Deciding whether you should go for an American style kitchen or European style kitchen is a difficult decision to make. But that’s not where the tough decision making ends. Once you’ve settled on your preferred style, you need to decide on a design that will work best for your kitchen.
So, which one should it be? As far as European kitchen designs go, there are a lot of options you can explore. If you’ve asked around (why haven’t you already), you must have heard a few professionals and remodelers naming brands such as Snaidero, Valcucine, and Rossana. And digging even deeper into these brands, you’ll notice a flurry of options to choose from.
Yes, it can get overwhelming. That’s why this piece is for you.
But before you start making phone calls to these brands’ offices, asking for brochures and quotations, let’s start with the basics first. The direction you’ll take with your European kitchen design will be either of these two: modern or traditional. And as far as these two go, the contemporary European kitchen design has consistently leaned towards the mid-century modern design, which was prevalent in Nordic countries.
This is why most European kitchen designs have been labeled more traditional, and geared towards efficiency over comfort, compared to the larger, and sometimes more lush American kitchen designs.
But that still doesn’t imply that you’re at a loss if you’re going for something modern. As you’ll learn in this piece, European kitchen designs do cater to a wide variety of needs. So, dive in.
1. Mix Wood and Marble
In the heart of midcentury modern kitchen designs is the authentic use of natural materials. And if you want to get an edgy looking kitchen, a mix of wood and marble is the way to go.
For instance, you can use Walnut veneer with a lacquer gloss finish on the kitchen cabinets, drawers, and other storage areas. The Walnut gives a natural feel to the space, with the gloss adding a modern touch to the entire design.
On the other hand, you can have the countertops made out of marble. Carrara marble, for instance, can be great for the island. Then, assuming you have an L-shaped orientation, the perimeter can have Absolute Black Granite for the countertops. Just make sure that the marbles are also honed so that they aesthetically blend with the glossy Walnut veneer.
2. Try the Galley
Some historians argue that the galley was among the first midcentury modern European kitchen designs. These kitchens were not truly open plan kitchens. Still, the construction was done in such a way that the galleys provided a sense of connection between the kitchen and the rest of the interior space.
The galley style is also considered to be one of the most efficient kitchen designs. The long space and counters running along each side provide ample space and a nice flow from the kitchen to other spaces.
Despite not being the current in-thing, the galley can still look spectacular. You can still experiment with open floor plan kitchen options such as wood and marble, or neat patterns on the backsplash tiles.
3. Laminate the Countertops
Aren’t laminates tacky and ugly?
Well, that was the perception. Today, with improvements in manufacturing processes, laminates are back bigger, better, and more stylish. Plus, they’re the material you should be going for in case you have little love for stones, or you find granite and marble as too expensive.
Laminates come in various colors that blend nicely with a midcentury modern European kitchen design. These include current, trendy kitchen colors such as sea green, black, and mixed wood tones. Plus, thanks to better manufacturing processes today, laminates are more durable than they initially were.
The design variations have also improved, with some companies offering laminates that mimic certain natural materials or stones, for a more authentic look. And for the ones that don’t, the colors are still perfect enough to blend nicely with wood, and tiles.
4. Try Flooring with Natural Stones
In its purest form, the mid century modern European kitchen design featured natural stones for the flooring. This set the tone for the entire kitchen space, and thus the midcentury, modern design architecture of minimalism and authentic use of natural materials.
Ideally, your choice of flooring should be either slate, terrazzo, bluestone, or travertine. These are among the original stones used for flooring these kitchens. And yes, they can be quite expensive.
So, what other options can you explore? Cork and wood. These are still considered natural materials that can provide an authentic, midcentury, modern look to your kitchen. Plus, they’re more affordable compared to their stone counterparts.
The key thing to note if you decide to use either cork or wood is that the grain should be subtle. Plus, the tone should be something medium.
5. Extend the Curves to the Furniture
One of the key features of midcentury modern kitchen designs is smooth flowing lines and curves. These are prevalent in cabinets, colors, and even accessories used in the kitchen.
What about the furniture? If you want to nail this design, you should extend these curves to the furniture too. You can shop for new furniture, or order new ones to be made that follow a line or curve pattern in your kitchen. This will allow the furniture to blend in with the rest of the place, creating a homogenous design feel.
So, where should you put these lines or curves? The arms, legs, and back of chairs, for instance, are perfect areas. However, you should be careful not to overdo things. Minimalism is a key aspect of this design.
6. Try Glass Tiles for the Backsplash
The kitchen backsplash also plays a huge role in creating the overall tone of the kitchen. And for a midcentury modern European kitchen design, glass tiles can be the perfect choice for a natural stone-themed kitchen.
You can use glass tiles for the backsplash. The countertops can be made out of white quartz. To break the white monotony, you can incorporate a wood-plank ceramic tile for the floor. This floor is highly recommended in case you have a pet.
Given how white the kitchen can get with this design, you need a slight dash of colors on the kitchen equipment to tone things down a little bit. For instance, you can have an orange stove, and a simple wallpaper at the bar area to add color to the glass tiles backsplash.
Plus, since midcentury modern design is based on the idea of bringing nature into your kitchen space, you can add a green potted plant right next to the kitchen island as a final touch.
7. Get back to Flat Front Cabinets
Before the midcentury modern European kitchen design lost its popularity a few years back, flat front cabinets were the in-thing. Then, most interior designers swung away in favor of decorated cabinets with trim panels, as the mid century modern design lost its fame.
But now, the flock is coming back. Flat front cabinets are, according to midcentury modern kitchen design purists, the only style of cabinets that can work well with a midcentury modern kitchen design.
