Small Kitchen Ideas: The CEO Department of Your Home

The kitchen requires the most maintenance and care on a daily basis, endures the most wear and tear, has a highly important function in our lives – for this reason, the kitchen is the most important and most expensive room when designing a home.

If you imagine your home as a big company, think of your kitchen as an executive director’s office. It is a place where all the important everyday decisions and tasks are „cooked “over breakfast, during family dinners or while making a weekend meal.

Many to-do tasks are hanging on the fridge, and important dates are marked on the calendar also situated in the kitchen – so we can say that the kitchen is the „performer” of our home. It is a meeting point and a traffic zone, so if you place an important note on the kitchen wall, you can be sure that everyone will see it.

Satisfying the needs for functionality and ergonomics is an imperative when designing a kitchen area. Sometimes, the wrongly designed kitchen can cause difficulties in obtaining everyday tasks.

Remodeling or installing a new kitchen is a big undertake that requires deliberation of all aspects. Professional help is necessary when it comes to kitchen building or remodeling.

Proper planning is the key

Kitchen Design

When designing your dream kitchen that will perfectly fit your style and lifestyle, good planning is crucial. Having a clear perception of your needs and prefrences is a solid ground to start planning.

If you have a big family and are preparing meals on a daily basis, you will probably need lots of working areas, double sink, top quality appliances, spacious pantry, smart organizational solutions… And probably a breakfast nook or a bar table. In that case, the kitchen will definitely not be a subject of saving; it will be your top priority.

But if you’re used to making toast for breakfast or preparing a simple meal for your friends once in a while, and that’s your culinary top range, go for a simpler and not so ambitious kitchen design. Consider saving on the budget for the kitchen and invest it in the areas of higher importance to you.

The point of living in a dreamy interior is about living in an interior that reflects you from every corner. You do not have to spend a fortune on the kitchen if it’s not an important space for your everyday routine. So get it straight from the start, make your decision and arrange your budget the way it suits you.

You will still have a nice and functional kitchen – and some additional interior solutions that will make you happy. After choosing quality necessary appliances, you probably will not need that many additional fixtures and worktop areas.

Since your kitchen will not be used to its full potential, consider blending in another function and get the most out of your space. Incorporate a little office, a library or a reading nook. Customize everything. These small kitchen ideas are especially efficient when there’s a shortage of space.

Mini Kitchen

Kitchen flooring

Flooring is a highly important part that should never be a subject of saving. A cheap floor will soon show the signs of imperfections and diminish the beauty of the nicest cabinetry design. As this is a pretty busy area, and the flooring will combat dropping of heavy items, foot traffic, spilling, etc., it is important to choose flooring that will cope with this significant wear.

Non-slip hard tiles or concrete flooring that complement the design will fulfill the safety and functionality needs without interrupting the overall impression.

Unless you like an eccentric design and bold solutions, stick with neutral flooring, perhaps a natural look with the rough surface that is resistant and very convenient when it comes to stains and spills. They are very durable and extremely easy to maintain.

If you have a hardwood floor in other areas, and want to place it in the kitchen to achieve a seamless look, be aware of some downsides to it. It will surely contribute in warmth and natural beauty.

Hardwood is resistant to stains and spills, and can last for a lifetime if treated well. But there are a few hardwood enemies that may be in dissent with your habits and lifestyle; high heels, pet claws, direct sunlight…And, of course, don’t leave the water running.

Laminate flooring is another option for the kitchen floor; it is significantly cheaper than hardwood and has some quality characteristics. It is easy to maintain, resistant to stains… Downsides are signs of wasting and scratches that are made through time, along with board separations.

Kitchen flooring

The kitchen work triangle

The kitchen work triangle is a concept that determinates the efficient kitchen layout. The cook top, the sink and the refrigerator are the three most important items that obtain the activity within. The concept is based on placing these three primary functions close enough (but not too close) to make the kitchen efficient, easy to use, and save unnecessary steps.

These three points and the imaginary lines between them, create the work triangle. Exceptions to this rule are single wall kitchens, where it’s geometrically impossible to achieve a true triangle. In these situations, efficiency is achieved through the proximity of these items and their configuration. The sum of all three sides of the triangle must be between 13 feet (4.0 m) and 26 feet (7.9 m).

kitchen work triangle

There are four common kitchen layouts, and determining which one works best for you is the most important task when building or remodeling your kitchen.

Galley kitchen

Galley kitchen usually refers to a smaller and compact working area placed on two parallel walls. These types of kitchens enhance storage space by working vertically, so cabinets are usually built up to the ceiling.

