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Tiny House Kitchen Ideas and Inspiration

Tiny House Kitchen Ideas and Inspiration

Here are all the tiny house kitchen ideas you need to design your perfect kitchen space.

I had a blast when I planned my tiny house kitchen. Considering all the different tiny house kitchen ideas and inspiration was one of my favorite parts of my tiny house build. I really enjoyed figuring out ways to make my space more functional and fit in everything I needed in my small kitchen.

After living in a tiny house (and cooking in a small kitchen) for several years now, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips as well. There are a few things I would change in my layout (like more cupboard space and figuring out somewhere to put the trashcan—oops). But overall, the time spent up front in planning resulted in my kitchen being both functional and beautiful.

If you’re looking for tiny house kitchen ideas and design inspiration, this post will get your wheels turning. Here’s everything you need to know (and everything I wish I’d known) before you design your tiny house kitchen!


Layouts: Tiny House Kitchen Layouts

A great tiny house kitchen design starts with a careful tiny house kitchen floor plan.

A great space starts with a great floor plan. Working through your tiny house kitchen planning ideas is no exception to this rule. You need a floor plan that’s functional, smart, and even scalable in case your needs change down the road.

Below I’ve compiled my favorite floor plan options. You’ll glean plenty of ideas from the photos as well as a good overview of the space in the layout drawing. These tiny house kitchen floor plans are an excellent starting point as you design your dream kitchen.

This tiny house kitchen floorplan includes a raised platform, deep blue-grey and dark oak color scheme, and cheerful pops of white and green.
This simple floor plan has a walk-through kitchen, or galley-kitchen, leading to the bedroom. A raised platform offers extra storage.

I love the platform idea in this tiny kitchen design. The raised floor gives you tons of storage space underneath the kitchen. There are storage doors on either side of the stairs. This kitchen has a hood above the stove, which is a nice feature for a tiny kitchen, where ventilation is a MUST. The Dickson fireplace on the side is a fun touch as well.

The galley kitchen design is functional and keeps every station (fridge, stove, sink) within reach. That said, I’m not totally sold on the idea of having the kitchen right next to the bedroom. In a tiny house, every room is close together though (and again, the ventilation hood above the stove, probably helps with air circulation).

This A-Frame kitchen features barstools for sitting and a full-sized fridge with plenty of storage.
This L-shaped tiny house kitchen floorplan is relatively standard, but has some excellent features and counter space, with the option of a full-sized fridge.

This is a typical layout and L-shape design for a tiny house kitchen. That said, two features make this particular tiny house kitchen layout special. The first is the full-sized refrigerator, which is kind of rare in a tiny house.

The second great feature is the inclusion of barstools at the countertop with space for eating. While this isn’t necessarily a rarity, it’s a very nice feature to include. The undercabinet lighting brightens up the kitchen and the open storage above the cabinets could lend itself to expanded storage in the future if needed.

This U-shaped tiny kitchen has beautiful open shelving, high-end marble countertops, and a full refrigerator as well as wine storage.
In this tiny house kitchen floorplan, the U-shaped kitchen is open to the living room, with storage, seating, and room for a full fridge.

This tiny house kitchen layout has an air of luxury. One significant advantage of tiny house design is the option to select quality finishes, like hardwood, brass fittings, and marble countertops, without spending an arm and a leg. When you’re outfitting a small space, it’s not nearly as expensive as a standard-sized home.

I like the airiness of this U-shaped kitchen design. The high ceilings and open storage make it feel huge. There’s plenty of storage, though; they’ve even put in a spot for wine! The full-size (or close-to-full-size) fridge is excellent as well.

High ceilings and a pullout eating space make this tiny house kitchen design functional and roomy.
This tiny house kitchen floorplan has several unique features, including storage under the loft steps, a double sink, and space for seating.

If you’re looking for tiny house kitchen ideas, this kitchen has several brilliant concepts. I love the pullout countertop seating. When you aren’t dining, you simply push in the surface like a drawer. Convertible solutions like that are critical to making the most out of your space. I also like the high ceilings and, once again, the lighting, which is so critical in a tiny house kitchen.

The steps going up to the loft are storage containers as well as stairs, making it easy to tuck pots and pans away and out of sight as needed. There’s room for a four-burner stove and a double sink, which makes the kitchen functional for bigger meals and even small gatherings.

This natural wood tiny house kitchen features a galley design. Simple and functional, this tiny house kitchen layout is worth considering.
This simple tiny house kitchen floorplan provides everything you need for a functional kitchen.

This is a very simple, minimalist tiny house kitchen idea, but it’s also highly functional. The galley-style kitchen has the mini-fridge and microwave or oven on one side and the sink and storage on the other. Shelving is open and ready for frequently used dishes.

I love the uncomplicated design of this tiny kitchen layout. I also really like the storage underneath the mini-fridge and freezer. This storage space brings the fridge up to eye level, so you don’t need to look down and bend every time you need to get inside. (If you need help deciding on the best size fridge for your tiny house, please check out my refrigerator guide.) Even though there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles to this kitchen, it’s perfect for one or two people.

Tiny House Kitchen Design Aesthetics

tiny house kitchen design aesthetics

Now that your tiny house kitchen ideas are brewing, it’s time to explore the fun part—aesthetics and color schemes! While I’m no interior designer, what drew me to tiny houses were their dedication to a good looking and functional space. I more thought into my tiny house kitchen than any other part of my home.

Obviously, each person has their personal color scheme preferences, but I wanted to offer a few ideas to get your wheels turning. Here are a few tiny house kitchen designs that grabbed my attention.


This L-shape tiny house kitchen features an alcohol stove, two windows and open shelving above wooden countertops.

This farmhouse kitchen has a country cottage feel. I like the wood countertops, and they’re similar to the counter in my kitchen. The open cabinets in a green watercolor finish keep the look bright but not overdone. Having two windows in a tiny house kitchen is a rarity, and these let in plenty of light.

This kitchen is in a traditional L-shape, but the deep pullout drawers and open shelving provide lots of storage space. I wanted to point out the alcohol stove, which a lot of people love (especially people who live on houseboats).


Modern navy and a high-shine countertop make this tiny house kitchen modern and sleek. Open shelving and cupboards, along with a full-size stainless steel fridge, offer storage space.
This kitchen has a much more modern feel. I liked how the designer used dark colors—navy and brown—but kept the space from feeling overwhelming or small, thanks to the white wall. The stainless steel fridge is quite large for a tiny house, but the finish offers a mirror-effect to keep the space bright.

The countertops and chrome features have a subtle shine to them, which again promotes the light, open, and bright feeling even in a dark color scheme. The open shelving and sconce lights are placed so the bowls and cups appear almost decorative (but still functional).


This grey and white kitchen with subway tile feels light, airy and open.
Okay, before you call me out on this, I fully realize this isn’t a tiny kitchen. It’s a rather large kitchen, but there are a few design touches that can be carried over as great ideas for tiny house kitchens too.

First of all, the white and light grey cupboards keep the space very bright. The deep drawers to the side of the stove are great for storage, and the marble countertops are stunning. I like the pops of bright green and maroon, which I wouldn’t have considered before. They look great in this kitchen.


Teal and rustic wood touches make this country-style kitchen look charming. Concrete countertops and hardwood floors add a luxurious feel.
Again, this isn’t a tiny house kitchen, but there are excellent design features to consider when you’re looking for tiny house kitchen ideas.

The concrete countertops are really cool and very popular for kitchen design. Notice how the reflectiveness on the countertops (and stainless steel) keep the dark colors from feeling overwhelming. The rustic light oak ceiling and support post keep this kitchen feeling casual and comfortable; tied into the light oak flooring, the kitchen looks put-together and cohesive.

Stoves: Cooking Surfaces for Tiny Kitchens

Whether you have two burners to heat your pot of boiling water, or you need four, there are many considerations when choosing stoves and cooking surfaces for tiny kitchens.

I wrote an in-depth breakdown of appliances for tiny kitchens, including how to choose the best stove for your tiny house. So here, I wanted to give you an overview of all the options and cooking surface ideas for tiny house kitchens.

When choosing a stove, space is a significant consideration, but don’t also forget to consider your power access and what your setup will support (if you’re off-grid, your options are more limited). You’ll also want to consider how much cooking you like to do and the type. For example, I realized that 90% of my meals only needed 2 burners, so for me, a small, two-burner Verona stove and a toaster oven is plenty. Other people can’t imagine living without four burners.

One other point to bear in mind, don’t choose the stove you need for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Many people think, “how will I cook a turkey,” or “how will I prepare a five-course meal?” Consider your needs and space the other 363 days a year. You could always cook a turkey outside on the grill, in a smoker or fryer, or prepare a meal in a crockpot (or at a friend’s house with more space). You could even have the meal catered and not worry about that part of it entirely! I keep a Gasone portable butane burner for this or many people have an extra induction burner that you can pull out and setup on the counter top for times when I need an extra burner.

With all these considerations in mind, here’s how to select the best cooking surface for your tiny house.

