When remodeling your small kitchen, the primary emphasis must be on utilizing the available area well and creating or freeing up more space to allow convenient storage, easy installation of the required appliances, and to facilitate movement. You must be able to perform all your tasks without any hindrance.
To start out with, decide what kind of kitchen you want, modern or traditional, L-shaped or U-shaped, Galley or Two-way Galley. Once you have formed an idea of what you want, draw a blueprint and plan out the space you require and the storage area. Think where you want the cabinets and how you are going to use them. Decide where you want the sink, the work counter, and the refrigerator. Consider where you want to put the service points for water, gas, and electricity. Cast an eye over your present layout and think how things can be arranged differently. You can also use a kitchen designing software to help with your planning and drag and drop items until you get exactly what you want.
If possible, you can take down a wall and create an open plan kitchen that extends into the living area. You can put in an island to separate the two parts. Instead of a fixed island, you can get one that can be rolled about as required. Islands come in different varieties and shapes, so, as fits your overall design, you can get a rectangular, square, rounded, or oval island. If the island doubles as a storage space or a work counter, all the more, it's better.
Install cabinets and drawers that go right up to the ceiling, so you can easily store away your cooking utensils, cutlery, plates, condiments, vegetables, and other things. Put the least used items in the upper cabinets and frequently used items in the lower ones. If everything doesn't fit in, you could add hooks to the cabinet doors to hang pots and pans from. You might also want to review all the things you own and get rid of stuff that you don't really need. Either way, try to keep the clutter to a minimum.
Instead of a large dining table, go for a small corner table or a drop table. Or you can leave out tables from your scheme and put in a built-in wall counter, or build a table-height food preparation counter and double it as an eating area. Get smaller and compact appliances. Install a larger sink, so it is easier to wash.
Lighting and Paint
Apart from an optimum planning of space, you can create a spacious ambiance in your kitchen by judicious use of color and light. Using a pale-colored wood for your cabinets or painting them in a pastel hue, for example, will create a lighter appearance. You can help this effect further by installing glass-faced cabinet doors in place of solid ones.
When painting, papering, or tiling the walls, again go for light, pastel shades with, maybe, splashes of brighter colors. The general rule is to use three main colors and their various shades and tints, but this isn't an iron-clad convention. Go for small and delicate patterns over bold ones. Use small-sized tiles rather than large or extra-large ones. Diagonally installed floor tiles can also help create the illusion of space. If your kitchen has good ventilation and allows in plenty of natural light, that will be another plus. Consider installing a skylight, if possible and if you have rather small windows.
Before installing artificial lighting, go over your kitchen plan and identify the main areas that need sufficient lighting. You can have a central light for the whole kitchen and spot lighting for the cooking and washing areas. Install lights in cabinets and in under-counter storage areas, so you can search inside them easily. Make sure that it is both functional and aesthetic. A well-lit, well-planned kitchen will be a pleasure to live with.