Innovative Cabinet Design Ideas for Small Kitchens

If you’ve got a smaller or older home, chances are you’ve got a fairly small kitchen. The Hudson Valley is home to countless charming houses, but if there’s anything many of those homes’ owners would change, it’s the amount of storage space in their kitchens. 

When you can’t remodel your kitchen to physically enlarge it, you can use clever cabinet design to build more storage into the space you have. Similarly, you can use design strategies to make the space look and feel larger, turning a cramped, claustrophobic room into a refreshing showpiece that adds a ton of value to your home. 

kitchen remodel

Below are a few of our design team’s favorite cabinet design strategies for small kitchens.

Play with Cabinet Color

The colors in your kitchen play a big role in how big (or small) it feels. Bright, reflective colors make the space feel more expansive, while darker tones can give it a closed-off feel. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t always the case, and depending on factors like the shape of your kitchen and placement of light sources, dark-colored walls with complementary cabinet tones can create depth. 

Whichever palette you choose, one way to use color to your advantage is to paint the cabinets the same color as the walls. Without the visual separation between the walls and cabinets, a monochromatic kitchen feels more spacious.

Go All the Way to the Ceiling

In a small kitchen, every inch counts. That includes the inches above your head (and potentially out of reach without a step stool!)

Extending cabinets to the ceiling can give your kitchen a visually striking look while dramatically increasing the amount of storage space available, so don’t be afraid to go tall with your cabinets! You can even use a little bit of forced perspective to your advantage here, opting for slightly smaller cabinets up top. 

Do a Full Backsplash

Much like the monochromatic color scheme, consider doing a full backsplash in the same material as the countertop. This is an affordable luxury that makes the space feel much larger and cleaner visually. (Bonus: With no competing patterns or colors, it’s also easier to clean because there are no grout lines!)

Choose Glass Cabinet Doors and Open Shelving 

Another way to make a small kitchen look bigger through cabinet design is to turn your shelving into displays. You can do this with open shelving or, if you prefer something with a bit more protection, glass doors on your cabinets. Either way, you’re drawing viewers’ eyes deeper into your space, making it feel like there’s more space to go around. 

Work with Awkward Nooks and Corners

It’s not uncommon for older homes to have awkward nooks and crannies. That’s part of their charm, but from a functionality perspective, working around them can be a challenge. 

This is where creativity comes in. Maybe that deep, triangular nook under your countertop can become functional storage with a narrow drawer or a lazy susan. Or maybe you can transform the space beneath that oddly low windowsill into a cozy bench seat flooded with natural light (and perhaps a wide, shallow drawer beneath for tablecloths and placemats?)

Look online to find inspiration for ways to turn the weird parts of your kitchen into the statement pieces that give it character.

Use Cabinets to Hide Tools and Trash

If you have a small kitchen, we don’t need to tell you it doesn’t take much to make a small kitchen feel cluttered. Trash and recycling bins, knife blocks, and hanging pot and pan racks can easily make a kitchen feel tight and visually chaotic.

So why not build storage for them into your cabinet design? Hide your trash and recycling behind a solid cabinet door, install a receding pot and pan rack, build a fold-down knife storage under your hanging cabinets. With a custom cabinet design, you can personalize your kitchen to your unique needs and work style without having to sacrifice your personal space. The designers at Affordable Granite & Cabinetry can show you some great cabinet accessories that solve many storage problems.

Make your Hudson Valley Dream Kitchen a Reality 

Every kitchen is unique, which means distinct features and associated challenges. Our design team at Affordable Granite & Cabinetry is here to help you optimize your small kitchen to get the most out of its best features while resolving its challenges. If you’re ready to update the kitchen in your Hudson Valley home with new cabinet designs that maximize storage (with beautiful visual effects), call us at (845) 564-0500 to set up an appointment with our design experts or visit us at our Fishkill showroom.