Kitchen space is a central part of any tiny home. Before moving into a tiny home, one has to ask themself how much space they need, if they are okay with cutting down on appliances, and how much of their home they want to center around their kitchen.
Our friends at Tiny House for Us put together an extensive list of tips, must-have appliances, and inspiration from other successful tiny home kitchen floor plans. By the end of this read, you will be ready to set up the perfect kitchen, stocked with all the right appliances to fit the needs of your tiny home.
# 1 Fold-Out Breakfast Bar
Save space with a breakfast bar for two using a fold-out table. We often use fold-out furniture in other areas of our tiny home, such as fold-out desks or beds.
Here we see a small fold-out bar that can seat two people for a meal without taking up much space in the rest of the home. Plus, the stools can be used as an end table or additional seating in the living room when not being used for a meal.
Multi-functional furniture that can fold up is an ideal option for tiny living, especially when your home is under 500-square feet.
There is a reason ship crews love a galley! A galley-style kitchen is one of the most efficient ways to save space in a tiny home. By placing all of the major appliances on one side of the galley, you free up space for food preparation, a serving area, and cabinets on the other side.
While the word galley may invoke visions of darkness under a ship, the style can be extremely contemporary and elegant today. Keeping windows clear will allow plenty of natural light to pour in and make the kitchen feel open and airy.
Additionally, as seen above, utilizing a subway tile backsplash is a great way to add depth and aesthetics to the space.
#3 Scandinavian Simplicity
If you are genuinely a minimalist, a Scandinavian design may work perfectly for your kitchen. Scandinavian designs are notoriously simple. As you can see above, it is possible to place all of your kitchen needs in one tiny nook.
A stovetop, sink, mini-refrigerator, and flat-panel cabinets all fit in this small kitchen nook. In addition, this design optimizes floor space in your home.
This floor plan is ideal for the tiny home owner who cooks simply, and doesn’t mind making some recipe adjustments.
#4 Open Concept
Placing your kitchen between two windows allows natural light to create the illusion of a larger space. Reminiscent of a studio apartment, this kitchen covers the length of one wall.
The design offers a mini-fridge, but a full-sized refrigerator could also easily work in this space. The floating shelves allow for additional open-cabinet space above the kitchen counter in addition to the open shelves below.
The open-shelf style is becoming increasingly trendy. Try this open concept to create an illusion of space in your tiny home!
#5 Rustic U-Shape
A U-shape kitchen allows a preparation area to serve as a double-duty dining table. Dining tables are often hard to fit inside a tiny home, so using a multi-functional space is a smart option in small kitchens.
This particular design does a great job of combining contemporary stainless-steel appliances with a rustic aesthetic. You can easily meld a rustic farmhouse design with modern appliances to provide a chic yet comfortable ambiance in your home.
When choosing a U-Shape, you will want to think about how the rest of your home is laid out. The U-Shape creates a natural divide between the kitchen and the rest of the space. Be aware of how you want to split your home on each side of the U.
#6 Lofted Kitchen
We don’t often see a kitchen in the loft space. But, interestingly, this design places a U-style kitchen on the second floor of the home.
Unfortunately, being on the second floor eliminates the ability to use the U-style counter as seating, but it does open up room on the ground floor for a table.
As your stovetop will be extremely close to your ceiling, keep in mind a proper ventilation system. Proper ventilation is important in all tiny homes, but especially ones with lofted kitchens.
#7 Bench Dinette
This unique bench dinette magically creates space for four dining guests rather than two. As we’ve seen with most tiny home kitchens, there is usually only room for two guests on a pull-out table or U-counter.
However, a bench can easily sneak in against the wall and not intrude on the home’s floor space with this slight table extension. Plus, the main cooking space is adjacent to the stairs.
So installing your kitchen under and in the “galley” space of the stairs is an effective way to utilize space that would otherwise go wasted. If you are able, open up the area below the stairs to create either an additional seating area or storage space.
#8 U-Shape Under a Loft
Placing your kitchen under your loft bedroom is another effective way to save space. If you’re using a ladder to reach the loft, the underneath area has plenty of room for a full-sized refrigerator.
You can easily place a u-shaped counter directly under the loft space. Use recessed lighting to keep from bumping your head, and you will hardly remember you sleep just above your stove!
Putting storage under a full staircase is also an effective way to use a U-shape under a loft, but a ladder allows for an open-feel and doesn’t make larger appliances feel so tight.
#9 Add Accents
Is your kitchen space a bit bland? Just because you do not have shiny stainless steel appliances does not mean your tiny home’s kitchen can’t look incredible. A great way to spice up your home, like above, is to add accents.
