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The Best Kitchenette And Small Basement Kitchen Ideas

Over the years, we’ve provided no shortage of tips to help you create a stylish kitchen that really works for you. But there’s another type of kitchen you might be considering that’s just a bit smaller, but still has big appeal. Get ready to discover the kitchenette – and see all our best kitchenette and small basement kitchen ideas.

Whether you have a small space, basement, back house, or rental unit, a kitchenette is a smart solution for adding increased function, value, and convenience. And to help you get a better understanding of this increasingly popular feature, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know, including what is a kitchenette, clever kitchenette and small basement kitchen ideas, and tips for packing a lot of function and features into a compact footprint!



For more kitchen ideas, check out A Reveal of Our Queer Eye Season 3 Loft: The Kitchen, Bold and Black: A Kitchen Reveal, and 4 Easy Design Swaps That Will Instantly Elevate Your Kitchen.

kitchenette and small basement kitchen ideas

What Is A Kitchenette?

Simply put, a kitchenette is a more compact version of your standard kitchen. It may consist of a single wall, or L-shaped, and is usually 90 sq feet or less. Kitchenettes are typically equipped with some of the appliances you would find in a full-size kitchen, just scaled-down versions (think mini-fridges, narrow ranges, and slender dishwashers). It’s a popular option for a range of spaces, whether it’s a compact apartment, a basement, an in-law suite, or an accessory dwelling unit in a backyard.

For our Casa Tierra project (shown above), we created a single-wall kitchenette in the guest casita that features all the essentials in a very small space: a sink, induction cooktop, and bottom mount fridge, along with some stylish open shelving. 

kitchenette and small basement kitchen ideas

How To Create Your Kitchenette 

Think a kitchenette might be right for your space? Here are a few things to consider before adding this functional feature.


    Take a look at the square footage you have to work with. Will a single wall, l-shape, or galley kitchen layout work best? If you’re at a loss for what layout you should opt for, you can also design your kitchen online or work with a kitchen planner at Ikea.


    Determining how your kitchenette will be used will help inform the design and features. Will it be used daily or less frequently? Will you be cooking meals or just using it for guests? You will probably want to include more features and appliances in a kitchenette that’s getting more regular use while opting for just the essentials otherwise.


    The key to fitting everything you need into a compact footprint is finding appliances that take up a lot less space. You can choose an under-mount refrigerator, a slim induction cooktop for meal prep, and even a super narrow 18″ dishwasher. 


Design: Studio McGee

kitchenette and small basement kitchen ideas

Basement Kitchen Ideas

A basement can be an ideal spot to add a kitchen, especially if you’re looking to turn our basement into additional living space, or convert it into a rental unit. You’ll want to consider many of the same criteria you would for a kitchenette, while also thinking about other ways you can maximize your basement. If you need additional storage, add extra cabinetry dedicated to containing those items. If you plan to entertain, bring in a bar area. You can also incorporate your laundry area too, as designer Athena Calderone did in her recent basement reno.