The Best Small Kitchen Designs for Cooking Large and Living Small

best small kitchen designs photo: Tivali Kitchen

The kitchen is often the heart, soul and gathering place of your home, but what do you do when you want to cook at home and entertain and your kitchen is tiny? The best small kitchen designs we've seen help make the most of whatever amount of space is at your disposal, cutting back on clutter and wasted space to give you maximum functionality in minimal square footage. And, as we're fond of saying, living with less is the key to sustainability.

Above is the Tivali Kitchen from Dada, which is a great example of how we might live very well with less; this kitchen design works as a room divider, and has doors that make it completely disappear. Keep reading for more of the best small kitchen designs.

best small kitchen designs photo: Award-winning Circular Kitchen

Why give so much space to the kitchen?
This clever circular kitchen answers the questions: If you live in small spaces, why give up so much to the kitchen? And why move to another part of the kitchen when you can move the kitchen to you? New Zealand designer Alfred Averbeck spun out this idea for a kitchen that has the equivalent of 12 cupboards in a rotating kitchen, with doors that close to cover all of your unwashed dishes, (although that makes it look just like the Orgasmatron from Woody Allen's "Sleeper.")

best small kitchen designs photo: Columbo kitchen cart

Kitchen carts can do it all
Joe Columbo's classic small kitchen design fits everything but the kitchen sink in a unit that's just 40"x40"x26": a two burner stove, fridge, storage, cutlery drawers, chopping board and pull-out worktop. It's designed to serve up to six people, all on wheels with just an electrical hookup. The original was designed in 1963, but Boffi reissued it last year.

best small kitchen designs photo: Muji's small kitchen cart

In the same vein, Muji, the erstwhile "Japanese IKEA" has managed to nearly fit an entire kitchen into this diminutive cart, giving you a flat workspace, two drawers, a double-door cabinet and shelving on the back. It probably wouldn't do for a family of five, but would be indispensable in something like the Micro-Compact Home.

What does the future of small kitchen design hold?
We have some ideas, but just to show that the future isn't always what we think it'll be, we recommend this video. Back in 1967, we were promised computerized kitchens where all the food was prepared and frozen, then microwaved in two minutes to order. Dishes were disposable, everyone got what they wanted and our diets were carefully calibrated for nutrition. We're glad that one part didn't come true: in the future, everything is not avocado green.

What do you think makes a good small kitchen?
Apartment Therapy has a great post of cool modern designs for small space; while you're at it, learn more about how to apply the less is more idea to every room in your house right here at TreeHugger.

See also: ::Can Big Kitchens Be Green? and our ::How to Green Your Kitchen guide

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