June 24, 2024

Mookie Design

Unlimited Design for All

95 Beautiful Kitchen Ideas To Help You Plan Your Dream Space

Table of Contents

Bring the Outside In

Alison Gootee

In this farmhouse, designer Caroline Brackett painted her cabinets a lovely shade of natural green to blend beautifully into the trees surrounding the home seen through the large windows.

Gracious Welcome

Laurey W. Glenn

The designer wanted guests to feel like they could just walk in and hang out in this space. All of the living areas connect, so to avoid cluttering the open floor plan with too many cabinets, almost everything—from flatware to everyday dishes—is well organized and stowed away in drawers. This also makes it easy for guests of all agest to access kitchen essentials.

Glass pendant lights over the bar mimic candles resting in huricane holders, an element typically found on outdoor dining tables.

The woven plastic seats and backs on the barstools by Serena & Lily hold up well against wet bathing suits.

Keep it Natural

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Designer Catherine Branstetter renovated her 1920s Tudor cottage hoping to keep the original charm. To do this, she kept a very natural color palette to highlight some of the original wood.

Highlight Natural Light

“I like to use Charlie’s grand- mother’s silver teapots as flower vases and vessels around the house,” says Williams.

Brie Williams

“I love how sunny it is,” designer Molly Williams says of her compact kitchen, which She painted the cabinetry with a fresh coat of Sherwin-Williams’ Extra White (SW 7006) and real brass hardware to make the space even brighter. She also added pattern with Magnolia’s French Ticking Wallpaper and added bamboo blinds to allow natural light to filter in.

Fresh Start

Alexandra Rowley

To avoid the expense of relocating the plumbing, the homeowner kept the room’s original footprint but updated the cabinetry, appliances, and fixtures. He replaced the dated wood cabinets, which hung near the ceiling and were difficult to reach, with easy-to-access open shelving and Shaker-style lower cabinets—all painted crisp white. A ceramic subway-tile backsplash and sleek marble countertops complete the monochromatic look. Open shelving holds everyday basics; lower cabinets store pots and pans.

Aim For Simplicity

Brian Woodcock; Styling: Page Mullins

Designer Allison Allen ditched the original mustard wallpaper in favor of all-white everything, except for a few choice pops of blue in the pendants (by Mark D. Sikes for Hudson Valley Lighting), the striped stool cushions, and the island. “I think kitchens should feel very clean,” she says. “I don’t like to have a lot going on.” The deep farmhouse sink tucked below the windows is both practical and pretty. “You can do just about anything in a big sink! Set flower arrangements in there, or bathe your dog,” suggests the designer.

Make it Moody

Joseph De Leo

If you’re looking for a dramatic kitchen without feeling too kitschy or dark, incorporating mood lighting is a great way to achieve this. This kitchen features a group of ceramic light fixtures above the sink that produces a low light to create a moody atmosphere among the dark cabinets.

Go Green

Laurey W. Glenn

Green is the color of freshness and nature — two characteristics perfect for a space revolving around food and dining. This kitchen uses two different shades of green to create a lovely contrast and overall bright and inviting look in the space.

Build Only What You Need


Laura Kay knew her home was in need of a once-in-a-century sort of update, so she took on the challenge. “The kitchen had undergone a 1990s renovation with lots of elaborate cabinetry, several different granites, and an unusual gravel floor insert used for growing houseplants,” says Kay. She stripped out the old cabinets for simple Shaker-style versions, added a new island with a sink and dishwasher, and painted the floors. She enhanced the original range and brick hood by installing wooden corbels ordered from Van Dyke’s Restorers beneath the hood. “The smooth transition to the wall and countertop makes a big difference,” she says. Opposite those, the homeowner kept her pantry nearby but disguised it as two tall cabinets flanking the open shelving.

Colorful Redo

Photo: Hector Sanchez

The homeowner replaced the lower cabinets and gave the uppers new life with glass doors and brass hardware. Tired of white kitchens, she drenched the entire space in a custom deep, dark green in a glossy lacquered finish. Her collection of white dishes and serving pieces, an impressive La Cornue range, and a white subway-tile backsplash add interest and break up the swaths of green.