Otherwise known as slab door cabinets, flat front cabinets look sleeker, are cheaper to produce, and blend perfectly with the design theme of the mid century modern kitchen – natural, simplistic, and minimalistic.
You can even try some of the trending kitchen cabinet colors for 2020, including white, gray, blue, two-toned cabinets, and the more natural-looking option, wood stained cabinets.
8. Go with Metal Cabinets
Metal cabinets were the first cabinets to be used in the midcentury modern design kitchen. This happened thanks to the surge in demand for steel after World War II. Demand for these cabinets faded towards the 60s when wood cabinets finally made a powerful entry into the market.
However, to date, some manufacturers still produce authentic, retro versions of metal cabinets for mid century modern design purists. Alternatively, you can hunt for vintage originals, which you can later recoat and repaint.
9. Wooden Cabinets for the Baking Area
Speaking of traditional European kitchen design trends that are making a contemporary comeback, the wooden cabinet is a nice reincarnation of the past.
Great for not just the baking area but also all kitchen cabinets (if you’re in love with the dark tone), the wooden cabinets give a trip back memory lane, to when wood stoves were used to bake bread in the morning.
However, instead of a dull finish, modern cabinets employ a subtle, lacquer finish. Typically, you’d have three rows of drawers. You can dedicate the lower row to storing pots and large pans. You can also add toe-kick drawers for cookie sheets, and some space for your blender and mixer.
As is, wooden cabinets can be a little bit dull. However, you can spice things up with a quartz countertop, donning an ash-gray color. The gray is bright enough to neutralize the dark wood, but not too bright to dim its aesthetics.
10. Matte Texture and Matte Finishes
Look around, and you’ll notice a lot of matte is making its way into contemporary European kitchens. Yes, glossy finishes are great. They add glimmer and an attractive sheen to your kitchen surfaces. Matte colors, however, add sophistication.
This sophistication is what adds a modern and cool look to your kitchen. This can be applied to the countertops, backsplash, and even kitchen equipment such as the stove or pots and pans.
Currently, matte black is the trendiest matte color. Unlike glossy black, matte black is bold yet neutral. Also, matte black easily blends well with crisp light surfaces. This creates an amazing contrast between the dark and light shades, resulting in a smooth and polished aesthetic.
11. Fully Nature Inspired
Traditional European kitchen designs embrace the use of natural materials to create stunning aesthetics. With a modern design, you can get more expressive, as a nature aficionado, by taking a nature-inspired design route.
So, how does that work?
Sourcing inspiration from this mansion, you can see how the ceiling and walls are covered in aqua blue, handmade glass tiles. This creates an underwater immersion effect. On the floor, the designer installed custom oak floors. These were put together in an almost Escher-like pattern.
The nature theme extends to the exhaust hood, which is colored forest green.
For the rest of the kitchen, the cabinets, for instance, don the color aqua blue. The same goes for the kitchen island and the seats, creating a fully nature-inspired kitchen that is still compliant to the European kitchen architecture.
12. Full Concrete Kitchen
Two materials traditionally make a European kitchen – wood, and stones. However, with contemporary design, you can experiment solely with concrete.
The great thing is, it produces stunning results. With this design idea, everything in the kitchen, from the flooring to the backsplash, should be made out of concrete. The only exceptions, of course, are the upholstery and appliances.
With this design, you have the option of going monochrome or mixing contrasting colors to create bright results. If you choose to go with a dark color such as ash gray, you can use your appliances to break the monotony. Shiny silver, in this case, would work magic.
Still, you can experiment with other brighter colors such as sunny yellow, for the stools at the kitchen island.
13. Gold Themed Kitchen
Colors have been used expressively in the modern world to convey taste and style. And as far as your modern European kitchen design ideas go, gold is a great, expressive color that you can use in your kitchen. A word of caution, however, this is not for every corner in the kitchen.
Gold works perfectly for kitchen islands, where a bit of extra shine adds great aesthetics to the island. Instead of using it everywhere, you can use it on the sides of the island. The mirror-finish not only adds glamor but also draws attention to other small details in the kitchen, for instance, a pendant light.
For this gold to work even better, you should consider a marble top, with a predominant color like pink.
14. Just Focus on Light
The number of design variations you can have as far as the details of the kitchen are concerned is countless. However, the one thing that you shouldn’t get wrong is natural lighting. If you want your European kitchen to look contemporary, you should allow in as much light as possible.
How exactly? By simply using clean lines, a simple color scheme, and graphics fixtures. Couple that with huge windows, and you’ll have plenty of natural light falling into the kitchen.
15. Try Mirrored Backsplash
The backsplash is one of the most critical kitchen design areas. Together with the floor, it sets the entire tone for the kitchen.
So, should you be experimental with it? Absolutely. And the most radical you can get is by incorporating a mirrored backsplash. The mirrored backsplash uses polished, reflective tiles to create a mirror effect. Now, this is where you need to pay attention. This design idea cannot be used with very bright colors.
Since you already have something very reflective, you need dark colors to complement the reflective tiles. So, instead of colors such as yellow or crimson, you should try cool gray for the floors. On the other hand, dark wood would be great for the cabinets.
Finally, you can get clear plastic or glass furniture and stainless steel appliances for the kitchen.
16. Go All Dark
If you want a completely dark design, then black lacquered walls and cabinets should be your go-to options. These are paired with a grasscloth backsplash that adds a bit of brightness to the kitchen.
This design works great with shiny metallic appliances, just like the mirrored backsplash option. The only difference is, you can go all out with creative pops of color, to add a bit of brightness to the overall design.
And, how do you achieve detail with an all-dark contemporary European kitchen design? Through notches and patterned edges. For instance, if you have a kitchen island, you can notch the edges of the island’s countertop, thus showcasing intricate details in the design.
