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Small apartments and homes offer plenty of charm, but they tend to be lacking when it comes to kitchen space. Luckily, there are tons of small kitchen ideas that maximize storage and efficiency. Whether you’re renovating and starting from scratch or just looking to refresh your existing space, read on to get your small kitchen in tip-top shape.

You may not have space to expand or add a full island, so think about bringing in a slim rolling kitchen cart or bar cart to hold your mise en place or serve as extra counter space.

“Open shelves are extremely functional and make it so much easier to access dishes and glasses,” says New York–based interior designer Jenny Wolf, adding that you should think about your kitchen architecturally, as it doesn’t always make sense to have upper cabinets—“especially if the ceilings are 10 feet high.” Designer Catrina Stewart used red hardware to highlight the pantry in this London kitchen, as well as a tinted mirror and teal paint to fabricate an eye on the door that looks like it's winking when you open the door French + Tye

It’s the jewelry you put on to complete the look,” says architectural designer Karen Williams, who serves as the creative director for St. Charles New York. We’ve worked a lot with Dada and have been generally seeing less hardware and more integrated pulls or touch-to-open cabinetry.

Stock up on risers, lid organizers for your various pots and pans, spice-sorting systems, and anything else that will streamline and maximize your kitchen storage. Consider adding in a compact dish rack, like this one from Simple Human, that drains directly into the sink and will never rust.

Unlike hefty serving pieces, colorful drinkware adds visual interest without bulk. Display arty stemware on an open shelf, or let a pitcher pull double duty as a countertop vase.

Alternatively, choose an island with slim legs that you could pull a few stools up to and let it double as bar or breakfast seating. “Sometimes, if there is a good view out a window, I like to focus on bringing the outdoors in and using nature to dictate the palette.” Keeping an especially light palette on countertops, backsplashes, walls, and millwork also helps a small kitchen feel more open.

If you’re not in the market for a full renovation, consider the cooking tools that you always have out: Cutting boards, pots and pans, and linens can all lift a space if you opt for pieces in light shades.

“White paint will help spread and reflect light around, which also makes a space seem bigger,” says interior decorator and blogger Emily Henderson.

“If you have a small dining nook, then go for a round table that opens up floor space and seats more people than a square one would.” “Installing pot racks, knife mounts, and open shelving above your stove will free up tons of space,” says Henderson.

If you’re building out a dining nook, add seating with storage compartments to hide away bulk purchases, unwieldy serving pieces, or kitchen linens.

Image may contain Indoors Room Kitchen and Interior Design
Image may contain Indoors Room Kitchen and Interior Design
Image may contain: Food, Meal, and Dish
Image may contain: Food, Meal, and Dish
Image may contain: Shop, Stand, Shelf, and Furniture
Image may contain: Shop, Stand, Shelf, and Furniture

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