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The prospect of renovating your kitchen comes with plenty of excitement, but it’s not without hurdles, especially as you confront the realities of your space. 

Unless you’re planning an extension or considering breaking down a wall, you have to work with the room you have. And that means some strategizing is in order. You’ll want to consider what you most want to change about your space: Is getting more storage your priority? Do you want to fit in more seating? Or are you most interested in reinvigorating the room with some new materials and finishes? 

There are so many small kitchen renovation ideas that prove that you don’t need a large space in order to make a bold impact, and you can map out the best one for your own home by assessing your must-haves. Of course, before you get to that stage, it does help to look to other, similarly-sized spaces for inspiration—another person’s home can open your eyes to a possibility you never even considered for your own. These small kitchen renovation ideas might just be the spark you need to totally reimagine your plans.


The Soft Contrast

Small galley kitchen renovation ideas

Courtesy of Reserve Home

There’s a lot to love about Reserve Home’s New York City kitchen, but the contrast between the natural plywood upper cabinetry and the lower cabinets with Semihandmade Supermatte Slab fronts may be its best feature. The daring (yet soft) pastel combination is a breath of fresh air in a limited space. (The vertically stacked tiles are a nice touch, too.)


The Classic Corner

Small galley kitchen renovation ideas

Photography: Nathaniel Johnston; Design: Natasha Nyanin

A galley kitchen can feel especially challenging to reimagine. If it’s quite narrow, like the one in Natasha Nyanin’s Manhattan studio here, installing cabinets on both sides can make it feel more enclosed than you’d like. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up storage opportunities: A wall of open shelving keeps the room looking spacious and artfully styled, as it provides plenty of opportunities to showcase your most beautiful dinnerware. 


The Simple Shelf

Small kitchen renovation ideas

Photography and Design: Yellow Brick Home

If you can’t yet commit to a full-on kitchen renovation, don’t underestimate the power of a good shelf. In this Chicago, Illinois, kitchen by Yellow Brick Home, a stove-side sink does double-duty, providing a place to stash a few pots and an area where cups or even utensils can be hung on the kitchen rail.


The Not-So-Basic Blue

Small kitchen renovation ideas

Photography: Lehua Noëlle Faulkner; Design: HomesmithLA

The prospect of picking colorful kitchen cabinets, as opposed to your more tried-and-true neutral options, can seem intimidating, especially for those who don’t consider themselves maximalists. But allow this Santa Ana, California space by HomesmithLA to convince you otherwise: navy Semihandmade SSS Beaded cabinet fronts, paired with warm Dunn-Edwards Fine Grain paint, make this compact space bright and welcoming.


The Inside-Out

Small kitchen renovation ideas

Photography: Jennifer Yau; Design: Jill Ellis Creates

This kitchen designed by Jill Ellis Creates takes advantage of this Santa Barbara, California home’s layout with one strategic renovation: a bar counter that offers seating both indoors and outside, thanks to a large awning window. A hidden drawer underneath the extended countertop maximizes storage space discreetly.

Comments (1)

  • Using a deep color like blue to renovate your small kitchen was the idea that I liked the most. Reading that made me think about how it can help our own kitchen look dramatic even if it isn’t as large as other peoples’ kitchens. I’ll use this color as a baseline when I work with a remodeling contractor in the area.

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