Galley kitchen layout offers highly efficient functionality with minimum movement between the units, while high cabinetry and lined up arrangements make the overall impression neat and uncluttered. Galley kitchen ending with a peninsula on one side increases counter and cabinet space.

For the best efficiency, sink, stove, and the dishwasher should be placed on one wall while the refrigerator should be on the opposite end.

galley kitchen designs

L shaped with an island

L-shaped kitchens have a user-friendly design that works best for interiors with a small- to medium-sized kitchen layout. They often come with a kitchen island, which always enhances the overall functionality and efficiency, because the kitchen island is an excellent additional working area or storage unit.

L-shaped kitchens usually make an “L” and feature an open space that continues to dining and living area. They can also end with a peninsula that makes a dividing fixture between these areas, which is practical for entertaining guests.

L shaped with an island Kitchen

U shaped kitchens

With the U-shaped kitchen layout, each element of the work triangle is located on its wall, creating separate working areas. U-shaped layout is a perfect solution when there are more cooks in the kitchen, and works great with open spaces.

u shaped kitchen designs

G shaped kitchens

The G-shaped kitchen is an extended version of the U-shaped kitchen layout – with the same amount of counter space and storage cabinetry, but with an attached peninsula at the end. The peninsula is an excellent additional worktop, storage space and a countertop bar.

g shaped kitchen

Small kitchen ideas: Small kitchen, big personality

Small kitchens are challenging to tackle, but good planning and smart design go a long way. Use all the space that goes to the ceiling.

Customize and organize the inside of your cabinets to ensure there’s no wasted space inside. Store as much dishes and utilities as you use, don’t cramp the kitchen with unnecessary stuff.

Use racks and shelves to free as much space on your work top as possible. Keep it clean and shiny, it will look more spacious and open. Use backsplash with reflective surfaces like mirrors or glass to give the illusion of space. Provide plenty of light, brighten it up.

Small kitchen designs

Mix and match

A mix of materials, old with new, classic with modern, colors that clash, and tiles that make you dizzy reflect a wild and creative personality that can never be satisfied with ordinary or conventional. These kinds of kitchens are museums of interesting lifestyles and distinctive characters.

Their ability in combining modern, rustic and classic pieces from a messy crowd into a beautiful concept is enviable. And even though you are a contemporary style lover, on a glimpse of these interiors, you find yourself dreaming of Thonet chairs and mint tea from a vintage porcelain cup.

If you are not that bold, you can mix and match in a more subtle way, but enough to surprise and catch the eye. You can satisfy your need for originality with Morrocan tiles backsplash combined with contemporary cabinetry, or by mixing modern and vintage in neutral tones. Find your own interpretation of eclectic. Be inspired and open-minded, there are no rules to creativity.

Mix and match kitchen

I don’t care if colors clash. Personality should be reflected in a house. ~ Designer Jane Pritchard

Two tone kitchen

Two tone kitchens bring a bit of dynamic into the space, and if done right, they look fantastic. When mixing two tones, you can also go a bit further with a mix of styles and hardware. Two tone makes the space less sterile and more inviting and warm, especially if one tone is wood.

It is preferable to use the lighter tones on the upper cabinets and the darker tons on the lower cabinets to ground the overall impression.

Two tone kitchen ideas

About cabinet materials

Choosing the perfect cabinetry is the most important part of remodeling or building your kitchen. Cabinetry defines your kitchen look and style, while its material determines the resistance and durability. To achieve the balance between esthetic, form, quality and the price, choosing appropriate cabinetry material is essential.

Kitchen cabinetry can be made from hardwood, medium density fiberboard – MDF, particle board, plywood, stainless steel, or a combination of some of them, and may include lamination or a top layering over these basic materials.

Wood is the most common cabinet material. And from its appearance to its cost, each type of wood has its own qualities and downsides. However, solid-wood is more expensive, and it is often replaced by cabinets made from particle board or plywood to save money.

Laminate is also commonly used for cabinetry. High-pressure-treated laminate cabinets are very strong and lasting, but their weight is significant.

Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is a high-quality substrate material made from smaller fibers than particle board. It offers exceptional screw-holding power, and sleek and smooth surface. Its edges can be shaped and painted.

Kitchen cabinet materials


Choosing a kitchen worktop is one of the most important assignments when designing your kitchen, and wide choices on the market won’t make it easier.

The most expensive countertop material, which is a member of Acrylic surface family, is definitely Corian. It allows endless design possibilities to a customer, because it can be shaped into any form. More precisely, it can be thermoformed to any shape. It also offers seamless look without joinings of any kind. It is 13mm thick and it comes in 72 different colors.


Granite is, thanks to its excellent characteristics, used more in kitchen areas than any other material. It’s hard, resistant, beautiful, and always unique. It comes in endless varieties of different patterns, shades and veins that make each piece one of a kind.