17. Consider Using Exposed Cabinetry
Having a one-wall layout or galley layout will save you a bit of width while adding the much-needed storage space. However, having closed cabinets might not be the best idea. Every time you open one, you’ll be battling for working space.
That’s where exposed cabinets come in. Not only do they save you from endless battles for working space with the cabinet doors, but they also create an airy feel to the kitchen. This creates an impression of more space, which makes the small kitchen even more comfortable to work in.
To drive this impression even further, you can extend this cabinetry style to the adjoining room. Through the sense of unity, this small European kitchen design makes the compact space look even bigger compared to using closed cabinets.
18. Try the Galley Layout
Yes, the one wall layout is deemed to be the most space-efficient kitchen layout available. However, the galley layout is another layout that can save you a lot of space, by creating more. The galley layout converts the kitchen into a narrow aisle. The cabinetry and appliances then go against separate walls.
The downside with the galley layout is that a bit of width will have to be taken away for the second row of cabinets. This is unlike the one-wall layout which uses only a single wall.
The plus? You get an extra set of cabinets to store more items. Thus, if you are a big fan of storage, the galley layout might serve you better, albeit with limited working space, compared to the one-wall layout.
19. Use Light-Colored or White Paint
Dark colors create an illusion of constriction. This makes them not desirable in a small kitchen layout. Rather, what you should be going for are light colors or white paint.
These colors create an airy, light feeling, which makes the small space feel even bigger. Combine the white paint and light colors with the open cabinets, and the small kitchen will feel larger.
Remember to use the sense of unity, with the adjoining room, to further amplify this effect. An important thing to note here is that the monochromatic colors have to be uniform. This uniformity is what creates the impression of a big space in a rather confined environment.
20. Invest in Useful Kitchen Tools
Your drawers are always going to be full. So, to capitalize on the limited space, you should invest in useful kitchen tools. These will keep most appliances and utensils out of the drawer, freeing up more space for you to use.
And from a functional perspective, you’d essentially want items you use daily closest to you as you work in the kitchen. Kitchen tools help you keep such items nearby so that you have lesser movements in the kitchen.
Which tools exactly should you be looking for? Well, you should be shopping for items such as magnetic wall knife holders, which keep knives you use most times out of the organization trays. Instead, they’re kept in an accessible area next to the sink, for instance, where you’ll be reaching out to most.
Make sure that the design and color of the tool you choose match the backsplash. Any odd differences will be quickly noticeable, because of the confined space.
21. Work with a Recessed Kitchen Nook
In a studio apartment, for instance, the one wall kitchen layout is the most prevalent kitchen layout used. So, how do you go about designing one, while still working with the limited space for not only the kitchen but also the apartment itself?
By using a recessed kitchen nook. A recessed kitchen nook hides the kitchen cabinets away from the rest of the space in the open-plan apartment. This creates an almost separate room that contains all the equipment you need for your small European kitchen.
You can set the dining area in the remaining space, or any other strategic location that will optimize the space available. In some designs, the washing machine is tucked into the last cabinet, saving even more space in the apartment.
22. Use a Bit of Luxury
Saving space doesn’t mean saving every bit of dime you can get. A bit of luxury in your small European kitchen can go a long way in making your kitchen look splendid. And as far as finances go, since you’ll not be covering such a large area, not so much cash will be spent in adding a bit of glamor.
What exactly will you be spending on? Marble, for instance. As a backsplash, marble adds not only aesthetic and sophistication to the kitchen but also a light, airy feel, thanks to its light colors. If you have a bit more to spend, you can make the countertops out of marble too.
For the rest of the small kitchen design, such as the cabinets and storage cupboards, wood will just work fine. However, you can get creative with the colors by using dark colors on the storage cupboards, to create the impression of a warm frame surrounding a cool scheme.
23. Add a Semi-Permanent Prep Area
Kitchen islands are a no-no in small kitchens since they take a lot of space. However, their need cannot be eliminated since, in most cases, a one-wall layout won’t offer a large prepping area.
The solution? Getting a semi-permanent prep area. In its simplest form, this can be a table that doubles up as your dining area. So, when you’re busy creating in the kitchen, you can place your ingredients here, and do all the necessary prep work before cleaning up and enjoying your meal.
You can also use a narrow console to set your tools while prepping, giving you more space in the kitchen while you cook. That way, you would have conserved a ton of space that you desperately need.
24. French Styled Range Hoods
French-styled range hoods are a classic French country kitchen addition that make a chic statement to any French country kitchen design. This architectural feature can be used to add authenticity to your French country kitchen design.
But don’t have it as the only feature. For instance, you can have a contrasting color scheme of a sage kitchen island, coupled with cabinetry in crisp white. You can contrast these colors even further, by using a light jungle green backsplash.
Since this design is geared more towards authenticity, you can go all out with the addition of two other French country kitchen design features. These are the lantern-style lightings and a vintage wood box planter.
You can hang the lantern style lightings over the sage kitchen island. For the vintage wood box planter, you can get some herbs, and place it right at the window for that final touch of European flair.
25. Experiment with Stone Walls and Authentic Dishware
This is yet another kitchen design variation that strives to preserve most of the authenticity of French country European kitchen design.
The stone wall is the center stone in this design. It adds character to the kitchen while creating a rustic feel to the kitchen – something that was common in most French country kitchen designs back in the day.
These stone walls need to be coupled with authentic French country kitchen cabinets. You can make a china cabinet out of distressed wood. This will add even more European charm to the design.
To top it off, since you’ve taken a design route focused on authenticity, the china cabinet should be fitted with dishware, inspired by the French. White would be a perfect color choice for these dishes.