Selecting The Right Cooking Surface

For Your Tiny House
A three-burner gas stove is an excellent idea for a tiny house kitchen.
GAS
Gas is what I use because I’m off the grid. I like gas, too, because it offers easy adjustability and a high level of control over your cooking. Many chefs I know, swear by gas, and there are plenty of gas stoves out there for tiny houses.
A traditional electric coil stovetop with two or four burners, is a nice option for a tiny kitchen, but uses a lot of power.
ELECTRIC COIL
Electric coil stoves are popular because they’re very affordable. They’re not as easy to keep clean, and they don’t offer the control of gas. It’s also important to note that a coil stove requires quite a bit of power, which is a concern if you’re off-grid.
The sleek, electric smooth-top stove is easy to use and easy to clean. In a tiny house kitchen, it works as an additional surface.
ELECTRIC SMOOTHTOP
If you select a flush-mounted electric smooth-top stove, it helps keep the surface clean. I also love the flush-mounted electric smooth-top stove as an option for extra counter space. When it’s turned off, use it as a work surface.
Alcohol stovetops are popular off-grid stove options.
ALCOHOL
A lot of tiny house people who are off the grid, and don’t want to use petrochemicals love alcohol stoves. These use denatured alcohol, which is cheap and handy. These stoves are hard to find, but they’re quite popular with the houseboat community.
An extra induction burner is a nice addition to your tiny kitchen. Use it as a backup or install in-counter as your everyday stove.
INDUCTION
These little induction burners are great because you turn it off, and it’s cool in a few seconds. It’s very safe, but it does use a good deal of power. I’ve owned one that I use as an extra burner when cooking big meals or for the holidays. When it’s not in use, I throw this under $50 stove in a drawer.

Surfaces: Sinks & Countertops in Tiny House Kitchens

A small kitchen needs a sink! Whether you select a two-basin option as featured in this white kitchen, or you make another choice.

As I mentioned before, one of the best aspects of designing a tiny house kitchen is that your options are vast. You can go for the high-end options like marble, hardwood, tile, and stone because it’s not expensive for a small space. A few hundred dollars more will create a huge impact, so this is where I recommend choosing the highest quality materials.

Sinks, countertops, and backsplashes allow you to let your creativity shine when you design your tiny house kitchen. It’s incredible what a huge impact a different color, different tile choice, or different countertop medium play in the look and feel of your kitchen.

To illustrate the point, see below. Any change will cause a kitchen to look and feel bigger, smaller, more modern, or more rustic. So, when you pick your surfaces, get something you like!

This gif shows the considerable difference the backsplash and countertop choices have on the look and feel of a tiny house kitchen.

Choosing the Right Sink

In this graphic, you can see the pros and cons of a top mount, versus an under-mount sink in your tiny house kitchen.

Undermount or top mount, the choice is yours, when you install the sink in your tiny house kitchen. There are pros and cons to both options. I like the undermount, personally, because you can put a covering on the sink, and use it as extra counter space when you need it. I also think the undermount sink is easier to clean because I can sweep crumbs from the counter top right into the sink easily. Plus, I think it’s a cleaner look.

That said, there are plenty of reasons to choose a top mount as well. If you’re building your own tiny house, the top mount is much easier to install. This style mount is used with any countertop material, including laminate. Simply caulk around the edge of the sink for a clean look. Undermount sinks are often not used with laminate counters.

Whichever you choose, consider the type of sink to fit your needs. I selected a very deep sink for my tiny house kitchen because I don’t own a dishwasher, and I wanted something to accommodate pots and pans. I also don’t own a washer (I use a laundry service), and I wanted a sink where I could occasionally wash clothing if needed. The sink I choose was a stainless steel deep tub sink.

Sink Surfaces

A standard stainless steel sink is an inexpensive and easy-to-find sink surface choice for your tiny house.
Stainless Steel
Stainless steel sinks are easy to find and are often pre-cut with the proper holes for your faucet. These sinks are available in double or single basin options, and they’re inexpensive. The drawback is they’re a little hard to keep clean, and some people prefer a different look, but for me, I love the look.
Composite sinks are scratch-resistant and durable, making them a good option for your tiny house kitchen.
Composite
A composite sink is made from granite dust and acrylic resin. This material is very scratch resistant, but it might chip if you toss in a pot or pan. These sinks are heat resistant, easy to clean, and very durable. They are cheaper than granite with a similar aesthetic.
Cast iron is an appealing option for a tiny house kitchen sink, especially for a farmhouse-style kitchen.
Cast Iron
Cast iron is a classic option for your tiny house kitchen sink. This is the same sink you might see in a farmhouse or older home. It’s beautiful, but it may scratch, especially with metal pans and utensils. It’s also very hard (so if you drop a glass dish, it will likely break). Keep in mind the weight here—you want to make sure you factor in the weight when you choose a trailer.
Copper is a unique material for a tiny house kitchen sink.
Copper
Copper sinks offer a beautiful look that patinas over time (polish your copper sink to keep it bright and vibrant). These sinks go well with a rustic look and décor. As a material, copper is antimicrobial, which helps reduce kitchen odors.

This infographic shows the different types of countertop materials and rates them in terms of durability, heat resistance, UV resistance, eco-friendliness, customizability, and cost.

Choosing countertop materials for your tiny house kitchen, takes research and work. While budget is always a concern, the truth is, with a tiny house, you can often afford higher-end and top-of-the-line materials since your space is small.

For my countertops, I chose a wooden, butcher-block-type counter with a protective coating. I really like it for the look and feel of my kitchen design. That said, there are certain drawbacks to wood. It can get stained by food or marked by a hot pan. It may fade in sunlight, and the choices are limited. The convenience of wood is that you could sand and refinish it if needed.

That all said, after using mine for over 7 years, the only thing I’ve had to do was re-caulk the sink once— outside of a few minor nicks in the surface, it’s great. If you make your countertop solid wood, you can have them sanded down and refinished to make a well-worn counter top look just like new. My countertops are 3” thick, so I can refinish them many times.

I’ve heard great reviews on stone, mainly for the beauty. Again, stone is durable, but it can also be stained (although stone is heat-resistant). Depending on the type of stone, the extraction process isn’t very earth-friendly, so that’s also a consideration.
The other significant consideration with stone is the weight. Remember, a very heavy countertop adds hundreds of pounds to your tiny house. Confirm your trailer or base can handle the weight before you decide on a counter.

Other countertop options include Corian and laminate. Corian is quite durable, and many people love the look. Both types of countertops are made using harsh chemicals. Corian is rather expensive, while laminate is typically the cheapest option.

A good countertop lasts for 20 years or more, so look at it as an investment. Get something you love and find easy to work with. My wooden countertops have held up to a lot of use, and I’m still pleased with them.

Cupboards: Maximize Space with Smart Tiny Kitchen Cupboards

Whether you choose white cabinets, like these with a cheery orange tile backsplash or another color, cupboards change the look and feel of your entire kitchen.

Careful planning of your tiny house kitchen is critical. There’s nowhere this is truer than your cupboards. When I was planning my tiny house kitchen layout, I went to the store and completely stocked my cupboards and pantry. I put everything I was going to use together and measured precisely the amount of space I would need.

While I still highly recommend this exercise as you plan your tiny house kitchen, I now realize I should have planned even more space than I allowed for. This realization is especially true when it comes to my pantry. Everything fits, but it would still be nice to have more room.

So, my advice is to buy everything you would normally keep on hand, measure it, and then double it. It’s much easier to deal with wiggle room than to contend with space that’s slightly less than what you need.

Whether you choose white cabinets, like these with a cheery orange tile backsplash or another color, cupboards change the look and feel of your entire kitchen.

As you see from the cupboard organization tool above, a systematic approach is key to maximizing your space. Even if you have very small cupboards in your tiny house kitchen, a strategic approach will help you find a place for every item.

Put items you use less often up higher. This includes bulky items, lightweight appliances, vases, and other items you only use once in a while. If you have a taller space, consider adding a second shelf in the space or in a pinch, add risers to create a second layer. This is also helpful for small bottles, like spices, jars, tea, or cups that don’t stack well.

Lids are always a struggle to deal with unless you find a way to store them properly. I’ve seen great solutions with drawers and slots. If you don’t have a drawer, you can nest pots and hang lids on the door or above the pans.

I know it takes time to buy uniform containers and repackage all your purchases into matching jars, but when space is at a premium, uniformity will help everything fit in your tiny house kitchen. Be sure to include labels as well. Organizing solutions like drawers, lazy Susan organizers, and small racks help with awkwardly shaped items and small jars like spices.

Don’t store what you don’t need or use frequently. If you own a hoard of Tupperware lids or plastic containers, you’re saving and reusing, go through them and find a match. If there’s not a match, ditch it and purchase a matching set. Keeping only what you need is the key to maximizing cupboard space in your tiny house kitchen.

Pantry: Tiny Kitchen Food Storage

Pantry in a tiny house

Similar to organizing your cupboards, an organized pantry makes a massive difference to the look and feel of your kitchen. When you’re living in a small space, a tiny pantry quickly gets out of control, disorganized, and unmanageable.