It is resistant to heat, scratches and mold. It does not soak up the liquids, so it doesn’t stain. Even so, you should be careful with chemicals and aggressive liquids. It is most known for its durability.

Countertops 2

Marble is a timeless beauty that offers the white brightness impossible to be achieved with granite or soapstone. Marble’s top characteristic is its unique and elegant appeal that refines any interior. While some common types of marble, like Carrara, are rather affordable, other rare types like Calcatta – known as a luxury stone, are pretty expensive.

Marble is a soft and naturally cold material; it doesn’t handle the heat very well, which is its downside. Hot items should not be placed directly on the stone surface; usage of mats under hot dishes is necessary. Also, placemats should be put under ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.

Unless carefully cleaned and maintained, marble will stain and chip, which will, in time, lead to an antique look or patina that is characteristic for marble stone.

Countertops 3

Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble ~ Benjamin Franklin

Quartz is one of the hardest materials on earth, and as such, it makes great material for kitchen countertops. It is scratch and heat resistant, and its non-porous surface makes it resistant to mold and bacteria. Two most commonly used types of Quartz countertops are Avaza and Silestone.

Countertops quartz

Wooden worktops are an eternal classic; nothing beats the warmth of wood. It fits well with all types of interiors; from classic to utterly minimalistic, wood will find its way to intermix and beautify any style.

Downsides of wood are that it’s not the most resistant material. The area around the sink needs to be kept dry, it shouldn’t be used as a cutting board, and placing hot dishes directly on it is not recommended.

Wooden kitchen worktops

Stainless steel surfaces were mainly the choice of professionals in the past, but that trend changed over time because of its valuable characteristics. Stainless Steel is now as present in residential interiors as any other type of countertops.

One of its great characteristics is that it can be made in one piece, which results in clean, seamless look. It is a timeless material that fits any style, especially industrial, where its sharpness features its essence. It has excellent antibacterial properties that are the reason this material is so popular in professional kitchens.

Stainless steel surfaces

Laminate countertops are popular, affordable and their quality is unquestionable. They are quite resistant to stains, mechanical damages and scratches. Low resistance to heat is its downside. Laminate comes in numerous varieties of colors and patterns, and it can imitate any material from concrete do Calcatta marble, but at an affordable price.

Laminate countertops

Glass countertops became very popular lately with the new technologies that made them hard, resistant to heat and mechanical damage. Glass is also resistant to chemicals. If it scratches it can easily be polished to perfection. Its reflective surface visually enhances the space and gives it a refined and cleaner look.

If you decide to use glass in your kitchen, you should be pretty meticulous. In order to maintain that beautiful reflective surface, glass should be cleaned very often to avoid scale.

Glass countertops


Appliances are the core of every kitchen. A good selection of appliances will enhance the kitchen’s efficiency and durability. Quality appliances are a good investment, and you should always aim to the best quality that your budget allows.

The refrigerator, the cook top, and the stove are the crucial fixtures that must be well incorporated, visually and functionally, while respecting the work triangle rules. The doors of the refrigerator must open away from the triangle to allow easy movement.

kitchen appliances


Backsplash is a highly important part when it comes to color combinations and materials you will use in your kitchen. Backsplash is the piece of the puzzle that completes it perfectly. While connecting all components; upper and lower cabinets, countertops, and the flooring, it draws attention to the countertop details as well.

So for the best effect, choose useful, but also decorative appliances for placing on the worktop. The varieties of backsplashes are numerous; ceramic tiles, stainless steel, glass, glass with posters, slate, bricks… Ceramic tiles may be a classic material, but there are so many options to achieve an outstanding and original effect.

Backsplash kitchen

Color embraces you. It wakes you up and keeps you present. ~ Fashion designer Tracy Reese

A splash of color

Even though monochromatic kitchens are beautifully harmonized and elegant, why not cheer it up a bit with an unexpected splash of color! It can be just a part of a wall or a certain appliance, but bringing in a bright and intensive color that will stand out will be an unexpected and original statement.

Besides, its uplifting effect will act energizing when you’re not in your best mood; especially if you choose vibrant and vivid colors like red, yellow or orange.

monochromatic kitchens

In the end, every kitchen, even the most minimalistic one, needs to transpire life and reflect your home’s atmosphere. No matter how perfectly it is made up– if the kitchen is deprived of life and its essence, it is just another showroom piece.

Kitchens should be designed around what’s truly important—fun, food, and life. ~ Chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud

About the author


Hi! My name is Petra, I am an interior designer and a happily married
mother of two. I love my job, every aspect of it. When I'm not occupied
with my work and kids, I do pilates.

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