A Modern Upgrade

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

We called our kitchen ‘the time warp’ because it looked like it hadn’t been touched since the 1960s,” says homeowner Jessica Thuston. “The matching yellow laminate floors, cabinets, and countertops—I have a feeling it was pretty great back in its day.” However, fast-forward 50 years and this space was in major need of an update. “We loved the size and basic layout, but everything else had to go,” Jessica says.

House Of Blues

Brie Williams Styling: Jennifer Berno Decleene

As she often hosts guests, the owner of this house wanted a spacious kitchen for harmonious cooking and mingling, so she anchored the room with an island topped by a large slab of Silestone Calacatta Gold quartz in a suede finish. The cabinets are painted a calm shade of blue (Sherwin-Williams’ Krypton, SW 6247) that she spotted online years prior and knew she wanted to incorporate. Matte white Café appliances finish the space with a custom look.

Stylish Functionality

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Feeling a bit confined in their dated Hannibal, Missouri, kitchen, Lynn and Bobby Boland wanted a complete overhaul. Without adding an inch of square footage, designer Amie Corley gave them the stylish, family-friendly kitchen they were hoping for.

Keep It Original

Photo: Helen Norman, Styling: Rebecca Omweg

Windows in the kitchen open to the central hallway and reflect original dogtrot architecture.

See more of this Modern Dogtrot Home

Vintage Vibes

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A small but efficient island holds refrigerator drawers and a bookcase for cookbooks. Painted deep gray to contrast with the lighter color of the cabinets and topped with marble, it feels vintage and perhaps even original to the house. At the end sits an antique tea table where the couple eats breakfast.

See more of this Cape Cod-Style Cottage Makeover

Green With Envy

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason

The sage green kitchen cabinetry has generous space for dinnerware and pantry items, and a fossilized countertop surface adds a sense of history to the space.

Natural Instinct

Photo: Chris Luker

Combined with a classic farmhouse table and chairs, the clean-lined bench—attached to the island and painted the same color as the cabinets—saves valuable floorspace.

L-Shaped Love

Laurey W. Glenn

A little white paint and textured elements like shiplap walls and a Dutch door opened this narrow, L-shaped kitchen right up. If you like the kitchen, be sure to check out this entire Sarah Bartholomew-designed Nashville home is a masterclass in Georgian style here.

Ready To Celebrate

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Designer James Farmer has an entertaining-friendly approach to holiday decorations in the kitchen. Create holiday vignettes in your windows to keep counters clear for party prep. “I love how my aunt’s antique silver Champagne buckets herald the season with farm-fresh greenery, amaryllis, and bright nandina berries,” Farmer says.

See More of This Cottage That’s 2000 Square Feet of Holiday Cheer

Family-Friendly Set-Up

David Tsay; Styling: Page Mullins

“I enjoy cooking, but I am not a five-star chef,” homeowner and designer Alexis Simpson admits. “I don’t need all the gadgets. I just wanted something that we could really use.” For her family, that meant updating a 1923 home (without sacrificing its charm) to include details like a banquette in the kitchen to share meals, do homework, and more.

See More of This Historic Atlanta Home

Lead With Your Lifestyle

Chris Edwards; Styling: Kendra Surface

For designer Liz Carroll, each portion of her once-abandoned Wilmington ranch needed to suit her family’s needs. “After we opened up the kitchen, we had room to add a bar long enough to seat our family. We can now see the backyard from the kitchen sink, which is a must for a mom of three,” says Carroll. Floating wood shelves, quartz countertops, glass sconces (from Visual Comfort), shiplap walls, and lower cabinets painted Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain (2134-30) contribute to a light and airy feel.

See More of This Family’s North Carolina Dream Home

Fresh Escape

Carmel Brantley; Styling: Matthew Gleason

Designer Ellen Kavanaugh’s Wellington, Florida home is full of Old Florida staples like rattan furniture and bright patterns, but the kitchen keeps it open and clean. Two sets of open mahogany shelves deliver custom furniture-like details among crisp white lines.

