Do you love spending time in your kitchen but find the space too cramped for dining? Small kitchens can present unique challenges when trying to carve out room for meal prep, storage, and eating. However, with clever layouts and space-saving hacks, you can transform your petite kitchen into a stylish and functional dining area.
From multi-functional furniture to illusion-creating paint colors, these tips will make your tiny kitchen feel open and inviting. Ready to entertain in style even in the smallest of kitchens? Let’s get started!
Measure Your Small Kitchen and Plan an Efficient Layout
Before making any changes, take detailed measurements and put together a floor plan sketch of your current kitchen layout. Note the locations of doorways, windows, appliances, and plumbing fixtures. This will give you a clear visualization of the existing space.
Next, think about how you want to zone your kitchen and where you can fit in a small kitchen dining area. Take into account good traffic flow so multiple people can cook or clean without bumping elbows. Position appliances, sinks, and prep areas conveniently but out of high-traffic routes.
Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
In a constrained kitchen, every piece of furniture must earn its square footage. Seek out adaptable pieces that serve multiple needs rather than single-purpose items.
For the dining area, look for space-saving dining tables like those with drop-down sides, folding mechanisms, or nesting designs that can be collapsed and stored when not in use. Round or oval pedestal tables take up less space than rectangular ones. Built-in or banquette-style bench seating can double as storage below.
Mobile kitchen islands are ideal for small kitchens as they can be moved around as needed. Incorporate seating or appliances to get more bang for your buck.
Create the Illusion of More Space
Visually enlarge a small kitchen with lighting and material choices that make the space appear larger and brighter.
Paint walls, cabinets, and ceilings in light, reflective colors to bounce light around. Go for lighter tones like soft whites, grays, or blues versus dark, dramatic colors.
Similarly, reflective floor materials like vinyl, linoleum or light-colored wood open up a room versus dark woods or carpets. Glass tile, mirrors, and metallics also make kitchens feel expansive.
Ensure adequate task and ambient strategic kitchen lighting . Recessed cans brighten up work zones while pendant lights over islands or dining tables illuminate seated areas.
Incorporate Vertical Storage
Since horizontal space is limited, make the most of vertical real estate for storage. Floor-to-ceiling shelving units in pantries, corners, and along walls hold everything from dishes to pantry items.
Mount spice racks, knife blocks, utensil rails, and paper towel holders on walls to clear precious counter space. Pot racks or racks above the stove take cookware storage off counters. Wall-mounted microwaves also conserve room.
Build a Banquette Dining Nook
Banquette seating is a space-saving solution that doubles as storage. Typically built-in, banquettes feature long bench seating along one or multiple sides of a table or nook.
Benefits include saving room (no chairs needed), adding casual flair, and enabling more diners in a small footprint. Under-bench storage houses tablecloths, placemats or extra chairs when not in use.
When planning your banquette, make sure to allow enough room for entering and exiting the nook. Round banquette shapes make access easier than squared-off designs.
Zone Spaces with Rugs, Peninsulas
Delineate different areas like cooking, cleaning and dining zones with floor treatments or architectural elements.
An area rug underneath a table and chairs defines the space. Floating shelves, full-height pantry cabinets or partitions create physical separation between the kitchen and living room.
For open floor plans, extend a peninsula or island out from the kitchen to mark where appliances and prep areas end and the dining room starts.
Brighten Your Small Kitchen with Color
Inject personality into a small kitchen and liven up compact dining nooks with pops of vibrant color.
Paint one wall in a bold hue or use colorful tile as a backsplash. Upgrade worn dining chairs to model with lively printed or colored fabric.
Display art prints, vases or fresh flowers on the dining table. Add whimsical patterned plates, cups and table linens for an eye-catching setting.
Choose Space-Enhancing Flooring
Flooring choices can make a major visual impact in a petite kitchen. Light, reflective surfaces enhance and open up small rooms.
Vinyl or linoleum comes in wood-like aesthetics but offers a lighter, brighter look. Similarly, bleached or whitewashed wood floors beat out darker hardwoods.
Glass tile, stone, concrete, or polished concrete offer attractive alternatives to traditional flooring. Just avoid highly patterned floors in tight spaces as this can overwhelming.
Embrace Vertical Design
Since horizontal floor space is constrained, utilize the vertical plane for storage, decor and functionality.
Mount shelves, ledges, floating cabinets and open shelving units on walls to stash gear. Hang cooking tools like ladles and whisks from ceiling hooks or wall-mounted railings.
In dining areas, choose tall shelving units to house dishes, glassware and serving pieces while taking up minimal floor room.
Utilize Wall-Mounted Shelves
Wall-mounted shelves can be a great space-saving solution for small kitchens, as they take up minimal floor space and allow for ample storage without cluttering the room. This idea is particularly useful for small kitchen diners, as it allows for the display and easy access to frequently used items such as cookbooks, spices, and utensils. Consider installing shelves that stretch from floor to ceiling to maximize storage potential.
Opt for Slimline Appliances
Small kitchens often have limited counter space, making it challenging to accommodate bulky appliances. To make the most of your small kitchen diner, consider investing in slimline appliances that take up less counter space. For example, a slimline dishwasher or fridge can free up valuable counter space and make the room feel more spacious.
Install a Fold-Down Table
If your small kitchen diner lacks sufficient seating space for a full dining table, a fold-down table offers a flexible solution. Mounted to the wall, these tables can fold up and out of the way when not in use. Choose a style that folds down to a comfortable dining height. Add built-in storage below for chairs or tableware.
With some clever planning and strategic use of space, small kitchens can be just as inviting as more generous rooms. Focus on multi-tasking furnishings, illusion-creating materials, and vertical storage solutions.
Zoning your compact kitchen for streamlined workflow allows you to maximize every inch. And a few pops of color at the dining table will ensure your petite kitchen makes a vibrant statement. Use these brilliant small kitchen dining ideas as inspiration to create a stylish, workable space you will love entertaining in.