Living in a micro-apartment or other small urban dwelling often means making do with a compact kitchen. But just because your cooking space is limited doesn’t mean it has to feel cluttered or cramped. With some savvy small-space solutions, you can furnish your tiny kitchen in a way that maximizes every inch while maintaining an airy, uncluttered feel.
The key is choosing furniture and organizational systems designed to conserve precious square footage. By focusing on multipurpose, space-saving pieces, you can create a kitchen that feels open and serene, not crowded. Read on for strategies to furnish your petite kitchen for optimal use of space.
Challenges of Furnishing a Compact Kitchen
When dealing with a small kitchen, storage and surface space come at a premium. Here are some of the most common challenges of outfitting a tiny kitchen:
- Limited floor space – With only a few feet to work with, every piece of furniture needs to earn its place.
- Lack of wall space and storage – More limited cabinetry and countertops mean fewer spots to stash essentials.
- Difficulty accommodating table and chairs – You’ll need to get creative with the dining situation.
- Struggle finding pieces that fit layout – Standard-sized appliances and furniture likely won’t fit.
By keeping these limitations in mind, we can find smart solutions that make the most of the available space in a small kitchen.
Space-Saving Table Options
One of the biggest furniture challenges in a compact kitchen is finding a spot for a dining table and chairs. Luckily, there are several types of space-saving tables well-suited for tiny homes and apartments.
Tables that fold up or out of the way when not in use are excellent space-savers. Look for drop-leaf, butterfly, and gateleg tables that allow you to fold each leaf down to a slim profile. When extended, these expand to provide ample dining space for 2-4 people without dominating the room. Pros of foldable tables are they take up very little space when closed and offer versatility. However, the hinges and joins may wear out over time. Quality compact models to consider are the Winsome Groveland Drop-Leaf Table or the Huntingdon Butterfly Dining Table, both under $175.
Another option is an expandable table with leaves that slide out via a telescopic mechanism to double the table length. The streamlined silhouette works beautifully even when closed. Expandable tables allow versatility as your needs change. Look for models like the Copeland Expandable Dining Table, which conceals two additional leaves inside the table for a tucked away appearance.
A round table is a perfect shape for small kitchens since it eliminates sharp corners that waste space. Opt for a pedestal base rather than legs for a lean profile. Cafe-height round tables with two stools are very compact dining solutions. The Winsome Mali Pub Table set includes a sleek round glass top table and two tapered pedestal stools in under $120.
Counter-height tables paired with bar stools make an ideal small kitchen dining furniture solution. The tall table height means you can use stools with a smaller footprint instead of full-sized chairs. This creates separation between the cooking and dining zones in a compact kitchen. Look for tables around 36-inches tall. Allow at least 10-12 inches of clearance from the stools to appliances, counters, and other furnishings.
Clever Seating Solutions
Once you select a space-saving table, you’ll need coordinating seats to furnish your petite kitchen. Here are some of our favorite options for small-space seating.
Backless stools, including counter stools, are significantly smaller than chairs with backrests. The open design allows for easy access in and out from the table. Materials like plastic and metal tend to have a sleeker, more compact profile than upholstered stools. Backless stools make excellent pairing for round bistro tables. The IKEA Henriksdal Bar Stool is under $20 and good for tight spaces.
Built-in banquettes or corner benches integrate seating without taking up much space. Optimize storage by looking for bench bases that lift up or have pull-out drawers. Attached benches as part of expandable tables are another space-saving option. The bench fits flush under the table when not in use.
When every inch counts, look for furniture that serves multiple purposes. Stools that fold up and stash away free up floor space. Ottomans and storage cubes pull double-duty as extra seating when entertaining. Modular furniture with swap-out components caters to different needs in a compact footprint. The SUGALO series from IKEA includes multipurpose pieces like a bench with integrated side table to maximize functionality.
Maximize Storage in Small Kitchens
All the space-saving dining tables and chairs in the world won’t make your kitchen feel clutter-free if you don’t have sufficient storage. Use these tips to maximize kitchen storage in a small footprint:
Take advantage of vertical real estate with wall-mounted shelving. Floating shelves provide personalized storage exactly where you need it. Mounted pot racks free up cabinet space for other items. Glass-front cabinets maintain visibility so everything has a place while open racks keep essentials accessible.
A utility cart or island cart can provide much-needed workspace and storage. Look for carts with baskets, drawers, and shelves for specialized storage. Casters allow you to roll the cart out of the way as needed. Use an island cart for additional counter space when cooking or serving meals.
Don’t overlook the storage possibilities of cabinet organizers. Mounted utensil racks, magnetic knife strips, and under-counter spice drawers make good use of vertical storage real estate. Vertical dividers for baking sheets and cutting boards can instantly double your cabinet space.
Furnishing a compact kitchen comes with unique challenges. But implementing space-saving furniture and storage solutions can help maximize every inch without clutter. Focus on streamlined, multipurpose pieces that consolidate functions. Prioritize clean, uncluttered lines over complex details. With the right furnishings in place, even the humblest small kitchen can become a welcoming, well-organized space you enjoy spending time in.
When evaluating options, keep proportions in mind. Oversize pieces will overwhelm while undersized ones look out of place. Seek out small-space specific pieces sized appropriately for your kitchen. Measure carefully and select furniture and organizational systems that make sense for your layout. Finally, don’t overlook vertical storage opportunities to capitalize on all available space.
By incorporating space-saving tables and seating along with smart storage, you can furnish your tiny kitchen to feel open, uncluttered, and serene. With a bit of creativity, you can create a petite but fully functional cooking space tailored to your needs and style.