See More of This Pink Ranch House

Smart Solutions

Alison Gootee; Styling: Matthew Gleason

Designer Meg Kelly’s East Nashville home hadn’t been redone since the ’60s, so it was in need of some love. Since the kitchen needed a total gut, she hid some budget-friendly elements, like big-box store cabinetry, in its design. She painted the original wood-paneled walls bright white (PPG’s Delicate White, PPG1001-1). “You can use art to make a kitchen feel a bit more lived-in,” she says.

See More of This Colorful Ranch House

Open Up

Laurey W. Glenn

Designer Anna Braund maximized every square inch of her charming cottage with elements like multiple porches and an open-concept living area for entertaining. “We wanted to create harmonious movement throughout the space so the whole home can be used, not just parts of it,” Braund says.

See More of This 2,500-Square-Foot Cottage

Sunshine Day

Laurey W. Glenn

Architect Ron Farris and designer Rachel Halvorson helped homeowners Michelle and Nick Spiva make their empty-nest dreams a reality with a new-old Nashville home that felt like it had been on its street forever. To bring the most possible light into the kitchen, they skipped upper cabinets to opt for an 11- by 6-foot steel-framed window.

See More of This Nashville Home

All About The Details

Laurey W. Glenn

New Orleans designer Shaun Smith gave a 1950s ranch a charming, functional makeover. In the kitchen, a Monogram Integrated Glass-Door Refrigerator by GE (monogram.com), clean white lower cabinets, graphic tile, and an antique copper lantern provide a mix of mod, retro, and farmhouse chic.

See More of This Ranch’s Classic Country Makeover

Brightened With Blue And White

Carmel Brantley

Leave it to designer Kara Miller to bring a stuck-in-the-seventies Tequesta, Florida, home back to life with bold and coastal details. Miller transformed a dark and cramped kitchen with an open floor plan and plenty of natural light. The cabinets and walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s White Dove (OC-17), but a light blue backsplash from TileBar and navy-and-gold pendants by Mark D. Sikes for Hudson Valley Lighting bring in the color.

See More of This 1970s Florida Ranch

Twist On Tradition

Brie Williams; Styling: Page Mullins

North Carolina residents Megan and Matt Lineberger hired general contractor Tom Martin and Son, architect Mark Maresca, and designer Cortney Bishop to craft a Charleston-style beach home on Kiawah Island. “The kitchen was created to read as an old cookhouse that was adjoined to the main home over time,” says Maresca. “The lines and millwork are simpler, but the playful palette enlivens those ‘old’ bones.”

See More of This Stylish Kiawah Island Beach Home

Southern Charmer

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Designer Allison Allen revived a neglected home her husband Beau inherited in a matter of just two months. The couple brought the kitchen into the modern era by removing soffits, upper cabinets, and asbestos-contaminated linoleum floors. Allison kept the decor simple and white to stick to the strict timetable of the renovation. What was her best time-saving move? Ordering a readymade island from Wayfair that looked similar to her cabinets and topping it with Carrara marble. Overhead, she added interest to the ceiling with beaded board.

See More of This Gorgeous Atlanta Home

Laidback Natural

Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

Designer Lauren Liess was inspired by the gorgeous mountain surroundings of our 2020 Idea House in Asheville, North Carolina, when taking on the interiors. In the kitchen, terra-cotta tiles (Folk Bouquet from her line by Architectural Ceramics) add a patterned background for elements like natural wood beams and a chimney-style range hood, which adds a historical element.

See More of This Dreamy Blue Ridge Mountain Hideaway

Breaking With Trends

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason

Designer Mary Lauren McBride helped her hometown friends with a thoughtful renovation to a former rental on Mobile Bay in Fairhope, Alabama. The entire home has as a calming, laid-back feel, which carries over to the kitchen. “We wanted to do something other than painted cabinets,” says McBride, who took inspiration from the cottage’s light hardwood floors when she settled on the revamped kitchen’s slightly more contemporary white oak cabinets. A local craftsperson built and stained them a honey-blond hue that complements the floors.

