20 Simple Kitchen Design Ideas That Say More With Less

natural kitchen design

Whittney Parkinson

Eating, drinking, cleaning, relaxing—a lot happens in the kitchen. The design of your space needs to help all of these activities run smoothly—but that doesn't mean it can't be beautiful, too. Like a breathtaking abstract painting or an iconic Picasso line drawing, a simple kitchen can be the most beautiful, as fewer details let you appreciate the grandeur of the ones you do want to showcase.

If you're trying to design a simple kitchen but keep getting stumped by your pan storage, scroll on to see 20 stunning but simple kitchen designs that prove you can do more with less. They are streamlined, efficient, and anything but boring—we promise.

01 of 20

Let Mother Nature Do the Talking

marble kitchen design

Bespoke Only

With the addition of freshly cut monstera leaves, this kitchen feels bright, clean, and devoid of any objects that lack function. That doesn't mean this kitchen is lacking in any way, though.

The visual details of the white marble and stained natural wood add contrast and drama, and the simplicity of the counter stools and pendant lights allows you to focus on the natural beauty.

02 of 20

Choose a Soft but Nontraditional Color

green simple kitchen design

Cathie Hong

White cabinets, gray accents, marble countertops—every kitchen has a least one of these things, and a fair share of them check off the whole list. Going simple doesn't have mean staying standard, though, and the light Jordan Almond hue of this kitchen is a quiet but impactful way to stand out.

03 of 20

Mix Metal Accents

metal accents kitchen design

Christina Kim Interior Design

In a white kitchen, mixing stainless steel appliances with gold accents says a lot with a little. Mixing metals a simple trick to add flair in even the most traditional of kitchens—just note how the gold accents look brushed and matte, which keeps the design sophisticated.

04 of 20

Make a Statement With Geometric Details

geometric simple kitchen design

Cathie Hong

The arched entry to this simple kitchen instantly makes it unforgettable. The entry perfectly frames the symmetry of the stools and circular pendant lights, and the navy shiplap island centers the design while still feeling casual and fresh.

You don't need to start from the ground up to add a circular archway. Removing double doors and installing a drywall arch is easier than it looks, and there are plenty of kits and online tutorials to help you do it yourself.

05 of 20

Go Monochromatic

bright white simple kitchen

D Burns Interiors

Paring down your design to a single color and committing to it from kitchen door to refrigerator is a bold design choice in its own right. Little details like vertical cabinet pulls at the end of the navy runner also give the eyes places to stop and rest.

06 of 20

Bring the Glamour Via Appliances

smeg simple kitchen design

D Burns Interiors

Can a refrigerator be sexy? It's a ridiculous question, unless the fridge of the matter is a retro-style Smeg. The '50s icon of Italian design is powerful enough to serve as the focal point for your entire kitchen.

Use it as the starting point when designing out your kitchen, then complement it with a subway tile backsplash and some classic vintage nods. 

smeg fridge
SMEG Refrigerator $1999
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07 of 20

Make the Most Out of Your Floors

tile simple kitchen design

Imani James Interiors

A simple kitchen design is instantly made unforgettable by black and white checkerboard marble tile. To avoid your kitchen looking like an old-school diner or the Mad Hatter's tea party, skew big. The larger format and high sheen of this floor keep it looking sophisticated and modern.  

08 of 20

Find Neutral Ground

neutral kitchen design

Reena Stropa

If you're tired of your white kitchen and depressed by the idea of gray cabinets, a soft French blue is a great alternative. It's neutral but charming, and a painted island helps keep any kitchen from looking too rigid or cookie-cutter.

09 of 20

Add an Accent Wall

accent paint kitchen

Bespoke Only

Less is more when it comes to accent walls in kitchens, and the half navy, half white paint here unites the walls and cabinets without taking away from the impressive ceiling height.

10 of 20

Play With Navy

navy kitchen island

Pure Salt Interiors

Navy is a classic, timeless color that goes well with practically all furniture and design styles, yet it's not often our first thought for kitchens. It certainly deserves its time in the sunlight of this modern home though. The dark island focuses the large rectangular room and contrasts well with the earthy leather stools. 

11 of 20

Match Your Accents to Your Marble

gray and white kitchen

Tara Kantor Interiors

For the most dramatic kitchen with the simplest, quietest design, you’d do well to pick floor-to-ceiling marble. It’s modern, unexpected, and will add edge to the most traditional kitchen. 

12 of 20

Take an Organic Modern Approach

natural kitchen design

Whittney Parkinson

Incorporating natural elements into a simple kitchen is a wonderful way to build a sense of calm. From marble to potted branches to modern organic wishbone stools, this simple kitchen tells a beautiful story of elevated wilderness.

bar stool
Lulu And Georgia Cylia Counter Stool $418
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13 of 20

Create Symmetry

white and gray kitchen

White Sands

To simplify a design, more is more when it comes to creating duo moments. The pairing of the gray stools and the range hood with the matching vertical cabinets and orb pendants creates quiet in this expansive kitchen.

14 of 20

Pick Out Statement Furniture

leather stools kitchen

Sarah Fultz Interiors

With the focus on cabinet pulls and where to cleverly stash a microwave, kitchen lighting often gets pushed to the bottom of your list of concerns. A white, flat kitchen can look stark, but these twin pendant lights made out of natural materials warm up the room.

tiered pendant light
Suru Small Pendant Light $199
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15 of 20

Show Off Exposed Beams

exposed beams kitchen

Rebecca Rollins

If you're lucky enough to have beautiful exposed beams in your home, let them do the work for you. The exposed beams in this kitchen serve as a dramatic design point—and look great with floating wood shelves.

16 of 20

Balance High-Impact Choices

long simple kitchen

Studio KT

Graphic art and a printed rug still look simple in this narrow kitchen, as minimalistic choices like hanging Edison bulb pendants and flat panel kitchen cabinets balance out the room.

bulb light
West Elm Tala Brass Pendant With Voroni II Bulb $169
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17 of 20

Opt for Wood Floors

simple country kitchen

Amy Bartlam

Wood floors throughout your kitchen and dining area make for a warm, cozy statement that will tie together the connecting spaces. They embrace classic country-style and are the perfect foundation for primitive antiques and wildflower bouquets.  

18 of 20

Stay Sleek and Geometric

geometric kitchen

Naked Kitchens

Lean into geometric design with alternating black and white cabinet units, but keep it from looking piecemeal with minimalistic handles painted in the same color and finish. A contained fridge in the same shade as the cabinets also helps to streamline the kitchen.

19 of 20

Think Streamlined but Colorful

blue kitchen

Studio Peake

If you are a lover of both modern farmhouse design and simple design, tall vertical shiplap in a deep blue quietly creates visual interest. Plus, the solid background makes fruit bowls and terracota pop. 

terracota
YurtCeramics Ceramic Kitchen Utensil Holder $48
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20 of 20

Don't Be Afraid of Color

green kitchen

Naked Kitchens

When you think of simple kitchen designs, you probably don't picture bold emerald paint, but simple doesn't have to mean completely devoid of color. Using the same deep green for the island, cabinets, and floating shelf here keeps the design calm. Plus, green paint will make your brass hardware stand out beautifully.

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