Minimalist home décor often gets a bad rap, but there's a difference between a space decorated with restraint and one that simply lacks character. The key to mastering this trend in the kitchen is to experiment with texture and subtle color variations. "If you mix too many textures, materials, and surfaces of all different colors, the result will surely be headache-inducing," Stockholm-based freelance art director and photographer Sara Medina told MyDomaine.
At best, minimalist kitchens are sleek, sophisticated, and refined—at worst, they're cold and look incomplete. Learn how to tread this fine line by referencing interiors that master the trend. Here are 14 lessons we learned from the best.
Opt for charcoal or navy over black. A monochromatic color palette isn't limited to black and white. This restrained kitchen by San Francisco–based firm Catherine Kwong Design shows matte charcoal adds depth and interest.
Choose natural materials that make a statement. Minimalist kitchens often feature natural materials, like marble, that offer unique colors and textures. This stunning space by Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design ticks all the boxes.
Draw the gaze up with a statement chandelier. If your renovated kitchen seems a bit stark and unfinished, consider statement lighting. This sculptural chandelier is illuminated by floor-to-ceiling windows.
Embrace blank space. Conventional designers might seek to fill this blank wall with open shelves and storage, but minimalists know that absence can be beautiful too.
Hang art to add a burst of character. This cool kitchen by design firm BHDM proves that art does belong in the kitchen.
Add color and texture with vases of greenery. Sleek, pared-back kitchens provide an ideal base to add accessories. A simple glass vase of verdant greenery adds height and visual interest.
Edit items on display. The best minimalist kitchens keep countertops and open shelves clutter-free. Choose sculptural bowls and glasses that add interesting shapes to the space such as a bulbous fruit bowl or a speckled ceramic mug.
Play with proportion. The best interior designers make decisions based on gut feeling rather than trying to crack a formula for the "perfect" room. This Saint-Sulpice home proves that imbalance and skewed proportions can be beautiful too.
Consider layout and flow. Understated kitchens work well in homes with an open layout, as they don't detract from other rooms. This serene, open-plan kitchen creates a neutral backdrop for the dining area and its statement glass chandelier.
Opt for concealed storage over open shelves. Storage is a must if you want to keep your kitchen tidy. This all-white space offers ample cupboard space so only select colorful cookware is left on display.
Choose quality appliances. Yes, office kitchens can be stylish. The Sydney digs of Australian beauty entrepreneur Eleanor Pendleton shows us how it's done. Opt for quality, well-designed appliances like this Smeg fridge to make a statement, no matter your kitchen size.
Balance dark décor with natural light. Concerned your kitchen will feel small and cramped if you choose dark paint or pendant lights? This kitchen avoids both pitfalls thanks to an abundance of natural light.
Keep hardware to a minimum. Minimalist interior designers question the need for every item, including hardware. Take cues from this blonde wood kitchen and choose cupboards with indentations rather than drawer pulls.
Add warmth with brass faucets. Give your kitchen personality by adding mixed metal details. Catherine Kwong Design chose brass faucets and sconces to balance cool tones.