See More of This Charming Mobile Bay Retreat

The Contemporary Farmhouse

Alison Gootee; Styling: Matthew Gleason

Homeowners Jamie and Russell Braden stumbled upon their dream home (in need of some TLC) in a 1907 farmhouse in tiny Brenham, Texas. Designer Marie Flanigan helped blend classic farmhouse style with a contemporary touch. To keep things interesting in the mostly white house, Flanigan used bold colors and materials like dark beams, shiny metallics, and pops of rich navy in the kitchen.

See More of This Family’s Brenham, Texas, Farmhouse

High Contrast

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason

Designer Virginia Mary Brown built Southern Living House Plan (Turnball Park, plan 1124, by Moser Design Group, Inc.) in Oxford, Mississippi, in order to blend in with the older homes on the block. Opposites attract in the kitchen where black cabinetry is topped with marble counters and white subway tile is set in charcoal grout.

See More of This New Home with Old Soul

Old Meets New

Julia Lynn; Styling: Dakota Willimon

In an 1894 home that was former officer’s quarters, the renovation had to be thoughtful and careful to preserve its history. Designer Allison Elebash was trusted with bridging new and old within the home’s interiors. In the kitchen, the addition (including the main bedroom suite and the great room) joins the original structure. She eased the transition by applying marble, an of-the-era material, in fresh ways, like as the waterfall island and slab backsplash. “We knew that whole back wall would become a focal point, so it had to be an interesting design element,” Elebash says of the range wall. It’s framed by two doorways topped with historically appropriate transom windows that boost the exchange of light and add to the room’s character.

See More of This Charming Sullivan’s Island Home

The Mid-Century Modern Kitchen

Molly Culver

Designer Shannon Eddings’ entire renovation began with a desire to replace the backsplash in her 1950s kitchen, but her husband convinced her to go all in on a transformation. The final product is light and modern with a touch of retro whimsy. In the kitchen, gray-green cabinets (in Benjamin Moore’s Silver Sage, 506) and quartz countertops are accented by brass hardware from Schoolhouse, a modern Brizo faucet, and custom brass edging on the marble-wrapped hood. She painted all the doors Benjamin Moore’s Odessa Pink (HC-59) as a nod to her husband’s West Texas roots.

See More of This Mid-Century Home

Maintaining Character

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Shannon Gini

Atlanta designer Amy Morris helped remodel this 1940s Athens, Georgia, split-level while still retaining its character. The homeowners wanted to open up the kitchen for ample entertaining space and a large island, but that didn’t mean taking away the entire history of the space. An archway that separates the space from the neighboring living room was directly inspired by a 1940s feature that framed the original foyer. “It was one of my favorite details in the entire home, so we knew we had to replicate it,” says homeowner Bethany Taylor.

See More of This Georgia Split-Level

Build In Personality

Ngoc Minh Ngo; Styling: Ed Gallagher

A North Carolina couple returning home from Brooklyn, New York, started fresh in an old Chapel Hill house. Designer Jessica Stambaugh managed to balance classic taste with modern colors and touches. In the kitchen, hand-hewed carpentry touches like the wood floors, detailed cabinetry moldings, a paneled vent hood, and the built-in sideboard help the room feel rooted in the past.

See More of This 1930s Colonial

Something Old, Something New

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

Architect William Leuthold, interior designer Stephanie Jarvis, landscape designer Jamie Ross, and builder Matt Carlton worked together to bring a Florida couple’s forever home to life in Jacksonville. In the kitchen, a wall of glass-front cabinetry was incorporated into the kitchen for storage, like a larder in a historic home. tongue-and-groove paneling on the walls and ceiling is another old beach house detail since it handles humidity better than plaster.

See More of This New Home with Old Florida Soul

A Clean Slate

Alison Gootee; Styling: Jenny O’Connor

Kerri Goldfarb and Mia Brous (the designers behind the hit home boutique Madre in Dallas) created their personal friend’s dream home with cheery hues and timeless style. The kitchen is a soothing counterpoint to some of the brighter rooms, with white walls and cabinets are a breath of fresh air. “A kitchen creates its own clutter, so it’s nice to keep the look clean,” Brous says.