26. Pendant Lighting
A predominant feature in most French country European kitchen designs is pendant lighting. Thus, if you want to quickly and easily remodel your existing kitchen into a French country design, this is among the first things you should be thinking of.
Which lamps should you go for? Ideally, industrial pendant lamps with classic French brass elements should be your go-to option. However, your exact pick will depend on your color choice. For instance, the brass element industrial pendant lamps will blend nicely with a neutral color palette, blended with natural, finished wood textures.
The choice of furniture should also be country, with finishing almost the same as the wood textures. For instance, wicker bar chairs might be a great addition to the kitchen island.
What if the industrial pendants don’t tickle your fancy? Chandeliers can work great as well. They not only add a great deal of French authenticity to your design but also add more depth and lighting to the kitchen.
27. Get Rid of the Cabinet Doors
If you are remodeling your kitchen to a French country European design, stripping everything off, and putting them back together might not be necessary. Just getting rid of the cabinet doors might be all you need.
However, your china and Moscow mule glasses must have been bought already. The idea behind this design is to use the china and Moscow mule glasses as décor, instead of having them tucked in the cabinets for purely functional use.
If you are not a fan of completely open cabinets, you can alternatively opt for glass doors. As long as the china can be seen, the French Country authenticity of the design would be well represented.
Can you start afresh completely? Yes. The third option is to completely get rid of your old cabinets and have floating wood shelves installed instead. These shelves add a rustic element to the design, which makes it even the more French country authentic, compared to simply ripping the cabinet doors off the hinges.
28. Go with Eclectic Seating
In design, chaos at times births masterpieces. And as far as this French country European kitchen design is concerned, a mix and match of seats is the x-factor.
The mix and match, however, is not purely chaotic. For instance, one row of seats would consist of chairs, while the other row would be a bench, for the center table that sits in place of a kitchen island. The wood should not have shiny lacquer, since the goal here is to create a French country rustic feeling.
The seats themselves can have different colors. However, instead of a chaotic spatter of colors, you can have one row of seats in dark wood, which you’ll use in the antique tableware and cabinetry. For the bench, you can use a subtle lime green, which you would use in the cabinet doors, for instance.
Okay, the colors are getting quite dull. Well, if you love a bright kitchen, white subway tiles for the backsplash will never let you down.
29. Use Appliances Inspired by French Retro
Shifting from a completely modern kitchen to a French country kitchen might be an arduous task, especially if you have a strong affinity towards the modern flair.
So, how do you balance the two? By going for French retro-inspired appliances. You can use a trendy but timeless color predominantly in the kitchen (sky blue for instance). This can be combined with light touches of a more retro color, like the dark wood, which will be splashed more predominantly on your kitchen appliances, like the stove.
This provides a great way of balancing the modern with the retro, while still maintaining that French-countryside feeling.
30. Go all White
If the last French-retro and modern mashup didn’t sound good to you, then this might be the easiest way to get your modern kitchen looking all French country, without losing much of its modern flair.
Paint all kitchen cabinet finishes white.
This strategy results in a modern farmhouse look, coupled with a white monochromatic accent that rarely goes wrong.
A little bit of refurbishing might be needed before the kitchen cabinets are painted white. Plus, you can leave a bit of unfinished darker wood accents around and on the kitchen island. This will provide a modern French country rustic feeling to the entire design, ensuring you’re still as authentic as possible.
Are the counters all I need to take care of? Not really. If you have wooden elements on your window frame or floor, you can paint them white too.
31. Focus on the Doorways, Windows, and Beams
At the heart of the European farmhouse kitchen design is a rustic feel. In a lot of designs, most emphasis will be put on the cabinetry, Kitchen Island, and kitchen appliances to create this rustic aura.
But those are not the only areas that add a touch of farmhouse elegance to your kitchen design. Arched doorways, exposed wood beams, and diamond grid windows perfectly add a touch of rustic elegance to your farmhouse kitchen design.
For instance, you can go for diamond-paned windows, mixing a predominant cream white monochromatic scheme with touches of diamond on the appliances and other subtle kitchen areas. With the window panes in diamond, you can also have the water taps, cabinet handles, and window grilles painted in the same diamond color.
32. Work with Top Shelves and a Ladder
A predominant theme in most European farmhouse kitchen designs is functionality, albeit with the use of the most simplistic tools available. So, in your farmhouse kitchen design, you can capitalize on this theme by installing tall, upper cabinets, with a ladder for accessibility.
A ladder in the kitchen?
Yes. This library ladder allows you to capitalize on the space above the kitchen, adding more storage to your kitchen. Therefore, you can install very tall cabinets at the top, which can be easily accessed by the library ladder.
This ladder should have a rustic touch to it. Preferably, you should leave it in dark wood color. You can use this same color on the range hood, with the rest of the kitchen getting a pure white paint job.
The result is two greatly contrasting colors, which helps pop the rustic element of the ladder, plus the range hood.
33. Try Matte Black
Matte colors have been hot in 2019. And moving towards the close of 2020, matte is still considered one of the most versatile, modern, and sophisticated colors you can use in your kitchen.
And as far as your European farmhouse kitchen is concerned, you’ll hardly ever go wrong with matte black. This color will work magic when mixed with white and a light gray backsplash. You can use matte black on the cabinetry, using a touch of gold on the cabinet handles.
The base of the kitchen island will also look great in matte black, with either white, light gray, or ash gray crowning the top. The same applies to the countertop.
But how do I add a rustic element? Through the wooden kitchen island seats, pendant lighting hanging over the Kitchen Island, and rustic wood kitchen appliances like the breadboard.
