Time for an update? Pick your favorite style from our gallery of beautiful kitchen designs
1 of 66Thomas J. Story
Beach cottage kitchen
Varying finishes give the kitchen and dining room character. “It’s like a math problem: You start with one thing and play off that,” homeowner Dana Marron says. A dark green La Cornue stove contrasts with light, modern oak cabinets; shiny metal chairs offset the rustic chipped-paint dining table. “The irony of having white floors is that you worry less about them. Scratches don’t matter, because that’s the character you’re going for in the end,” adds Marron.
Instead of replacing the unremarkable wood kitchen cabinets, the couple painted them charcoal and added black hardware. By painting the wall and window trim the same color, they put the focus on the floor tile. Moreover, deep charcoal acts as a neutral. Both warm and cool tones pair well with it. Smoked Glass RLUL225;ralphlaurenhome.com
The hexagonal tile makes the room. Two shades of gray relate the tile to the wall color. The blues add shock value. Hexagon 8 tiles in Original Blue, from about $20/sq. ft.; kismettile.com
Designed and built by the family, this vacation home was customized down to every detail. The kitchen features open shelving, so dishware serves as art. “You don’t end up having a lot of stuff just hidden away,” says homeowner Chad Robertson. “All the things you use on a daily basis are right there. And with so many of us running around, nothing can be too precious.”
This modern cabin is full of natural materials and expanses of glass. The kitchen walls slide aside to access the 450-square-foot deck that includes a barbecue station, effectively doubling the room’s square footage. The ipe flooring flows from indoor to out, creating a cohesive look between the spaces. The refrigerator and pantry doors almost disappear into the walls.
Though it has a similar footprint to the prior kitchen (“low 8-foot ceilings, red cabinets, dismal,” Beall says), the new walk-through space feels bigger thanks to higher ceilings, glass-front cabinets, floating shelves, a pull-out pantry, and bright white surfaces. The recessed energy-efficient LED lights in the kitchen and family room certainly help as well.
But not everything is new –The butcher block counters were salvaged from the former kitchen.
One of the first things you notice about this San Francisco kitchen is the open space and clear countertops. While this family designated their home a technology-free space, the design and function of the kitchen certianly doesn't suffer. Modern lines and electricity are present in the kitchen, the family opted for simple household products like manual appliances, stove-top coffee, and basic electronic appliances without an LED interface.
Open shelves feel hospitable―guests can just grab wineglasses off the shelf―and force you to edit.
Try following this homeowner's rule of thumb: “If you use it more than once a week, have it out. If you use it a few times a month, stick it in a cabinet. Once or twice a year? It belongs in the basement.”
This white kitchen is in one of three apartments in an innovative Seattle triplex. The top-floor unit shown here overlooks the park next door. Flat cabinets and sleek counters in the kitchen enhance the spacious feeling.
A modern farmhouse is what designer Lara Dutto had in mind when she remodeled her kitchen.
By removing the wall that closed off the room from the rest of the house, Dutto gained 5 feet of living space and united the layout.
After opening up the kitchen, Dutto devised a means of closing it off when needed. "From the kitchen window, you can see goats and a big barn up the hill," she says. "That inspired the sliding barn door."
When your home is less than 700 square feet, you have to pick your priorities. In this 1907 San Francisco cottage owned by Christine Nelsen-Thuresson and Johan Thuresson, three cramped rooms made way for a spacious, light-filled kitchen with garden views.
This kitchen's color palette — robin's egg blue walls, smoky lilac cabinets — is like a muted Monet painting. Several paints and even the floor stain were custom-mixed. White field tile by B&W Tile keeps things light.
The rolling island was designed by Artdecor (510/527-3904) and fabricated by Mark Turpin (510/469-6784).
This eat-in kitchen opens to the rear porch through a glass door. Double-hung windows above the sink allow in air and light. The table legs are painted white to match the walls, ceiling, and cabinet trim. The flooring is reclaimed from old schoolhouses.
32 of 66
DIY kitchen remodel
The owners of htis 1,400-square-foot tract home transformed a cramped cooking space into this warm, open kitchen, perfect for entertaining.
The top of the island is a 3- by 5-foot chopping block of sustainably harvested Oregon madrone from a supply store in Portland. They stained the maple base red, then painted it black and sanded to reveal the color underneath.
Interior designer Jeffrey Alan Marks eliminated some of this kitchen's dated look just by removing a wooden window scallop, replacing the knobs with metal handles, and covering the cabinetry with white marine paint.
For a lacquerlike finish, he used a paint sprayer to apply paint both to the doors and to the insides of the cabinets. He also replaced the old grout and cleaned, buffed, and sealed the tile to bring out its vibrant yellow hue.
A new multipurpose cooking island solved a problem with the old layout.
This boathouse anchored on a Seattle lake features bamboo-finished cabinets and ample natural light and ventilation.
36 of 66
Fresh, colorful kitchen
White Shaker-style cabinet fronts are a bright foil for the vibrant glass-tile backsplash. New niches display cobalt bowls. A two-toned, two-tiered concrete counter -- pale green above and charcoal gray below -- adds sleek style to the work and serving spaces.
Calacatta marble gives the kitchen island and counters a lustrous look.
It may be traditional, but it certainly isn't stuffy. "I always loved Victorians ― they reminded me of real-life dollhouses," says Sophie Fauveau of the 1890 Portland home she renovated with her husband, Mark Williams. "But I also knew I wanted light colors, no clutter, and a sense that everything belonged together."
Their remodel stayed true to the home's period details and old-fashioned charm while infusing it with youthful, contemporary sophistication.
Add a little, gain a lot. That's the lesson one couple learned when they made a small addition to the cramped galley kitchen in their Seattle home. Curves in the range hood and shelf-support brackets add softness to the geometric cabinets, tiles, and appliances. Open shelves keep cooking staples within easy reach.
42 of 66Thomas J. Story, styling by Miranda Jones
The open kitchen (with white Ikea cabinetry) makes the scant square footage in this modern prefab seem expansive.
Smooth slim concrete counters from Concreteworks edge the kitchen's perimeter. A thick concrete slab on the island gets its texture and golden flecks of color from recycled rice hulls. Energy Star rated appliances by GE.
Two decisions in this remodel were key: replacing a window at one end of the galley-like space with a glass Dutch door and wrapping three sides of the room with a counter. The counter passes in front of the Dutch door, becoming a breakfast bar; light coming through the door washes the floor and walls.
Design:John Jennings and Sasha Tarnopolsky,Dry Design, Los Angeles (323/954-9084, ext. 21)
45 of 66Grey Crawford
Architect Colin Sarjeant opened up this house and connected it to a new outdoor dining space carved out of the front yard. It's where everyone wants to go.
The kitchen appears bigger than its 15-by-15 footprint thanks to its spare coastal palette of white paint (Benjamin Moore "Super White"), bamboo countertops (Teragren), reclaimed barnwood flooring (Black's Farmwood) and blue/cream ceramics (Soulé Studio).
Basket pendant lamps by Beach House Style highlight the kitchen island (Woodenbridge, Inc.).
An animated palette of stained woods, bright yellow on counters and backsplash, and stainless steel gives this kitchen personality.
The wood stain is covered with a sealer that blocks UV rays to prevent fading. Toe space underneath drawers and cabinets is often wasted, but here it holds drawers for long flat items like cutting boards and trays.
49 of 66Thomas J. Story
Tahoe retreat kitchen
A mix of redwood, stainless steel Electrolux appliances, and slate floors makes for a contemporary cabin feel in this expansive home. A band of picture windows by Pella creates a vivid transparent backsplash.
Seattle architect David Coleman opened this 250-square-foot galley-style kitchen to adjacent rooms and used subtle level changes to define each area. The flexible plan makes the space ideal for breakfast for 1 or a dinner party for 10.
Floor-to-ceiling French doors open off the kitchen onto a small deck. A wood table and benches mixed with metal dining chairs create a relaxed look. The breakfast bay acts as a daylight-catcher that brightens the rest of the kitchen.
A marble backsplash and wood display shelf make the kitchen handsome enough to entertain in.
This Montana update of the iconic 1950s ranch home makes the most of its Big Sky views and space. As a nod to the ’50s—and to mellow the prefab feeling—interior designer Stephanie Sandston used lots of texture, often with recycled or renewable materials, like the cork flooring in the kitchen. The plywood kitchen island has low shelves to give the kids easy access to dishes.
“We tried to leave everything as plain as possible,” Sandston says. “You’re not looking at anything glorified. You’re looking at honest materials and honest function.”