While no kitchen is alike, and there are no rules that need to be followed when designing your kitchen, there are certain traits that seem to make a kitchen stand out more like a European kitchen vs an American kitchen. European style is known to be more traditional, pulling design inspiration from historical influences that have stood the test of time. Classic, sophisticated elements are pulled from the pages of history and paired together to create kitchen spaces that are bursting with personality.
In the heart of most European homes, the kitchen is often the center of life, creating a room full of warmth that is centered around coming together. What makes a European kitchen? Traditional architecture paired with fun, contemporary elements create unique spaces that are both classic and fresh.
Colorful appliances paired with vintage tile, or dark wooden cabinets paired with light stone countertops and shiny metallic fixtures. Pops of color and shades of matte. Eclectic designs and practical work surfaces. To sum it up, European kitchens typically mix vintage and modern design without even trying. When you live on a continent with so much history, European style just seems to sort of happen.
Need some inspiration from abroad? These tips will have your kitchen looking like it just got back from a trip to Europe.
1.) Creative Pops of Color
Love a good pop of color in the kitchen? Europeans do too, and they have an affinity for bringing bright colors into the kitchen in ways that don’t overwhelm the senses. An all bright yellow kitchen might be a little overwhelming to the palette, but a bright yellow appliance provides an unexpected dose of color that can tie the room together in surprising ways.
Pair a colorful appliance, like a red stove or blue refrigerator, with neutral surfaces like wood or tile for a pop of color that can give your kitchen the dose of personality it needs. A smaller statement piece, like a colorful microwave, will also add a fun pop of color without making a big commitment.
Colorful backsplash tiles are creative ways to bring color to your kitchen, or even the addition of colorful artwork to help bring the space alive. Basically, any color is a good color. Just be sure to make it pop.
Big Chill Retropolitan Refrigerator in Jadeite Green
Big Chill Retro Original Refrigerator in custom color #1023 Traffic Yellow
Looking for a colorful appliance fit for your kitchen? Check out Big Chill’s Custom Color Swatch, with over 200 custom color options.
2.) Matte Texture and Finishes
From cabinets, countertops, walls and everything in between, matte is the star of the show in modern European kitchen design. While glossy finishes provide an eye-catching sheen to surfaces, matte finishes provide a cool, modern look to any surface in your kitchen. Try matte finishes on any surface in your kitchen for a smooth and polished aesthetic.
Matte black is particularly popular in modern kitchen design, seeing a surge in popularity in 2019 due to its bold yet neutral personality. Matte black appliances are at the forefront of popular kitchen design, giving you a chic, bold canvas to decorate your kitchen around. Pair matte black appliances with crisp light surfaces for a contrast of light and dark shades that classically complement one another.
Big Chill Classic 30″ Stove in Matte Black with Brushed Brass trim
3.) Eclectic Tastes
European tastes embrace eclectic tastes, mixing and matching various styles and materials. Feeling indecisive? Your indecisiveness is on-trend in European design tastes. Mixing styles from all walks of life can be a carefree approach to decorating that that allows you to try styles without committing to a specific theme.
Mix raw, earth-inspired materials like stone with shiny metallics for a blend of rustic and modern design elements, or pair neutral walls and cabinets with bold pops of color for contrasting shades that compliment each other well. In eclectic tastes, anything goes, no matter how unconventional it may seem.
4.) Raw Materials
Looking to update your kitchen with modern design elements? Look toward raw materials, as the natural movement is in for modern kitchen decor. Raw materials like wood, iron, and concrete add rustic elements to your kitchen that pair seamlessly with both traditionally masculine and feminine design. Concrete countertops pair well with sleek wooden cabinets, while raw wooden beams pair well with eye-catching colors. Bring the beauty of the natural elements to your kitchen by embracing the beauty of organic imperfections.
Looking for the practicalities of a center island counter without the permanence? While kitchen islands provide extra space and a fixed gathering place in your kitchen, the commitment to installing one can be hard for those with limited space or those who are renting. Worktables have distinct legs that provide visible space below the table, creating a much lighter feel than cupboards fitted to the floor. Try a worktable in your kitchen if looking for a budget-friendly solution that adds storage while updating the space.
6.) Dark Wood Surfaces
Dark woods lost popularity in modern design due to their tendency to make spaces feel heavy, yet the classic style feels fresh again with new ways to incorporate dark wood in your kitchen. Using open shelving with dark wood instead of closed cabinetry balances out the darker tones of the wood and makes the kitchen feel lighter and more open. Modern and sleek dark wood cabinets with minimalistic design elements also contrast the heavy wood tones, allowing the natural beauty of the wood to shine through. Pair with modern or antique metal cabinet fixtures for a touch of flashy metallics.
7.) Mismatched Cookware
Matching sets of plates, cups, bowls, and frying pans will always be in style in a well-decorated kitchen, however European tastes tend to typically lean toward a more eclectic blend of cookware. Display mismatched coffee mugs with pride, and set the table with plates displaying various prints or colors to show guests that you truly have that laidback European attitude when it comes to decorating your kitchen. Matching plates, who has the time?
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