Sometimes the best kitchens are the ones that seem to have evolved carefully over time. If you're starting fresh with your own kitchen this new year, don't assume that you need to gut the space and start from scratch. With some careful editing and organization, you can create a beautiful and functional space without spending a lot of money. For a little inspiration to get you going, here are some favorite kitchens that celebrate the most used room in the house.
1. Although small in size, this kitchen has a good balance of open and concealed storage. By displaying only what you use on a daily basis or find to be truly beautiful, you can create a more functional space that doesn't feel overwhelmed or cluttered. The contrast between the dark and white with pops of color create a clean yet inviting space.
2. A bigger kitchen does not necessarily mean a better kitchen. Replacing bulky upper cabinets with open shelving is an inexpensive way to keep track of what you have and as long as they're items that get used somewhat regularly, you shouldn't have an issue with things getting dusty or dirty. Another trick that works especially well in small spaces - go all white with walls and cabinets and let your kitchen tools and dishes be the focus.
3. I like this kitchen because even though it's not particularly fancy, there is an appropriate visual balance that's interesting without being too busy. If you're looking to redo an existing kitchen or a rental without spending a lot of money, simply edit down what you already have and display in a way that works for your daily routine.
4. Ok, sometimes you just can't go wrong with white on white on white. This all-white kitchen is bright and clean and the wood tones and bit of greenery help make it feel warm and welcoming.
5. One of the best things about an older home is that despite its 21st century lackings, the scale of the kitchen can often feel cozier than those of newer houses. So before picking up the sledge hammer, take a good look around and decide what needs to be replaced and what can stay. In this space, glass front cabinets show off dishes while a simple plant shelf and throw pillows around the adjacent breakfast nook create a kitchen worth hanging out in.
6. Anna (from Door Sixteen) doesn't have a large kitchen, but that doesn't stop her from making the most of it. There's something very satisfying with this photo - you can tell it's a space where each item has been carefully selected and arranged in a way that is both functional and beautiful.
7. Black and white is a classic combo and the pops of yellow, wood and stainless steel provide just enough interest to make this kitchen feel fresh and organized without being too minimal.
8. One way to avoid visual clutter is to let your walls, cabinets and countertops stay neutral and use accessories, cookbooks and kitchen tools for pops of color. (That way, if you get tired of it later it's a lot easier to change!) Open shelving isn't for everyone, but it does help establish a visual inventory of what you own - an especially useful tool for small spaces where every inch matters.
9. Even the tiniest of kitchens can be neat and beautiful. While good organization is critical to a successful kitchen, that doesn't mean it has to be hidden away.
10. When it comes to kitchens, a good trick for keeping things visually organized is to use darker colors towards the bottom of the space with lighter, more reflective materials and colors towards the top. Carefully selected furniture and accessories then become the focal points of the space.
(Images: 1. Canadian House and Home, 2. Design Sponge, 3. The Style Files, 4. Desire to Inspire, 5. The Kitchn, 6. Door Sixteen, 7. Brigitte.de, 8. Design Sponge, 9. The Kitchn, 10. Design Milk)