Small Kitchen Layout Ideas Clever Layout Options for Small Spaces

30+ Small Kitchen Layout Ideas

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas with I-Shape and All-White Color Scheme

This all-white minimalist kitchen design feels camouflaged, surrounded by white walls. Nestled in the deep niche, it features an I-shape layout that is simple and functional for a compact kitchen. Its monochromatic color scheme helps it to feel more spacious which soothes its users. And complementing it is a wooden step stool and empty timber frame that suits the minimalist theme, posing as conceptual artwork of sorts. To give it a more homey feeling, the off-white carpet plays along, partly covering the seamless gray flooring for a gentle and soft comfort to accompany the users toward the kitchen.

Window Backsplash with Gray Countertops and Miniature Eat-in Space

Here we have a cute kitchen that replaces tiles with a window backsplash to invite a delightful garden view to accompany its users during cooking. This one-wall layout kitchen is defined by white-painted oak cabinets and gray countertops with a minimal footprint. The high walls clad in beadboard panels make them even look smaller. And the rest feels complete with a miniature eat-in space, open cabinets that expose the kitchenware, and a timber ladder that leads to a secret spot in the house. The resulting scheme is a tiny but self-efficient design that feels modern and rustic at the same time.

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas

Who wouldn’t want to have a spacious kitchen with an abundance of worktops, plenty of space for counters, and more freedom? Unfortunately, big kitchens may not happen to everyone. Luckily though, small kitchen layout ideas guide you on how to navigate small spaces better to optimize storage and create a desirable look.

The most functional small kitchen layouts comprise galley, U-shaped, L-shaped, and single-wall kitchens. Depending on the form of your kitchen, you can decide which layout suits your home better. It, of course, also depends on whether you have an open-plan or enclosed kitchen. From the color scale to cabinet styles, the configuration of the counters, hardware choice, and use of patterns, each detail constitutes how the space feels. In this blog, we have rounded up 30+ small kitchen layout ideas from which you can steal some inspiration to be more conscious in the future while dealing with compact zones.

U-Shaped Kitchen with Linen Cabinets and Vintage Stove

The U-shaped configuration of the linen cabinets allows for the efficient use of space, while one side is allocated for the full-height cabinets to maximize storage. This way, you can provide the rest of the space to feel freer and airy, which even allows for farmhouse sinks that protrude outwards. The rest of the defining features of this kitchen encompasses a subway tile backsplash, marble countertops, a yellow vintage stove, and light wood flooring that brings the space together. The kitchen’s light color palette with warming undertones and brass hardware enriches the heartwarming homey vibes that deliver a cozy cooking place for its users.

Small Kitchen Design with Subway Tile Backsplash and Butcher Block Countertops

Perhaps too compact but surely self-contained, this small kitchen is configured in a U-shape layout. And what compensates for the lack of space is the timeless materials and patterns to make the design relevant for a lifetime. Consisting of flat-front cabinets with barely visible lip pull notches and a subway tile backsplash, the kitchen has a timeless appeal. It is enriched with butcher block countertops and U-shape wooden floating shelf that brings in texture and warmth. On the floor, the white square tile floor finish designates the kitchen zone, while above, a trio of light bulbs makes the kitchen feel even cozier. Lastly, indoor plants scattered around the kitchen create a natural environment to prevent the focus from staying on the size of the space.


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Invisible Kitchen Design with Mirror Backsplash and Cabinets

Thinking outside the box is especially helpful in small spaces. Here, for instance, the overarching narrative of this almost-invisible kitchen design is built upon the mirrors. The mirror backsplash and mirror-finish cabinet doors create the illusion of a spacious room, letting lights bounce around the kitchen. The black cabinet framing and blue floating shelves add a splash of color and contrast to complete the look, while light gray seamless flooring eases the eyes in this compact kitchen.

Best Small Kitchen Layouts

We can count galley, single-wall, U-shaped, L-shaped, and square kitchen layouts among the most functional kitchen layouts for small spaces. Each of those has its distinct benefits to organizing small spaces at best.

