Today we’re going to give you some great small kitchen layout tips to optimize your smaller space. 


We have been helping our clients remodel their kitchens since 1976, and we would love to share our expertise with you.


These tips will give you some creative ideas to help you make the most of your limited space. So let’s get started now!

Small Kitchen Layout: Tips to Optimize Your Space for Design and Functionality

Small Kitchen Layout Tips


Here are 25 great small kitchen layout tips that are going to take your space from tiny to tremendous.

Kitchen Cabinets

1. Get Cabinets that Go All the Way to Your Ceiling: Get every last bit of storage space possible from your small kitchen layout. That means getting custom cabinets that fully fit your space and extend all the way to your ceiling.

2. Get Cabinets that Fit All Your Space: Custom cabinets are probably your best choice if you have a small space. That is because off-the-shelf, standard cabinetry comes in 3″ increments, so you may lose a lot of valuable storage space by not getting cabinets that will use every last inch.

3. Use the Space Above Your Cabinets: If you don’t get cabinets that extend to the ceiling, still make use of the empty space above them by turning it into extra shelf space, as in this great design from HGTV. You can neatly store things that you don’t use up there and free up some extra space inside your cabinets.

space above cabinets for storage

The space above your cabinets can double as extra shelving – Source: HGTV

4. Choose Glass Doors for Your Cabinets: Glass doors can give you a more open feeling to your smaller kitchen, especially if you have cabinets that go to your ceiling and fill all of your wall space.

5. Add Interior Lighting to Your Cabinets: Adding interior lighting to your cabinets in conjunction with your glass door insets will also help to make your small space seem lighter and larger.


6. Add an Overhang for Extra Seating: If there is no room for a table in your small kitchen layout, add an overhang to your countertops where you can pull up a stool to eat.

7. Angle Your Counters: If you really don’t want a traditional small kitchen layout, then maybe an angled peninsula would work best. It will give you extra counter space without making you feel closed in. Here is a great angled counter idea from HGTV.

angled peninsula

An angled peninsula may be more appealing than a galley kitchen layout – Source: HGTV


8. Choose Light, White, or Neutral Colours: Avoid dark colours in your small kitchen as it will feel make you feel like you are being closed in. Lighter shades such as white, beige, and light greys will help your smaller space seem much larger.

9. Get Two-Toned Cabinets: To break up the solid look of a small galley kitchen, choose cabinets that are two different colours. You could put white cabinets up top and grey beneath to add dimension to your small kitchen layout.

Kitchen Islands

10. Avoid Having a Large Kitchen Island: Kitchen islands are great if you have lots of space, but in a small kitchen, an island will take up a lot of valuable room and isn’t your best use of the space.

11. Choose a Tiny Kitchen Island: If you really want a kitchen island and you need some extra counter space, opt for a smaller version that won’t take up too much space but will add function to your room.

small kitchen island

A smaller kitchen island is a better choice for a small space – Source: Cerwood


12. Install Large Floor Tiles: It seems strange, but larger floor tiles will actually make your room seem bigger.

13. Accessorize Your Floor: Make your floor pop with a burst of colour. Choose a brightly coloured or patterned rug to add a bit of pizazz to your floor.


14. Choose Pieces that fit Your Space: If you still want to be able to eat in your kitchen, choose a small dinner table that fits your space. You can even find some that have extra storage space underneath.

15. Get a Fold-up Table: If having a permanent table in your kitchen is definitely out, then go for a fold-up version that you can take down only when you need it and put away when you are preparing your meals.

folding table

A folding table is a great space saver – Source: Amazon

16. Use a Banquette Instead of Chairs: Why not swap out your chairs for a banquette for eating in your small kitchen. A banquette has the extra advantage of storage space built in.


17. Install a Window Shelf: Don’t waste an inch of your wall space in your small kitchen layout. You can install great, space-saving shelves right across your window ledge, and if you are really adventurous, halfway up your window as well!

18. Utilize Open Shelving: Make use of any extra wall space by installing as much open shelving as you can fit. Hang them with decorative hardware for a great eclectic look.


19. Get Built-Ins for Your Small Appliances: If you are designing your kitchen from scratch, consider getting built-ins for your smaller appliances like your microwave. This will keep them off your countertop to give you more space, like in this great small kitchen layout from HGTV.

built-in microwave

Get your microwave built-in to save on counter space – Source: HGTV

20. Install a Countertop Cook-top: If you don’t have space for a big bulky stove, you can install a countertop cooktop instead.


21. Swap Your Spice Rack for Magnetic Fridge Containers: Instead of having a spice rack on your counter, free up some space and store your spices in small magnetic containers that adhere to the side of your fridge.

22. Purchase a Magnetic Knife Strip: Get rid of your chunky knife block and hang your knives on a wall. It will give you more counter space and it also looks great.

knife wall rack

A magnetic knife rack looks great and will give you more counter and drawer space – Source: HGTV


23. Don’t Forget the Decorations: Just because you have a small kitchen layout doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. Don’t forget to add extra decorative touches like small plants, artwork, and flashy dish towels.

24. Put Art in Unusual Places: In a smaller kitchen it may be harder to find wall space for your decorative art. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to place it where you hadn’t thought possible before, like above your stove or sink.

25. Bring in the Bling: Spice up your small space with an over-the-top chandelier. You have to have a light in your kitchen, so why not make it really stand out and shine!

You Can Trust Cerwood for a Small Kitchen Layout You’ll Love!

affordable kitchen remodel

At Cerwood Custom Cabinetry, we can help you with your kitchen design, no matter how big or small it is. Our expert designers can make your kitchen a truly beautiful space. We have a wide variety of design options to make your kitchen perfectly match your needs. They include:

  • – A large selection of wood species and finishes to choose from
  • – Custom stain & paint options
  • – Decorative & functional hardware to set your design apart from the ordinary
  • – Built-in storage systems to suit any preference and offer ease of use

We also offer free estimates including a design package complete with a quote and 3-D drawings of the proposed finished look. Contact Cerwood today for your free, no obligation estimate.

Cerwood has been servicing the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and Stratford region with exquisite custom cabinetry for your entire home for more than 40 years! 


All of our custom cabinetry is manufactured locally, which means that when you choose us, you will receive quicker more efficient service and you will be supporting your local economy.

Our own installers will install your custom cabinetry; we do not subcontract this job out. That means that our installers are completely familiar with our products, so they know how to install them quickly and correctly.


Other Services Cerwood Offers

Not only do we design, manufacture, and install custom cabinetry for your kitchen, but we can also help you with every other room in your home. Whether provide cabinets for your:

We will work with you to custom-design the perfect units for your space. We can even build beautiful cabinets for your garage, workshop, home office, or bar. If you can dream it, we can build it. 

In addition, we can provide you with quality servicing for your existing cabinets.


Aimee at Cerwood worked with us to design new cabinets for our kitchen & bathroom. We were so impressed with her creativity and suggestions for reworking the layout of our main floor, and never imagined we could have such a showpiece in our home! The installers are all very professional, polite, and talented. We would recommend Cerwood & Family to anyone looking for a high end kitchen, at a reasonable price! We absolutely LOVE our kitchen!

– Cathy and Steve B.

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