34. Focus on Charming Details
The European farmhouse kitchen was imagined out of the American farmhouse kitchen theme of coziness, warmth, and a homey feeling. This is something you need to get right in your European farmhouse kitchen design.
How? By focusing on small details such as the cabinets, wood elements, and the fireplace. For instance, glass door china cabinets make the kitchen feel large and cozy. Using wood elements with a warm tone makes the kitchen feel inviting, while a fireplace fixed in the dining nook adds warmth to the entire setup.
But those are not the only avenues you can explore. Going a step back in history, you’ll learn that traditional European kitchen design allowed different people to express their histories through the kitchen. That’s an avenue you can explore.
Therefore, you can use finishes and décor that are tied to your family history. This will make the space not only welcoming but also sentimental to not just you but your family as well.
35. Use Open Shelves
Depending on the size of your kitchen and layout, upper shelves may or may not be necessary. However, if you want a pure rustic touch to your European farmhouse kitchen, especially if you have enough floor space, you should consider using rustic open shelves.
These are usually used in place of upper kitchen cabinets. So, instead of tall cabinets that go up to the roof, this design uses a simple plank as a platform to support small-sized kitchen appliances, tools, and items such as cups, small china, spice containers, and cutlery.
You can go even further and use the original European flush kitchen cabinets design, for the lower cabinets.
Does this design work if you need a lot of storage? No. You should use this design if kitchen cabinets are not heavily utilized, and the kitchen appliances and tools you have support a rustic theme in the kitchen. This means that shiny metallic kitchenware will not do this design justice.
36. Embrace Wood Topped Worktables
Wood is among the most dominant materials in any farmhouse kitchen design. It is, in most cases, the root of the rustic theme that’s associated with most farmhouse kitchens. And if you want to nail this theme, and have it stand out visibly in your design, embrace wood-topped worktables.
With this design, most of the kitchen can be made out of wood, ranging from the range hood, cabinetry, to lantern designed lights at the side of the wall. However, most of this wood should be colored in a monochromatic scheme. For instance, a dash of ocean blue would work.
Now, to finally nail that rustic element, the kitchen island should have a wooden top. For this top, the color should be left in light wood color, with the grain clearly visible. Pendant lighting at the top should be the cherry on top of this wood-inspired European farmhouse kitchen design.
37. Try Wallpapers
Farmhouse kitchens are predominantly traditional. Therefore, very few designs will try to incorporate a purely modern feature to it, except for this one. Wallpapers are a nice way to add a touch of modern flair to a European farmhouse kitchen design.
To work with this design, for instance, you can incorporate the use of industrial carts, neutral colors, and floral patterns to get a charming result. The industrial carts can be used as the kitchen island, with light blue serving as the predominant color in the design.
With that setup, a floral wallpaper would provide a beautiful backsplash.
38. Light and White Hues
The Scandinavians predominantly used white in their kitchens. But why so?
Well, back in the day, when the winters were long and gloomy, Scandinavians preferred painting their kitchens white to create a cheerful and airy feeling, away from the winter gloom that was outside.
White improved the natural lighting in the kitchen and kept the visual fragmentation at a bare minimum.
So, what’s stopping you from using it? Nothing. Given this is part of the original Scandi kitchen design, you can never go wrong with it. This design works even better in a small kitchen’s one wall layout since it visually makes the space look larger, and the kitchen look lovelier.
But that doesn’t mean any kitchen in white, is inherently Scandinavian. To stay true to the design, you need to add a few touches of soft wooden tones, clean straight lines, and little to no clutter.
39. Hints of Color
Going all white might be boring to most people. Assuming you’re one of them, the Scandi kitchen allows for a little bit of colorful experimenting, albeit in a regulated manner.
For instance, a mix of chic kitchenware with floral patterns pops of bright yellow or green, and pastel hues that provide a breezy summer charm, coupled with a neutral backdrop provide a nicely toned kitchen that is not too colorful for a Scandinavian European kitchen design.
You can also experiment with some wallpaper or colorful geometric tiles to break the monotony, in case you have a monochrome backsplash.
Do all colors work with this design? Not exactly. In most cases, summer colors provide the best balance. Stronger hues might work, but a little bit more constraint is necessary so that you don’t overdo things, as far as Scandinavian kitchen designs are concerned.
40. Try Two Tone Cabinets
If mixing colors with restraint around the kitchen is a tough job, you can consider trying two-tone cabinets instead. This approach adds visual interest to a neutral kitchen, while still sticking to the Scandinavian minimalistic design principle.
With two-toned cabinets, you can have white on top, with a lightly stained light wooden hue at the bottom/cabinet doors.
This design is amplified even further by having a complementary backsplash. You can choose a soft yet impactful color, probably with a lighter hue compared to the color tone on the cabinets.
Can you add a bit more color? Yes. You can break the strict two-tone nature of this design by incorporating a bit of wall art. The wall art should subtly add vibrant colors, without being visually distracting from the rest of the kitchen.
41. Try Coastal Kitchen Vibes
Yes, the Scandinavians inherently didn’t have a beach over winter, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add your coastal vibe to this design if you live in a beach house. The first step is working with an open concept kitchen.
The idea here is to have the open concept kitchen make the space feel sunny and light. Then, to top off that coastal vibe, you can strategically use pops of color around the kitchen.
For instance, you can have white glass fronts for the cabinetry, with a bit of open shelving. The countertops can be in quartz, with retro-inspired kitchen appliances taking most of the space.
So how do you mix the colors? Let’s start with the kitchen appliances. Since you’re going for a coastal vibe, Robin’s Egg blue would be perfect. This color will provide a refreshing and welcoming feel to the kitchen.
For the backsplash, you can use mosaic tiles in a circular pattern. This complements the color scheme, while not taking too much attention away from the rest of the kitchen.
You can take this design up a notch by incorporating elements such as plants and simple containers into the design. However, remember to keep them as minimalistic as possible.
42. Clean Contrasts
This is one of the most subtle ways to incorporate slightly stronger hues into your Scandinavian European kitchen design. The idea is to have clear contrasts between the different colors, with the colors naturally blending in together to form a homogenous look.
So, how should I split the colors? By simply having the island colored differently from the rest of the kitchen. Otherwise known as the contrasting island, this trendy color contrasting approach works well with a natural wood kitchen. The stark contrast between the center island and the rest of the kitchen adds sophistication and sleekness to the design, making it stand out.
Plus, the striking island adds warmth to the space, while serving as a focal point to the kitchen visuals.
43. Industrial Scandinavian
This design focuses on yet another core element of the Scandinavian kitchen design – texture. The industrial Scandinavian kitchen design features a mixture of leather, poured concrete, and wood to create a Nordic, industrial, and all-round chic kitchen.
By exposing these textures, this kitchen visually exposes the bones and structure of the rustic brick building it is built upon. To nail that industrial look, you can use open shelving for the upper layers, with the bottom cabinets featuring a highly minimalistic design. The open shelving exposes the old stone wall, framing it as a unique feature of the kitchen. This further amplifies the texture of the design.
A bit of metal is added to the final design, with the center island/table featuring a concrete top, wood base, and metallic legs painted in black.
44. Take Full Advantage of Minimalism for Small Kitchens
Most people have small kitchens. And while the one-wall layout or galley layout seems to be the best kitchen layout options you can use for your limited space, the specific design always seems to be a question of debate.
Well, the Scandinavian European kitchen design should be your go-to.
Why? Thanks to its emphasis on minimalism, organization, and frugality, this kitchen design serves both lavish catalog creations and ultra-small utility kitchens. How exactly? Well, as far as small kitchens are concerned, you can incorporate floating shelves, wall-mounted cabinets, and ergonomic worktops that are focused more on efficiency over form, to take full advantage of the limited space.
You can then experiment with inherently light colors, to create an airy, roomy feel in the kitchen.
45. Mix Old and New Design Details
When experimenting with European kitchen designs, you’re not restricted to one design pattern. The great thing about European kitchens is that old and contemporary do mix seamlessly.
Well, for instance, you can mix wood with marble, stainless steel, or glass. The kitchen appliances can be made from stainless steel, with the cabinetry featuring glass doors. Finally, you can seal this design with a wooden library ladder for reaching the upper cabinets.
You can even combine two-door styles in one cabinet. For instance, you can have full overlay drawer heads, coupled with inset doors. The drawer heads can have a unique profile shape. This can be a slight concave arc. The cabinet doors underneath can alternatively have inset heads.
This mix and match can create breathtaking and unique results.
46. Wood and Metal Kitchen Island
Kitchen islands are predominantly made out of stone. However, with this European kitchen design, you can experiment with wood, rivets, and metal.
The idea is to have the kitchen island crafted out of wood. The entire island can be painted black, sculpted down, and set to stand on decorative legs, which have been sculpted out of its dark wooden frame.
At the front, you can have an extra set of cabinets, fitted with metal doors. The cabinets can have a sculpted bottom, shiny silver decorative handles, and decorative rivets as well.
You can choose an even more unique design that has the center cabinets bowed out. A final metallic silver finish would crown the kitchen island cabinet doors, making it the visual focal point in the kitchen.
47. Use Large Sliding Doors for the Hideaway Effect
If you’re not a fan of seeing your appliances displayed openly in the kitchen, then using large sliding doors in your London townhouse European kitchen is the best design idea you can get.
With this design, a large sliding door hides the microwave, fridge, and any other appliance you want to be tucked away. The door runs on a hidden track system that controls its opening and closing.
However, don’t be quick to install this feature.
Make sure you first consult with your designer or interior décor team, to ensure that local building codes allow the installation of such equipment in the kitchen.
As far as aesthetics go, you can have the front of the door made out of steel, with a wooden frame surrounding it. Besides, you can paint the frame in a contrasting color to the kitchen’s backsplash, so that the sliding door stands out.
48. Painted Kitchen Mixed with Authentic Materials
More and more people are falling in love with the painted kitchen. This design approach breathes a modern take on a traditional look and finish.
So, how do you mix a painted kitchen with authentic materials?
Midnight color, for instance, is commonly used on the kitchen cabinets. The rest of the colors are neutralized by charcoal, slate gray, light gray, and taupe, for instance. The effect of this seamless blend in colors is great emphasis on the architectural detail and furniture of the design.
The painted kitchen is usually coupled with authentic raw materials such as concrete, wood, and marble. Wood or concrete may be used for the kitchen island, with marble crowning the countertops.
This creates a kitchen environment that is classic yet contemporary, thanks to the modern finishing.
49. Play Around with Kitchen Appliances
Kitchen appliances play a major role in how your final European kitchen design turns out. For instance, if your colors are generally dull, and you want to light up the kitchen with some pops of color, you can do this with kitchen appliances.
For instance, you can get a bright yellow blender, red stove, or shiny silver pans to complement the predominant, dark tone color in the kitchen.
Is there a specific formula for this?
Well, not really. The general rule is, if you’re going for a vintage design, vintage kitchen accessories should be your go-to option. On the flip side, if you want to experiment with something more contemporary, then the hyper-colorful accessories will suit your design best.
50. Go Panoramic
Among the key design elements of the European kitchen is bringing nature into the kitchen. And as far as London townhouses are concerned, achieving this feat might be a tall order, especially if your kitchen resides on a higher floor.