Small U-Shape Kitchen Layout

U-shape layouts are one of the most suitable configurations in small kitchens that help maximize the efficient use of the space, forming a triangle with three worktops. In other words, for a U-shape layout, you need three adjacent walls for the cabinets aligned to. But in open-plan layouts, you may not have three walls. So, you can add an island unit or a breakfast bar to add another “arm” of cabinets to achieve the U shape. In that sense, U-shapes are flexible layouts that you can use in both open-plan and separate kitchens. Plus, these layouts provide you with plenty of worksurface and storage that you can even expand more with wall-hung cabinets. If you have sloping roofs, niches, and corners with a skylight, you can again go with U-shaped kitchen layouts.

But how to make use of these layouts at best? First of all, lighting is a key issue. If you want your kitchen to function fully, you need a great lighting system. And what is recommended for U-shape layouts are the task and ambient lighting. Apart from that, centering the design around a window also helps even the distribution of natural lights. As for the storage, you can use pull-out storage in the corners for convenient use, so that you won’t lose anything to the depth of the cabinets. Streamlining your space is another essential point to avoid visual clutter, which you can support with built-in handgrips or barely visible lip pull notches.

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas with White Cabinets and Wood Floating Shelves

Just because you have a small space and need to be super functional, it doesn’t mean that you need to forgo colors. For example, floor decoration and floor finishes are one of the best ways to add color to compact spaces. Here, for example, we have a pink carpet that almost covers the whole kitchen area. It just brings the right amount of color to complement the modern white cabinets and wood floating shelves.

Like in most U-shape layouts, this kitchen also chooses one side to accommodate the full-height cabinets with built-in appliances. This way, it helps the window part to feel free, while light cabinets play along to reflect streaming lights to enhance the brightness throughout.

All-White Kitchen with Wooden Countertops and Black Hardware

Feeling lucky to have a skylight bathing it in natural lights, this cozy U-shaped kitchen is characterized by white cabinets with black hardware and butcher block countertops. This layout helps maximize the storage, while light shades make the space feel roomier. And warming shades get incorporated with a texture-rich wooden floating shelf, wooden countertops, and rustic wood-finish floors. In the middle of the cabinets, the central walkway feels wide enough to be shared, allowing homeowners to move around freely. Additionally, this kitchen also shows that recessed-panel cabinets work in compact spaces as well as the slab-front cabinets.

White Shaker Cabinets with Brass Hardware and Checkerboard Floor Tiles

Interspersed with paned windows, this pantry offers a luxurious design that could even be too stylish for a pantry. Its U-shape layout is defined by white shaker cabinets and marble countertops warmed up with hand-rubbed antique brass hardware. The farmhouse sink, open cabinet, and checkerboard flooring give this kitchen a classy spin, while the light blue-white color palette of checkerboard tiles brings a gentle color. The pendant with a glass shade and brass detailing captures a sense of transparency that lends sophistication.


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Open-Plan Kitchen with Two-tone Cabinetry and Wood Column

In this U-shaped kitchen, one of the arms acts as an island to distinguish the kitchen zone from the lounge, while the hardwood flooring spreads across the open-plan layout to retain the connection between the two different functions of the room. The white quartz countertops provide an extension to the white walls, using the wall’s width as a reference to cantilever out to offer an eating space. This same arm is also supported by an L-shaped wooden column adjoining the white walls above. The rest at the back is complemented with two-tone cabinetry of whites and wood tones to break up the all-white look for the sake of a natural design.

Small L-Shape Kitchen Layout

Practical and versatile L-shape kitchen layouts consist of two runs of cabinetry on adjacent walls, creating an open feel. The L-shape also allows for flexibility and plenty of storage, providing space-saving solutions with the efficient use of corner spaces. Plus, you can use this layout both in traditional, rustic, and contemporary kitchens.

In these layouts, adding curved corners ensures a better flow and soft turns to eliminate any accidents that may occur due to the sharp edges. Glossy finishes and floating cabinetry are other additions you can consider to keep light bouncing around the room and the floor neat and clear.


