The number of kitchen design ideas out there is downright dizzying. For homeowners looking to make a home improvement—anything from an affordable decorating 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 for the heart of the home 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 decorating experts and real estate pros to comment on the most popular ideas for kitchen design and how to achieve them. Here are six inspiring looks, whether you’re planning a kitchen remodel or simply like drooling over magazine-worthy kitchens.
Classic White Kitchen
Simple, clean, and airy, a kitchen with a color palette dominated by white cabinets is a safe bet when it comes to kitchen design. Classic white is truly timeless, not only does it look neat and bright, but it gives the illusion of a bigger space.
And since white cabinets and countertops are neutral, they allow the room’s design elements to shine. To keep your look from becoming sterile or blinding, add color pops when choosing light fixtures, tile for the backsplash, flooring, appliances, and window treatments.
Does your dream kitchen have clean, sleek lines? How about a room with a design that’s so bare, it’s almost hard to tell what room it is? A high-tech kitchen could be the style for you. This look focuses on the architecture rather than comfort or color.
Compared with other styles, it can appear 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 sleek, high-tech kitchen with modern appliances may be a savvy move. Homeowners have caught on to the tech trend and are starting to make updates before selling. 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.
Modern Farmhouse Kitchen
Buyers want a kitchen space that’s casual and stylish, but also functional—and a modern farmhouse approach accomplishes this. As with any trending design, be careful to follow the farmhouse kitchen in moderation, unless you don’t mind doing another remodel in a few years. 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 of a remodel to convey the look.
A kitchen made of shiny surfaces is sophisticated, modern, and versatile. It can work with a variety of color palettes. Think lacquer kitchen cabinets, countertops, and accessories in a lemon yellow, Kelly green, or stark white.
High-gloss kitchens tend to catch the natural light and make small kitchens look bigger, which is why you’ll see this ultra-shiny style quite frequently in studio and one-bedroom apartments. 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. The room’s functional aspects allow for multiple uses. For example, shelving can be used to store and display your favorite serving ware. An entire wall of steel storage cabinets or a steel backsplash and appliances can serve as design elements. You can even use eye-catching stainless-steel countertops or open-style shelving instead of closed cabinets. This modern style may be best suited for an ambitious home cook, as the decor is easy to keep clean and organized. Stainless steel is also good for small kitchen design, as it reflects the light and can give a clean, clutter-free look.
Kitchen with Regional Flair
Kitchen design inspired by global regions can be fun and inviting—just make sure it complements the rest of your home decor. In a room that features tile patterns and multiple textures on the floor and walls, each element should work seamlessly with adjacent rooms. If your home skews toward a soft palette of blue, white, and yellow, a French country-inspired kitchen would be ideal. Richer colors like orange, turquoise, and red are characteristic of Moroccan-inspired tiles and trims—perfect for a colorful backsplash or countertop. Appliances and brushed-metal light fixtures and drawer pulls in gold, dark brass, or black work well with bright colors and bold tiles.