One issue is most pantry items vary in shape and size. A bag of chips, a toaster, blender, and a box of cereal don’t fit well together on a shelf. This challenge requires careful planning when you build your pantry. As I said above, if I had one area I’d expand in my tiny house kitchen it’s my pantry.

That said, my pantry is still quite functional because I WAS deliberate when I planned it out. I made sure I knew what I was going to store and exactly the space I would need to do so. If you’re organizing your pantry, follow the guide below.

This infographic shows you exactly how much space you need for every item in your pantry. If you’d love to organize your pantry, follow this pantry planning guide.

When it comes to an organized pantry, it’s all about the right design. Figure out exactly which appliances you’ll need for your tiny house kitchen, and plan accordingly. Even if you take a minimalist approach to stocking your pantry, you’ll still need room for small appliances, jars, cans, pots, and bowls.

Consider what you use in your pantry and which items you may want to let go of, especially if you’re paring down. For example, many people aren’t going to need a shelf for tablecloths and linens, but if that’s something important to you, you may want to plan it in. I own only a few appliances, but if you use items like an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or food processor regularly, you should plan room to house them.

As I said above, before you build your tiny house kitchen pantry, buy all the items you would regularly use. Lay them out, and measure precisely how much space you’ll need to hold it all. Then increase it a little. I spent a lot of time planning out how much space I needed. I was close, but I still wish I had a bit more room for pantry storage.

Organization: Innovative Solutions for Small Spaces

Organization for a small kitchen and storage options in small spaces

I’m not one for gadgets or one-trick-ponies in the kitchen. I like to keep my tools to a minimum—a good knife set, a durable set of measuring cups, enough silverware for myself, and a few guests. I do like innovative organization solutions, though. I’ve found organizers, hooks, and specialized storage, really helps keep a tiny house kitchen tidy. Everything I need in my tiny house kitchen is right within my reach.

Innovative Solutions

For Small Spaces
An organized silverware drawer is made easy with drawer inserts.

Silverware Drawer Inserts
In my silverware drawer, I had a custom wooden silverware organizer made. This helps me keep all the items in order and easy to find. When you only own a few utensils, you definitely don’t want to misplace them.

Spice Drawer Organizers
There are several organizing options for spices. Some people like a magnetic strip on the wall, or a lazy Susan. I, again, had a custom made specialized spice drawer insert made, which keeps my spice jars in perfect order and ready to go.
A spice drawer looks great with specially made organizing inserts to keep the jars lined up in order.
Non-breakable cups are perfectly at home in a specialized open-shelving wall niche.
Wall Niche for Glasses
I love these stainless steel cups, and they look great in their special wall niche in my tiny house kitchen. This open-shelving lets me keep cups right by the sink, within reach, when I need a drink.
Measuring Cup Hangers
I set up special hooks in my tiny house kitchen for my measuring cups. I use these frequently, and they’re nice sturdy cups. I was sure to get high quality and create a place in my kitchen to keep them handy.
Measuring cups are hung on wooden hooks out of the way but within easy reach in this tiny house kitchen.
built in knife rack in counter top
Easy To Reach Knife Storage
This knife storage solution is one of my favorites. I had a knife holder built right into my butcher block countertops so that I could keep my chef knives within reach. It saves space and protects the knives.
Drawn To Organizing Things
I love this organization idea. For oddly-shaped items, draw them in the bottom of each drawer organizer space. At a glance, you know exactly where each item will fit for storage.
If you want to keep drawers organized, try outlining each item in the bottom of the drawer.
 Drawer organizers are useful for housing multiple items like paper towels, plastic wrap, tinfoil, and other bulky boxes.
Double Duty Drawers
If you use tinfoil, paper towels, and other bulky items, a drawer like this is a perfect solution. These oddly-shaped items are often a kitchen organizing challenge.
Simple Sorting Solutions
Using vertical storage helps maximize your space for large flat items like sheet pans, cookie sheets, and even lids. A divided drawer keeps trays and pans from getting messy.
Sheet pans, lids, and flat items are easy to organize using vertical storage in a divided drawer.
A drawer is a great tiny kitchen solution to hide away your trashcan and recycling bin.
Trash Can Compartments
This is one storage solution I wish I had in my tiny house kitchen. A drawer is a great way to hide the trashcan and recycling bin, keeping them out of the way when they aren’t in use.

Finishes: Flooring, and Design Elements

Here’s what you need to know about choosing the best finishes for flooring, tile, and backsplashes for your tiny house kitchen.

As I said before, one advantage of a tiny house kitchen is you can splurge on high-end finishes, flooring, surfaces, and appliances. When you’re outfitting such a small space, an upgrade may only increase your budget by a few hundred dollars (making it worth the investment).

I’ve seen a lot of truly beautiful, high-quality touches in tiny house kitchens. The only thing to keep in mind is that in a small space, you’ll want something to blend with the rest of your house (since it is likely viewable from any place in your home). You’ll also want to choose flooring and finishes that are durable because every spot in your home is high traffic.

Lastly, when choosing flooring and finishes, keep the weight in mind. Tile and stone may add extra weight to your house, so factor it into your frame and support calculations.

Flooring

Hardwood is a reliable option for your tiny house kitchen flooring. There are a few considerations when you choose hardwood floors.
HARDWOOD
Durable and easy-to-care-for, hardwood is an excellent choice for a tiny house kitchen, particularly if you choose hardwood throughout the rest of your house. Hardwood is water-resistant and comes in either solid wood or engineered wood planks.
Tile is a durable, beautiful flooring option for a tiny house kitchen.
CERAMIC TILE
Tile is durable, beautiful, and easy to care for. Porcelain tile (an upgrade from ceramic) is less porous and even harder. Tile is available glazed or unglazed in a wide array of colors and textures. Ceramic tile is also lightweight, making it a good choice for tiny houses.
Linoleum is a renewable flooring option that’s durable and available in many colors and patterns.
LINOLEUM SHEET
Linoleum is a manufactured flooring made of cork and linseed oil. This natural flooring is renewable and durable. There are many different patterns and colors available. Be aware that linoleum can crack over time, but it typically holds up for decades.
Natural stone makes a beautiful and interesting tiny house kitchen flooring option.
NATURAL STONE
Granite, marble, slate, and limestone floors are show-stopping options for tiny house kitchen floors. Natural stone has interesting variations and natural beauty that many tiny house owners love. That said, the weight of natural stone is a challenge, so calculate and factor it into your planning.
Cork is a sustainable, waterproof, kitchen flooring choice.
CORK
Cork is one of those options people either love or hate. It’s waterproof, tough, and lightweight. It’s also made from sustainable tree bark, making it an eco-friendly choice. You need to reseal it every few years to keep it protected from stains, scuffs, and marks. Cork also has a distinctive look.
Vinyl plank flooring has come a long way and is quite a popular option for tiny house kitchen floors.
VINYL PLANK
Vinyl plank flooring is a low-maintenance kitchen flooring choice. This flooring is water-resistant, durable, easy to install, and affordable. While vinyl has come a long way in the past few years, it still doesn’t beat the look of hardwood, but there are many options available and an array of finishes.

When it comes to flooring, there are many different options out there. When you’re planning flooring for your kitchen, you may want to choose one type of flooring throughout the entire house. With a small floorplan, uniform flooring offers a cohesive look and help the space feel a little bigger.

I installed hardwood maple flooring throughout my tiny house. I love the look, and it’s solid hardwood so it will last forever. In a regular-sized house, maple hardwood floors would cost a mint, but in a tiny house, it’s much cheaper. Choose top-tier materials and higher-end finishes you’ll be happy with; consider it an investment in the long-term comfort and livability of your tiny house.

Backsplash Materials

Ceramic tile is a beautiful, crisp, and clean option for the backsplash of your tiny house kitchen. Whether you choose all white like this kitchen or another color, it's an attractive choice.

CERAMIC TILE

Ceramic tile such a classic, bright look for your backsplash. White subway tile has become a popular option, but square and colored tiles also add a lot of visual interest.

Glass tile looks lovely in a tiny house kitchen. This tile looks great with a hint of color or a mixture of clear and opaque tiles in a backsplash.

GLASS TILE

Glass tile is a light, airy backsplash tile option that works well in a small space. This tile is easy to install yourself. Find it in a variety of colors and variations from clear to opaque.

A natural stone backsplash has a rich, luxurious feel in a tiny house kitchen.

NATURAL STONE

Granite, marble, and slate are beautiful backsplash options for your tiny house kitchen. You may want to match your stone to your countertop or choose a contrasting color.


Stainless steel countertops bring a professional look to any kitchen.

STAINLESS STEEL

Stainless steel countertops feel modern, professional, and “chef-worthy.” Not only does stainless steel brighten a small kitchen, but it’s easy to maintain and durable.

A wood backsplash is versatile and looks rustic or modern, like this slate grey tiny house kitchen with a teak backsplash.

WOOD

A wood backsplash is classic and easy to maintain. Not only does this option fit well with the aesthetics of many tiny house kitchens, but it’s a great DIY choice.

A painted backsplash is one of the easiest options to maintain. The white paint looks fresh and modern with open shelving and pewter finishes.

