41 Minimalist Kitchens With Maximum Style

Kristin Hohenadel
41 Minimalist Kitchens With Maximum Style

A minimalist decor scheme can make sense in every room in the house, from the bedroom to the living room, nursery, or home office. But a minimalist design approach in the kitchen can sometimes be misinterpreted as nothing more than a stage set for a house where nobody cooks. Fans of a pared down approach to kitchen design know that this could not be farther from the truth.

While a minimalist kitchen design is boiled down to essential elements and free of excess clutter, there is simply no reason that it can’t be fully equipped and optimized for meal prep, cooking, and gathering. It just means that it’s been designed to be easy to clean and maintain, a kitchen that can quietly fade into the background when not in use thanks to a minimalist color palette, plenty of hidden storage, a pared down layout, or a streamlined design that focuses on a few key decor elements.

Whether you live by yourself in a studio apartment, with your partner in a townhouse, or with your family in a large suburban home, a minimalist approach to kitchen design can help you to turn the hub of your home into a beautiful, organized, optimized space.

Check out these minimalist kitchens in a range of sizes, layouts, and aesthetics that use minimalist principles to make the case for doing more with less without sacrificing functionality or style.

  • 01 of 41

    Focus on Natural Light

    minimalist kitchen with skylights

    deVOL Kitchens

    This dreamy English coach house kitchen from deVOL Kitchens has a simple layout anchored by a massive central island prep space that keeps the focus on the classic architecture while creating an updated modern feel. A pair of hanging metal pendant lights draw attention to the vaulted ceiling and harmonize with the black metal framing on the ceiling skylight windows and industrial style metal and glass door.

  • 02 of 41

    Preserve Original Features

    minimalist parisian kitchen

    Design by Leymarie Gourdon Architectes / Photo by BCDF Studio

    This Parisian kitchen from Chloé Leymarie and Eva Gourdon of Leymarie Gourdon Architectes has elegant bones and intricate historic ceiling moldings that are contrasted beautifully with minimalist warm wood cabinetry, a modern waterfall edge island that houses the sink, and a dining room table and chairs. Classic French oak flooring in a herringbone pattern runs throughout the apartment.

  • 03 of 41

    Use Natural Materials

    minimalist beach house kitchen

    Fantastic Frank

    This Ibiza apartment kitchen from Fantastic Frank is nestled into a corner beneath the metal staircase, with clean lines and rough wood cabinet fronts and a matching floating shelf that add contrast.

  • 04 of 41

    Mix White and Wood Tones

    minimalist midcentury modern kitchen

    Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel / Photo by Nicole Franzen

    The minimalist kitchen in this Michigan home from interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel has dramatic tall vaulted wood-paneled ceilings that add warmth to the airy space. The kitchen is finished in tones of soft white and marble, with a massive island, acres of countertops, and a lush green view from the picture window over the sink.

  • 05 of 41

    Choose Light Finishes

    minimalist John Pawson kitchen

    Design by John Pawson for Living Architecture / Photo by Jack Hobhouse

    Award-winning renowned minimalist designer John Pawson designed this spare and spacious kitchen for Living Architecture in a Welsh country holiday house. The designer used a mix of pale bricks, polished concrete floors, and Douglas fir timber ceilings, doors, and furniture for a seamless look.

  • 06 of 41

    Commit to All-White

    all-white minimalist kitchen

    Fantastic Frank

    This compact all-white kitchen from Fantastic Frank is tucked off to the side of the open dining room, designed to practically disappear when not in use. A large picture window keeps it from feeling too closed off and provides plenty of natural light. Lacquered white cabinetry and silver cabinet pulls and hardware keep it feeling immaculate and sleek.

  • 07 of 41

    Use Industrial Materials

    industrial-style minimalist kitchen

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Reid Rolls

    This abandoned downtown Pittsburgh warehouse conversion from Leanne Ford Interiors has clean lines, industrial bones, a palette of black, white, and gray, and industrial finishes like concrete flooring and a massive concrete waterfall edge island, with metal accents on the casement windows and overhead pendant lights that define the space.

  • 08 of 41

    Choose a Signature Element

    minimalist kitchen with white brick and reclaimed wood

    Design by Emilie Fournet Interiors / Photo by Caitlin Mogridge

    This London kitchen from Emilie Fournet Interiors has painted white brick walls, reclaimed wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, a single row of open shelving, and a neon lightning bolt mounted to the oven vent that adds a lighthearted touch of decor.

  • 09 of 41

    Use a Coastal Palette

    coastal-style minimalist kitchen

    Tyler Karu Design + Interiors / Photo by Erin Little

    This Maine kitchen from Tyler Karu Design + Interiors is located near the water, with a pared-down take on coastal style that includes vertical painted white wood paneling, smoky navy lower cabinetry, silver and glass globe pendant lights, and chunky wood stools around the peninsula.

