Remodeling a Small Kitchen: What You Need To Know

Having a small kitchen has it’s pros and cons, just as it does when you remodel a small kitchen. The pros include decreased cost. Less space means you spend less money than you would if it were larger. Small kitchens also typically are more functional as everything you need has to be in arms reach for quick cooking and food prep. Cons are obvious. It’s never going to be that “hangout space” that you’ve always wanted. If you have a large family, it could feel a little cramped at times. No matter how you feel about your kitchen, we can show you how to remodel a small kitchen to maximize space, function and style! Click here to see 20 small kitchen makeovers by HGTV Hosts!

Everyone has a different definition of what a small kitchen is, so these tips can work for any kitchen that you wish was bigger! Ready to remodel your kitchen? Click here to work with one of our designers for FREE!

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Top Ways To Increase Space & Style When You Remodel a Small Kitchen

1. Light and Bright!

The first thing you want to realize is that smaller kitchens need lighter colors to increase the visual appearance of space. It is proven that white makes things look bigger and black makes things look smaller (hence the reason we love wearing black!).

So white cabinets are a must. However, you don’t HAVE to go white if that’s not your think. Think dove grey, antique white, light taupe. But nothing will make it feel as large as white will. If you want to add another punch of color, do your lower cabinets in a different color and the uppers in white. That will still open up your space!

Lighter countertops will also help the space feel larger as well, but don’t feel that it’s a must to go white on white on white. Stick with lighter colors, but definitely mix it up!


2. Wide Tile

Backsplash is not only the best way to make your kitchen POP!, it’s also another great way to make it feel larger. Using a horizontal tile like subway tile or wood look tile, will pull the eye from left to right and make the space feel wider. 

Click here to shop subway tile starting at .22/piece!

small kitchen remodel before and after

John’s Journey’s Small Kitchen Remodel – Before Photo

small kitchen remodel before and after- john journey

John Journey’s Small Kitchen Remodel – After Photo. See the difference! 

3. Open Up The Space!

One big step you could take when you choose to remodel a small kitchen is to actually give yourself more space. If that’s what you want, then why not try? If you’re already going through a remodel, taking down a wall won’t be too much more intrusive. The result can be incredible, like Cara Tolle’s small kitchen remodel below. 

4. Illumination is Key

Your going to want lots of light when you remodel a small kitchen. From pendant lights, to can lights, to under cabinet lighting, the more lights you have, the brighter and more open your space will look, as we discussed in #1.

Don’t just use lighting, though. Choosing a reflective backsplash can create the feeling of more space. Think mirrors, glass and metal!

One other way to use glass? In your cabinet doors! Having glass cabinet doors around your kitchen really makes it seem large! The downside is always having to have your cabinets organized!

Remodeling A Small Kitchen

Cara Tolle’s Small Kitchen Remodel – Before Photo 

Remodeling a Small Kitchen - Cara Tolle's After Photo

Cara Tolle’s Small Kitchen Remodel – After Photo – Opened Up Space!

5. Space Expanding Storage

There are a lot of fun ways to increase storage space. Floating shelves are a great way to add additional storage space on a wall that may not typically have cabinetry. You could also build hanging shelves! Nik-nacs are not always possible when you don’t have much space to work with, so try putting them on top of your cabinets if you have 30″ cabinets. 

Another idea is to use a hanging pot holder! Pots and pans take up a lot of space in your cabinets, so getting them out in the open can free up a lot of room for other things. Just make sure you love the way they look!

One other option is to put small cabinets on top of your regular cabinets way up high! They look great, but they can be hard to reach, so you’ll need to add a rolling ladder (if space permits). They can actually add a really cool style element to your kitchen as well!

6. Function is First

If your kitchen is small, you have to make sure that it is functional above all else. And I don’t just mean functional in terms of cooking, I mean you need to be able to store everything that you need without feeling like every cabinet is crammed shut. There are several ways that you can add additional functional features to your kitchen that maximize storage, keep your organized and help you reach everything with ease! Check out some options below! 

Pull Out Pantry Cabinets and Spice Racks

Pull Out Pantry Cabinets and Spice Racks

Appliance Hider

Appliance Hider

Bench Storage

Bench Storage

Easy Reach Cabinet

Easy Reach Cabinet

As you can see, when you remodel a small kitchen, there are several ways that you can maximize space, maximize style, and maximize function.  When you’re ready to remodel a small kitchen, come work with one of our kitchen designers free of charge to make it the kitchen of your dreams!


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Bathroom Remodeling, Bathroom Cabinets, Vanity tops and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

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