually contain utilities like pipes and duct work but moving that elsewhere will expand the three-dimensional square footage in your small kitchen—a valuable asset you can’t do without.

Extra space is lurking in your kitchen just waiting to be harvested and used to transform the space from cramped to exceptional. Use these very small kitchen renovation ideas to capitalize on what you do have so you can start enjoying a different, and better, experience.

Get more ideas for your renovation right here.

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