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Opinion: Whoever invented the phrase “good things come in small packages” must have never lived in a pantry-less kitchen with one square foot of counter space. While we can’t grow your kitchen footage for you, we do have a handful of really gorgeous and space-savvy renovation ideas, courtesy of our designer friends. 

RELATED: *This* Will Be the #1 Kitchen Reno Trend for 2019 

PICK A HIGH GLOSS CABINET FINISH

Pro tip: Laquered paint has the same effect as a mirror—it bounces light around and makes a space feel lighter and more expansive. See: This stunning moody galley kitchen by BHDM Design. 

SKIP THE UPPER CABINETS

With a closed-in floor plan, airy vibes are key. Take a cue from Fragments Identity and trade bulky uppers for breezy bistro shelving with minimalist styling. (Your hardworking lowers can handle the unsightlies.)

INSTALL A SHALLOW ISLAND

This gorgeous Bria Hammel kitchen is proof that when you go for custom cabinetry, you can get the exact look you want, to the exact micro scale you need.  

DEFINE THE SPACE WITH FUN FLOORING

If your small kitchen is part of an open concept living room, a bold tile—like Tali Roth’s choice above—can help to distinguish the space (and of course, make a fabulous design statement). 

OPT FOR OVERSIZE LIGHTING

Fun fact: Large-scale lighting will actually make a space feel bigger, since it creates the illusion of greater ceiling height by drawing the eye upward. Exhibit A: The rad wicker pendants in this Studio Life.Style kitchen.

ADD A BREAKFAST NOOK

We wouldn’t think that a chair cuddled up to appliances would work so well, but as seen in this Black Lacquer Design kitchen, it actually looks pretty darn chic and cozy. 

INTEGRATE APPLIANCES

With an itsy-bitsy galley kitchen (like this stunner by Black Lacquer Design), built-in appliances that don’t force you to lose clearance space around them (see: wall ovens, inset microwave, etc.) really earn their keep. 

ADD MINI SHELVES

Repeat after us: Let no swatch of wall space go unused! In this Ariel Okin-designed kitchen, cut-to-size floating shelves provide extra storage and eye candy. 

PUT YOUR SINK IN THE ISLAND

Make like Christie Leu and have your island earn its floorspace—by rerouting your plumbing, moving your sink, and earning extra counter space in the process.  

OPT FOR FLAT-FRONT CABINETRY

When space is at a premium, shaving off visual bulk is always a good idea. One easy way to do so? Skip hardware entirely for a streamlined look, à la BHDM Design 

TAKE CABINETRY TO THE CEILING

Utilize every last bit of wall space. In this glamorous galley kitchen by Massucco Warner Millerupper storage cabinets are easily serviced by a ladder cum design statementWe like. 

...AND YOUR BACKSPLASH

Hot tip: Material continuity (as opposed to broken up sections of cupboard, tiling, etc.) will make your walls look taller. See: This cozy kitchen by Christie Leu.  

TRY A WHITEWASH COLOR SCHEME

We know, we know, colored kitchens are the new white kitchens. But with a tiny floor plan like this Studio Gild-stunner, a brightening agent is a timeless and wise choice. 

RELATED: Double Islands Are the Fabulous New Kitchen Trend...That Absolutely Nobody Needed

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