  • 10 of 41

    Create an Airy Feel

    airy minimalist kitchen

    Design by Liberty Interiors / Photo by Eve Wilson

    This open and airy Australian kitchen from Liberty Interiors has simple lines, an all-white palette, black accents, and warm wood floors that maximize the spacious, light-flooded space.

  • 11 of 41

    Mix Old and New

    minimalist kitchen

    Design by Kara Mann

    Mix old and new elements to add character to a minimalist kitchen. Interior designer Kara Mann used noble materials like marble and wood that honor the historic bones of the house to update the kitchen with a minimalist contemporary feel for a timeless result.

  • 12 of 41

    Accent With Copper

    minimalist kitchen with copper accents

    deVOL Kitchens

    Add warmth to a minimalist interior with copper metal accents. This homey English kitchen from deVOL Kitchens has simple lines, a mix of pale gray and navy paint on walls and cabinetry, and copper accents on the trio of pendant lights over the island that focus the eye and add warmth and interest.

  • 13 of 41

    Add Texture

    minimalist kitchen with textured gray walls

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Reid Rolls

    This minimalist kitchen design from Leanne Ford Interiors honors the clients’ love of gray with lime and clay-washed brick, walls, and ceilings that add texture and warmth to the streamlined design. A central island floats in the middle of the long space, maintaining a sense of flow and making it ideal for entertaining.

  • 14 of 41

    Incorporate Classic Design

    minimalist kitchen with midcentury modern decor

    Fantastic Frank

    An edited selection of design classics will add cachet to a minimalist kitchen. This small eat-in kitchen from Fantastic Frank mixes soft shades of white with graphic black accents and midcentury modern design furniture and decor like the Danish modern pendant light, George Nelson wall clock, and molded Eames Eiffel chairs to lend it some timeless style.

  • 15 of 41

    Focus on Shapes

    minimalist kitchen with industrial style

    Design by Leymarie Gourdon Architectes / Photo by BCDF Studio

    In a minimalist kitchen, be sure to have a mixture of shapes and forms to keep things interesting. This Parisian kitchen from Leymarie Gourdon Architectes blends seamless built-in oak cabinetry and soft industrial touches like the oval-shaped poured concrete topped, white vertical tile-clad island, polished concrete floors, and a rounded oven hood and industrial light fixture suspended from the ceiling.

  • 16 of 41

    Choose One Accent Color

    white minimalist kitchen with red accents

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Reid Rolls

    Choosing a single accent color will energize an all-white minimalist kitchen without overwhelming. This functional U-shaped kitchen remodel from Leanne Ford Interiors is finished with pure white finishes on tiling, cabinetry, and walls that make it feel bright, clean, and fresh. A mix of closed, glass-front, and open storage offers plenty of room to keep clutter at bay. Wood floors add warmth and touches of red add color and excitement to the overall minimalist design.

  • 17 of 41

    Use Mixed Metals

    minimalist kitchen with mixed metal finishes

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Photo by Amber Thrane

    Keep a minimalist kitchen from feeling flat by mixing metals on appliances, kitchen cabinet hardware, and plumbing fixtures. This sunny black, white, and gray galley style kitchen from Cathie Hong Interiors uses mixed metals from stainless steel to brass to add warmth and interest to the minimalist space.

  • 18 of 41

    Choose a Dramatic Finish

    minimalist kitchen with marble backsplash

    Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel / Photo by Trevor Tondro and Tessa Neustadt

    Interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel gave this midcentury California kitchen belonging to actress Mandy Moore a fresh makeover that respects the minimal bones of the home. The designer elevated the design with a few bold, glamorous touches like a heavily veined waterfall marble island and massive marble slab backsplash that feel very now for a dramatic finish.

  • 19 of 41

    Go for Black and White

    minimalist kitchen with black and white finishes

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Alexandra Ribar

    Renovating an older home with simple, classic finishes and a strict palette of black and white will make it feel updated and timeless. This kitchen remodel from Leanne Ford Interiors honors the Victorian bones of the home with traditional cabinetry, subway tile walls, and mosaic tile floors, done in shades of black and white for a modern minimalist feel with a sense of history.

  • 20 of 41

    Add Glamour With Gold

    minimalist kitchen with gold accents

    JLA Designs

    There’s no reason a minimalist kitchen can’t be glamorous. This open-plan NYC kitchen from JLA Designs has plenty of closed storage to hide clutter. Marble-effect quartz and blingy gold-toned cabinet pulls and pendant light shades add a touch of glam that makes the kitchen flow with the rest of the space, fading into the background when not in use.

  • 21 of 41

    Warm Up With Leather

    minimalist kitchen

    Design by Handsome Salt / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    Add rich leather accents to warm up a minimalist kitchen. This streamlined California kitchen from Handsome Salt has a minimalist palette of white, gray, and black, with pale wood and cognac leather accents that add warmth and contrast with the marble effect quartz and black tile finishes.

  • 22 of 41

    Pair White and Taupe

    minimalist kitchen

    Design by deVOL Kitchens

    You don’t have to stick with pure white when designing a minimalist kitchen. This serene space from deVOL Kitchens mixes white walls with light beige-y taupe paint on the wrap-around cabinets that keeps the room feeling neutral while adding warmth and subtle variation.

  • 23 of 41

    Highlight the View

    contemporary minimalist kitchen with ocean view

    Maite Granda

    This minimalist Florida kitchen from interior designer Maite Granda is designed to blend into the open plan space and allow the wide open coastal views from the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door windows take center stage. The designer accomplished that by using a palette of white and pale wood, with cool steel accents and seamlessly built-in cabinetry, appliances, and a dropped ceiling with a built-in hood vent over the white central island.

  • 24 of 41

    Include Closed Storage

    minimalist galley kitchen with oak cabinets

    Fantastic Frank

    Add plenty of closed storage to keep a compact galley kitchen from feeling cluttered. The cabinetry in this galley-style kitchen from Fantastic Frank is clad with oak that adds warmth to the pass-through space.

  • 25 of 41

    Keep It Open-Plan

    minimalist open-plan kitchen

    Flourish Interior Design / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    In an open-plan kitchen, maintain a minimalist feel by matching finishes and colors with the rest of the space. In this California home, Jen Bannister of Flourish Interior Design used a minimal palette of white, black, and pale wood tones to define the open-plan kitchen space while allowing it to blend into the rest of the decor.

  • 26 of 41

    Use Saturated Color

    minimalist kitchen with dark blue cabinets

    Urbanology Designs

    This kitchen dining room combination from Urbanology Designs has traditional wood furniture, vintage-style lighting, and Shaker cabinetry painted in a deep saturated navy that focuses the eye. But the kitchen island, open shelving, crisp white walls, and pared down, open plan layout gives the warm and familiar furniture and decor a more modern minimalist feel.

  • 27 of 41

    Add a Wash of Color

    minimalist kitchen with pastel mint green cabinets

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    Choose pastel shades of green to add subtle variation to a minimalist kitchen. This Sunnyvale, CA kitchen from Cathie Hong Interiors has custom cabinetry built all the way to the ceiling to maximize storage, painted in a light minty green that adds definition while complementing the minimal Japandi interiors.

  • 28 of 41

    Use Noble Materials

    minimalist kitchen with oak cabinetry

    Design by Julian Porcino

    Showcase the beauty of noble materials like oak or marble for a timeless feel that allows you to do more with less. Home Consultant updated this midcentury modern Southern California kitchen with warm solid oak cabinetry that honors the original design yet appeals to 21st-century minimalists.

  • 29 of 41

    Keep Countertops Clear

    uncluttered minimalist kitchen

    Design by Studio Surface / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    This minimalist kitchen from interior designer Michelle Salz-Smith of Studio Surface has enough lower cabinetry to provide ample storage and keep countertops uncluttered. Rich stained wood flooring and ceiling beams add warmth to the minimalist palette of black, white, and stainless steel finishes.

  • 30 of 41

    Add Colorful Lighting

    minimalist kitchen with colorful pendant lights

    Design by DasMod and Handsome Salt / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    Create a focal point in a minimalist kitchen by adding colorful pendant lighting. This spacious kitchen designed by Eric Gilmer and Sven Simon of DasMod in conjunction with interior designer Sara Simon of Handsome Salt uses mixed materials while retaining a warm, modern minimalist feel. It combines seamless wood and painted mint green cabinetry, marble effect quartz countertops and backsplashes, and a mix of copper accents and multi-colored striped pendant lighting to add a sense of fun while maintaining the serene and uncluttered feel.

  • 31 of 41

    Make a Statement With Tile

    minimalist kitchen

    Design by Studio Surface / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    Energize a minimalist kitchen with an accent wall of statement tile. This kitchen from Studio Surface skipped upper cabinets to create a countertop to ceiling backsplash of striking neutral patterned tile. The tile makes an undeniable statement without compromising the minimalist feel of the room. Base cabinets provide plenty of storage.

  • 32 of 41

    Dramatize the Details

    minimalist kitchen with dramatic accents

    Design Lines Signature

    This kitchen from Design Lines Signature has a simple layout that leaves room for a few dramatic details—a massive stainless steel oven hood, a trio of sculptural pendant lights, a colorful painting—without sacrificing the minimalist feel of the space.

  • 33 of 41

    Augment the Light

    minimalist kitchen with integrated lighting

    Kara Mann

    If your minimalist kitchen lacks natural light, add well balanced integrated lighting. To compensate for the lack of direct natural light in this minimalist kitchen alcove from interior designer Kara Mann, the designer added general, task, and ambient lighting with soft, bright under-cabinet LED lighting, a sleek pendant light over the island, and recessed can lights in the ceiling. Seamless built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and a black-and-white palette lend the space a polished, minimalist feel.

  • 34 of 41

    Add Retro Touches

    minimalist kitchen with retro accents

    deVOL Kitchens

    Add retro touches to a minimalist kitchen to make it feel inviting. This streamlined modern kitchen from deVOL Kitchens has traditional cabinetry, a retro-style freestanding refrigerator, bare Edison bulb pendant lighting, and a black-and-white palette warmed up with gold accents.

  • 35 of 41

    Add a Touch of Warmth

    modern minimalist kitchen

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Christy Q. Photography

    This light-flooded kitchen from Cathie Hong Interiors has a dense, compact U-shaped layout, with built-in cabinetry that runs to the ceilings to keep things organized. A pared-down palette of white and gray is warmed up by a sculptural pendant light with a brass finish.

  • 36 of 41

    Mix Light and Dark Finishes

    minimalist kitchen

    Jenn Pablo Studio

    Mix dark and light finishes to add contrast in a minimalist kitchen. This midcentury modern kitchen from Jenn Pablo Studio got a contemporary update that preserved the clean lines of the original space. Dark base cabinets with gold-toned hardware and plumbing hardware echo the exposed beams while adding contrast to white countertops and a subway backsplash that runs to the ceiling.

  • 37 of 41

    Create a Blank Canvas

    contemporary minimalist kitchen

    Maite Granda

    Create a blank canvas for a minimalist kitchen by finishing the floors, walls, and ceilings in white. This contemporary kitchen from interior designer Maite Granda is sleek and cool-toned in shades of white and gray, with bright red accents on the island stools and pendant light to provide a graphic punch of color.

  • 38 of 41

    Go Midcentury Modern

    midcentury modern minimalist kitchen

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Christy Q. Photography

    This California modern Eichler house kitchen in San Jose, CA got a 21st-century update from Cathie Hong Interiors with a new kitchen island, luxury vinyl flooring, and modern cabinetry that plays well with the original architecture of the house while feeling fresh and new.

  • 39 of 41

    Use Earth Tones

    minimalist kitchen with earth tones

    Jenn Pablo Studio

    Warm up a white minimalist kitchen with earth tones. This California kitchen from Jenn Pablo Studio mixes soft white and pale wood tones with glass pendant lights and shades of earthy brown and taupe on the kitchen island and backsplash to create an uncluttered zen feel.

  • 40 of 41

    Mix Cool and Warm Finishes

    minimalist kitchen with gray cabinets

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    Mix cool and warm tones to give a minimalist kitchen a balanced feel. Cathie Hong Interiors paired delicate vertical stacked Japanese backsplash tiles with gray cabinets and warm pale wood for a minimalist look that feels inviting.

  • 41 of 41

    Add Soothing Colors

    minimalist kitchen with blue cabinets

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    A minimalist kitchen doesn’t have to be neutral. Cathie Hong Interiors chose robin’s egg blue cabinets with black hardware for this midcentury modern kitchen renovation that energizes the compact space while maintaining a serene feel.

What should a minimalist have in their kitchen? 

A minimalist kitchen should focus on the essentials. What that means will vary according to individual needs and lifestyles. From an equipment standpoint, that means having a sink, stovetop, oven, refrigerator, countertop for food prep, task lighting, and cabinets or shelving for storage.

Cooking equipment should be pared down to what you need to produce meals, such as one large pot, a smaller saucepan, and a saute pan, plus a few basic utensils such as a wooden spoon, spatula, or measuring spoons and cups if you like to bake.

Unless you regularly host large groups, resist the temptation to buy large cookware, dishware, glassware, or flatware sets and buy only what you need to prevent clutter. 

How do you make a kitchen look minimalist without renovating? 

First, declutter. Find a place for all of your essentials, either neatly arranged behind closed doors or carefully displayed on open shelving. Keep your color palette understated and cohesive to reduce visual clutter. Don’t be afraid to leave countertops clear until you need them for food prep.

Decorate with everyday items that are useful as well as beautiful, such as a decorative bowl to display seasonal fruit, or a teapot on an open shelf, rather than adding knicknacks.

How do you make a clutter-free kitchen?

Turn your kitchen into a clutter-free zone by emptying all of the cabinets and drawers and taking inventory of what you’ve accumulated. Eliminate all but the essential by recycling or donating unused or duplicate items. Clean your kitchen from top to bottom, and replace only those essential items that you use regularly. Keep countertops clear and find a place for everything so that it will be easy to maintain a clutter-free environment going forward.

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