Time for an update? Pick your favorite style from our gallery of beautiful kitchen designs
Oversize windows and skylights invite in the sunshine. Walls are painted a light-bouncing white, while white ceramic subway tiles brighten the kitchen and baths.
For contrast, the wooden floors are stained in a custom mix of ebony and dark walnut shades; the high-gloss polyurethane top coat reflects even more light.
Get the look: Wall paint is Decorator’s White eggshell with semi-gloss trim throughout (benjaminmoore.com for stores) Kitchen tile is ceramic 3- by 6-inch in white K101 (daltile.com for stores)
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Flush-mounted lights on the soffit and under the cabinets show off hand-tooled yellow Heath tiles on this kitchen wall.
The soft gray walls and mushroom-colored concrete counters subtly complement the tile.
In designer Cisco Pinedo’s house, knickknacks are few and far between, which results in each item gaining a sense of importance
The kitchen counters are recycled granite, and the cupboards are made from unfinished wood.
“If it’s a great material, let it be,” Cisco says.
See more of his well-edited home
A new island increased counter space and allows for a prep sink beyond the main farmhouse sink.
The kitchen cabinet doors were removed: “If a door’s closed,” says homeowner Jamie, “I have a tendency to forget things are there.”
To maintain the integrity of the house, the owners had the walls repaired with plaster, not drywall.
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Thrifty choices in this cabin's kitchen include a mix of open shelves and laminate cabinets.
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The ground floor of the once single-story house is now essentially one combined kitchen, dining area, living space, and home
office, with bedrooms in an upstairs addition.
More: Old meets new in this Craftsman remodel
This turquoise and white kitchen is inspired by the sea — and by the beautiful tumbled glass you can find along the shore.
Get more ways to enjoy sea-glass colors at home
Colorful backsplash tiles contribute a mix of whimsy and history in this updated Victorian in San Francisco. The Iznik design
(annsacks.com) is based on 16th-century Turkish originals.
The kitchen also features eco-friendly cast-stone countertops and reclaimed wood floors and cabinets.
See more of this sunny Victorian remodel
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.”
More ideas from a playful house
If the kitchen lacks a proper pantry, get creative. The owners of this 700-square-foot bungalow mounted a wall rack to store
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Mark Barden loves to cook for guests and when he does, the beet juice flies. "Guests expect it to be quite a show," says his
wife, Doris Mitsch.
The couple wanted to make it possible for Barden to interact with guests while he's preparing their meal. But they didn't want to look at big piles of pots and pans.
The solution: curtains to screen the kitchen when necessary.
"When cooking, it lets me face the room," Barden says. "It pulls me into the conversation and allows guests to be involved in what I'm doing."
Read more about this curtained kitchen
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.
See this triplex and more innovative homes
Rich and Linda Peters wanted to preserve and enhance the architectural style of their 1929 San Mateo house while opening the
kitchen to the outdoors.
They selected concrete counters, a farmhouse-style sink, and white wood cabinets.
A long center island with a butcher-block surface and deep overhangs is great for two-person cooking, prep work, and entertaining.
More about this bright kitchen makeover
The clean design of this blue and white kitchen is layered with pops of energetic color. The red drum pendant from Croft &
Little illuminates the bamboo island top from Teragren.
Glass-front cabinets provide a showcase for colorful pottery.
The bamboo-topped table on casters tucks under the island and can roll away for use throughout the house or outside. Mixing up the chair styles adds casual appeal.
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The owners of this 1953 ranch wanted to strip the home back to its roots and open the interior to the surrounding yard.
New walnut veneers restore period charm to the original kitchen cabinets. Existing slate flooring was kept in place, and the interior of the concrete block walls was sandblasted to add texture.
The 1950s aesthetic was hardly limited to stainless steel and molded plastic. The use of wood, especially walnut and mahogany, was a main design feature of that era.
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Centered on a sociable semicircular island, this kitchen has plenty of space for multiple chefs to work while guests sip and
See more of this kitchen for entertaining
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."
Learn more about this warm kitchen makeover
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
See how 3 cramped rooms became a roomy family kitchen
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).
More photos from this amazing cottage makeover
A built-in banquette opposite the central cooking station is a cozy family gathering spot for games and casual meals.
Take a photo tour of this ultimate Lake Tahoe-area retreat
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.
The owners of htis 1,400-square-foot tract home transformed a cramped cooking space into this warm, open kitchen, perfect
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.
See more photos from this kitchen remodel
The open, well-lit kitchen is the central gathering spot in this house.
The appliance-free island was made from a stainless steel and butcher block workspace purchased at a restaurant-supply store, then covered on three sides with plywood.
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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.
Design: Jeffrey Alan Marks, Los Angeles (310/207-2222)
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This boathouse anchored on a Seattle lake features bamboo-finished cabinets and ample natural light and ventilation.
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
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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.
More Victorian decorating ideas
An unlikely blend of materials and salvaged goods finds visual balance in this kitchen. A painted tin ceiling, stainless steel
counters, and blue glass tile mesh seamlessly.
