The number of kitchen design ideas out there is downright dizzying. For homeowners looking to make a home improvement—anything from an affordable decor update to a full-on remodel—photo-sharing sites are a good start. But pinning down (pun intended!) exactly what style suits your home can still be tough. An all-white Scandinavian look can seem ideal one day, but then you notice that stainless steel is trending and the style starts to grow on you. So how do you make choices for the long haul?
To help you sift through what can only be described as an endless scroll of inspiration, we've polled decor experts and real estate pros to comment on the most popular kitchen design ideas and how to achieve them. Here are six inspiring looks, whether you're planning a remodel or simply like drooling over magazine-worthy kitchens.
Simple, clean, and airy, a kitchen whose palette is dominated by white is a safe bet when it comes to kitchen design. "Classic white is truly timeless," notes Anna Shiwlall, an interior designer with 27 Diamonds in Los Angeles. "Not only does it look neat and bright, but it gives the illusion of a bigger space." And since white is neutral, it allows the room's design elements to shine. To keep your look from becoming too sterile or blinding, add color pops when choosing light fixtures, tile for the backsplash, flooring, and window treatments.
Photo by CWP Cabinetry
Do you love clean lines? How about a room with a design that's so bare, it's almost hard to tell which room it is? A high-tech kitchen could be the style for you. "This look focuses on the architecture rather than comfort or color," notes Catherine Pulcine of CPI Interiors in Ottawa. Compared to other styles, it can feel sterile and cold, but the minimalism has a way of standing out on its own.
Plus, if you're thinking about putting your home on the market, a high-tech kitchen may be a savvy move. "Homeowners have caught on to the tech trend and are starting to make updates before selling," reports Cedric Stewart, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Washington, D.C. Hot features Stewart sees include USB outlets, Wi-Fi-connected refrigerators with touch screens, and smart systems like the Amazon Echo, connecting to compatible smart kitchen devices. "In high-end condos and row homes that have been flipped in the D.C. metro area, 93% of them have one or more of these tech elements," he notes.
Photo by HANS JÜRGEN LANDES FOTOGRAFIE
Buyers want a kitchen space that's casual and stylish, but also functional—and a modern farmhouse approach accomplishes this, reports Shiwlall. Just be careful to use the "farmhouse" details sparingly. Your goal is to play up the design without going overboard. (You don't want a space that screams "Yeehaw!") Exposed beams and brick, a sliding barn door, and antique accessories like wooden milk crates are enough to convey the look. "A modern farmhouse design lends itself well to repurposing," says Marty Basher, a design expert with Modular Closets. Old doors, windows, reclaimed wood for shelves and cabinets—there's lots of choice when it comes to these materials.
Photo by Gardner Homes
A kitchen made of shiny surfaces is sophisticated, modern, and can work in with a variety of color palettes. Think lacquer cabinets and accessories in lemon yellow, bright Kelly green, or a stark white.
High-gloss kitchens tend to make spaces look bigger, which is why "you'll see this ultra-shiny style quite frequently in studio and one-bedroom apartments," says Bee Heinemann, an interior design expert with Vänt Panels, a wall decor company. Even if you live in a single-family home, making your kitchen look more spacious is never a bad thing, right?
Polished metal kitchens lean toward simplicity and functionality, with roots in German and Scandinavian design, Heinemann says. "The room's functional aspects allow for multiple uses," she adds, like shelving that can be used to store and display favorite serving ware. An entire wall of steel storage cabinets or steel backsplash can serve as design elements. "This modern style may be best suited for an ambitious home cook, as the decor is easy to keep clean and organized," she says.
Photo by Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders ———
Kitchen design inspired by other parts of the globe can be fun and inviting—just make sure it complements the rest of your home's decor. In a room that features tile patterns and multiple textures on the floor and walls, each element should work seamlessly with adjacent rooms, recommends Pulcine. If your home skews toward a soft palette of blue, white, and yellow, a French country-inspired kitchen would fit right in. Richer colors like orange, turquoise, and red are characteristic of Moroccan-inspired tiles and trims.
Brushed metal light fixtures and handle pulls in gold, dark brass, or black work well with bright colors and bold tiles.