These One-Wall Kitchens Prove That Streamlined Spaces Still Pack a Big Punch

published Aug 21, 2017
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If there’s one lesson to take from people living in small spaces, it’s that even the tiniest rooms can be stylish and look far from cramped. One-wall kitchens are a perfect example of how to make the most of small kitchen design. As their name suggests, these small kitchens only occupy a single wall, but in doing so, they leave space for items like dining tables, bar carts, and breakfast bars. 

Even if your home is larger, a one-wall kitchen can contribute to a spacious open concept floor plan or draw energy from the kitchen into a dining area or living room. An effective use of countertop space and clever storage solutions are the key to making the most of this kitchen style.

Below, 23 one-wall kitchens we love to take inspiration from.

Credit: @joeflood123

1. Conquer a tiny space.

We’re obsessed with this micro kitchen by @joeflood123. Even in a space that seems impossibly tight, this one-wall kitchen is small but mighty, with plenty of cabinetry, counter space and even a compact vent hood. 

2. Capitalize off of exposed brick.

We love how this one-wall kitchen by @alphainteriordesigns is surrounded by exposed brick. It’s rustic but chic, and lends a cohesive look to the space, since the kitchen backdrop blends into the surrounding wall.

3. Incorporate a double layer of cabinets.

This stunningly simple one-wall kitchen by @archizonemagazine features two rows of cabinets: the upper cabinets provide storage for lesser-used items like holiday dishes or small appliances, while the lower cabinets house daily items like cups and dishes. This clever idea is a great way to maximize space in a one-wall kitchen.

4. Keep things monochromatic.

A single color is used for the walls, cabinetry and even the lighting in this minimalist one-wall kitchen by @lifesizekitchens.

Credit: Carina Romano

5. Make the island double as your pantry.

This petite one-wall kitchen utilizes its island for pantry storage rather than an extra seating area. The cabinets that make up the island double as a décor accent as well.

Credit: Vicki Wang

6. Room for a dining room.

By keeping your kitchen on one wall, you open up more space for a table if your home doesn’t have a dedicated dining room. Copy how it’s done in this San Francisco apartment.

Credit: Daryl Zamora

7. Play up your cabinets.

This tiny one wall kitchen still packs in the style with pretty cabinets, while not taking up too much space. 

8. Use a powder pink color palette.

While the wall cut outs in this unique Oakland loft help make this one-wall kitchen look spacious and airy, it’s the colors that drive the effect home. Here gentle light powder pink cabinetry and white open shelving are punctuated by the contrast of the black countertop.

9. Try an unexpected color.

There must be a thing about using pink in a one-wall kitchen, because here’s another great example. In this kitchen by @interior_styleanddecor, a deeper pink hue in the cabinetry offsets the white countertop for a pretty but grown-up aesthetic.

Credit: Tamara Gavin

10. Make wood the focus.

This ’70s-inspired kitchen from a cozy modern home tour is a nod to the most far-out decade but reels it in just enough to make it feel modern. The vertical-grain slabs of wood, basket pendant lamp, and patterned rug make the space feel anything but outdated.

11. Opt for slate blue cabinets.

Thanks to its slate blue cabinets, this single wall scheme in a vintage Brooklyn studio is anything but a typical kitchen. Retro signage, butcher block countertops, and copper accents give this adorable cooking space a look that borders on the edge of modern farmhouse.

12. Try all-white minimalism.

You can’t go wrong with white when you’re looking to make a space appear larger. While the cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and kitchen tools sit pretty in this hue, the light silver appliances and pop of colors from the plants in this West Coast-inspired Brooklyn apartment make it feel more homey. And don’t forget—a one-wall kitchen gives you plenty of space for a statement island.

13. Construct an outdoor one-wall kitchen.

One-wall kitchens aren’t limited to interiors! An outdoor kitchen is a brilliant way to implement this layout. Here, the singular wall helps define the space and promote privacy while still keeping it open to the rest of the deck in this Barcelona penthouse. It makes BBQs in an apartment building feel more like a suburban outdoor oasis rather than a high rise house party.

14. Choose horizontal accessories.

This pared-down one-wall kitchen uses several techniques to create the illusion of space. Horizontal cabinet pulls reflect the horizontal range hood above them, and the mirrored backsplash above the counters helps elongate the space. While the kitchen itself in this Netherlands-based high-rise is toned down, the funky dining table and tufted chairs add a pop of personality and color.

15. Embrace the black-and-white look.

Here it’s a matte black tile backsplash that catches the eye and adds dimension—preventing the white kitchen appliances and cabinetry in this London remodel from fully blending into the wall. The black island placed in front of the wall breaks up the space between the kitchen and living room in a deliberate, geometric way.

16. Add a bold backsplash.

If you’re itching for a taste of the tropics, a few bold pops of teal and warm wooden cabinetry can make your space feel like an island abode. That’s what takes this Northern California home from an ordinary kitchen to a one-wall wonder. The mix of materials and textures, from concrete countertops to slick white lacquered cabinets, also makes the area feel less sterile. 

17. Create contrast with black cabinetry.

Light wood countertops create a beautiful divide between the white walls and black cabinets in this Sonoma kitchen. It’s modern, but things like the mirrors, art work, and plants blend it into the boho-themed rooms it borders.

Credit: Lana Kenney

18. Add a splash of blue.

Space-defining features can really make a one-wall kitchen pop. Here the blue cabinet paint helps frame the open shelves and appliances to create distinct zones for where the cooking space starts and ends in this

19. Emphasize lines.

Working with the space you have can be tricky, but the slanted roof in this rooftop kitchen proves any challenging room feature can be tackled. The plants growing in the opposite direction of the downward slant and the bright, live edge wood table all help to draw your eye around the room and view it as a more spacious area.

20. Combine light wood with a black backsplash.

Rather than deck this one-wall kitchen out with black cabinets and wood countertops, this San Francisco rental inverted the chic combo. The light wood cabinets brighten up the space, while the black backsplash and counters make kitchen tools and countertop decor pop.

21. Brighten things up with mint green.

If you’re leaning away from an all-white monochrome look but are color shy, mint green is a user-friendly option. It’s as refreshing as its name and will keep your space light and bright without commanding too much attention, as seen in this Cape Town kitchen.

22. Go all neutral.

Fans of neutral palettes will adore a space like this one-wall kitchen. The terrazzo tile bricks, bar stools, and countertops play with browns and tans without looking too matchy-matchy. Te overall look of this Southwestern Arizona studio feels sophisticated but still has a bit of a boho, earthy edge.

23. Experiment with complementary colors

Here’s photo proof from a contemporary home in Amsterdam that orange and blue not only can be used in a space but can look good together, too. Complementary colors are a fun and exciting way to create contrast, especially if you’re looking to stray from neutrals like black and white.

24. Take advantage of vertical space.

While horizontal space is limited in a one-wall kitchen, you can stack open shelves vertically to gain extra storage space. This particular Dutch kitchen went even further by building out shelving units beneath the countertops as well.

Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann