Kitchens for People Who Don't Like the Look of Kitchens

Kitchens for People Who Don't Like the Look of Kitchens

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Adrienne Breaux
Aug 8, 2017
(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

"I have never liked kitchens that look like kitchens. I just want them to fade into the background, especially when it is part of your living space." This quote from Joseph Luk in the tour of the Toronto condo he shares with his partner Nico stood out to me. Having lived in a number of small studios where the kitchen is visible from every angle, I get why sometimes you just might not want to stare at a space that screams "I'm a kitchen!" from your bed.

A minimal, modern and subtle kitchen is a great solution for people whose homes are small as well as for those who value an uncluttered, visually peaceful place to do their cooking. The modern kitchens below are great examples of how to do a lot with a little:

(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Crisp white Corian countertops are paired with white, cabinet-less walls and white lower cabinets that have cutouts rather than pulls in this stunning Spanish kitchen. Appliances are black, but thin and streamlined. Decoration is at a minimum, and a heavily framed window is all the art the space needs. White floors match the rest of the space, really letting the rustic wood ceiling beams grab the attention in this room.

(Image credit: Liz Calka)

Irwin's D.C. apartment doesn't have a lot of room — it's under 500 square feet — so he wanted a kitchen that both functioned well and looked good. With all the other decor going on in the rest of the home, it was smart to choose sleek, handle-less upper cabinets in a modern wood finish and simple lower cabinet and countertop materials.

There's no wild backsplash here; the same Caesarstone material as the counter covers the small area of wall in the kitchen area. The Blomberg fridge is also wisely hidden behind a door that matches the rest of the cabinets. And the whole wall that the kitchen is located along actually transforms rather subtly into a workspace on the other end; the kitchen quite literally blends into the home, rather than sticks out.

(Image credit: Liz Calka)

"The galley that was created when I removed the existing wall that separated the original kitchen and dressing room. The combined rooms allowed me to consolidate the kitchen, dressing and home office functions along one long cabinet."

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

Michelle and Barry's kitchen in Hong Kong actually isn't totally free of clutter; the countertops feature a row of books and appliances like a coffeemaker. But white walls, white floors and uniform white upper and bottom cabinets keep the small space subtle and simple.

(Image credit: Ana Kamin)

This sneaky kitchen area was DIYed in a renovated basement guest apartment. Since the space is on the tiny side — just over 250 square feet — Suzanne and Peter did not want a kitchen that screamed kitchen. So they hacked IKEA cabinets and paired them with custom walnut door fronts and a hidden fridge to keep the space looking sleek.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Niko and Joseph's kitchen in their Toronto condo was completely renovated. And as mentioned above, Joseph is not a fan of kitchens that look like kitchens. "So my plan was to replace all the cabinets with minimal white cabinets with push-closures at the top and edge pulls for the base. I also replaced all the full-sized appliances with integrated and built-in units to reduce the visual clutter." The couple used standard IKEA cabinets with some custom elements to create their version of the kitchen-that-doesn't-quite-look-like-a-kitchen look on a budget.

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