See More of This Traditional and Bright Dallas Home


Laurey W. Glenn

Designer Phoebe Howard took charge of our 2013 Nashville Idea House at Fontanel. In the kitchen, nature-inspired green hues and shiplap walls make for a cozy encounter.

See More of Our Nashville Idea House

Going Green

Alison Gootee; Styling: Elizabeth Demos

Monica Lavin, founder of the blog Lavin Label, knows how to decorate for Christmas, y’all. Every inch of her home gets a festive touch during the holidays, including a creative way to display her Christmas cards, like draped greenery above the sink.

See More of This Historic Savannah Home

Borrowing From The Past

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Designer Jeremy Clark wanted to pay homage to the legendary original designer of this Nashville condo, Albert Hadley. In the kitchen, this meant that local contractor Pamela Leonard of Redmont Enterprises refreshed the kitchen’s black-and-white palette by installing new cabinetry, a honed black marble backsplash, and checkerboard tile flooring. Clark covered the banquette cushion in a splatterwork fabric as a nod to Hadley.

See More of This Nashville Condo’s Charming Second Act

Crisp And Clean

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Texas designer Nicola McLaughlin filled her once drab, 1949 home with pretty fabrics and airy design ideas to lighten it up. The white kitchen feels fresh and modern. To contrast with the gridlike effect of the tiled walls, McLaughlin dreamed up a curved vent hood.

See More of This Dreamy San Antonio Before & After

Break Out The Collection

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lizzie Cullen Cox

Montgomery, Alabama-based designer Ashley Gilbreath transformed a 1940s one-story brick house into a two-story forever home for her family. “Because I design homes every day, I did not want the typical marble,” says Gilbreath, who loves how her soapstone slab countertops and backsplash grow even more interesting with age. Additional intrigue is provided by dramatic Visual Comfort pendants.

See More of This Alabama Family’s Dream Home

All In The Family

Ball & Albanese; Styling: Matthew Gleason

Designers Erika Powell and Meagan Burks of Urban Grace Interiors lent their twist on Southern traditional to this couple’s forever home in Orlando, Florida. The kitchen is all about accommodating the large family, with ample room for homework on the slipcovered counter benches and a sunny spot for meals in the breakfast nook. The window seat fabric and window shades bring both color and pattern.

Cozy And Comfortable

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Wilmington, North Carolina, couple Lindsey and Grayson Cheek took on a 1928 Colonial with a mission to keep the bones but make it more their style. In the kitchen, Lindsey, an interior designer, chopped off the overhang of the island a year after moving in, replacing barstools with a banquette covered in Sunbrella fabric. “We were always standing up at the island to eat dinner,” she says. Now, they have the best of both worlds: a cozy dining area and a perch for the kids when necessary.

See More of This Colonial Home’s Modern Makeover

True Blue

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Our 2018 Idea House in Austin, Texas, was a total home makeover (rather than a new-build). Designer Meredith Ellis wanted a blue kitchen, “but needed something that would look just as good in 20 years.” She installed a blue-gray tiled wall for texture and statement lanterns over the island.

See More of Our Biggest Before and After of All Time

The Rustic Cottage

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Designer Fran Keenan’s former home is full of attitude in the form of moody paint colors and bold patterns. Because she prioritized a cozy breakfast nook in the kitchen, she wasn’t able to configure the island so it was perfectly symmetrical in the space. She tried to make everything look balanced by aligning the island’s sink with the range and hood and was strategic about lighting. “Rather than having a pair of large pendants centered on the island, I hung an overall grid of small ones from The Home Depot to light the kitchen evenly,” she says.

See More of This 2,500-Square-Foot Cottage

Historic Charm

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

In this Nashville Southern Living showcase home, multiple designers came together to blend new amenities with historic charm. In no room is that more apparent than the kitchen, where Nasdhville designer Stephanie Sabbe drew on research to create the exaggerated hood over the range to mimic old-fashioned fireplaces used for cooking.