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The cabin's cookhouse is where everyone gathers to eat and spend time together. The unique arrangement of this retreat allows
for plenty of space for group activites.
Learn more about this retreat
A gap in the L-shaped counter (to the right of the chairs here) created better flow from this family kitchen to the breakfast
nook, and out to the garden.
Now the L is a multi-purpose island with a raised bar counter.
Read more about this kitchen remodel
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.
The open kitchen (with white Ikea cabinetry) makes the scant square footage in this modern prefab seem expansive.
How to build a prefab
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)
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.
See the kitchen before and after
Most of the work areas in this modern kitchen are topped with stainless steel. Roll-up appliance garages keep countertops
tidy. Jade-toned concrete warms up the bar and island.
More ideas from this modern country house
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.).
See this portable vacation home
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.
The owners spent 4 years renovating this 800-square-foot beach shack.
In this kitchen, out went the old mold- and fire-damaged interior walls, and in came space-saving wood cabinets, contemporary fixtures, and lightweight concrete countertops.
Now the former ruin is a neighborhood showpiece.
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This home in Pacific Palisades, California, was remodeled twice to make room for a growing family.
It started when the fridge broke. The owners couldn't find another to fit in the original space, and they started to talk about bumping out the kitchen wall.
Much of the gains came from reconfiguring the existing spaces. "Everyone thinks we made the kitchen much bigger," the owner says, "but we only added 2 feet to its length."
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Formerly a slender galley, this kitchen is now an open, multipurpose space with an adjacent hallway that serves as the drop
zone for backpacks, mail, and shoes.
An antique barrister card catalog serves as an ingenious storage system for miscellaneous household items.
An 1887 tavern table serves as the island in this family-friendly kitchen. The 1920s utility sink is from a salvage yard.
Read more about this kid-focused home
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.
Read more about this galley kitchen
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.
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A coat of brick-red paint makes the island the star of this kitchen.
For a sophisticated look, try pairing one red object with neutral tones. Here, dark-wood surfaces and stainless steel appliances do the trick.
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Built in 1869, this home needed an updated kitchen and more light in interior rooms.
Owner and architect Mary Griffin replaced a 1920s shed-roof addition at the back with a slightly larger addition that allowed the kitchen to move out of the historic part of the house.
She turned the new kitchen into a large light box with a translucent roof made of aluminum-and-fiberglass Kalwall panels. Widened openings between the major rooms further brighten the interior.
Design: Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, Berkeley (510/841-9000)
Inventive storage and colorful, contemporary cabinetry bring energy and playfulness to the hub of a young family’s home.
Katherine and Josh Anderson worked with an architect and cabinetmaker to revamp the kitchen, using a mix of walnut and brightly hued laminates as the dominant organizing element.
Maple cabinets in a natural finish and countertops in a light green concrete give this kitchen an earthy but sophisticated
Design: Dennis Fox, Fox Design Group, Point Richmond, CA (510/235-3369). Dean Rutherford, Rutherford & Singelstad, Berkeley (510/649-3069).
Bright lights, large rectangular openings, and a simple palette of green, blue, white, and stainless steel create a clean
look and a handsome foil for the curvilinear barstools.
Open shelves around the sink and range hold smaller objects, such as dishes, serving bowls, and glasses—items the couple uses every day.
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It's no surprise that the owner of this Denver kitchen is an artist who works with a mix of materials.
Meg Miller wanted the kitchen in her new house to be a feast for the eyes, as well as a central gathering place for family and friends.
Here, she and David Miller enjoy a glass of wine in their light-filled kitchen while sharing a few treats with Boo, a rescue mutt, and Sagres, a Portuguese water dog.
Big curved beams create a wide-open kitchen/family room. Clerestory windows bounce the light off the ceiling, brightening the space.
The kitchen in this shared vacation cabin is a simple line of cabinets, counters, and stove along one wall of the main living
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In the kitchen a Carrara marble counter and backsplash and black-and-white checkered flooring form graphic backdrops for this
Read more about this home makeover
More light and openness, the latest appliances, and a richer color palette give this kitchen new life while preserving its
More: See what makes this kitchen work
In this kitchen remodel, architect David Coleman removed visual barriers to the dining room and deck by replacing interior
and exterior kitchen walls with elegant steel doors with large glass panes.
Within this transparent boxlike container, a center island accommodates a stainless steel cooktop and oven, and a work surface of fossilized limestone.
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Featured in Sunset's May 1966 issue, this award-winning La Mesa hillside home near San Diego was considered a model of indoor-outdoor
The renovated kitchen retains the original footprint minus the overhead cabinets that isolated it from the dining area.
See more of this updated classic home
The most dramatic transformation in this kitchen took place near the sink and range.
The original flat ceiling was removed; now the angled line of the window bay extends upward, borrowing several feet from the former attic. Vertical bands of frosted glass panels set into a wall of cabinets emphasize the room’s newfound height. Stainless steel on the counters is repeated in new appliances.
Design: Neil Kelly Design/Build Remodeling, Portland (503/288-7461)