So, what’s the remedy? Panoramic windows. To bring nature in, you have to let in a lot of its view and natural light. Coupling panoramic, floor-to-ceiling windows, with an all-white monochromatic kitchen is a great way to brighten and light up everything.
You can tone things down a bit by using a cream white floor, with stainless steel kitchen appliances and accessories.
Since this design exudes a luxurious feel as well, you can spend a bit more dime by going for marble countertops and Kitchen Island. You can then contrast this with black seats for the kitchen island, with stainless steel support.
A flower vase right at the edge of the Kitchen Island also helps break the whiteness, while adding a nice detail to the entire layout.
51. White Will Never Go Wrong
If you’re to look for inspiring minimalist kitchen designs right now, you’ll be flooded with numerous designs donning a white monochrome palette.
Why? Because you can never go wrong with white when it comes to expressing minimalism. White is easily associated with clean and simple. Plus, it allows natural light to flood into the kitchen, which creates a light and airy feel.
To nail this color even better, you can extend it to the rest of the place. Since most minimalist designs are used in small kitchens, painting the adjoining room or space white creates a sense of unity, which makes the kitchen appear larger.
What if I want to go for a stronger contemporary feel? Mix the white with black. Two-tone minimalist kitchens, featuring black and white are getting trendier by the day. The black helps break the white monotony, creating a contrast that adds sophistication and a modern feel to the kitchen design.
52. Mix Wood and Tile
Wood and tile mixed work magic in creating a minimalist European kitchen design. How?
For instance, you can have a pure white kitchen, with a redwood dining table, coupled with black or midnight colored seats right at the front. The stark contrast between the white kitchen and the wood dining table sets off a feeling of airiness and space.
Alternatively, if you’ve managed to install a kitchen island with white seats, you can break off the monotony using a wooden floor. A bit of grain should be visible, with a lighter shade of white, or ash gray, coloring the wooden floor.
You can then break the background using a white subway tile backsplash. It doesn’t entirely break the white tone in the room. Rather, it cools down the warm white, giving the kitchen a chilled feeling.
53. Play with Colors
Yes, the minimalist design is made prominent by the color white. But that doesn’t mean that white is the only color that can pull this European kitchen design off.
In the simplest case, you can mix bright colors in a predominantly white minimalist kitchen to get a nice pop of colors. You can do this by incorporating natural wood in the furniture, and bright colors such as red and yellow subtly in kitchen accessories such as the dishcloth, stool, and patterns on the seat cushions or cups.
If you want to go all out, you can have a white tile backsplash, white countertop, mixed with crimson green cabinetry, a red stove, and a bright yellow fridge.
At the top, you can open things up by using open shelving, while still incorporating a creative splash of colors. For instance, you can have the shelves painted white at the frame, with the inside in the same bright yellow as the fridge.
54. Match the Countertops and the Backsplash
Assuming you want to take a two-tone color palette approach, one of the best ways of exuding a minimalist design is by matching the countertops with the backsplash. For this case, so that the spacey, airy feeling is maintained, you’ll need to use a light color.
Which one, you ask? Ideally, marble. Using marble, first, adds a touch of sophistication to your kitchen design. Second, since the colors, patterns, texture, and graining match, the backsplash and countertops create a waterfall effect. This results in a calm and simplistic aesthetic.
What about the rest of the kitchen? A dark matte color would do. Plus, you’re not strictly confined to one color choice. For instance, you can have the dining table and cabinets in matte black. The seats can be in dark brown, with dark brown pendant lighting hanging over the kitchen island.
55. Remove the Plugs
This can be termed minimalism at its extreme. And sure thing, it looks gorgeous.
Instead of just reducing the clutter of kitchen accessories and settling on a monochromatic or two-tone palette, you can also pull the electric plugs completely out of the backsplash and countertops, leaving you with a flush, sleek, and clean surface.
Where will the sockets go then? If you take this route, you should invest in pop-up plugs instead. These plugs only appear on the surface when you need to use them. Otherwise, they’re tucked in flush with the backsplash or countertop surface.
You can even change the lighting, getting rid of the wide lighting for strip pendant lights that will hang over the countertop.
With this design, since the aim is to go for extreme minimalism, you should get rid of any kitchen accessory, tool, or appliance on the countertop too. Preferably, only one item should be left on the surface.
56. Invest in Lighting
The minimalist European kitchen design shines in adequate lighting. And as far as lighting goes, there are two ways you can achieve this in your kitchen – through natural lighting (preferred), or a mix of natural and artificial lighting.
So, how do you ensure the space is getting enough light? First, you need to make sure the kitchen is efficiently bouncing off light from its surfaces. This means that in case your kitchen is positioned in such a way that natural lighting is limited, you should invest in fancy countertops and classic, laminated, drawers and kitchen cabinets.
You can add both pendant lighting and ceiling lighting above the kitchen island to add more light to the kitchen. This can still work well even if you don’t use a full white monochromatic color palette.
57. Keep Everything Low Profile
Minimalist kitchen design not only involves using the bare essentials but also using design features in a structured way. And as far as the latter goes, you can keep the Kitchen Island and countertops at a low profile, for a great minimalist effect.
How does that work? By being at the same level, the cooktops and countertops appear smooth and continuous. You can then declutter these surfaces, for a greater sense of continuity.
You can extend this low profile aesthetic to the pendant lighting as well. You can drop them a bit lower, making sure they all align horizontally. The seats at the kitchen island should not be too tall as well.
58. Be Creative with Pops of Color
Plain European kitchen design can look a bit boring to some people. This is because, in its architecture, most European kitchens are built using dark wooden cabinets and vintage tiles. But that’s just the architecture. Being creative with pops of color around the kitchen can add that missing pizazz to your final design.