The above design promotes a retro feel with stick-on wallpaper and a trendy throw rug. You can also find stick-on designs to spice up your kitchen tile instead of a throw rug.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to add some color to your kitchen. Consider using colorful pots and pans to match your wall, and let the blank cabinets be your canvas.
#10 A Step Above the Rest
This intimate home provides a straightforward kitchen. It is situated a small step above the rest of the home. So if you are living in a micro-home, this kitchen doesn’t take up much space.
This design is particularly attractive because it easily lets your eyes see the kitchen and living room as two separate spaces, even though there is no barrier.
This is yet another great technique for using interior design to trick your guests into thinking your home is larger than it actually is!
Additionally, this kitchen does provide a hooded vent for ventilation with a must in any home. However, you’ll likely have to nix any full-sized appliances and choose smaller options like hot plates, microwaves, and mini-fridges.
#11 Floating Pantry Items
It is a well-known tiny home tip to utilize to think vertically. Look for unique ways to use the empty space above your appliances.
For example, you can hang pantry items with strong magnets to the bottom of cabinets or install hooks for pots and pans rather than taking up room on a shelf. Some pantry items are even available in magnetic jars that will stick directly to your refrigerator!
#12 Try a Convertible Sink
Convertible sinks are a terrific way to give yourself more counter space. If you can get by with a smaller sink, find an option that allows you to place a moveable faux counter over the hole.
Bonus points if the covering can act as a cutting board! While the above option shows a replaceable cutting board you have to manually remove, there are also convertible sinks that can be slid in and out by a button.
#13 The Ultimate Kitchen Cabinet
This kitchen cabinet looks just like a china cabinet from the outside. There is a sink and stove top on the main counter, and two doors open up to provide pantry space.
This design is terrific for maximizing floor space when you are not cooking. Unfortunately, you miss out on full-sized appliances. But with the extra room, you will likely be able to fit a full-sized refrigerator elsewhere.
A kitchen cabinet like this is a great way to practice minimizing your kitchen utensils. If you limit what you need to the size of your storage, you won’t risk cluttering your home with unnecessary supplies that you don’t truly need. Yes you love those blue dishes – but do you really need 6 of them for your two-person household?
#14 Stack Drying Racks
We hardly ever utilize the space above our sinks. Invest in a drying rack that can fit directly over the sink rather than laying out all your dishes on the counter.
Finding use for vertical space is a key principle of tiny home living, and it is important to get creative in how you think about space in your tiny home’s kitchen. By building up, you’ve earned yourself valuable counter space!
#15 Combine Seating and Storage Space
If you have an island in your kitchen, consider tagging on seating to the back of it. Then, you can split the island in half and use a recessed banquette for dining. Above you can see what it looks like to have your storage space and seating all in one unit!
An additional option with this island is to leave it hollow. Even if you don’t use the other side as seating, you can fill it up with your pots and pans. Or, perhaps your kitchen stools would fit snuggly underneath it.
#16 Strategically Place the Garbage Can
It is easy to forget one of the most vital elements of a successful kitchen: storing your garbage cans. Even in traditional homes, no one likes the eyesore of a full trash bin.
You have to ensure that the garbage can is hidden in tiny houses and no smells escape. In such an intimate space, even the slightest odor emission can stink up your whole home!
A cabinet under the sinks makes for an easily accessible trash bin. Ensure that you purchase a high-quality can so no foul smells fill up the home!
If you can’t fit your garbage can under the sink, do not fear. Just make sure that you purchase a can that has a high-quality lid. Do not leave your trash in the open-air. You and your guests will regret it very quickly.
#17 A Roaming Kitchen Cart
Kitchen carts are a versatile tool. Kitchen carts can wheel into the rescue if you don’t have enough space for a permanent structure. They offer extra drawers for storage, provide additional counter space, and even serve as a dining table with stool storage.
In addition, many kitchen carts have attachments available for purchase if you’re looking for even more roaming storage! Roaming kitchen carts are a great alternative to an island.
#18 Invest in a Peg Board
Pegboards are commonly found in garages, but they can be instrumental in tiny home kitchens. Pegboards allow you to customize your shelving fully. As your home grows, your storage can grow with it.
They’re also great in other areas of your home. Additionally, pegboards are incredibly sturdy for a relatively low price. Plus, they’re straightforward to set up. Even the most uncrafty person can figure it out! Not only are pegboards functional shelving, but they look trendy!
