If you live in a rental, you’ve probably spent hours agonizing over how to make your apartment look, well, better than what it is.

And though tiny bedrooms and laughably small bathrooms present their own unique problems, one of the most egregious offenders has always been the kitchen.

For instance: If you’re trying to cook dinner and don’t have a single square inch of cutting space, what in the name of kale are you supposed to do, short of turning your equally small coffee table into a chopping block? And what about small cabinets that don’t offer enough space for three of your plates, let alone your mugs and wine glasses?

Not to worry. With a few clever uses of the space you already have, you can add not only functionality, but personality.

Here's how to make it happen:

A tall, narrow bookshelf takes up a little floor space, but gives you plenty of storage for your cookbooks (or anything else of your choosing). And even a tiny bistro table can add much-needed dining space to your home.

Focus on keeping things light, bright, and airy. White and bright kitchens feel bigger than one that's dark and depressing.

No windows? No problem! Add ambient lighting wherever you can to avoid the harsh overhead glare of the one light that actually came with your apartment.

When your space is tiny, the risk is looking like a hoarder. Open shelving and a curated color palette are the perfect ways to combat that.