Photo feature Livigno Noce floor and wall tile.

Small Kitchen Ideas with Big-Kitchen Attitude

Small kitchen ideas can make a big impact when you know how to bend a few rules. With the right approach, your little workhorse space will seem bigger, brighter, and bolder than it is. Here you'll discover ways to use tile, color, fixtures, and features to turn your compact kitchen into a stylish space.

Trick the Eye with Space-Stretching Visuals

In a small kitchen, some of the best ideas include visual trickery, and opening sight lines is just one way to make the room appear larger. With the appropriate building permits, you may be able to take down a wall to create more space, but that isn't always necessary. A simple approach is to use open shelving backed with a backsplash material that creates roominess and continuity. Pair your cabinetry with glass doors, which offer the eye more visual space. Just remember to keep the contents of your shelves neatly organized.

A monochromatic palette encourages smooth visual continuity, so use similar wall and floor colors. You could also choose materials from the same tile collection, such as the Livigno Noce line. For instance, you can run linear wall tile vertically to visually lengthen short walls, and install flooring squares diagonally to make the area underfoot seem longer. A round table also maximizes elbow room, while island seating creates more space for entertaining. Good lighting, from the daylight bulbs to the wispy window treatments, is the key to creating a homey space and keeping colors true.

Use Color to Enlarge Your Space

Color has the power to make a small kitchen seem big, so open your mind to savvy ideas. You can't go wrong with a pale monochromatic kitchen that features stylish materials, such as subtly colored natural stone flooring, glossy cream-colored cupboards, white slab countertops, a white subway tile backsplash, and white appliances, that merge with their snowy surroundings. A monochromatic design maximizes visual flow because it isn't choppy or separated by contrasting colors. Be sure to keep your small kitchen sparsely decorated and free of clutter to optimize the space.

If you prefer bolder hues, go for warm colors, which will not only add personality, but will also energize anyone who walks into the space.

Create a Standout Focal Point

Have you ever drooled over a kitchen that boasts a sprawling fireplace? Chances are that you too can have a fireplace in your small kitchen—just a more compact version. If you're not planning on taking down an offending interior wall, or adding more cabinetry to a bare wall, you may be able to incorporate a two-sided fireplace into your design. Frame this decorative element with your favorite tile, and you'll have a new piece of art.

Alternatively, you can use a good-looking wall-mounted electric fireplace to adorn a blank wall. Dress the wall with dazzling tile to satisfy your need for a snappy design, or cover the fireplace surround with a material that's more reserved. A richly constructed built-in cabinet on each side of the fireplace can act as a smartly hidden pantry, and a mantle provides a space to show off vintage pots or attractive dishware. Finish the fireplace setting by hanging a large mirror above it to visually double the room's depth.

Even with a small space, you can still create a bold design. Start with these small kitchen ideas, and when you're ready to start planning your design, head to a nearby Marazzi showroom or retailer to choose the right materials.