You may notice that sometimes we use minified terms for many things around us. For example, A cigarette is a small cigar and a towelette is a small towel, so what is a kitchenette? It is a smaller version of the kitchen. It includes essential amenities like oven, freezer despite its diminutive size.

Difference between kitchen and kitchenette

The main difference between kitchen and kitchenette is the size. A kitchenette, as the name implies, a miniature kitchen of sorts. You may find a small counter with a sink and a smaller appliance there.

On the other hand, the kitchen is the room of the house that represents you as a person. A standard kitchen is equipped with a stove top, a sink, a dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, and several other electric appliances. Understandably, because there is not a lot of space to work with a kitchenette you can expect to set up all the appliances there. Usually, a kitchenette features a microwave, a small fridge, and a freezer and a hot plate.

A kitchen is better organized than a kitchenette. It features a panty and lots of storage space in the form of cabinets, shelves etc. since kitchenette is so small, so it encourages you to make the most of the space. The kitchenette is very practical and functional.

How kitchenette can add value to your home?

At this point, you may correctly assume that ideal places for kitchenettes are many studio apartments, bachelor apartments, and other small apartments. But there is another growing market for them: high-end or larger homes. They are very popular for homeowners who are adding or renovating spaces for extended family. Kitchenette allows guests, nannies or in-laws feel more at home with a private space to cook simple meals.

Designers are bringing new changes in a kitchenette. For example, they have found ways to add non-standard appliances such as beverage coolers and drawer dishwasher etc. So, kitchenette would no longer be a cramped space for cooking only.

How to make kitchenette look like a kitchen?

Since in a kitchenette you have limited space to work with and fewer appliances, so it is not the ideal place for serving meals for more than two people. But you need to keep in mind that kitchenette is designed for cooking yourself and other people. Despite that, there are space saver appliances that you can use in kitchenette to make it look like a kitchen. For example, food steamer which can steam vegetables, rice, some poultry, and some meat. Another smart appliance that you can include in your kitchenette is an electronic tea kettle, which boils water incredibly fast and will save you from using the microwave or dangerous hot plate when you want boiling water. 

Utility of kitchenette

The kitchenette is the ideal cooking setup where a spacious space is not available. It occupies only a small section of a wall and does not miss to provide any basic necessities of a kitchen. A standard kitchenette features some combination of these basic scaled-down appliances: a single-bowl sink, a miniature refrigerator, and freezer, a four-burner stove, an oven, or a dishwasher. Each configuration is different. That is not all kitchenette will have the same appliances. And the design of kitchenette is also flexible. For example, if a homeowner cannot use a microwave he can make up it with a small toaster oven.

Basement kitchenette and planning for a basement kitchenette

Setting up a kitchenette in the basement is a new trend and becoming popular because more and more basement is now being used as a warm living space. A basement kitchenette is set up as a small part of a larger basement living area. For instance, you might have a family room in the basement with a kitchenette built at one corner. Or perhaps you have a theater area with a kitchenette close to it where the family and enjoy some refreshments. You may also have a guest bedroom with kitchenette allowing the occupant some additional privacy and saving them using the main kitchen.

Setting up a kitchenette in the basement is somewhat different. Here are some important issues you need to think about when setting up a kitchenette in the basement:


Cooking fumes and odors will trap in the basement with a kitchenette. So, you need proper ventilation both for safety and comfort. Consult with your contractor to determine which type of ventilation is best for your kitchenette.


safety is the main concern when you have a kitchenette in the basement. Take adequate safety precautions, for example, sprinkles, smoke alarms, and escape routes.


Though kitchenette means a smaller model of a standard kitchen, still there are size variations among them. One type is compact which is really small with the most basic of necessities, for example, a small counter, a small wall cabinet and perhaps an appliance or two. You can fit it into one corner of the basement. The kitchenette can also be bigger if you utilize one end of the basement. Here you can have a few more appliances and a larger working space as well as storage. But still, it will not be the level of a normal kitchen. Your kitchenette size will depend on your budget, family size, and basement size.


In a kitchenette, storage demand is not high. Often a few wall cabinets combined with floor cabinets below the countertop is enough. The amount of storage depends on the size of the kitchenette and how heavily you use it.


in a kitchenette, you will not have room for a full fridge, microwave, and oven. So, decide which appliances you need most and buy them in smaller sizes.

Dry Bar vs wet bar

A wet bar has running water and a sink. But it does always have to serve alcoholic drinks. A dry bar is simply a beverage center but has no running water. So, your budget and preference will determine what type of bar you need. A wet bar is more convenient but will be more expensive since it requires plumbing for the running water.


in case of lighting, first, ensure that overhead lighting provides adequate illumination. After all, it is the main functionality of lighting. And then, think about the aesthetic side of lighting-what look you want -warm, elegant, cool etc.

Some beautiful stylish kitchenette ideas

So, you may have a kitchenette either in a rental space or something to call your own. Since you do not have a ton of room in your small kitchen to be creative, it may be difficult for you to make it more aesthetic. But do not worry. Here we have described a few fabulous kitchenette ideas to cooking up in style in your tiny space.

Scandi style

kitchenette ideas scandy styleThis style of kitchenette features  Scandi-style material and color palette. The style works well to keep the room open and visually pleasing.

Get Lit

kitchenette ideas get litThis small kitchen features decorative lighting. You can use white inset lights with a pendant for a nice touch.

Cook up a dining area

kitchenette ideas Cook up a dining areaThis is a hyper-efficient kitchen which features a shelf and two barstools. This is an ideal dining area for one or two people.

Reach for the sky

kitchenette ideas rich for the skyYou could utilize height if your square area is not so spacious. This clever kitchen design exactly does that by employing some super simple and chic storage solutions as the designer added another row of shelving above the cabinets.

Create a cocktail style

kitchenette ideas Create a cocktail styleThis little galley kitchen mixes traditional elements like the Aga stove, classic French moldings and crystal chandelier with streamlined cabinetry, floor-to-ceiling geometric tiling, and a modern sconce.

There are many other ideas. But for now, we do not want to make the list longer.


The kitchenette is a good alternative to the kitchen because many studio apartments, bachelor apartments, and other small apartments do not have much space to have a full-sized kitchen. Generally, kitchenette sets include microwave, toaster oven, small dorm-size fridge and freezer, and hot plate. But they do not have all these appliances altogether. Rather, they feature a combination of these appliances and that enough to cook a wide variety of dishes. The bottom line is through the kitchen is in a diminutive size, it serves the basic functionality of the kitchen: cooking.

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I am an Alabama native and a wife, a mother of two beautiful girls, and a blogger. I got my MFA in fine arts from the University of North Caroline at Greensboro. I spend my free time giving DIY makeovers to local diners, restaurants, homes and blogging about my experiences and ideas. After the post-graduation I became a self-taught crafter, decorator, builder – you name it! I am also a certified home improvement professional, specialized in kitchen renovation, design, and décor. But my ultimate passion lies in writing. I have molded my specialties in my passion. So, my blog is all about home improvement ideas and tips. I try to help the readers of mine by sharing my favorite DIY home décor projects, home renovations, and DIY furniture projects. As a writer, I am passionate about providing design and décor advice in order to help others find alternative ways towards a beautiful and holistic home improvement idea.


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