You know that saying about how more is always more? While it’s technically true, proponents of minimalism would disagree with it in principle. 

The minimalist aesthetic has earned a lot of love in recent years—and not only because it looks good. Designing your space with minimalism in mind can also improve functionality so that it’s easier and more efficient to move through your day. Wouldn’t you like to get a little time and brainpower back by streamlining your space?

There’s no room where streamlining comes in handy quite as much as the kitchen. If you’ve ever found yourself scrambling through cabinets while trying to prepare a meal or clearing items from your countertops in anticipation of a guest’s arrival, you know all too well that simplifying things in the kitchen has the potential to improve your routine. Plus, when it’s done correctly, it might just make you fall back in love with your space. 

Keep reading for more inspiration to style your kitchen using a minimalist aesthetic. You’ll walk away with the tools you need to make your newly minimalist kitchen both functional and fashionable. 

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What Is Minimalism?

Before we go any further, let’s clarify some of the basics of minimalist design. Minimalism is all about focusing on what’s necessary and stripping away what’s not. Fans of minimalist design tend to prioritize the function of a piece or a space more than the way it looks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make minimalism cool! 

Other common elements of minimalism include:

  • Neutral colors
  • Simple shapes
  • Lack of extra ornamentation and decorative touches
  • Clean lines
  • Limited color palettes 
  • Emphasis on open space and natural light
  • Minimal clutter 

Keep these specifics in mind as you consider our minimalist kitchen design ideas and how they might work in your home. 

Minimalist Kitchen Ideas

Minimalist kitchens have been known to work especially well in tiny homes and other small spaces, but you might consider adding these minimalist elements to your existing kitchen no matter how much square footage you’re looking at. 

1. Consider a Black and White Palette

black and white kitchen
Source: instagram
A black and white kitchen—like this one in @thewoody.house—will always be in style.

Rooms built around a monochromatic palette have a modern, contemporary look—and one that never goes out of style. Designing a black and white kitchen also forces you to strip back on extra tools and decor that will distract the eye, which will automatically make the space feel more minimal. 

2. Opt for Invisible Hardware

white kitchen
Source: unsplash
Streamline drawer pulls and other kitchen hardware for a minimal look.

Kitchen hardware such as drawer and cabinet pulls are often chunky and made from metal, which means they don’t lend themselves to minimalism. To streamline the overall look of your kitchen without making major structural changes, you can swap out your existing hardware for clear, invisible alternatives. 

3. Go Neutral With Pops of Color

kitchen
Source: unsplash
You don’t have to eliminate every bit of color to make your kitchen minimalist.

For the most part, minimalists stick to monochromatic color palettes and neutral shades, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no place for color! In designing your minimalist kitchen, the key is to identify one or two places where you can integrate a pop of brightness—like a piece of artwork or a few kitchen accessories in a jewel tone or bright color. This will make the rest of the minimalist elements of the space look even better.

4. Incorporate Natural Wood

kitchen
Source: unsplash
Don’t underestimate the impact of natural wood tones in a minimalist kitchen.

When selecting tables, chairs, and other wood elements for your minimalist kitchen, go for natural woods. These natural tones will contribute to an overall look of sleekness and simplicity in your space. 

5. Choose Greenery as Decor

white kitchen
Bring the outside in to decorate your minimalist kitchen. 

Many fans of minimalist decor look to fresh, natural touches for decoration. If you’d like to spice up an otherwise plain, minimal kitchen, add flowers and other indoor plants. Greenery will warm up the room without drawing attention away from the clean lines throughout. 

Not ready to commit to caring for a new crop of plant babies? Find some convincing artificial greens instead. 

6. Maximize Natural Light

kitchen
Source: unsplash
Let that light come streaming in! 

One of the best ways to strip any space back to basics is to remove shades, curtains, and window coverings. In most cases, these items aren’t expressly necessary—and they add extra fuss to your decor. Plus, you’ll let more natural light into your space! Extra sunshine will make your minimalist kitchen look even cleaner and brighter and eliminate the need for additional light fixtures that will clutter things up. 

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Minimalist Kitchen Design Ideas 

Integrating minimalism into your kitchen goes deeper than decor alone. You can also incorporate it into the actual design of your cooking and dining space. Doing so will improve the overall appearance of your kitchen and allow you to function with more ease as you whip up your favorite meals and spend time with loved ones. 

7. Create Open Shelving

kitchen
Say goodbye to cabinet doors!

The open shelving trend has gained traction over the last few years because it creates a clean, simple look—but it also gives you easier access to your dishes and other kitchen supplies. Since your things won’t be hidden behind cabinet doors, you’ll know exactly where to find them, which will save you a lot of search time! You’ll also feel compelled to keep your shelves neat, since they will always be on display. 

8. Install Pop-Up Plugs

pop up plug
Source: instagram
This kitchen, via @adginteriordesign, was designed to hide pesky plugs. 

Electrical outlets are a necessity for a functional kitchen, but if you find exposed plugs distracting to your aesthetic, there’s a way to camouflage them. With a little professional help from an electrician, you can have your outlets installed as pop-up plugs that can magically disappear into your island or countertop. They’ll stay under the radar until you need them! 

9. Hide Ventilation

kitchen
Source: unsplash
A modern vent hood will hide your oven ventilation.

Do you find the vent hood above your oven to be an eyesore in your otherwise minimalist kitchen? Consider tucking it inside a geometric, modern unit. 

10. Build Storage Into Drawers

storage drawers
Source: instagram
No one ever said you had to use cabinets for kitchen storage. Drawers like these via @oniyomeyun work too!

Kitchen cabinets aren’t always accessible—especially if the cabinets are high and you (or your little ones) are on the shorter side. Drawers might be a better choice for storing dishware, pans, pots, and anything else you find yourself frequently grabbing in the kitchen. Since you won’t be standing on your tiptoes to reach them, you can keep things more organized. As we know, organization is key to minimalism! 

11. Organize Your Spices

jars of stuff
Source: unsplash
Even your spices can have a minimalist aesthetic.

A disorganized spice collection can easily spiral out of control, which means it will look messy and be hard to navigate. Keeping a close eye on your spices with storage that keeps all of them out in the open will ensure that you’re not buying things you don’t need or missing out on any delicious flavors. Not to mention the fact that glass containers look pretty chic! 

Maximize the Minimalism

Using these ideas to shape the decor and design of your kitchen will streamline the look of your space and make it easier to work in and enjoy. Before long, you’ll find yourself wondering how you can become even more minimal in your style. 

Living with less, in your kitchen and elsewhere, might just make your head feel clearer and your life easier. Those days of “more is more” are so over—and you won’t miss them.  

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Written by:

Alli Hoff Kosik