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Rustic Country Kitchen With Black Countertops and Green Cabinets

In this rustic kitchen with a sloping roof, the L-shaped layout makes efficient use of the space, well-illuminated by a skylight that exposes the kitchen to natural sunlight from above. A little below it, the wooden beams installed in a form of a triangle bring in raw textures, complemented by green shaker cabinets and black countertops. As your eyes gaze downward more and more, the kitchen continues to unveil its authentic color and material palette. The fireplace, cabinet dish rack, brass and silver cabinet handles with drawer storage of woven baskets all enrich the complete look. And the resulting scheme feels open enough even though it has a rich repertoire of colors and textures in a compact zone.

Small L-Shape Kitchen Layout with White Cabinets and Stone Walls

Enclosed by stone walls in earthy shades, this modern kitchen has a rustic flavor lightened up with an all-white color palette. Defining it are the beadboard cabinets paired with a satin finish white ceramic tile backsplash that create a natural-light-friendly zone. The brass tap and wood-finish floor add extra warming elements to coordinate with the stone walls. Also, what you should consider in such small spaces is the elimination of sharp-edged cabinets and the use of curved forms to avoid any accidents.

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas with Black Cabinets and Whitewashed Brick Backsplash

Opening onto the terrace, this kitchen feels lucky to receive plenty of natural light during the day, while the short run of the L-shaped layout is smartly placed against the full-height window. As the kitchen has enough sunlight, it allows the use of sultry shades that offer a sleek look. Further enriching element is the black stove from Smeg, which is such a statement piece that paints a striking contrast against the whitewashed brick backsplash. Lastly, the wooden floating shelves and a wall-mounted rail provide open storage space to bring a touch of character.

Small Galley Kitchen Layout

Considered an ergonomic design, galley kitchens consist of 2 runs of cabinetry that run parallel with each other. And they make for one of the most functional layouts for small kitchens. With these layouts, the homeowners can make the space live up to its full potential. But for the sake of maximizing the storage, it is important to avoid using tall units on both sides. Rather, allocating one side for the floor-to-ceiling cabinets and built-in appliances is enough. It in turn helps keep the other top half free. To open up the space more, floating shelves are recommended instead of overhead wall units.

Additionally, pale colors in long and narrow spaces help the kitchen feel roomier. This way, the natural light also gets diffused much better. In such cases, pale blue, gray, and green tones are generally the best shades to go with. However, if you need an extra light diffuser, polished countertops do the work for you.

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas with White Shaker Cabinets and Beadboard Walls

In this cozy space, the white shakers with a subway tile backsplash clad this galley-style kitchen in a timeless outfit that is simple yet with a long lifespan. The wall behind the kitchen area has been rendered in beadboard panels that lend a farmhouse feel to the kitchen. The use of two different countertops, namely butcher block and granite, supports this flair, adding layered tactility for visual richness. Though, the smartest addition comes with the placement of glass-front wall units across the white-framed window, which look similar but serve different functions. Borrowing lights reflected on the windows, these display cabinets provide a backdrop for natural lights to play.

Two-tone Cabinetry with Two-tiered Island and Stacked Backsplash

In this open-plan kitchen, the back of the space is lined with light wood cabinets and a gray ceramic stacked subway tile backsplash that introduces a sense of order. Right across them runs a black two-tiered island, creating a galley kitchen layout to expand the worksurface and storage. The two zones of the kitchen eating space are signified by this island and flooring, with hardwood in the dining area and gray tiles in the kitchen zone. The island also helps build a more sophisticated atmosphere, which can be used as a breakfast bar illuminated by a trio of black flush-mounts.

Classic English Kitchen with Green Cabinets and Marble Countertops

Only a 40-square-foot testament to a Classic English kitchen. But who cares as long as it is such a visually rich design that oozes opulence? Starting from the dark green cabinets punctuated by brass hardware to dark wood flooring and marble countertops, every piece is a story on its own. In terms of layout, taking the light source window as the center, the two arms of cabinetry run parallel with each other. Their green color is referenced from the dark green walls that serve as a singular body to open up the space more. The floating shelf with brackets, a scalloped farmhouse sink, brass fixtures, and a painting fill the space with a classy feel, while the richly stained wood floor brings the design together.

Small One Wall Kitchen Layout

Taking up less floor space when compared to the previous layout types, small one-wall kitchen layouts have one of the most minimalist footprints. As the cabinets are fitted along one wall as the name already suggests, the resulting scheme feels less complicated, providing a less-cluttered look.

The one-wall kitchen layouts can also apply to both small enclosed kitchens and open-plan spaces. Particularly in the open-plan spaces, they enhance the openness since they don’t hide behind the islands or another run of cabinetry. When designing one-wall layouts, you can take cues from minimalist and Scandinavian designs and go with streamlined looks. If you are looking for a festive feel, feel free to add pops of yellows, oranges, and pinks. One-wall kitchens handle color bombardments much better than other layouts.

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas with Dark Cabinets and Forged Metal Stove

Just because it is small, it doesn’t mean that you have to use light shades for your kitchen. As long as you keep things relevant, dark cabinets will bring peace and harmony to compact spaces as well. Here, for example, the dark blue cabinets paired with beadboard backsplash in the same color create a statement corner. The forged metal stove with brass detailing lends sophistication, while the copper pans add a pop of color and old-world charm. Needless to mention, the stunning ceiling-mounted pot rack adds a delightful detail!

One-wall Kitchen Layout with Green Cabinets and Brown Countertops

Awash with colors, this single-wall kitchen encourages engagement with the space with dark and dramatic hues enriched with patterns. The green raised-panel cabinets with brown countertops serve as the main bones. Yet, the rest seems as interesting as this main cooking zone. The walls painted in red and mahogany flank the cabinets to make the space open up. In other words, the use of various shades prevents the space from looking like a cube enclosing itself which would probably cause a claustrophobic feel. But instead, the employment of complementary colors navigates this compact space masterfully, helping create different sections even within such a small area.

Small Scandinavian Kitchen with Gray Cabinets and Wooden Countertops

Taking its cues from Scandinavian kitchens, this small, function-oriented kitchen features a neutral color palette and wooden countertops for nature reference and texture. Placed under the mezzanine floor, the storage cabinets and extra open shelving unit used for an additional worktop create a minimal cooking zone for minimal space. Overall, it is simple but caters to the needs of its use without complicating anything.

Small Kitchen Layout with Island

In small kitchens, the kitchen islands are generally as big as to house two stools, functioning as space organizers, space dividers, and many more. But the best part of the islands is that they allow you to think outside the box and experiment with forms. Ranging from cantilevered islands to waterfall island units, there are many different form studies. Plus, if you are going to hide your kitchen base behind an island, why wouldn’t you make it a statement piece?

Small Kitchen Layout with Island and Black Cabinets

The feeling of depth and quality is an ever-present feature in black, which exerts a great influence on this kitchen as well. Abundant in shades of black and gray, the kitchen executes a well-balanced design with poured concrete on the floor for a sense of industrial feel. The black cabinets with a soapstone backsplash and black countertops create a sleek and decluttered look, while the kitchen island serves as a utility object organizing the space. Offering an extra countertop and storage and housing the sink, this multi-functional island also designates the kitchen zone in this open-plan layout.

Scandinavian Kitchen with Green Cabinets and Wooden Island

If you want to make a statement and highlight the island unit of the design, you can use a different color and texture. This Scandinavian kitchen, for instance, employs a light wooden island to complement the green perimeter counters and the timeless marble backsplash. Among all the dark shades, what stands out is this small kitchen island that provides a soft contrast, visually separating the cooking zone from the eating space.

What is the best layout for a small kitchen?

To be able to decide what is the best layout for your small kitchen, it’s important to know the architectural features of the space. You can check if the kitchen has a sloping roof, skylight, where the windows are located, and whether it is enclosed or open plan. Depending on the features of the space, you can give a better decision.

But in general, the best layout for a small kitchen is considered to be a U-shaped layout, especially if you have too much kitchenware to hide. As U-shape layouts give you three rows of cabinets, you get the opportunity to integrate more counters and worktops.

