35 Small Kitchen Decor Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger

Living in a small apartment with a kitchen may feel less like a chef’s paradise and more like a closet. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

With a few clever decor tricks, you can transform your compact space into a culinary haven that’s both stylish and functional. Even better, you can create a modern kitchen atmosphere all while being kind to your wallet.

Make the most of what you’ve got! Here are 35 small kitchen decorating ideas to maximise apartment space and make you love your kitchen again.

35 Modern & Budget Friendly Small Kitchen Decor Hacks

Small Kitchen Decor Ideas

1. Floating Shelves

Credits: Jessica Alexander for Pure Salt Interiors

Say goodbye to bulky cabinets and hello to open spaces. Floating shelves are not only trendy but they also give you easy access to your most-used dishes, utensils, and ingredients.

2. Go Vertical

Credits: Whitney Leigh Morris

Hang ‘em high! Take advantage of more wall space with open shelves, a hanging pot rack, mounted knife magnets, or a magnetic spice rack.

This frees up precious counter space and looks pretty darn cool too.

3. Lighten Up

Credits: James Yochum | Better Homes & Gardens

Swap dark colours for light and airy shades. This goes for walls, cabinets, and countertops. Light reflects light, making your kitchen feel more spacious and airier.

4. Backless Stools

Credits: Miki Duisterhof

Tuck them under the counter when not in use. Backless stools are practical without compromising on style.

You May Also Like:

5. Over-the-Door Organiser

Credits: Jay Wilde | The Wilde Project

Utilise the often-overlooked space behind your pantry or cabinet doors with over-the-door organisers. Perfect for storing cutting boards, cleaning supplies, or spices!

You may also add hooks or magnetic racks to the inside of cabinet doors for hanging towels, measuring cups, or oven mitts.

6. Rolling Island

Credits: Jen Woodhouse

A small, rolling island gives you extra prep space. You can move it aside easily when necessary. Use it as a mobile bar cart or even a plant stand when not in use!

7. Pegboard Wall

Credits: Creative Studio | Apartment Therapy

Turn an empty wall into a versatile storage space with a pegboard, adapting to your changing needs.

Hang pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils for easy access while brightening your kitchen with colourful accessories like dish towels and plant pots!

8. Clear Canisters

Credits: Elsie Larson | A Beautiful Mess

Replace bulky boxes with clear or decorative canisters for storing dry goods. It’ll keep things organised and add a touch of elegance to your cooking space.

9. Smaller Appliances

Credits: Brie Williams

Downsize your appliances! Consider a toaster oven instead of a full-sized one, a single-serve coffee maker over a bulky pot, or a hand mixer instead of a countertop stand unit.

This frees up counter space and makes storage a breeze.

Plus, you can already find refrigerators and dishwashers of narrower or shorter sizes at similar or sometimes cheaper prices than their full-size counterparts!

10. Fold-Down Table & Chairs

Credits: Shelterness

If you’re short on dining space, get a fold-down table. Simply fold it up against the wall when not in use.

Similarly, folding chairs or a breakfast bar that folds down are lifesavers in tiny kitchens.

They provide extra seating when needed, but disappear when not in use. 

11. Pendant Lights

Credits: Beau Wynja | Color Cord Company

Just because it’s a tiny kitchen doesn’t mean its lighting has to be! Light it up in style with trendy pendant light fixtures.

Hand them above the dining space or kitchen island to create a focal point in the room.

12. Drawer Organisers

Credits: afreshspace @ Instagram

Keep your kitchen drawers neat and tidy with drawer organisers.

Separate utensils, spices, and other essentials to maximise storage and minimise clutter.

13. Ceiling Wallpaper

Credits: Sarah Alba

Adding wallpaper to the ceiling is a modern small kitchen decor idea that draws the eyes upward, visually expanding the room.

Choose a pattern that goes well with your kitchen’s elements. However, ensure good ventilation to prevent peeling from excess moisture!

14. Tilt-Down Drawer

Credits: Annie Schlechter

Utilise every nook in your small kitchen with a tilt-down drawer.

Installed at your sink, it’s perfect for storing cleaning supplies and sponges that’d otherwise occupy precious counter space.

15. Utility Closet

Credits: Adam Kane Macchia

Don’t clutter up your kitchen cabinets with items you don’t use daily.

Have a designated utility closet for brooms, mops, dustpans, and other cleaning gear, leaving your kitchen cabinets free for essentials!

16. Vertical Herb Garden

Credits: Safrin Nusuha | Chhajed Garden

Bring a fresh breath of life with a vertical herb garden in your kitchen.

Hang small pots of herbs on a wall-mounted trellis or shelf for easy access while cooking.

Alternatively, opt for low-maintenance small potted plants and hanging vines to make your kitchen greener and calming.

Related Article: 30 Small Bedroom Ideas With Big Impact

17. Under-Cabinet Lighting

Credits: Kichler

Illuminate your kitchen space and create a cosy ambience with under-cabinet lighting.

LED strip lights are affordable, easy to install thanks to adhesive backing, and ideal for those wanting to modernise their kitchen on a budget.

18. Corner Shelves

Credits: Lauren Taylor

Don’t have space to spare for wall-to-wall open shelves? Utilise those wasted corners with small corner shelves.

They’re great for displaying decorative items, cookbooks, or keeping everyday condiments and spices close at hand.

19. Fold-Out Pantry

Credits: Decoist

Maximise storage space with a fold-out pantry. These slim cabinets are excellent for storing dry, canned goods, and spices without taking up valuable floor space.