PAINT

A painted backsplash is the easiest options for your tiny house kitchen. Vary the look with beadboard, shiplap, or wainscoting. Use semigloss paint for easy cleaning.

For my backsplash, I chose natural wood to match the rest of my tiny house kitchen. I find the wood is easy to keep up and looks great, even after several years. There are many different backsplash options out there for tiny house kitchens, and this is a place to express your creativity. It’s incredible how much a backsplash changes the look of a whole kitchen.

Designing a kitchen is a big project, but hopefully, these tiny house kitchen ideas have helped you get your creative wheels turning. It’s essential to plan a kitchen that’s well-organized, functional, and easy-to-maintain. It’s also important you end up with a kitchen you love, where you enjoy cooking.

I’ve found since I moved into my tiny house, I’ve started to enjoy preparing simple meals. While I often grill out, I really love prepping in my kitchen. I’ve built up my knife skills and learned cooking techniques I’m proud of. Working in a clean, organized kitchen brings me a lot of joy. With careful planning, your tiny house kitchen will bring you culinary happiness as well!

Your Turn!

  • What is your favorite tiny house kitchen idea?
  • What part of the kitchen do you most enjoy?

Tiny House Appliances: Everything You Need to Minimally Equip your Tiny House Kitchen & Home

Tiny House Appliances: Everything You Need to Minimally Equip your Tiny House Kitchen & Home

tiny house appliancesWhether you’re planning to build or you already live in a tiny home, chances are you need to outfit your kitchen with the right tools to cook. So, which tiny house appliances do you really need when space is at a premium?

It’s important to remember all tiny house appliances have two requirements: power and space. So be judicious when deciding which appliances you need for your small space. Not everyone needs every appliance to get by.

tiny house 2 burner gas stoveIn my house, there are a few appliances I couldn’t live without (and quite a few specially-made tiny house appliances I’ve skipped out on). For example, I don’t own an oven. I also don’t own a freezer. The truth is, I don’t have much use for those items, but I know others who couldn’t live without them! I own a small toaster oven, which I use occasionally, but for the most part, I cook on the stovetop and I love to grill.

Before you decide on which small space appliances you really need, assess your tiny house and lifestyle. Once you’ve determined what fits your needs, your space, and your specs, you’ll choose the right appliances that you’ll feel happy with.

The other important word of advice is to research and plan to invest in the best products you can find. Living in a tiny house means doubling down on quality, not quantity. When you own a minimally equipped kitchen, every appliance must be built to last. Buy the items that perform well and offer all the functions you need for enjoyable and easy cooking.

Choosing Tiny House Appliances to Fit Your Needs: Questions to Ask

choosing appliances to fit your needs

Like all purchasing decisions, appliances are an investment requiring research and preparation. There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you choose any small space appliance for your kitchen.

How will you power your tiny home?

how to power your tiny house

Power is an area that I often see people overlook when they dream up their tiny house kitchen. Depending on how you plan to power your home, you’ll need appliances to fit your power capacity. Kitchen appliances are notorious as the most significant power drains on your house, many of them often requiring 240 volt power connections. So it’s essential to plan accordingly. Are you on the grid? If so, what types of connections do you need for your appliances?

Are you planning to live off-grid, or would you like the possibility of going off-grid in the future? Unless you have an extensive power system, you’ll need to go with gas for your appliances. Consider if your inverter can handle 120V or 240V; not many inverters can handle 240V, which limits your appliance options (even if you’re looking at appliances made for small spaces).

If you’re planning to do a hybrid of on and off-grid, you get the most flexibility in terms of tiny house appliance options. In that case, you’re mainly looking at size and functionality, but you must consider the limitations of any system you plan to use.

Do you have the right ventilation?

do you have the right ventilation

The importance of ventilation in the kitchen can’t be overstated. Ventilation is a huge deal for a tiny house. In a small space like a tiny house, bad air accumulates quickly. If you don’t have the right ventilation in place, your tiny house can become unlivable and even dangerous.

Ventilation tubing is often large and awkward. It’s tricky to install in a tiny house, so it’s essential to plan carefully. You won’t want to adjust your layout later because you forgot to accommodate bulky ventilation.

You should consider installing ventilation directly over your stove, so you aren’t dragging oil particles all over your house. I’ve seen many people who assume they’ll get away with a bath fan, but in a very short amount of time, there’s a greasy film that’s accumulated all over their home. You’ll be surprised at the considerable difference ventilation makes when you cook.

Do you have the right water connections and drains?

do you have the right water connections

Many tiny house appliances don’t require much more than a power source, but there are appliances like washers and dishwashers where you’ll need drainage in place. Where will you source the water for your appliance? You’ll need to make sure you’ve planned to hook your appliance to a pipe or water tank.

On the same note, be sure to plan out your drain lines too. Nothing is worse than trying to install a drain line, only to discover a metal strut of your tiny house trailer is blocking your way (I learned that lesson the hard way). Placing drains and water connections is one of the toughest parts about planning a tiny house, so give it very careful consideration.

Do You have the right plugs and outlets?

Placing outlets for your tiny house kitchen appliances

It’s crucial to consider plugs, as well. Did you plan enough outlets and are they placed where you need them to run all the appliances in your tiny house? You don’t want to run a cord from the bathroom every time you need to use your blender or run your toaster oven. When power is at a premium, planning is critical.

Plugs cost only a few bucks apiece and take about five minutes to install while you’re building. Once you’ve built your tiny house, it’s a lot tougher to put in more outlets. Plan ahead! I can’t stress enough, the importance of planning your plug and outlet placement before you build. You will save a lot of time and headache later.

If you need assistance with planning your outlets and understanding your electrical setup, check out my Shockingly Simple Electrical For Tiny Houses.

Will you use DC or AC appliances?

will you use ac or dc power

DC versus AC is a huge question in the tiny house community. To clarify, DC means direct current, whereas most appliances use the traditional AC or alternating current. If you read many of the off-grid forums, you’ll inevitably come across people espousing the virtues of opting for DC over AC. At first pass, this seems like a great idea, but in practice, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

When you compare the price differences between DC and AC tiny house appliances, you’ll find DC appliances are often 2-3 times more expensive. Your options for size and colors are limited. On top of those barriers, it’s often challenging to find a local electrician to do the installation work for you.

I suggest going with an AC power system in your tiny house and opting for AC powered tiny house appliances. You’ll get a much broader array of options, the prices are better, and you can use the money you save to buy more solar panels to compensate for any inefficiencies from AC.

Choosing the Best Tiny House Appliances

choosing the best appliances

A word before the tiny house appliance reviews. These are the appliances I use or recommend, because they work with my setup, or I’ve heard positive experiences from others in the tiny house world. You must assess your unique appliance needs before you go out and purchase any of these items. You may decide you don’t really need an oven, or you prefer a smaller fridge.

That said, here are the best tiny house appliances I’ve found for small spaces.

Best Stoves for Tiny Kitchens

best stoves for tiny house kitchens

I own a Verona two-burner stove. It’s good, but it runs hot. It’s actually not built as a tiny house appliance. It’s meant as a backup range option for people in huge houses where four burners (for some reason) aren’t enough. I like the stove for my needs, but I also grill a lot. If I cooked indoors more often, I would recommend one of the following.

Cuisinart Double Burner Induction Cooktop
Cuisinart Double Burner Induction Cooktop

This is a really nice option, and I really like them if you’re on the grid. They use about 1800 watts, which is a ton if you’re on solar power. Here are the pros:

  • Electric
  • Induction
  • Clean top
  • Very inexpensive (you can even keep a second one if you need more space for a larger meal)
  • Completely safe (once you remove the pan, it cools almost immediately)
  • Options that drop in flush with the countertop for a flexible space (great for small
    kitchens)
  • Also available in a single-burner option.
Kenyon Mediterranean Two Burner Trimline Cooktop
Kenyon Mediterranean Two-Burner Trimline Cooktop

This is a good option with many of the same features as the Cuisinart version above. This stovetop is 240V, making it challenging on solar (depending on your capacity and setup). The pros:

  • Electric
  • Clean top
  • Inexpensive
  • Safe
Avantco Double Countertop Induction Range
Avantco Double Countertop Induction Range

If you love the advantages of induction cooktops (safety and ease of use), then this is a nice option. At 120V, this will work with most solar systems, making it an ideal tiny house appliance. Pros of the Avantco:

  • Electric
  • Induction
  • Clean top
  • Affordable
  • Safe
  • 120V
Gas ONE Portable Butane Burner

Gas ONE Portable Butane Burner

Butane is another option many people love. I own this burner, which I use as a secondary burner, and I’m so happy with it. It’s particularly useful for cooking smelly and oily foods outside (bacon, fish, and frying). This is a fantastic backup stove that really comes in handy.