To stay true to the Europeanisms of the kitchen, you have to use a lot of the dark wooden cabinets and vintage tiles. But not everywhere. As far as the tiles go, you can get creative and use colorful backsplash tiles to bring the color you need back to the kitchen. You can then go all creative with your appliances, using say a red stove, colorful microwave, or a blue refrigerator.
The idea is to have these colors pop while mixing beautifully with the traditional colors of the architecture.
59. Go All Vintage with Grain Sack Upholstery
Adding pops of colors might sound a bit unauthentic to you. So, if you don’t mind the dark colors and you’re totally in love with the entire vintage theme, grain sack upholstery might be the way to go.
This kind of upholstery is associated mostly with traditional Gustavian, Tuscan, French Country, and Belgian European kitchens. The grain sack upholstery blends seamlessly with the dark wood used to make the cabinets and tops in the kitchen.
In some instances, you can extend this theme to the dining area. Instead of leather or normal cushions, you can use this upholstery on the dining seats. The main thing to note here is that if you opt to take this route, everything else, including most appliances, have to be mildly colorful to maintain the architecture’s pureness.
60. Try Adding Breadboards Too
Back in the day, breadboards were used to get loaves of bread in and out of the oven. Today, these traditional appliances are still functional. Moreover, they are an authentic addition to a country-style, traditional European kitchen. Thus, if the grain sack upholstery worked for you, this might be a great addition as well.
Authentic breadboards are made from maple, pine, or oak. They’re about 2 inches in diameter. What makes them a great design idea is that apart from serving a traditional purpose, they’re nice, collectible, decorative artifacts for your kitchen.
They can thus be placed in the kitchen to add aesthetic value, instead of just retrieving hot bread from the oven.
61. Eclectic Ideas Work
Indecision is common when figuring out the right kind of European kitchen design. But what most people don’t get is that this indecisiveness plays right at the heart of European kitchen design.
Thanks to its architecture that allows for a touch of personality, eclectic European kitchen designs feature a mix and match of materials and even color. In most cases, this kind of design approach is used when you want to remain as authentic as possible, while still adding a bit of contemporariness to your design.
For instance, if you love shiny metals, you can combine shiny metallics with the raw and earthy materials that inspire most European kitchen designs. The result will be a beautiful blend of modern design and a European rustic theme.
You can combine this with the creative pops of color if you want to fully venture into your own creative space.
62. Try Sticking To Raw Materials
Suppose you’re remodeling from a fully modern kitchen to a European style kitchen. Does that mean everything you had before has to be thrown out? Not really. Wood, iron, and concrete are among the key components you need to add a rustic touch to your kitchen. The great thing about these raw materials is that they blend seamlessly with either a feminine or masculine traditional kitchen design.
If you have modern cabinets that you dread remodeling, you can try concrete countertops. These also work well with your modern artifacts to create a breathtaking European kitchen design. And since you already have eye-popping colors in your modern kitchen, adding wooden beams, for instance, will complement the modern design perfectly.
The main thing to note here is that the imperfections of the raw natural materials should be maintained for authenticity to the traditional looks.
63. Give Fireclay Farmhouse Sinks a Try
Before dishwashers became a thing, folks would spend long hours in the sink washing mountains of dishes every day. So, to deal with the strain that was associated with the long hours, the fireclay farmhouse sink was born.
It is one of the most comfortable sinks you can use. Apart from being very authentic, this added comfort is another reason why you should have one in your European kitchen design.
Fireclay sinks are not made from modern ceramic. Rather, they’re crafted from clay that’s ultra-heated and hardened to withstand the torture that a European country kitchen would subject it to.
“But I do have a dishwasher.” Yes, that’s an added advantage. However, if you are the kind that is always busy creating in the kitchen, this is the kind of sink you need.
It nicely accommodates pots and pans. Plus, it traditionally features an apron design that eliminates the need to lean over the countertop while working at the sink.
64. Go for Reclaimed Terracotta Tiles
Tiles are not as modern as most interior design newbies think. Back in the day, terra cotta tiles were among the very first to be used in European kitchens. The tiles were, and still are gorgeous, authentic, filled with earthy colors, and full of history.
Back in the day, terra cotta tiles were made out of natural clay deposits found in the earth. Everything was done by hand.
The clay was first dried in wood molds. Then, they were further dried in the sun before firing in wood-burning kilns.
One of the most attractive features of the terracotta tiles is the unique color spectrum on each tile. This is a result of the different kiln temperatures used during firing.
65. Instead of a Center Island Counter, do a Worktable
Center island counters are great. They add extra space to the kitchen while proving a common gathering center in the kitchen. However, if you have limited space or you’re renting, committing to a kitchen island is tricky.
So, what should you try? Worktables. Traditional to most European kitchen designs, worktables offer the convenience of center island counters, without the full commitment required.
Plus, since they’re not fixed but instead have legs for support, they offer extra storage space at the bottom. This is something you might crave for given inherently, European kitchen designs tend to be smaller compared to American designs.
66. Try a Monochromatic or Black Kitchen
Minimalism has been a hot trend in kitchen design since 2019. Instead of flashy colors and blinding graphics, most homeowners and interior designers are going for two-tone or monochromatic schemes, with matte being the most preferred color.
So why not try this for your London townhouse kitchen too?
A mixture of black, charcoal and white shades works magic in bringing out a contemporary feel to a European kitchen design. This design further complements the modern design of the townhouse, connecting the kitchen and other spaces in an elegant way.
You can work with black and charcoal, for instance, with hex-shaped charcoal tiles for the backsplash. The matte black would work perfectly with the cabinets, with the charcoal being used for the countertops and the Kitchen Island.