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas with Black Glass Sheet Backsplash and White Cabinets

This Scandinavian kitchen design makes use of a variety of materials to juxtapose different textures together. From the dark wood wall units to the glass backsplash and the marble island countertop, each natural form is used to add character to the streamlined outlook of the kitchen. Also, thanks to the smart layout, the good-sized window offers natural light for both perimeter counters and the island. And complementing them is a black glass sheet backsplash that brings warmth and solidifies the bonds between contrasting colors and textures, while the chevron hardwood floor assists it to tie the space together.

Small Kitchen Layout with Peninsula

Peninsulas are great alternatives to kitchen islands. But unlike the islands which are independent units, the peninsulas are connected to the rest of the cabinetry. If you don’t have any space for an island, peninsulas are one of the best alternatives to do an island’s job.

Luxurious Open-plan Kitchen with Marble Peninsula Backsplash

Fond of luxurious kitchens? You can steal some inspiration from this one. Here, what we have are a marble backsplash with gentle striations, brass features, and fluted-design cabinets that create a sophisticated vocabulary. And it is complemented by the cantilevered peninsula with the main base that houses the electric hob and marble extension to offer an eating space.


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Small Kitchen Layout with Peninsula and Terrazzo Countertops

If you want to make a difference with your peninsula, choose a statement finish countertop. This kitchen utilizes a terrazzo countertop to accompany wooden cabinets and green-painted timber balustrades to make a statement.

How do I design my small kitchen?

When designing small kitchens, your focus should be on the layout and how to make small spaces look bigger. Depending on the shape of the room, you can determine the layout. While doing so, also, think about the work triangle that consists of a stove, fridge, and sink. This way, you can ensure the efficiency of the layout.

As for the spaciousness, lighter and pale shades, floating shelves, and colorful pegboards serve the kitchen well. Window backsplashes, extensive use of mirrors, and reflective finish counters and countertops create a more interactive space where natural lights feel much free. And these reflective surfaces bring an illusion of brightness and spaciousness as well.

Lighting is another key issue in compact spaces. Make sure to use accent, ambient, and task lighting to dimension and depth to the space. While using pendants, ensure that they are proportionate to the kitchen’s size; so, avoid using big pendants that might end up cluttering the kitchen.

Additionally, full-height cabinets give the kitchen a sense of grandeur. In cottage-style kitchens, for instance, you can use vertical paneling and beadboard cabinets to achieve the same effect.

Monochromatic Small Kitchen Layout Ideas with Wooden Accents

If you can’t give up on all-white looks but feel worried about the kitchen ending up being clinical, then use visual accents to jazz it up. To soften the all-white look, there is nothing better than wood shades and textures. You can, for example, add a layer of timber to support the peninsula and use wooden hardware and open cabinets for visual enrichment like in this particular kitchen.

Small Open Concept Kitchen Layout

When we talk about open concept kitchens, we refer to the kitchens inserted into the living rooms, which is one of the key features of modern homes. And this combined concept brings several advantages, especially for small kitchens. First of all, it maximizes the square footage and helps the space open up, free of walls and joineries. As a result, it creates a well-connected space amalgamating different functions with a fluid arrangement of spaces. This openness also helps air circulate throughout the entire space and light to diffuse evenly. This way, you can maintain a sense of float and airiness in the most-used spaces of your home.

Secondly, in open-concept kitchens, cooking can easily turn into a social activity. While cooking in the kitchen zone, you can still maintain a conversation with your guests and family members. But if you are concerned about the elimination of borders and want to break up the area, you can use a kitchen island, a peninsula, or a breakfast bar. Or, use a different but complementary color scheme for the kitchen zone. In short, you can navigate the space easily with a color scheme and additions of the arms of cabinetry. Or better, you can go with a single-wall kitchen that won’t hide behind any piece of furniture.