See More of This New Tennessee Home with Old Southern Charm

Casual In Charlottesville

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Famed decorator Bunny Williams returned to her hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, to design our 2015 Idea House with an expert mix of antiques and contemporary pieces. Of the kitchen, she says: “When creating a classic white kitchen, be careful with the shade. It can’t seem stark—it needs to be a nice warm white.”

See More of Our 2015 Charlottesville Idea House

The Cozy Minimalist

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Paige Mullins

Billy Jack and Sarah Brawner’s mid-century modern home mixes minimalism and cool vintage finds. They say kitchen is where they spend most of their time, congregating around the large island for art projects, marathon baking sessions, and late-night chats.

See More of This Waco, Texas, Home at Christmas

Go A Little Retro

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cox

Whitney McGregor’s former Greenville, South Carolina, cottage might be painted white with black shutters on the outside, but it’s full of color and personality on the inside. And in case you haven’t heard, skirted sinks are back in a big way.

See More of This South Carolina Cottage

Shift Into Neutral

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

The homeowner of a Watercolor, Florida, home tasked interior designers Allison Smith and Anne Scott Shelley of Maison Studios with bringing the outdoors in. “My favorite colors are blue-green tones and the shades of old wicker and worn rugs—mostly hues you’d see outdoors here,” she says. They certainly achieved that goal in this soothing kitchen with wall paneling painted Sherwin-Williams’ Creamy, SW 7012 and cabinet-front appliances painted Sherwin-Williams’ Austere Gray, SW 6184.

See More of This Cozy Watercolor, Florida, Home

Freshen Up

Singer-songwriter and Nashville shop owner Holly Williams brought a Colonial revival home to life in Oak Hill, Tennessee. From the kitchen cabinetry to the playroom decor, the timeless color combo of black and white makes more than a dozen appearances in this home. “I love that this scheme is simultaneously casual and glam, classic and fresh,” she says.

Cabin Fever

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Frances Bailey

A couple renovating a 1,400-square-foot 1950s Cabin in the Spectacular Shenandoah Valley turned to Julie Dixon and Keith Scott of Charlottesville-based Rosney Co. Architects. Creating a home that felt “Western style” was an important part of the project. The countertops and backsplash are made of Alberene Soapstone quarried in Schuyler, Virginia. “It fits in with the rustic aesthetics of the cabin,” notes Scott, who used wood (kiln-dried to kill bugs) from an old barn on the property to construct the cabinets and the window surrounds.

Take Cues From The Coast

Blogger Julia Berolzheimer’s Lowcountry cottage is as breezy as its coastal location. The focal point of the kitchen is a La Cornue range with a tall patterned backsplash of Tabarka Studio tile that matches the pale blue cabinets (Farrow & Ball’s Parma Gray No. 27). Woven rattan pendants and stools bring in a little bit of the beach.

Open And Airy

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling; Buffy Hargett Miller

Designer Lindsey Coral Harper’s vision for our 2017 Idea House in Bald Head Island, North Carolina? “The interiors should nod to the locale and be light and comfortable—with a bit of beachy cheekiness.” The free-flowing kitchen is a beautiful example of that ethos.

See More of Our Dream Beach House

Fit For The Entire Family

Marili Forastieri; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

Designer Jenny Keenan blended old antiques with modern fixtures in the Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, home she designed for her parents. Their main must-have in the kitchen was a large island where grandkids could gather. To keep things interesting, Jenny skipped barstools in favor of a bench to limit leggy furniture, as that piece backs up to the breakfast table and chairs.

See More of This Forever Home in South Carolina

Lean On The Landscape

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elizabeth Demos

At this family’s dream house on Georgia’s Vernon River, the lush surroundings blend with the home’s interior. Windows and doors stay open all the time, particularly in the kitchen. “We wanted it to be easily accessible to the porch for serving food and drinks,” says homeowner and accessories designer Winslett Watson.

Mountain Cabin Revival

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cullen Cox

A run-down cabin in made a comeback as a relaxing retreat in Highlands, North Carolina, thanks to designer Whitney McGregor, who’s drawn to fixer-uppers. “For investment properties, I look for things that I can keep and use, because I like to save in one place so I can spend in another,” McGregor explains. Holding onto the existing cabinetry and hardware meant she could splurge on new flooring after finding water damage behind the dishwasher. She reimagined the original black-and-white checkerboard pattern using marble and pulled inspiration from European-style freestanding kitchens: replacing the upper cabinets with open shelving, rolling in a stainless steel island (topped with salvaged butcher block) for extra prep space, and hanging a pair of rise-and-fall pendants.

