Published on May 18, 2020

Sometimes, the most memorable parts of vacation have nothing to do with monuments and museums—maybe it was a villa that set the perfect backdrop for your trip to Tuscany, or a cozy Airbnb that made your week in Paris feel extra-special. If you want to bring back those holiday vibes, start with your kitchens; after all, European kitchen cabinets aren’t really all that different from their American counterparts. Creating the right mood comes down to how you style them, and these seven spaces from around the continent offer plenty of ideas. 


wood kitchen cabinets mint sconcesPin It
Photography by Sofie Amalie Rolandsen of Thus The Fuss

The look: Sofie Amalie Rolandsen went for that trademark Scandinavian simplicity with her one-wall layout. Minty green Arne Jacobsen sconces and IKEA cabinetry (naturally) complete the pared-back appearance. 

The tip: Ditch the uppers for a clean slate, and keep the room feeling warm by layering in a ton of natural accessories. The wood and marble cooking tools propped up against the wall are as chic as they are useful. 

The shoppable option: Reform’s Degree line features a subtly graphic pattern for a bit of depth. 


yellow kitchen with open shelvingPin It
Courtesy of deVOL Kitchens

The look: It might be gray, but the storage in this DeVol Kitchens–designed space is anything but boring. With a bold mustard backdrop and heaps of decorative vintage vessels, it has a modern British cottage feel to it. 

The tip: Keep the fronts minimal, and use the walls to splash out on color: a sage green, maybe, or even an earthy terracotta. 

The shoppable option: Pick the very same Shaker doors to accessorize with your favorite antiques-store finds. 


white tiny kitchen with turquoise shelf and dining spacePin It
Photography by Hervé Goluza; Design by Camille Architectures

The look: Located in the heart of the Marais, this apartment oozes old-world Parisian charm: Exposed wood and carved-out wall niches set the stage for a tiny (but very stylish) kitchen. Just look at the turquoise open shelving. 

The tip: Master the balancing act between minimalist and rustic by keeping the larger fixtures, like cabinets, counters, and faucets, contemporary. Then, rely on smaller pieces to bring character. 

The shoppable option: Look for something in wood with sleek black pulls to make your decor—sourced from an outdoor market, naturally—shine. 


all white kitchenPin It
Courtesy of Hejm

The look: This Berlin penthouse is the very definition of no-frills modern. Concrete walls channel an industrial vibe, but thanks to the bright white cupboards, it still feels light and airy. 

The tip: Ditch the hardware entirely and go for a smooth, glossy surface that provides a blank slate for all cooking adventures to come. Rainbow-colored hanging rack not required, but encouraged. 

The shoppable option: Opt for uncomplicated units to set the scene, and leave the bells and whistles to other parts of the home. 


black tuscan kitchen with wooden countersPin It
Courtesy of Champalimaud

The look: We’d like to spend all afternoon rolling out sheets of pasta in this Tuscan villa, which blends centuries-old architecture with updated finishes. The mix of glass-front and open upper cabinets is great for variety—plus matte black paint really brings the drama. 

The tip: Take off the doors on a few of your uppers for instant open shelving that blends right in with the rest of your storage.

The shoppable option: Naked Kitchens’s Shaker-style cupboards offer timeless simplicity; just be sure to customize with the round pulls of your choice. 

The Netherlands

raw wood cabinets lots of plants kitchenPin It
Photography by Henny Van Belkom

The look: The stripped-down look is the name of the game in this sustainable Rotterdam home. In this room, that takes the form of raw wood slabs and an impressively minimal amount of countertop clutter. 

The tip: Dress up your au naturel European kitchen cabinets with a healthy dose of potted plants—from an herb garden to hanging planters. It will be like your personal indoor greenhouse. 

The shoppable option: For when going with custom reclaimed wood doors isn’t a possibility, there’s always IKEA. 


color-blocked kitchen cabinets and dining tablePin It
Photography by Hanna Połczyńska; Design by In Architekci

The look: If you’re ready for something a bit more on the eclectic side, take notes from this color-blocked In Architekci–designed space. With three hues in the mix, it doubles as an accent wall. 

The tip: Have fun arranging your own palette into a configuration that inspires you; even if the rest of your apartment is coated in neutrals, this isolated moment of playfulness will feel all the more special. 

The shoppable option: You might not be ready to make a commitment to permanent color—in that case, might we suggest Semihandmade fronts? You can swap them out for different shades when you’re in the mood for a change. 

See more ideas for your cabinets:
Glass Kitchen Cabinets Are Like Open Shelving, Without the Dust
That Empty Space Above Your Cabinets Is Actually Prime Real Estate
Black Kitchen Cabinets Instantly Make Dated Features Cooler