Gray Cabinets with White Countertops and Peninsula

Nestled in a corner, this small open-plan kitchen has full of ideas to create a dynamic and functional space. First, the full-height gray cabinets not only optimize storage but also encourage the kitchen to feel taller. Their high-gloss finish lets the light play throughout, while the under-cabinet lighting accentuates the finishes. Also, keeping the color scheme of the cabinets in the same color as the hallway gives the illusion of the kitchen extension toward the door side. And to create a division between the kitchen and lounge, a peninsula made of white quartz countertops serve as an open feature and space organizer.


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Small Open Concept Kitchen with White Color Palette and Two-tiered Island

If you want to enrich the sense of space in your small kitchen, that’s what the open concept kitchens are for. In other words, small kitchens can compensate for the lack of space while benefiting from the airiness of the larger rooms. And this small kitchen is no exception. Here, the island, cabinets, countertops, and backsplash are all white, camouflaging themselves as a natural extension of the white walls of the living room and enhancing the openness more. It is mainly the two-tiered island that helps distinguish the kitchen from the living room without making it too obvious. But don’t you also think how good this small kitchen is to act as a single body with the living room by adapting the same color palette?

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas for Double-Height Spaces and Brick Walls

Though the kitchen has a double-height volume that adds a sense of grandeur, it has a minimal footprint, employing tricks to feel bigger, while the ceiling-height mirror backsplash plays along for the illusion of spaciousness. Taking its cues from Scandinavian kitchens, the kitchen uses a light color palette that feels modern and natural. The light green cabinets feel complete with the stainless-steel countertops, concrete floor, and brick wall that bring an industrial feel. Complementing them are the dropped-down lighting fixtures that provide task lighting for the island and stools of different styles and colors that ensure diversity within the space.

Small Square Kitchen Layout

Square kitchen layouts offer functional forms that can be arranged as galley, G-shaped, and U-shaped kitchens. They also allow you to have plenty of countertops and cabinets for storage. And to make the space more welcoming, you can use light shades combined with some pops of color or authentic materials to create a more desirable look.

Small Square Kitchen Layout with Yellow Stacked Backsplash and Wooden Cabinets

This small square kitchen layout features a U-configuration of the wood cabinets to optimize storage space and employs a peninsula to create an eating space. But how can you make the design work and create an enviable look with such a compact kitchen? The answer to this kitchen is the statement features and energizing colors for a festive feel unique to itself. To achieve so, it uses a glazed yellow stacked backsplash, a blue vase, gray window shades, and a black cylinder-shaped range hood as the standing-out features. Also, the star-shaped printed tiles give the floor a nice finish. Perhaps the only defect in the design is the closeness of the stools to the stove, which blocks the way. To avoid that, you can use backless or smaller stools that you can tuck under the peninsula.

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas with Blue Cabinets and White Backsplash

This 5 m2 square kitchen uses a U-shaped layout to maximize the number of cabinets, including the wall units. Despite the heightened number of standard units, the light blue shades with white backsplash and countertops manage to execute an optimistic and cheerful design. And the assistants of this color scale are the flat-front and handle-free cabinets saving the space from feeling cluttered and the drum-shaped oversized flush mount that illuminates this enclosed space generously. But above all, the smartest addition is the glass patio door that doesn’t take up any space, helping the kitchen maintain its visual connection with the living room even if it is closed.

Square Kitchen Layout with Breakfast Nook and Mediterranean Tile Backsplash

As long as you have a square layout, don’t worry. Even if your kitchen is small, the equal sides of the space ensure functionality and multiple ways for the spatial arrangement of cabinets. For example, this kitchen adds a breakfast nook by the window to optimize the use of natural lights without blocking the window with counters. The rest features wall units and counters that provide enough storage. And the aesthetic touch comes with this Mediterranean tile backsplash that enriches the visual scheme of the kitchen beautifully.

What is the most functional kitchen layout?

We can consider the u-shaped kitchen layouts the most functional layouts. It is mainly because they can adapt to almost any sized space. And by giving you three walls, they maximize storage. Even if the three walls are not available, you can always add another arm of cabinetry in the form of a floating island, peninsula, or breakfast bar. These additions also create informal spots for family members or guests to gather around and enjoy some conversation and a laid-back dinner.

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