  • Butane
  • Great secondary burner
  • Adjustable
  • Easy to store and carry (comes with a case)
  • Extremely affordable ($25)
Happybuy Two Burner Gas Cooktop
Happybuy Two Burner Gas Cooktop

I know at least a few chefs who will ONLY use gas. I understand because you do get significant control over the heat with a gas stove. Honestly, if I didn’t grill out most of the time, I would likely prefer gas myself. For tiny house appliances, this two-burner gas cooktop is a great choice. Pros of the gas cooktop:

  • Gas
  • Two-burner cooktop
  • Affordable price
  • Excellent control for cooking
Avantco EB102 Double Burner Countertop Range
Avantco EB102 Double Burner Countertop Range

This stove is remarkable for several reasons. I like how you can put it away if you aren’t using it. It’s on the smaller end, but it’s an excellent option, especially if you don’t think you’ll use it daily and if you have minimal counter space.

  • Electric
  • 120V
  • Great for small counter spaces
Origo 6000 Alcohol Stove
Origo 6000 Alcohol Stove

This stove runs on grain alcohol (yes, like moonshine). Built for marine use, it’s an interesting option many tiny house owners like. It’s highly sustainable. That said, Origo stopped manufacturing these stoves last year. You can still find them on eBay and through tiny house and marine forums. The pros are:

  • Sustainable
  • Clean burning
  • Easy to fuel

Best Ovens for Tiny Kitchens

best ovens for tiny house kitchens

As I said above, I don’t own an oven amongst my tiny house appliances. This shocks some people, and others totally get it. I don’t bake, and when I was planning my tiny house kitchen, I took time to assess my use. I knew an oven would only get used a few times a year for significant events. To me, it seems silly to accommodate two meals and skimp on space for the other 363 days a year.

I opted with a quality countertop toaster oven instead of a built-in. I like it for several reasons. First of all, ovens are massive energy sinks. They use up quite a bit of power, which wasn’t worth it to me on solar. I also skipped out on the microwave, because most of the foods “cooked” in a microwave are junk food anyway. For me, it didn’t seem worth it.

You must consider your space, the way you cook, your family size, and other preferences. Your oven selection will also depend on your power levels, access to gas hookups, and of course, your personal preferences. Once you’ve figured out all of those factors, here are a few small-sized ovens to consider.

Breville Smart Ovens
Breville Smart Ovens

  • Breville offers a whole line of smart ovens and toasters. Many of them provide multifunctionality like air frying, dehydrating, and more. Better still, these are nice looking, stainless steel products.
  • Good price for the quality
  • Multifunctionality
  • Smart settings and sensors (to adjust temperature control)
  • Beautiful
Avantco Half Size Countertop Convection Oven

Avantco Half Size Countertop Convection Oven

These are very high-quality products, often used in professional test kitchens. They look beautiful and sleek. The Avantco offers significant capacity, considering it’s a countertop-sized oven.

  • Holds up to 4 ½ size sheet pans
  • Large interior space
  • Cool-touch glass door
  • 2800 watts (so only works well if you’re on-grid)
Cosori Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Cosori Air Fryer Toaster Oven

This smaller toaster oven is also on the affordable side but comes with tons of features. You may feel tempted to choose a $40 toaster oven and call it good, but if this is your only oven, I suggest you upgrade to a slightly nicer option like the COSORI. At 1800 watts, it’s going to use quite a bit of power but is still doable on a decent-sized solar system.

  • Air fryer and dehydrate options
  • Larger interior
  • Compact outside
  • Stainless steel finish
  • Affordable

Viante Digital Convection Toaster Oven

The Viante is similar to the COSORI. This convection toaster oven offers multifunctionality in a slightly smaller package. Still roomy enough for a medium-sized frozen pizza, the Viante is a good middle-of-the-road option. At 1500 watts, it’s also easier to power.

  • Convection technology
  • 10 Preset options including air fry and dehydrate
  • Great price
  • Compact size
  • Lower power requirements
Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Oven Air Fryer Toaster

Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Oven Air Fryer Toaster

I love Cuisinart products. They’re incredibly durable and are often also nicely designed. This convection oven is a bit on the larger side of the countertop options, but it’s roomy enough to cook a 4-pound chicken.

  • Stainless steel finish
  • Seven functions
  • 1800 watts
  • Durable
  • Air fryer option
Black Decker Six Slice Convection Countertop Oven

Black & Decker Six Slice Convection Countertop Oven

Sometimes you realize all you need is a standard toaster oven. If you’re cooking for one or two people (or if you’re like me and rarely use an oven in your cooking), then a small option like this super affordable Black & Decker oven is excellent.

  • Convection function
  • 1500 watts
  • Four settings
  • Two tray positions
  • Affordable price
Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven

Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven

This Panasonic FlashXpress oven is another great appliance for small spaces. This toaster oven cooks with infrared technology, using ceramic heating elements. While this is a smaller oven, it can still fit a 9-inch pizza and offers precise temperature control.

  • Easy to clean
  • 1300 watts
  • Infrared technology
  • Compact size
  • Temperature sensors and precise controls

Tiny Kitchen Refrigerators

refrigerators for tiny house kitchens

When it comes to tiny house appliances, refrigerators are one of your most significant purchases. I did a full review of tiny house refrigerator options in a range of sizes, including on and off-grid. Don’t miss my full tiny kitchen refrigerator review here.

Most refrigerators are a sizeable power users at around 350 kWh/year for an 18 cubic foot fridge. To give you an idea of size, 18 cubic feet is on the smaller side of most “regular-sized” house fridges. Because they need to run continuously to keep your food cold, it’s crucial to select a refrigerator that works with your power setup and to consider your fridge within your power planning.

Because they’re generally built into your kitchen layout, it’s essential to choose one that fits your space as well as your needs. A single person can get by with a mini-fridge, but several people may need a small, standard 16-18 cubic foot fridge instead.

Fortunately, there are an array of tiny house refrigerator options out there:

  • Propane: Not recommended, because everyone I know who purchased one of these super expensive appliances has ended up throwing it out due to way too many issues.
  • High-Efficiency Electric: A small investment, but one that generally pays for itself in time, and works well with solar.
  • Mini Electric Fridge: This is what I use at four cubic feet. I like my fridge (and opted for one without a freezer). It’s the perfect size for me.
  • Small Electric Refrigerator: These are generally 7-9 cubic feet, which offers plenty of space for a 2-3 person household.
  • Small Standard Electric Refrigerator: These are available in 15 cubic feet and up (18 cubic feet is the top of the small house appliance-size range).
  • In-Counter Options: Refrigerated drawers and built-in units are a stylish and convenient option many people choose for their tiny house.

Other Tiny House Appliances

other appliances for tiny houses

When it comes to other tiny house appliances, I don’t use much beyond a few countertop appliances. A few items that often come up are washers, dryers, and dishwashers.

Washers & Dryers for Tiny Houses

washers and dryers for tiny houses

There are combination washer and dryer units out there, and everyone I know who uses them says they take FOREVER to run and they don’t work well. You also need to accommodate venting. Additionally, the combination units are costly. Having many friends who put these in their tiny house and grew to loath them, it’s my advice to pass on these.

Some of you may know, I send out my laundry through a service. I hate doing laundry more than any other chore. I realize this option isn’t for everyone, but it’s one way I simplify my life and protect my time. Otherwise, spending hours at a laundromat feels like such a waste to me.

If you feel you need a laundry option in your home, then a stackable unit is the way to go. Yes, these units take up more space, but you can find compact options made for apartments and small homes. These may also take up a significant amount of power—often requiring a 240V connection—so be sure your system can handle the requirements. Yes, you could skip the dryer in favor of only a washer, but with space at a premium, you don’t want to trip over-drying clothes every time the weather is cloudy.

Dishwashers

dishwashers for tiny houses

A friend of mine hates doing her dishes. She lives in a smaller duplex with a kitchen that wasn’t built for a regular dishwasher. She swears by her Danby portable dishwasher. The unit is on casters, so it rolls right up to the sink. The dishwasher connects to the sink faucet and runs quickly and efficiently. It uses 120 volts of electricity, and the top functions as additional counter space.

If you’re someone who detests doing dishes, or who needs a dishwasher for sanitization purposes, then a portable unit is a good tiny house appliance option.

Countertop Appliances

tiny house countertop appliances

I avoid cluttering up my countertop as much as possible, so I’m cautious about what I store on there. After all, when you live in a tiny space, the last thing you want is to clutter your minimalist kitchen. Whenever I think I want an appliance, I tell myself to wait until I need to use it at least three times in 30 days.

Then, if possible, I buy the item used or look for the least expensive option. If I use the appliance once a week for three months, then I let myself go out and upgrade to a nice, long-lasting version. For example, I wanted a Vitamix. Instead of spending $400+, I went to Walmart and bought a $15 version. It turned out the cheap mixer suited my needs well and held up, so I’ve stuck with it for now.

Depending on your needs, you may want to consider the following:

  • A food processor OR a bullet-style blender. Food processors are useful for chopping, pureeing, and for larger projects. Bullet blenders are great for beverages, smoothies, and small mixing jobs. I own a blender like this Hamilton Beach Go Sport.
  • A hand mixer.
  • Foodsaver Vacuum Machine, which is great for food preservation.
  • A food dehydrator (provided this is something you’re interested in using).
  • Instant Pot or crockpot. I prefer the Instant Pot, because it functions similarly to a slow cooker, but doesn’t take as long. It uses less power, which is essential when you are off-grid.
  • An outdoor grill. I live by my grill. I cook on mine several nights a week, and the cleanup is so fast and easy.
  • Air fryer. I’m not experienced with the air fryers, but I’ve considered them. People love them for healthy eating.