20. Bottle Pull-Out

Credits: Thomasville Cabinetry

Love your wine collection but short on space (and budget) for a mini fridge?

Install a bottle pull-out system for stashing your vino and other favourite beverages – canned drinks, juice boxes, sparkling water bottles, or even olive oil and vinegar.

It keeps everything organised and easy to access!

21. Floor Rug

Credits: Alison Gootee | Suzonne Stirling

Don’t underestimate the power of a rug! It can add warmth, colour, and texture to your small kitchen without making it feel crowded.

Opt for a washable rug in a size that complements the layout of your kitchen space, preferably one of vibrant colour for visual interest.

22. Open Windows

Credits: Amy Neunsinger @ Instagram

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning!

Open up those windows whenever possible. Natural light and fresh air can work wonders in making a cramped kitchen less claustrophobic, more spacious, and invigorating.

23. Accent Wall

Credits: Danielle Colding Design

Feeling bold? Don’t be afraid of an accent wall! Even in a small kitchen, a pop of colour or pattern on one wall can add a ton of personality.

This is a great option, especially for renters who might not want to repaint before moving out. Just be sure to pick a colour/pattern that suits your overall decor and keep things balanced.

24. Built-in Seat

Source: Freepik

Make yourself the perfect breakfast nook – a comfy bench with storage underneath, tucked along a sunny window, great for sipping morning coffees, enjoying casual meals and, most importantly, maximising that precious square footage.

This contributes to a modern, space-saving kitchen solution for small apartments where the kitchen seamlessly flows into the living area.

25. Mirrors

Credits: Julie Ansiau

Make your kitchen appear brighter and larger by strategically hanging a mirror on one of the walls. It bounces natural light around your kitchen, creating an illusion of more space. 

26. Nested Mixing Bowls

Credits: nicolecarlsonxo @ LTK

Save cabinet space with nested mixing bowls that stack neatly inside each other.

They minimise storage footprint while providing you with a variety of bowl sizes for cooking and baking!

27. Half-Size Kitchen Bar

Credits: David Patterson Photography

No room for a full island or breakfast bar? A half-sized bar can be the perfect space-saving solution.

It extends your counter space, provides a spot to perch with a cup of coffee, and can double as a prep area.

Look for one that integrates seamlessly into your kitchen’s layout and complements the rest of the decor.

28. Patterned Decals

Credits: Cameron Sadeghpour Photography

Want a patterned backsplash but tight on funds or bound by renter restrictions? Mimic the look of expensive tiles with removable patterned decals!

They’re easy to apply, easy on wallets, and come in a vast array of designs.

The best part is that they’re removable, so you can swap them out whenever you fancy a kitchen refresh.

This is an awesome small kitchen decor idea on a budget that allows for easy customisation.

29. Above-Refrigerator Space

Credits: Low Country Living

Don’t let that precious real estate above your refrigerator go to waste! Install slim cabinets or open shelves to store lesser-used items like extra pantry staples, serving platters, or seasonal cookware.

Use baskets or canisters to keep things organised and visually appealing. Just be sure to choose items that are lightweight and easy to access safely, and keep enough ventilation for heat dissipation.

30. Slim Trash Can

Source: Amazon

No space for a bulky trash can? Opt for a slim trash can that tucks away neatly beside cabinets or appliances.

This keeps garbage contained without sacrificing valuable floor space. Look for one with a step pedal for hands-free convenience!

31. Hanging Fruit Basket

Source: Amazon

Free up countertop space and add a touch of rustic charm with a hanging fruit basket.

This is a practical and pretty way to keep your favourite fruits and veggies fresh and on display. Get a stylish wire or woven basket to suit your tastes.

32. Corner Sink Shelf 

Source: Amazon

Make use of unused corner space around your sink with a corner sink shelf.

This handy shelf fits snugly around the sink basin, providing additional storage for sponges, dish soap, scrub brushes, and other cleaning supplies within easy reach.

33. Stackable Kitchen Chairs

Credits: Cimmermann

Who says extra seating is out of the question in a small kitchen? Invest in a set of stackable chairs.

They provide additional seating for guests and tuck neatly in a corner or closet when not in use, maximising your precious floor space.

34. Over-the-Sink Drying Rack

Source: Amazon

An over-the-sink drying rack lets you air-dry dishes without sacrificing valuable countertop real estate.

Look for one made from sturdy materials and with a drip tray to catch excess water and keep your countertops dry.

35. De-Clutter!

Credits: Brie Williams | Better Homes & Gardens

In a small apartment kitchen, clutter is the enemy. The simplest and most effective small kitchen decor idea is decluttering.

Be ruthless and purge those expired spices, chipped mugs, empty cereal boxes, and mystery Tupperware containers with questionable contents.

Keep countertops clear of those single-use gadgets and unused appliances collecting dust.

Here’s a helpful tip: if you haven’t used it in a year, donate it or toss it! (Unless it’s a vintage avocado slicer, those are apparently making a comeback.)

Mini Kitchen, Maxi Style!

There you have it! With a little creativity and these 35 small kitchen decor ideas, you can transform your tiny cookhouse into a stylish, functional culinary haven you’ll certainly love spending time in.

Even with limited square footage and a small budget, you can create a kitchen that feels open and inviting and, at the same time, reflects your personality and preferences. It’s all about maximising space and keeping your stuff organised and clutter-free.

Speaking of small-space living, we’ve got tons of other smart and creative apartment ideas to browse through. Head over to the Apartment category and check them out – you might just find the perfect inspiration for your living room, bedroom, or even your bathroom!

Leave a Comment