Published on November 12, 2018

You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again: The kitchen is the heart of the home. Think of this fundamental room as your final pulse point; the place that sets the tone for the way you decorate your entire home.

Gracing a spectrum of shapes, sizes, and styles, we will be the first to acknowledge that there is no one way to design a kitchen. While bespoke English kitchens, salvaged wood, open shelving, marble countertops, and globe pendant lighting are a number of movements leading the trends, there are a few essential ingredients that will never go out of style—like storage, texture, color, and light.  

Whether you are knee deep in a taxing kitchen remodel or looking for potential backsplash ideas, we have got you covered. From tiny galley kitchens with colored cabinetry to minimal industrial kitchens with spacious eat-in islands, the gorgeous kitchen design ideas ahead will fuel your inspiration.

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Photo by Laure Joliet

1. The Vintage Kitchen

Renovating a kitchen isn’t for everyone—especially those who do not have the budget or bandwidth to back it up. Sure, older kitchens have their quirks, like tiny cabinets and awkward corners, but their inherent charm is irreplaceable. Clothing designer Jesse Kamm’s sweet blue and white kitchen exudes old-school ease with perforated cabinet doors and classic tiling arrangement.  

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Photo by Laure Joliet

2. The Minimal Organic Kitchen

With all the chatter, cooking, and commotion that goes on in a kitchen, sometimes you need design to take a quiet back seat. Stocked only with things that are both beautiful and functional, Rachel Craven’s peaceful white and wood kitchen is the kind of place you want to linger with a cup of tea. Earth-toned baskets and shapely wooden bowls complete the laid-back aesthetic.  

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Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg

3. Plywood Cabinetry  

The kitchen is not simply a reflection of how we cook, but rather a grounding force for who we are. And this white and wood Topanga Canyon, CA kitchen is all about understated elegance. Crafted with budget-friendly plywood, the cabinets extend rustic texture to the small cooking nook, while still channeling the homeowner’s minimalist leanings. Fundamental, yet warm, this bare minimum approach is especially fitting for cozy cabin kitchens or other remote homes geared toward getting back to nature.

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

4. Tiny Studio Kitchen

While clutter is quick to assemble in any kitchen, it especially loves to congregate in small spaces. No matter how much cabinet space you have in your minuscule apartment or home, you will have to think out-of-the-box when it comes to kitchen storage. In her New York City studio, Sky Ting Yoga founder Krissy Jones relegated pots, pans, and other bulky essentials to mounted hooks above the sink.  

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

5. Chef-Approved Kitchen

Chefs know how to make any size kitchen work—even if they live in a 200-something-square-foot apartment. Lauren Gerrie, co-owner of the Manhattan-based private chef service, bigLITTLE Get Together, is one of many space savvy cooks who knows how to maximize her living quarters. Focusing solely on functionality and organization, Gerrie opted for a standard restaurant approach with stainless steel containers and an exposed, industrial shelving system.

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

6. Globally-Inspired Kitchen

Sometimes, the best kitchen design ideas come from overseas. Pulling inspiration from the Mediterranean, Sybil Domond and Dan Lessin, the creative duo behind People of 2Morrow, wanted to make texture a critical part of their space. Between the painted brick walls, woven light fixtures, salvaged wood cabinetry, and reclaimed tiling, their Brooklyn kitchen is a tactile lesson in global design. Morocco and France were the primary destinations that inspired their kitchen remodel. 

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

7. Eat-In Kitchen Island

Whether you simply don’t have the space for a proper dining table or like to drink your OJ in the company of those still cooking, an eat-in kitchen island is for you. With just enough room for two, the bonus dining area in this Brooklyn townhouse proves the perfect kitchen island size does exist.

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

8. Tiled Kitchen

For the subway tile averse, an eclectic, all-over look like this provides visual intrigue. Amhalise Morgan’s bohemian kitchen marries Moroccan concrete floor tiles with Mexican tiles in the same greens and browns for a unified aesthetic.

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

9. The Black and White Kitchen

Clean, simple, and fairly utilitarian, Marisa Competello’s straightforward cooking space makes a point not to veer from the classics. A touch of wood and makeshift stainless steel island break up the starker black and white elements within the kitchen.

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Photo by Jeff Mindell

10. Corner Shelving

Searching for extra storage space? Consider relegating your prettiest dishes to the corner. 100 Layer Cake founder Amanda Dawbarn turned a lonesome nook in her zen, Mediterranean kitchen in California into a beautiful, mounted display for treasured vases and favored cookbooks.

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Photo by Nick Glimenakis

11. Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Warm neutrals, reclaimed wood, and brass accents are just three elements we love to see in a incredibly modern house. The juxtaposition between the whitewashed shiplap walls and raw wood ceiling beams in this rustic Upstate retreat make this space feel extra bright and airy.

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Photo by Mia Baxter

12. Modern Blue Kitchen

Blue kitchens appear to be having a major design moment right now, but this statement space really brings the drama. Maintaining a simple palette of white soapstone counters and deep blue cabinets, Sarah Wittenbraker’s elegant kitchen is grounded by the large island with 3D detail. Note how the globe-like statement fixture above adds further dimension and visual intrigue to the breezy space.

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Photo by Brittany Ambridge

13. Family-Friendly Kitchen Island

When you can happily sit six people around your kitchen island, you know you have finally made it. The addition of a nearby banquet means that this spacious eat-in kitchen by Dekar Design can house everyone in your extended family, and then some.  

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Photo by Leonid Furmansky

14. Red Hot Range

There is something burning in this Texas farmhouse kitchen, and it is not food. A fresh pop of color on, say, the oven or refrigerator can bring new meaning to mundane features, like standard subway tiling or light gray cabinetry. 

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

15. Subtle Color

Want to avoid louder hues, but still want to play up color? Take a cue from Malene Barnett’s light mint kitchen. Her careful choice of color gives the room a spark of personality, without straying from the elegant simplicity of a white kitchen. Cool art also adds an extra dose of personality to the room.

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Photo by Kate Zimmerman

16. Rustic Cottage Kitchen

The perfect blend of old world charm and Texas-cool, Kate Zimmerman’s European-inspired Austin home marries the quintessence of cottage living with the fundamentals of minimalism. Barely there cabinetry and casually placed cookware underscore the paired down look.

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Photo by Sarah M Winchester

17. Open Shelving

Shelf styling is a must-have skill, especially if your kitchen primarily consists of exposed floating units. Whether you decide to go big with bold kitchenware or stick to a monochromatic display (like in this Martha’s Vineyard home), decorate with purpose. Your space—and inner neat freak—will thank you for it.

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Photo by Katherine Jackson

18. Corner Kitchen Nook

What looks to be a tight squeeze is, in fact, a breezy, beautiful lesson in living with less. This Nantucket kitchen, which previously sported old shaker-style cabinets and white linoleum countertops, now straddles the line between minimalism and modern farmhouse—a combo more suited to its awkward layout. Consider this a lesson in working with the footprint you have! 

 

See more kitchen design ideas that wow:

Small Kitchen Design Ideas Anyone Can Try

18 Kitchens That Have Perfected Minimalism 

10 Kitchens Where the Backsplash is the Main Event

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