Watch for appliances that do more than one task, like the Instant Pot (which can slow cook and pressure cook) or the toaster ovens that also act as an air fryer. The multi-functionality is helpful, especially when your tiny space is at a premium.

Finally, remember it’s always important to buy quality, top-rated products. You may think you’re saving money on the front end, but in the long run, cheap products often cost more. Look for appliances that take up a minimal footprint in terms of space and energy. With a little research and planning, you’ll find tiny house appliances to outfit your kitchen perfectly!

Your Turn!

  • What tiny house appliances are your must-haves?
  • Which appliances do you keep on your countertop?

The Complete Tiny House Kitchen Guide: 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Set Up My Kitchen

The Complete Tiny House Kitchen Guide: 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Set Up My Kitchen

Complete Tiny House Kitchen GuideWhen I built my tiny house, I knew planning my tiny house kitchen was critically important. After all, the kitchen is usually the center of the home—the command center.

In a small space, having a well-organized and clear setup is critical. Even if you don’t like to prepare or cook food (or prefer to pop an instant meal in the microwave), your kitchen will still get used regularly. I, for one, enjoy cooking and food prep. In my tiny home kitchen, I can’t really accommodate giant meals or parties, but making a delicious meal for one or two people is easily doable and fun. I always keep my tiny house kitchen clean and ready for action.

Questions about tiny house kitchens are some of the most frequent queries I get. Everyone worries about how they should set up their kitchen, what type of appliances they’ll need, and how to make their tiny house kitchens functional, useful, and comfortable. I decided to put together this guide to tiny house kitchens to help you set up a kitchen where you’ll love (or at least, not hate) to cook.

A Video Tour of My Tiny House Kitchen

For a more in-depth look at my tiny kitchen, please enjoy this video tour. In this tour, I’ll walk you through my tiny house kitchen, and what I find useful.

11 Things What I Wish I Knew When I Set Up My Tiny House Kitchen

things i wish i knew when i setup my kitchen

Now, I’ve had several years of prepping, cooking, and eating in my tiny house kitchen, which has been enough time to learn a few things I wish I’d known BEFORE I set up my tiny house kitchen.

Don’t get me wrong—my kitchen is great (and some of what I didn’t know ended up working out anyway as happy accidents), but of course, looking back, there are always adjustments you’d make.

1. Understand How Much Kitchen You Need

Understand How Much Kitchen You Need

If you’re a person who microwaves a burrito a couple times a day, then you probably don’t need a huge kitchen. If you look at people who live in tiny apartments (for example, in New York City), they may not even have a kitchen in their apartment since each square foot is so expensive. They may get by with a microwave and a hotplate, a small fridge or a little kitchenette. So, really assess how much kitchen you need.

For me, I cook all my meals from scratch, so I knew I needed a fully functioning kitchen. I had to fit a lot in a small space. For my needs, I have a stovetop, a fridge, a sink, and counter space for prep. I don’t have a dishwasher, microwave or an oven. Being off the grid, I knew the power requirements for those appliances was high, and I’m okay with handwashing my dishes. Similarly, I don’t bake. I love to cook, but I don’t need an oven. (I have a toaster oven, which I rarely use).

2. Recognize the Challenges of Having a Small Kitchen

The Challengens of having a small kitchen

The kitchen is a very specialized space. Tiny house builders tend to give a lot of square footage to the kitchen. With other single-use rooms, like the bathroom, the tendency is often to go as small as possible. While the same applies to the kitchen, you’ll want to be sure there’s plenty of room to make it functional. Only you know what you need in terms of space. Keep in mind, it’s easier to live with a plan that’s a little too big, rather than planning a kitchen that ends up too small.

3. Figure Out Exactly What You Need to Put in Your Kitchen, First

What you need to put in your kitchen to make it work

Before I started to design my kitchen, I made a whole grocery list of what I wanted in my pantry. This was one of my smartest ideas while planning my tiny kitchen. I was able to measure everything I would want and need regularly, and I built my pantry cupboard to accommodate it all.

Similarly, I went out and bought my pots and pans, as well. I measured all of them and designed around them so they would all fit. After all, nothing’s worse than finding out your cookware doesn’t fit into your tiny home kitchen cupboards, and you must store it in another spot (or go out and buy all new).

Buy dishes, silverware, and utensils—everything you’ll need to equip your tiny house kitchen. Then plan around them.

4. Ditch the Gadgets

Ditching kitchen gadgets

The kitchen is an area where there are hundreds of different gadgets out there. I used to gravitate toward a cool garlic press or a neat spice grinder. Then I realized you could do so much with good knife skills and the basic tools; you don’t need all those extra bells and whistles.

Once I brushed up on my knife skills in the kitchen, I found I could do almost any job faster, better, and with more accurate results with a knife alone. I really didn’t need a whole drawer of extra tools and one-trick-ponies. After living in my tiny house for a while, I’ve pared back more and more, especially as I’ve moved toward a minimalist lifestyle and approach.

5. Clear the Counters

clear off your counters

ryans tiny house kitchen sinkIt’s easy to clog up your counter space with small appliances. After all, there are so many options out there—a bread maker, a toaster oven, a food processor, a big mixer…and the list goes on. I find it’s helpful to assess what you actually use on a REGULAR basis and ditch the rest.

On my counter, I only keep a cutting board, there is nothing else kept on the counter regularly. I’ll pull out my blender (which does almost anything I’d need a mixer or food processor to do), an Instant Pot (replacing the need for a slow cooker), and a toaster oven all of which I store in my cabinets. That’s all I need or use regularly. You may find you need a microwave, or you prefer a food processor to a blender. Whatever you keep, be sure you really need it on your premium counter space.

I couldn’t use the first toaster oven I bought for my kitchen. It was a really nice $200 toaster oven (way more than I’d ever spent on such an item before). I plugged it in, and it pulled way too much power from my house. So it’s still in the box (and way past the return date). Carefully plan your purchases, especially for items taking up valuable spots on your counter.

6. Ventilation is Critical

ventalation is important in a tiny house kitchen

When I cook, my house warms up quite a bit, so my air conditioning will kick on. Food smells permeate the entire tiny house. I would say about every third time I cook, my smoke alarm goes off—not because I’m lighting food on fire, but because it’s a lot of steam in a small space.

Plan plenty of ventilation in your tiny house. Now, this is a bit of a pain because you need an 8 or 9-inch vent tube to go through your entire wall. With a tiny house, this is challenging to fit in, so plan carefully. Ventilation is mandatory, so you’ll need to figure out how to work it into your design.

7. Remember Storage Areas

don't forget storage areas in your tiny house kitchen

It takes time to plan tiny house kitchens that function well. In fact, you may want to let your design rest for a bit, before coming back to it. I find there are three areas people often forget in their planning: pantry space, an area for the garbage can, and an area for recycling. Figure out precisely what you want to store and then design around it.

After building my tiny kitchen and living in my house for quite a while now, I’ll admit I wish I doubled my pantry space (despite my minimalist approach to food storage). Even though I planned it all out, I still struggle with flexibility.

As I said above, purchasing your “go-to” items and measuring ahead really helps, but I found I even had to tweak things along the way to fit everything in my pantry. Chances are, even with the best plans, you’ll need to adjust once you’re living in the space.

8. Counterspace is Nice to Have

extra counterspace is a nice to have

I planned a pretty big countertop space in my kitchen. It was important to me to have enough room that it didn’t feel cramped (but of course, to still fit within my space). Again, it’s because I like to prepare meals ahead, and I do quite a bit of chopping and work on the counter.

Ryan's L shaped tiny house kitchenOther people I know plan more modular designs, where countertops pull out, fold-out, or move around to get bigger or smaller. While these approaches will work, I don’t suggest it for something you’ll need every day or even once a week. It’s kind of like a murphy bed, no one realistically makes their bed and folds it back every day, it just stays out the entire time and is awkward.

Once again, it comes down to how you want your kitchen to function. If you don’t do a lot of food prep, or if you find you’re the type of person who piles up mail, paperwork, or other items on your counter, you may want a small counter to eliminate that tendency. On the other hand, if you love working in the kitchen, give yourself enough room to chop and prepare your meals properly. Cooking will become much more pleasurable.

I also planned in a drawer for my utensils and tools. Some folks prefer a knife block or a crock of kitchen accessories on the counter (my knife block is built into my counter). Keep in mind, while it’s convenient to keep the tools right on hand, it will also begin to eat up your valuable space.

9. Plan Your Lighting Carefully

planning lighting in a tiny house kitchen

Lighting is so important throughout your tiny house, but especially in your kitchen. When I was planning my lighting, I was very careful to take a lot of time, and I put a lot of thought into the functionality of the lighting. I used LED puck lights and plotted out the layout. As a result, in terms of lighting, my tiny house is probably the most well-designed space I’ve ever lived in. There’s enough light, the switches are well laid out, and I can see in every area.

