small kitchen size design solutions

At Modiani Kitchens, our kitchens are individually designed, built and include high-end custom kitchen cabinets. Below you will the most common kitchen cabinet measurements when it comes to kitchen design.

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Base Cabinet Sizing (Small Kitchen):

Generally, base kitchen cabinets are a minimum of 24 inches deep to accommodate standard American appliances. In a tight kitchen space, the base cabinet depth can be adjusted to accommodate the architecture.

Base Cabinet Sizing (Large Kitchen):

In a large luxury kitchen, the base cabinet depth can be enlarged to allow a deeper work surface or decorative elements. Otherwise, the typical cabinet depths and appliances are similar.

Countertop Depth:

Both large and small kitchens should have a countertop depth of at least 24 inches. This is necessary to fit a sink, dishwasher and stove.

Countertop Height:

Typical countertops are about 36 inches high. This is an ideal work height for an average size person. Often at an island, countertop overhangs are installed at 42 inches. This will accommodate bar stools, allowing a smaller footprint for seating. A standard dining table is just 30 inches in height. Most people find this too low for a worktop. Taller homeowners may require a higher countertop, and the height can be changed with appliance specifications in mind.

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Countertop Length (Small Kitchen):

It is important to have minimum lengths of countertops between appliances to maintain a safe and effective working environment. A minimum of 12 inches of landing area should flank the stove, sink and refrigerator.

Countertop Length (Large Kitchen):

In a larger kitchen, we are dealing with setting up ideal working surfaces between appliances and can tailor the space to your individual kitchen habits.


The minimum width for a doorway is usually 30 inches. It is always important when designing a kitchen to make sure the appliances and high-end kitchen cabinets specified fit through the door!


Every kitchen should be outfitted with a custom drawer design to fit the homeowner’s kitchen habits. Ideally, utensil storage near the sink and deeper drawers for pots and pans by the cooking area.

Seating Area:

In a larger kitchen, we can integrate seating in an island or peninsula. It is always important to account for the space will be used and make sure there is enough space for seating and that the seating does not interfere with the “work triangle”.

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Walkways need to be a minimum of 36 inches wide. It is recommended depending on the layout to design in 42 to 48 inches.

Wall Cabinets (Small Kitchen):

Wall cabinets are the primary storage for dishware and glasses. It is important to design the kitchen with appropriate space above the countertop to accommodate small appliances like a coffee machine or blender.

Wall Cabinets (Large Kitchen):

In a larger kitchen, wall cabinets can be used for both storage and decoration. Open shelves and glass can also be incorporated for decorative purposes.

Work Triangle aka Working triangle:

The work triangle is the area between the sink, refrigerator and cooking surface, when you “connect the dots” between them it creates a triangle. It is important that the path between these work points is unobstructed and easy to maneuver with enough preparation space and appropriate landing area around appliances.

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Small Kitchen Sizing and Tips

  • When you are planning your luxury kitchen layout and kitchen cabinet sizing of your small kitchen with our kitchen designers at Modiani Kitchens, it is important to determine the best layout of the appliances and working triangle first, then create storage solutions around the working triangle.
  • Store plates and glasses in a cabinet near the dishwasher, so it is easy to put things away. Store larger items such as pots, pans, cookie sheets and pots in large slide-out drawers near the stove.
  • Pay attention to the lighting in your small kitchen space. Though many people think a lot about the lighting in the living room, the lighting in the kitchen is often overlooked. Smart lighting can add atmosphere to your kitchen, making it more pleasant and ultimately functional. Visit our Modiani Kitchen Showroom to find out more about lighting options.


“We just completed our kitchen renovation and
the outcome is absolutely stunning!”

Dmitri B. - August 2019