Space Saving Ideas for a Small Kitchen

When you’ve only got a tiny amount of space to work with, the kitchen can be one of the most difficult spaces to really get right. In this article we are going to be looking at some of our favourite space saving ideas for a small kitchen.

Space Saving Kitchen

Thankfully, it really is possible to cram a lot of form and function into a very small amount of space. Like most aspects of downsized living though, the key to really doing this well is focusing on the things that you will actually use. There’s no point in having a lot of gimmicky kitchen items that that will just take up room without serving a practical purpose. Be sparing with the items that you put in your kitchen and your job will be a lot easier!

Organise Kitchen Draws

Once you know the items that you need in your kitchen, it’s important that you find everything a home. Make sure that it’s well designated and in a place where you can easily reach it. Make sure the items that you use most often have pride of place in the kitchen and can always be easily accessed.

Space Saving Draws

Using draws instead of cupboards is a great idea for a small kitchen, especially if it’s not a space where you have a lot of room to move around. You certainly don’t want to spend a lot of time on your hands and knees trying to find something at the back of a kitchen cupboard. Draws like this provide easy and fast access to whatever is inside.

Space Saving Sink

In many ways the kitchen sink forms the heart of your kitchen, and it’s undoubtably one of the most used items. When choosing a sink it’s great to think about options that come with a lot of accessories that can pack away and store inside the sink itself. These can include items such as chopping boards, dish racks, colanders and even second sinks (which are especially useful when washing dishes). Even if your kitchen is quite small, it’s not a bad idea to get a large sink, as it can be really frustrating if you’re sink isn’t big enough to wash some of your larger kitchen items (such as large pans).


Finding space to hang items like wine glasses is a great way of freeing up space in cupboards and also making use of what would otherwise be wasted space. If done right, this can also add a lot of character to the kitchen.

Watering plants

If you’re growing herbs in your kitchen, I love this idea of using draining racks that can water your plants while they drip dry. Applying some permacultrual principles of self-sustaining cycles in the kitchen is something that I would really like to explore more in the future.

Space Saving Kitchen Fold Up Shelf

If you have large items that you use quite regularly, such as blenders or mixers but don’t want to leave them taking up space on the bench, adding a fold out shelf like this is a great idea. It keeps them handy and ready to use whenever you like, but out of the way and freeing up much needed bench space when not in use.

Shallow Kitchen Storage

When you’re adding storage to your small kitchen, it’s great to think of adding as much shallow storage space as possible. It’s always a pain trying to reach jars and cans in the back of a cupboard somewhere. Keep everything easy to access.

herb storage

I love this idea for herb storage because it really takes a space that would otherwise be very difficult to effectively use and turns it into a very valuable feature in the kitchen. Always think out of the box wherever possible!


The best advice is to be creative and construct a space that will work for you. If you’re the next master chef, take some time to work out a kitchen plan that will give you the space to create your next culinary masterpiece. If your interest in cooking is more limited to heating up a packet of soup, then really only build what you are going to use and focus your space on other items that are more important to you. Most of all, have fun with your design and construct a space that you  will love to be in!

Posted on by Bryce Posted in Inspiration

About Bryce

Bryce Langston is a New Zealand based actor, musician, filmmaker and environmentalist who has spent the past five years travelling the globe exploring the Tiny House movement as the creator and host of the popular online web series Living Big in a Tiny House

21 Responses to Space Saving Ideas for a Small Kitchen

  1. Lisa

    I love all of these designs, especially the shallow cabinetry and the dish strainer that waters your plants while they drip dry. There was a comment earlier about the soap from the dishes but I’m thinking the soap would have been rinsed off before the dishes were set in the strainer–it is a great idea! I don’t have a tiny house; I’m an older person with a small property in Connecticut, US, with an older house that has a lot of wasted space in the design. I would love to redesign it into a couple of small, micro apartments and these are great ideas to incorporate. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Josien de Koning

    Love the idea of your dripping dishes watering the plants. However, wouldn’t the remains of the dishwashing soap destroy the plants?

  3. Anders Løbger

    The sink should always be big enough for your pizza-pan and countersunk or mounted from below for easy cleaning. The induction cook-top should also be countersunk if possible both for easy cleaning and use as work-top when not hot.

    • Bryce

      I totally agree about the sink. In our kitchen we are actually putting in quite a large sink. They can be covered by boards when not in use, and they really help to make the kitchen much more practical.

  4. Rebekah

    The Thermomix maybe something to look at for space saving and efficiency. Also the Quarter Acre Pot, sold by a NZ company, Google to find out more. Slow cookers can save around one third of the electricity a conventional oven uses, a thermal cooker can save 80–90 percent.

  5. Rickey

    Help with a cad system for building a tinyhouse on a fifth wheel frame like Fred’s roof style, the one from New Zealand. I am living in Roseburg, Oregon, USA, and have lots of rain. My phone # is 541-671-7444 Rickey
    PS. Also need a web designer. Thank you for your awesome help

  6. di

    Store a stackable set of kitchenware under a kitchen sink. Store utensils in a basket on a deep window sill.

  7. di

    To save space, try a lower corner carousel cabinet for stackable kitchenware and dry goods. Other cupboards may not be needed.

  8. Shelly Emanuel

    I am researching tiny houses. The types are mind boggling! I appreciate all the information. I find myself gravitating toward your YouTube channel and now I’ve found the website. Thank you for all the information. Where should I start when looking for rules and regulations regarding weight, height, length, etc. for a tiny house on wheels? I don’t want to have to hire a semi truck every time I want to move it. Shelly, Arkansas, USA

    • Bryce

      Hey Shelly. Unfortunately I don’t know very much about the regulations in the United States. A good place to start looking would be Tiny House Design, which also has many more links to where you can find additional information to help you on your way. Cheers!

  9. Karen

    When we lived in Beirut, these types of draining cupboards over the sink were becoming very popular. I’ve always wanted one every since:

  10. Julie King

    I’m starting the initial planning stage of building a container home. I love your ideas for an efficient kitchen. I’m currently planning on stacking two containers for my main living structure, and adding a third to the bottom that will be devoted to my dog breeding business. There are so many options for not only interior, but exterior, styles, I’m overwhelmed at this point but watching all the wonderful videos you have on YouTube is definitely starting to give me some direction. Thank you for compiling all this information and making it available to us wannabe tiny housers. Julie

    • Bryce

      Thanks for watching Julie! I’m glad it’s helpful for you. 🙂

    • Paul

      Be aware that containers are painted with a toxic paint. Also, due to their structural design, any cutting into the wall structure means major structural support is needed to shore up the weakness created.

      Yeah I’d thought what an amazing idea but I’ve read some commentaries from people who have done it and they point out the negatives that come with it. Surprisingly all up it was cheaper to build a container style house from scratch than to use old containers and modify. YMMV

      • di

        Thanks for the info!

  11. Alexander Lopez

    Have you ever noticed how much energy is lost during cooking? Heat should be kept inside the pots, not wasted around it! When designing an off-the-grid kitchen, thermal loss should be minimal. Study the following article and it will change your perception about cooking:

  12. Barbara

    Here is that link that has some great kitchen storage, although it’s about the whole TH, not just the kitchen.

    In your article, I really liked FINALLY seeing a kitchen design w/what we used to call ‘bread boards’ or cutting boards. Old school! It’s such an efficient way to substantially increase counter space. I’m putting one everywhere except in front of the sink.

    • di

      Use cutting boards over the sink, stove, under-counter fridge or under-counter combination washer/dryer. Store items in the stove when it’s not in use.

  13. Barbara

    Awesome article w/great ideas. The spice rack is my favorite!
    I watched a video yesterday on kitchen design and he did something I’ve never seen. He built his cabinets to the floor, so no wasted toe-kick area or effort and expense of building drawers in toe-kick area. I’m not sure if it would be uncomfortable not having that space for my toes, which enables one to stand closer to the useful part of counter (bench). I’ll share the link w/you, if I can find it again.
    I’m happy to see your TH build progressing. Congrats. What special things are you doing in your kitchen?

  14. Rachel

    I have just started looking at building my own home and the kitchen will definitely be the heart. This was inspiring!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Bryce

      You’re welcome Rachel! Make sure you keep us posted with your tiny house build, and remember that you can use the forum on this website for ideas and to ask any questions to the Tiny House community. 🙂

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