The LED lights are nice because they don’t kick off heat, and they’re low power (ideal for living off the grid or relying on battery power). They don’t take up a lot of space and depth, unlike a can light that has to be inset into the wall by about 12 inches. You may not have space in a tiny house, so surface-mount lights are great. Also consider what lights you want on dimmers or three-way switches and plan them out ahead of time.

10. Organization Will Keep You Sane

organization solutions for a tiny house kitchen

Organization is critical for tiny house kitchens, but also tiny houses in general. The thing about a tiny house is if ONE item is out of place, it will drive you nuts. I’ve found days when I toss my backpack on the floor, I’m bothered until I put it away.

When you live in a small space, you can’t ignore a mess. You can’t live in a tiny space unless it’s neat and tidy. I clean my entire house each morning. That may sound excessive, but honestly, with a tiny house, it doesn’t take long at all and I always feel like my space is calm, inviting, and organized. When you’re in a small space, even a little clutter makes it feel like a disaster zone.
In the kitchen, I created a wall organizer for the items I use every day (tinfoil, salt, pepper, hot sauce, cups, and measuring cups). I also planned open shelving tucked away where I keep all my dishes. The convenient aspect of a tiny kitchen is every item is within arm’s reach. Every item has a home, and keeping it tucked in the proper spot will make your life SO much less complicated.

11. Buy Items Meant to Last

Buy high quality materials and items that last

I’ve found the kitchen is one area where I permit myself to splurge on high-end purchases. You might not own a lot of items, but the items in your kitchen need to last a long time. You will use them over and over daily (and if you don’t use the items over and over again, they probably shouldn’t stay in your tiny house kitchen).

When I was setting up my kitchen, I purchased two very high-quality knives and the best pans I could find. I researched and learned what I was buying beforehand, so I was sure I was purchasing top-of-the-line items that will last a lifetime. Yes, they cost hundreds of dollars, but it was worth the investment for an excellent item I use every single day.

How I Set Up My Tiny House Kitchen

How I set up my tiny house kitchen

Below you see how I decided to set up my tiny house kitchen.

Here is the floorplan design:

tiny house kitchen floorplan
tiny house kitchen diagram

And here are renderings (note the colors changed):

tiny house kitchen cabinets
Sink cabinets in a tiny house kitchen

My Tiny House Kitchen

kitchen overview in a tiny house

Kitchen Overview
Here is an overview of my tiny house kitchen. You see how it all came together, including my counter space and storage. I found it was important when I was planning to avoid worrying about what I like to call “outlier activities.” For example, people worry they need two ovens to cook Thanksgiving dinner once a year. The rest of the time, they don’t need an extra oven at all. If you’re planning a tiny house kitchen, it’s essential to let go of these outlier activities when space is a premium.

Instead, I find you should only consider what you need for your everyday activities. If you need to cook more food, there are induction burner cooktops available to purchase for under $50. When the time comes for you need to cook a big meal, consider the investment. If it’s worth it, go for it. If not, pass on hosting duties (or ask someone else to bring the turkey).

Verona Two Burner Stove
Here is my stovetop with two burners. This is a Verona stove, which was the only one I could find at the time that was a two-burner (it’s actually meant as an auxiliary cooktop for a larger range). I chose gas/propane, which is better for solar, as electric stoves require so much energy. There was one I looked at made for an RV that was cheaply made and useless. This stove has held up quite well, though, so I’m glad I got it. I like this stove overall, but it burns a little hot.
two burner propane stove in a small kitchen in a tiny house
built in knife block into a kitchen counter Built-in Knife Block Above Fridge
This is my built-in knife storage, which takes up very little room on the counter, but keeps my knife set right on hand. This is seriously one of the best decisions I’ve made in my kitchen!

Below, this spot is my fridge. I went with a regular refrigerator-only unit (no freezer). It’s a small, dorm-size fridge, which works for me and my needs. I found a freezer wasn’t necessary, and the freezers in those little fridges didn’t work well anyway. One benefit of not having a freezer is I eat less junk food (Hot Pockets, frozen burritos, pizza rolls, and the like). Since I don’t store ready-to-eat food in my house, I don’t need a microwave either. This saves me quite a bit of space and helps me stay healthy.

If I were to need a freezer for food storage or preservation, I would recommend a chest-type freezer (which you could also keep in a storage shed). Chest freezers are more energy-efficient and run well with solar. There are also other approaches to food storage and preservation, like dehydration, which you may want to experiment with.

Deep Kitchen Sink
My sink is very deep. I wanted a sink to accommodate my pots and pans easily. I also chose this sink because I use it for laundry, as needed. I don’t own a washer and dryer. I HATE doing laundry, and so I pay for a laundry service. For me, it’s worth the investment.

Having a deep sink is quite helpful if you need to wash one shirt or a few pairs of socks quickly. I wash what I need, rinse it out, and hang it up. It’s very functional. The undermount is also nice so I can wipe crumbs right into it and there is no lip to catch anything. You can also throw a cutting board over the top if you need a little extra counter space.

deep tub sink in a tiny house kitchen
haning measuring cups
Hanging Storage
Hanging everyday items like measuring cups is useful, so they’re within your reach at all times. It also keeps them from cluttering up drawers. Find tools that do double duty and you use all the time. Get rid of all those “one-trick pony” items. Chances are you don’t need a waffle iron, fancy chopper, zester, and avocado-pit remover.
Spice & Dry Goods Storage
This is my spice and dry goods drawer that holds uniform bottles. I keep all my spices here for easy access. I only keep spices and items I use regularly. If a few months go by and I don’t use something, then I know it’s not worth the storage space to keep it.

This rule of thumb goes for most of your food storage. Only keep the food you need for the next week or two (within reason, obviously; condiments and other items may last a little longer). Buy items from bulk bins, where you get only what you need. Buy most items in small quantities, so it’s easier to use it up quickly and you don’t need to store them in your tiny home kitchen.

custom spice drawer holder
storage nook in small kitchen
Open Shelving
Open concept shelving is used to hold cups and other items I use regularly. I love these metal cups because they don’t break and they will last forever.
Butcher Block Countertops
I love my counter space. I also like the wooden “butcher block” look for my countertops. They’re maple, sealed with a food-grade polyurethane coating which is going strong even after 7 years! It’s easy to maintain, and I think it looks nice, too. One area to watch on countertops is weight. If you want granite countertops, you may run into a weight concern. Granite counters add about 800 pounds to your trailer, so ensure you factor in the weight.
custom buther block counter tops
kitchen essentials storage area in tiny house kitchen
Easy-To-Access Shevling
In this other shot of my storage area, you see the salt, pepper, and tinfoil I use so often during food prep and cooking. It’s really nice to keep these items accessible.
Deep Utensil Drawers
I designed these drawers deep enough to hold utensils easily. I only keep exactly what I need and use regularly.
custom made utensils drawer

Remember: When it Comes to A Tiny Kitchen, Less is More

Less is more in a tiny house kitchen

I’ve adopted a minimalist mindset when it comes to my kitchen (and life in general). It’s incredible how distilling what you need down to the necessities really brings clarity and helps you feel organized, calm, and less stressed.

When it comes to cooking, I’ve found the simplest way to cook food is to grill. Honestly, I grill a lot! Typically, I’ll put a steak or chicken on the grill 3-4 times a week. Not only is steak delicious (sorry vegetarians), but grilling is so easy to clean up. It keeps the heat outside and there are very few dishes, if any.

Grilling outside to expand your tiny house kitchenSometimes I’ll cook a protein on the grill and cook enough for dinner, breakfast, and even lunch the next day. Usually, I eat similar foods, and I buy only what I’m going to eat within the next few days or week. As a result, I don’t often have food that goes bad or gets spoiled. This also helps me save money on food since I’m not buying extras.

For most people, their kitchen is the central gathering place in their home. When you live in a tiny house, your whole home becomes the gathering place. Having a tiny house kitchen isn’t challenging, though. I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all with a small kitchen, and I actually enjoy meal prep and cooking more.

When I entertain, friends usually gather around my firepit outside. Some people use pop-up tables and other setups for entertaining, as well. Like I said, it’s important not to plan around those big, once-a-year events for your kitchen. If something does come up, you can always borrow an XXL crock pot from a friend or look up ways to roast your turkey outside. There are plenty of workarounds to make your tiny kitchen functional and enjoyable.

Your Turn!

  • What is most important to you in your tiny house kitchen?
  • What solutions have you found for cooking in a small space?

10 Tiny House Kitchen Essentials: Small Kitchen Solutions for Your Tiny House

10 Tiny House Kitchen Essentials: Small Kitchen Solutions for Your Tiny House

the complete tiny house kitchen guideNo matter the size of your house, chances are high you spend a lot of time in your kitchen. If you live in a tiny house like me, you demand even more from your kitchen, because storage and surface space is at a top premium. Fortunately, I’ve figured out with a few tiny house kitchen essentials, you’ll ensure your kitchen is perfectly organized and functional.