#19 Utilize Support Beams
If your tiny home has support beams – use them! These are great built-in storage tools to place additional pantry items. Add a stick-on backsplash for extra style. Be careful not to overcrowd your beams – you don’t want to make your home appear cluttered!
#20 Choose What Appliances You Really Want
When choosing your appliances, it is essential to narrow down what is most important to you. For many, that is a big refrigerator and an entire oven. However, that isn’t for everyone!
For example, the tiny home above just has a mini-fridge and a hot plate. Rather than a full fridge and oven, it has a full dishwasher and sink with a removable head.
If you’re a chef at heart, this kitchen might not be for you, but if you’re a simple person who hates washing dishes – perhaps rethink what appliances you desire.
#21 Invest in a Pressure Cooker
A pressure cooker has nine appliances in one. If your goal is to save space, then a pressure cooker is for you! It is easily stored and offers you a plethora of hot meals. You can cook everything from meat stews to delicious cheesecakes.
Pressure cookers can’t fully replace a full oven and stove, but if you’re a young adult or looking to save some pennies, a pressure cooker is a great option. Plus, if you’re only cooking for one it leaves you plenty of leftovers.
#22 A Multi-Purpose Toaster
This contraption isn’t just a toaster. It is a full-service breakfast station.
What could make your morning routine more effortless than this 3-in-1 multifunction breakfast station where you can prepare your coffee, toast your bread, and cook eggs in the oven-top griddle all at the same time?
If you’re someone short on time, this contraption is an easy way to kick start your morning and save space.
#23 Recessed Lights
Recessed lights are extremely popular with tiny homeowners. Since they sit within the ceiling, they give the sense of higher ceilings.
When your kitchen is already so packed with appliances and supplies, keeping the lights tucked above will help create the feeling of space.
Recessed lights are particularly useful with kitchens that sit below a second floor. No bumping your head on lights here!
#24 Smart Ovens
An app on your smartphone easily controls smart ovens. Fires can spread rapidly in a tiny home, and having the app on your phone will give you peace of mind knowing that you actually shut the oven off.
Plus, if you need to start the oven and you do not feel like getting up, you can simply hit a button to pre-heat! Additionally, always keep a fire extinguisher easily accessible in al tiny home kitchens.
#25 Keep Safety at Front of Mind
Living in a tiny home means that you need to be extra aware of everyday safety hazards in the kitchen.
Be sure you are keeping your cooking space immaculately clean, as it is much easier for foodborne illness to occur from contaminated cooking spaces in tiny homes. Consider dedicated cutting boards for meats to avoid cross-contamination.
#26 Wire Shelf Risers
We’ve talked about handing storage outside of your cabinets, but let’s talk about organization inside cabinets. Create adjustable shelves within cabinets with wire shelf risers.
These easy-to-use wires are customizable, and you can adjust them to fit different needs. They’re a great way to provide homes for dishes, cleaning supplies, pantry items, and more. These work for both cabinets under and above counter space, and pretty much everywhere else.
#27 Magnetic Shelving
While you do not want to clutter your refrigerator too much, using some magnetic shelves on the side of your refrigerator is a great spot to store mail, hang paper towels or other light items like olive oil and sauces.
As we mentioned above, you are able to purchase some refrigerator magnets that hold spices.
#28 Grow Your Own Herbs
Plants are a beloved interior design choice by many. You can use your decorative plants to grow something you’ll cook with.
For example, consider mint or thyme plants to sit along with your kitchen window and provide you with both food and style. In warmer months, move your plants outside to open up even more space in your kitchen.
#29 Turn Underneath the Stairs into Storage
If you have a second-floor loft, turn the space under the stairs into cabinet space. This opens up a lot of extra room for your utensils and appliances in the area that would otherwise go unused.
#30 Make it Work for You
At the end of the day, your kitchen needs to make you happy. Think about what you want out of your kitchen, and make it work for you.
Maybe you want something beautiful that doesn’t sacrifice the benefits of traditional living. Or perhaps you really do not cook that much and want to save space in your home for other things. There are no right or wrong answers in designing a kitchen that makes you happy.
In short, there are limitless ways to design a kitchen in a tiny home. You’ll want to remember to think vertically and fill space in untraditional ways. Before moving into your home, try to narrow down what you do and do not actually need in your tiny house.
From there, think about what appliances will work in the space, and if you need to invest in total size items, or if you can happily get by with alternatives.
Tiny home living can be an extremely fulfilling experience, and creating a kitchen space that works for you will make your life in a tiny home that much more enjoyable. So pick a floorplan, cut down on your belongings, choose an aesthetic, and start cooking!