Probably 70% of the kitchen photos that I share feature marble. It is easily my favorite countertop material visually speaking. I know it has its shortcomings (rare varieties can be very expensive and it’s susceptible to scratching and staining) but to me it’s worth it for the sheer beauty. Though it has a distinctive appearance, it can work in probably any style home. The marble in the kitchen above is subtle and soft, one of the more common veining patterns, and it fits in perfectly with the grand and glamorous design.
This marble’s darker gray streaks and almost speckled quality make it more visually striking which really adds interest to this rather minimalist, modern kitchen.
Normally I’m drawn to the more standard simple gray veining in Carrera marble, but this photo is threatening to change my mind. This is clearly one of those more rare varieties of marble that probably costs an arm and a leg, but holy cow is it ever gorgeous. And just an absolutely perfect treatment, the way it’s been used as both the countertop and the backsplash as well as a seamless sink and shelf. Here marble seems to take on a rustic quality that it normally doesn’t have, accentuated by a rough (cement maybe?) wall treatment and casual collection of items on the shelf. I love it!
one | D Magazine via Christine Dovey
two | Joanna Lavén and Idha Lindhag via dustjacket attic
three | NYTimes via Remodelista
A real life interior designer once told me that every room needs at least a bit of black. I believe she was entirely accurate, and some rooms will do quite well with more than just a bit. Black can be intimidating for a lot of people. Won’t it make the room too dark? Won’t it feel gloomy? Well it might, but if its use is well thought out it can be dramatic, modern, even cozy. Just like other hues, the way black feels and works in a room entirely depends on its application. If you really don’t want your room to feel dark and especially if you don’t have much natural light, of course you don’t want to paint everything black. The above kitchen uses black liberally but there’s also a lot of white, light floors, and sunlight.
Okay yes, this is definitely more dark navy than it is black, but it gives a similar effect. Another common misconception is that dark colors simply can not work in small spaces. Again, I think the key in any size room is to make sure the darkness is not going to be overwhelming, that it’s balanced. Even with a dark ceiling and floors, the counter and backsplash create a bright visual break, and ample lighting including under-cabinet and in-cabinet makes the room glow.
This is more in line with the “bit of black” principle and isn’t it gorgeous? I realize not everyone is able to find things like ovens and range hoods so thrilling but I sure can. Not only is this massive cooking area incredibly functional, it’s so pretty to look at. That’s my favorite kind of functional. Brass, black, and white. Hard to go wrong with that combo. How do you like the dark grout with the subway tile? It certainly gives it a modern pop that light grout wouldn’t. I love the dark grout but personally I’d probably go lighter.
one | Bo Bedre via nicety
two | Ashley Whittaker Design via dustjacket attic
three | Domino via nicety
White meets black. Modern meets antique. Awesome meets awesome. Though I do believe only a select few humans could actually reach the top shelf of that cupboard. But it’s okay because brass.
The wavy texture of those tiles is wonderful. I would love to cook here with all that sunlight streaming in.
If you haven’t already seen this kitchen you obviously don’t read as many design blogs as I do. It is very popular and with good reason. I think my face metaphorically melted off the first time I saw it. I mean those cupboards. The perfect shade of green with gold detailing. THAT BACKSPLASH. Is the counter and sink all one piece?? And those black floors. Ugh it’s just so beautiful. As one would expect only a celebrity can afford this, and her name is Cameron Diaz thanks to the genius of designer Kelly Wearstler. Though I suppose anyone can afford green paint, right? Would you have the stomach to give deep green kitchen cabinets a try?
one | Gisbert Pöppler via dustjacket attic
two | Penelope Loorham via the design files
three | Kelly Wearstler via Dicordia Design
Open shelving in kitchens is a matter of contention in the design world. Are they visually interesting or just visual clutter? Do they make it easy to grab the dishes you need or do they make it impossible to keep those dishes clean? My answer to both those questions: It depends. If the person filling the shelves has a good eye for styling they’ll know what to use and how to do it in a way that is appealing, not just a jumbled mess. It does take a certain amount of skill and probably some trial and error. And you will probably want to have nice looking dishes. As for keeping those dishes free of dust, if they’re dishes that you use often, at least several times a week, it shouldn’t be an issue.
So if you think you have what it takes to pull off open shelves, do consider it because they can be seriously gorgeous. As these first two images illustrate, it can be done in a classy, uncluttered way. Instead of dishes you use frequently you could also opt for items you rarely use but want to display, and by all means mix in purely decorative stuff too.
I’m on board with this version too. Filled to the brim! It works because the items are all related (almost all vases) and with the exception of a few reds and blues they are neutral in color. Also vital is the fact that every major surface in the room (except the floor) is white. This keeps the room feeling clean and serene despite the riot of relative clutter. This maximalist approach takes serious styling skills so attempt at your own risk. 🙂
one | Michaelis Boyd via desire to inspire
two | Nate Berkus via shop talk
three | Cressida Campbell via the design files
This kitchen pretty much drops my jaw to the floor. I have no idea what those hunk of metal looking things on the table are but otherwise this room just exudes class and high style, while also being a bit rustic which is impressive. The finishes and materials here just kill me. Those rough looking floors, the gorgeous wood cabinets, THOSE LIGHTS. I have mixed feelings about the chairs because I think the wire looks awesome in the space, lending so much texture without a lot of visual weight because of the transparency… but they really don’t look comfortable. Some simple seat cushions would fix that but that would totally change the look, so it’s a conundrum.
Mmm subway tile. Always timeless. Love those pendant lights too. Open shelving is always a point of contention. I feel as though arguments on both sides are totally valid. While it can look really beautiful and creates a lovely casual vibe, one must be concerned about dust and always having nice looking dishes neatly arranged. Personally I still have starter dishes (read: ugly) and don’t think I have the patience to keep them looking neat and styled. So open shelving is probably not a good option for me. How about you?
Just lovely. I adore those windows and how the room is both warm and bright. I finally tried the simple tree branch in a vase trick. Mine even had little orange berries on it. It wasn’t quite big enough to make the impact I wanted, but then again I was already uncomfortable sneakily snapping a branch off a tree in the shared courtyard of my apartment complex. Ha. Mark my words, when I have an actual house one day it’d better have trees I can raid.
one | Douglas Friedman via desire to inspire
two | Rachel Halvorson
three | Jessica Helgerson via nicety
Black & White is possibly the classiest color palette you can go with. It can be both cheerful and edgy. White brings an airiness while black brings the drama. I don’t think it’s necessarily an easy palette to pull off though. For starters you have to choose what balance of light and dark you want. For example the above kitchen went heavy on white, and while I think it’s just lovey, it does lean towards being a bit too hospital-room and is borderline blinding. It’s saving feature is all the wonderful accessories that add texture and personality.
This kitchen also uses a lot of white but it seems to be a softer white. It is astonishing just how many “whites” there are ranging from the purest white to hues with cool blue tints to creamier whites with yellow influence. I think generally I prefer a white that isn’t a pure white, although pure white usually works great on molding. Isn’t this kitchen pretty much a dream? Brass hardware, easy foliage, neat open storage… sigh.
This kitchen uses black and white but it tones down the high contrast by using a lot of gray as well. Gray is a popular neutral right now and probably the safest, easiest paint color to work with styles of today. I have a light gray in my half bathroom and I’m very pleased with it. I am itching to repaint my entryway and living room and as of now the plan is to go with a light-medium gray.
I used to think that it would be so boring to use only neutrals on walls or to not vary the wall color from room to room… I have learned much since then. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes color on the walls is just perfection, but it seems like for the average homeowner picking a wall color that will look good (and keep looking good for years) and that will also be easy to decorate with… well, it’s really hard. How many of you have painted with a beautiful color only to realize it looks so wrong up on the wall? *raises hand* This is why there are people out there who specialize specifically in selecting paint colors. It is a learned skill!
I digress. Ultimately, paint is relatively cheap and easy to change out, so don’t let my little monologue scare you away from trying color. One suggestion I have is to look into Farrow & Ball. It is a high-end paint company that, unlike so many paint manufacturers, only produces paint in a limited color palette. While it may seem nice to have access to a veritable rainbow of paint colors, I think it’s actually incredibly helpful that Farrow & Ball only has colors that actually look good on walls. Their website also has reviews on each color so you can read how things turned out for other people and really get to know a color before committing. Not to mention everyone just raves about the amazing quality of the paint. All of this does come at a price, as F&B is not cheap (and you may have to pay to have it shipped as they have limited stockists). I don’t plan to paint with F&B in my current condo because I don’t expect to live here more than a few years. But in my next house it’s an investment I intend to make! Here’s a shot of one of Farrow & Ball’s new colors that I’m obsessed with, Stiffkey Blue:
one | J. Ingerstedt
two | Jessica Helgerson, photo by Lincoln Barbour, via Surrounded By Pretty
three | Casa.com.br via nicety
four | Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue