Barely There: Minimalist Kitchen Design

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A recent roundup of kitchens from Apartment Therapy house tours sparked an interesting discussion about trends in kitchen design. While some readers prefer large, entertaining kitchens with distinctive finishes and appliances, others seek more humble setups with minimal visual intrusion. This debate inspired us to dig up some inspiration for homeowners who love to cook, but don’t necessarily want an attention-grabbing kitchen.

Many designers recommend following the light, medium, dark rule when selecting floor, cabinet, and countertop materials. But all that contrast is precisely what draws attention to the space. Here are some tricks of the trade for making your kitchen recede into the background:

    • Use the same color from floor to ceiling. Although white is the obvious choice if you already have white floors and walls, a monochromatic scheme in any color will tend to blend and feel less like a traditional kitchen
    • Loose the monolithic range hood: Paint it out, enclose it in drywall, or replace it with a downdraft ventilation system like these from Gaggeneau
    • Forgo cabinet hardware by using built-in pulls or magnetic catches
    • Eliminate upper cabinets or paint them out to blend in with the wall
    • Disguise appliances with cabinet fronts or select only under-counter models
    • Install an under-mount sink, preferably in the same color as the counter, so the eye follows a continuous horizontal line
    • Choose simple, subtle fixtures over grand, eye-catching pendants

Images: 1. CPH Square, 2. Retrouvius, 3. Verne, 4. via Bilblog, 5. Marie Claire Maison, 6. Invita, 7. Bolig Magasinet