Smart design moves can transform a dull kitchen into an inviting one, such as using neutral wallpaper on the ceiling to visually expand it and visually widen your narrow room.

Adopt straightforward ideas for decorating a small kitchen, like open shelves displaying beautiful dishes and wood cutting boards. Add stylish finishing touches with framed art pieces and plants for an aesthetic effect.

Color Palette

Color selection depends heavily on personal style and the design style you hope to achieve. Online tools may help narrow down the possibilities, but keep in mind that every design project requires its own specific set of needs and creative direction.

Brighter hues tend to work best for small spaces, as they create the illusion of more openness and make rooms seem larger and airier. However, choosing darker hues can still have an impactful visual impact when used sparingly.

Choose colors with textures for added depth and visual interest in your kitchen while covering up minor flaws.

Switching out upper cabinetry for open shelving can give a small kitchen an airy appearance. Use these shelves to store dishware and other essential kitchen necessities before accessorizing with decorative pieces like art or cutting boards framed art. Keep in mind that decorations in a smaller space will stand out more, so limit decorative layers to two or three items for the best result.

Open Shelving

Designers frequently rely on open shelving as an economical and stylish solution for kitchen storage, as it costs significantly less to install upper cabinets and provides more access. According to interior designer Kate Lester, open shelves add visual interest while providing additional storage.

Shelving doesn’t need to be limited to wood; metal, glass and marble shelves can all add color or texture to your small kitchen design. For an unifying effect, remove everything from your shelves before layering decorative items like these ginger jars featuring various textures and hues for contrast.

Maureen Stevens of Designer Maureen Stevens recommends keeping shelves clear from everyday dishes that could create an unsightly mess and distract from overall kitchen design aesthetic. She suggests moving staples such as plates and teacups into glass canisters to limit how often mismatched plates and teacups appear on display.


Kitchens are functional spaces, yet should also include decorative touches to give it some flair. If wall space is limited, look for ways to use open shelving to display artwork, decorative accessories and other kitchen-related decor items.

If a wall of open shelving wouldn’t work in your small kitchen, try displaying one large piece at one end as an elegant focal point to fill an entire room with art without compromising storage space or countertop surface area.

Hanging art in the kitchen should be durable and easy to wipe clean, such as using wood mounts that match other hardware or appliances in the room. In this small kitchen designed by Andrew Flesher he placed an antique still life against one wall of cabinets to add visual interest and balance.

Elegant window treatments are an easy and stylish way to expand and warm up any small kitchen space. To do just this on Brays Island in South Carolina, architect Peter Block and interior designer Beth Webb covered their intimate galley kitchen in the same rift-cut white oak as its cabinetry for maximum impact and avoid feeling enclosed within its confines.


Kitchens can be one of the best rooms to try patterned wallpaper. When selecting designs for this space, use washable ones that can withstand water and oil splashback while being covered by glass splashbacks or painted over when redecorating is necessary.

Opt for a paintable design that complements your existing color scheme or go bold like this dark kitchen from deVOL Kitchens featuring embossed paintable wallpaper; it makes a bold statement without overwhelming its neutral palette.

Rather than selecting an eye-catching large-scale pattern, consider opting for something subtle like Little Greene’s Brooke House Cinder that features delicate stripes or clam prints with vintage influences. Or mix and match two distinct designs – just be sure that each has very distinct scales; otherwise they could clash!

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