7 Space-Saving Tricks for Small Kitchens

A well-designed kitchen has minimal clutter and maximum efficiency. Whether you're redecorating or totally remodeling, here are the best ideas for small spaces.

white kitchen1. Mirrors Work Magic

A mirrored backsplash in this shabby-chic Manhattan apartment gives the illusion of more space. "The kitchen opens up to the living room on one side and the family room, where we eat and watch TV, on the other," says designer Faye Cone. "The idea was that it should be an extension of both these spaces."

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2. Think Upward

Home Depot designer Emily O'Keefe added cabinetry with period charm to this small kitchen. "Since space was tight, I went up, stacking the cabinets," she says. "The ceilings are 11 feet high, but not every cabinet touches the ceiling - that way they look more like furniture."

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3. Choose Chairs Without Arms

Designer Suzanne Kasler reinvents the eat-in kitchen by mixing formal Louis XV-style dining chairs with a 19th-century French farm table. Chairs without arms are easier to get in and out of when space is tight.

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4. Contain Kitchen Clutter with Trays

"Baskets and trays are very homey and useful, not just for carrying things but also to organize collections," says designer Patrick Wade about his 60 square-foot kitchen. Light wood and light walls also make it feel more spacious. Rattan tray and chargers from Williams-Sonoma Home.

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5. Consider a Spice-Rack Cabinet

If you're renovating your kitchen, a slim spice rack takes advantage of unused space and neatly solves the problem of organizing spices. Annie Selke had this one built into the ranch-house kitchen she updated.

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6. Match Seating to Wall Color

A trio of backless stools can be slipped under the counter to save space, as in this tight Alabama kitchen, designed by Susan Ferrier. Their cream color blends in with the island, unifying the room. "You don't want the eye to stutter in a small space," she says.

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7. Try Open Shelving

Open shelving and no upper cabinets help this Hamptons cottage kitchen, designed by Leslie Klotz, look larger than it is. Viking range and hood.

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