As a tiny house owner, I’ll tell you, fitting everything you needed to cook in a tiny kitchen seems daunting at first (I know it did for me), but don’t give up your cooking dreams! Since I’ve outfitted my tiny house kitchen with many of these essential kitchen tools, I’ve found I enjoy cooking even more.

Cooking in a cluttered space takes time. It’s stressful. You never feel organized or focused. Now that I’ve figured out what worked to keep my kitchen clean, tidy, and in order, cooking becomes something that I look forward to at the end of the day as a way to unwind. Using these tiny house kitchen essentials, I’m able to quickly prepare meals, keep my house in order, relax, and truly enjoy the process.

Whether you’re planning a tiny house kitchen or you’d like to organize the kitchen you’ve already got, there are a few tools to level up your culinary game. I gathered my ten favorite kitchen solutions in this post to share with you today. Here are my favorite tiny kitchen essentials, in no particular order.

1. Slide-out Trash & Recycling Bins

A slide-out trash, and recycling bin is handy when you need it and hidden when you don't. These pull-out bins are great space savers for tiny house kitchens.

True confession time—when I was planning my tiny house kitchen, I forgot to include a spot for my trash and recycling. Now, I don’t generate a ton of garbage, mainly because I’ve adopted a minimalist lifestyle. Still, space for trash and recycling is one thing I wish I’d included when I was drawing up my tiny house plans. It was so easy to forget!

If you have full-depth counters, take advantage of the space in your tiny house kitchen with a slide-out cabinet for your trash bins. You could also include slide-out storage for items in the pantry (cans, boxes, and non-perishable items). These simple solutions maximize narrow spaces and help you fit all the things you need in your tiny kitchen.

2. A Hanging Rail for UtensilsUse a rail system like the IKEA Grundtal to keep your utensils and kitchen tools off the counter and within reach.

It seems like a lot of people keep a telltale overflowing crock on their kitchen counter, stuffed to the brim with cooking utensils and other kitchen essentials. While these crocks are (somewhat) functional, they take up counter space, which is already limited in a tiny house kitchen. Instead of the crock option, save valuable kitchen real estate by hanging your utensils and tools with S-hooks.

Before you lock yourself into a utensil storage solution, start by first eliminating as much as you can. Truth be told, you only need a few essentials. I know for me I might make mashed potatoes a few times a year, so I just use a fork instead of cluttering up things with a masher. Adopting this mentality will let you reduce the amount you need to organize in the first place.

The Grundtal, while being an excellent name for a disgruntled bridge troll, is actually a rail system from IKEA that is affordable and very popular in tiny house kitchens. One word of caution before you start hanging all your kitchen tools—pare down and assess which items you truly need and use regularly. I’ve found a knife set, cutting board, and a few measuring cups are almost all I need in my minimalist kitchen. Just because you can store it, doesn’t mean you should.

3. A Hanging Dish Rack and Paper Towel Holder

A hanging dish rack is a great space-saving essential in a tiny house kitchen.

Continuing the vertical storage theme of kitchen organization, you may want to consider a hanging dish rack. A hanging rack keeps your drying dishes from taking up valuable counter space. They are also used to store and display dishes, freeing up cupboard space.

Over-the-sink dish racks are very popular in minimalist and tiny house kitchens. Use the racks to dry your dishes as well as to hold frequently used items like dish soap, olive oil, salt, and pepper, keeping your kitchen essentials within arm’s reach. Think about things you use every time you cook, position those in a place that’s easy to grab. Mount the rack above your sink or your stove (depending on how you plan to use it) for quick and easy access.

A few space-saving kitchen racks to explore are:

4. Over-the-Sink Cutting Board with Strainer

This over-the-sink cutting board creates extra counter space with built-in drainage thanks to the handy strainer. This tiny house kitchen essential, maximizes your space.

When you’re cooking up a storm and in need of some extra working room, this space-saving idea is so pretty handy. I have an undermount sink, which makes this over-the-sink cutting board perfect for those moments when I need extra room to work. Not only does the cutting board extend the counter space over your sink, but you can conveniently slide your chopped vegetables right into the strainer for rinsing. Genius!

You could also use a regular chopping block (like a Boos block) to extend your counter space. The extra space is helpful if you’re entertaining guests in your tiny house. Turn the kitchen counter into a buffet, and then simply remove the block when you’re ready to do the dishes.

5. Vertical Dividers for Flat Items

Vertical dividers, like these dividers made from tension rods, are a kitchen organizing essential for keeping trays, baking sheets, and cutting boards in order.

Even if you rarely cook or bake, you know the pure misery of stacking and re-stacking cookie sheets, muffin tins, or cutting boards to find the one you want. Small cupboards in a tiny house kitchen become hazardous disaster zones, with piles of pans rattling around.

Solve this common kitchen problem with this simple kitchen space-saving solution: use a bakeware organizer or vertical divider. Storing pans on their sides with vertical dividers solves the space problem handily and keeps the pans from clattering around. The photo above shows how to use simple tension curtain rods as dividers for a DIY solution or buy a divider made especially for this purpose. Either way, vertical stacking will keep your cupboards organized and accessible.

Here are a few organizers to help you get a handle on those clunky pots, pans, lids, and trays:

6. Square-Shaped Storage Containers

Square-shaped storage containers are easy to stack and organize in a tiny house pantry or small kitchen.

Among the tiny house kitchen essentials you MUST own, are quality, uniform and modular stackable containers. I can’t tell you the difference proper containers make when it comes to organizing and maximizing your tiny house kitchen (or any small space).

Avoid the knee-jerk instinct to get a bunch of mason jars. Aesthetically, jars are appealing, but circular objects are a space-saver’s nightmare. Square-shaped storage containers, however, come in all sizes and stack up neatly in your pantry or fridge. This stackable feature is critical if your refrigerator is particularly tiny because every nook and cranny counts!

There are many great square containers sets out there for an affordable price. A few sets to consider:

7. Collapsible Silicone Measuring Cups and Spoons

Collapsible measuring spoons and cups, really help you sort your dry ingredients before they go into the mixing bowl. Store these measuring cups and spoons away easily, when you finish cooking.

I own a set of collapsible silicone measuring cups and spoons in my kitchen, and I love them. I can store four measuring cups on their sides in my drawer in about 2 inches of space. They’re easy to clean, too, making them a tiny house kitchen essential.

There are all sorts of other gadgets that collapse as well – colanders, washing buckets, top hats, and more. (Okay, so no one really needs a collapsible top hat in their kitchen, but the rest of these items are convenient space-saving solutions.)

8. Adjustable Measuring Spoons

Adjustable measuring spoons and cups are a tiny house kitchen essential. Sets like this stainless steel and black set, take the place of multiple kitchen tools.

I like having numerous measuring cups and spoons if I measure several ingredients at once. That said, I don’t do a lot of baking (where proper measurement is essential). In fact, the more I cook, the better I am at simply eyeballing most ingredients. Measuring cups are still handy, but storing several sets, takes up way too much space.

If you think having too many gadgets and tools in your kitchen is a hassle, then a set of adjustable measuring cups and spoons could be perfect for you! Three adjustable spoons take the place of eight or nine measuring cups and spoons, which means more space saved in your kitchen drawers. I’ll stand behind any tools that streamline a job and take up less storage space in a tiny house kitchen.

9. Wire Under-Shelf Baskets

Make the most of extra cupboard space above your dishes, with organizing wire under-shelf baskets.

In most kitchen cabinets, there’s often a lot of unused space hovering above the stacked plates and mugs. I usually recommend when people are planning a tiny house kitchen, they should gather all the items they want to store in their cupboards. Lay the elements out and measure exactly how much space they take. This step saves you from installing shelving that’s way too deep or high.

But, if you didn’t plan your space or build it yourself, you can still make the most of the extra room in your cupboards. Put the area to good use and avoid precariously-stacked cups, plates, and bowls with under-shelf baskets. Find these at the Container Store, Walmart, Target or other organization specialty stores.

A few under shelf baskets to look at:

10. Magnetic Spice Containers

Magnetic spice containers help you easily see and store your spices on a fridge or any metal surface.

In my tiny house kitchen, I have a specially designed spice drawer. I keep the uniform jars lined up in the drawer, where I can quickly see each ingredient. If you don’t own a dedicated spice drawer, use this space-saving kitchen hack for organizing your spices.

The biggest challenge with spices is they all come in different sizes, so it’s hard to organize them with so many form factors. Decant your spices into magnetic tins or other uniform jars and eliminate the mismatched jumble of spice jars cluttering up your pantry. The transparent lids also show you when it’s time to buy more turmeric or tarragon (you may also want to label the spices on the back so you can easily tell what’s what.) Line the magnetic spice jars up on the front of your tiny fridge to put otherwise unused space to work!

Cooking in a small space or a tiny house kitchen doesn’t need to be a hassle. With these easy organizing tiny kitchen essentials, you’ll have a clean, orderly kitchen where cooking is easy and enjoyable. I highly recommend using these space-saving tips and tricks to maximize your storage and workspace in your tiny house kitchen. Happy cooking!

Your Turn!

  • What are some of your favorite space-saving kitchen gadgets?
  • What’s the one kitchen essential that you can’t live without?