See More of This Dreamy North Carolina Mountain Home

DIY Touch

Annie and Connor Carroll documented every step of their DIY journey of renovating their first home, a 1950s ranch-style house in a trendy, walkable neighborhood in East Nashville. In the kitchen, Connor built open shelving with iron pipes from The Home Depot and installed the lower cabinets. He and Annie painted the home’s interior and, with help from friends and family, did most of the demolition themselves in the kitchen, bath, and exterior.

See More of This Nashville Couple’s First Home Remodel

Inspired By Ocean Hues

Chelsea Meissner’s run-down split-level rental became a relaxed Lowcountry surf shack with help from her friend and designer Kim Wolfe. “The inspiration for the kitchen came from Huriyali, a local juice bar. The Clay Imports tile reminds me of the Caribbean; the glossy finish looks like water in certain lighting. It’s one of my favorite moments in my home,” Meissner says. “Black appliances add masculinity and keep the room from feeling like a juice bar…I kept the layout of the space, which saved on electrical expenses, and used the original bottom cabinets, painting them Benjamin Moore’s Seapearl (OC-19).”

See More of This James Island, South Carolina, Home

Gorgeous In Green

Laurey W. Glenn

For our 50th anniversary Idea House in 2016, one designer simply wouldn’t do. We brought together a team of five designing minds to make a one-of-a-kind home. The kitchen was designed by architect Bill Ingram, who chose a “soothing and cooling” green, Sherwin-Williams Evergreens (SW 6447), that’s modern and not reminiscent of the avocado green of yesteryear.

Country Charm

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Homeowner and Gadabout Creative owner Hanna Seabrook’s first home in Louisville, Kentucky, showcased her love of antiques. Designer Olivia Brock helped her with this cozy kitchen, where the pair agreed that a farmhouse-inspired look best suited the 1940s home. Out went the faux stained glass window, black granite, and tile floor for timeless and surprisingly budget-friendly selections like beaded-board walls (run vertically for height), mahogany countertops, and hardwood floors painted a deep green gray (Benjamin Moore’s Randolph Gray in an exterior Arborcoat finish for durability). The pièce de résistance is the Country French drop-leaf table, found at a local antiques store.

See More of This Antiques-Loving Designer’s First Home in Kentucky

Traditional With A Twist

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Homeowners of a classic Georgian home in Atlanta enlisted designer Margaret Kirkland to infuse warmth and youthfulness into the traditional design. In the kitchen, that meant breaking the all-white mold with light blue subway tile and a weathered copper vent hood.

Dark And Moody

Photo: Helen Norman, Styling: Rebecca Omweg

Dark, woodsy hues, such as the bark brown stain on interior walls and trim and driftwood gray on the cabinetry, set the mood. Well-chosen accents of red, chartreuse, and turquoise stand out from the subdued backdrop without interrupting the calm.

Classic White

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Decorative touches—like green soapstone counters and tole fronts on the upper cabinets—add color and style to the white kitchen without taking up space. The marble-and-iron table also doubles as an island work surface.

Burst Of Citrus

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A burst of citrus is a surefire way to add energy. A simple design with pops of green brings out the brighter side of this Arkansas kitchen.

A Little Lofty

Photo courtesy Roger Davies/Random House

Situating the kitchen along a 30-foot wall takes up less space and creates ample room for dining. To accommodate the wall of windows, the homeowner fit all the appliances under the countertops. When an entire home is one open space, it’s important to limit materials for a cohesive look. All the walls are plaster, and new birch plywood was laid on the floors and living room ceiling.

Glitz And Glamour

Laurey W. Glenn

This sleek, all-white space is spiced up with brass accents and vintage pieces.

Farmhouse Charmer

Photo: Helen Norman

Typically used for barn roofing, the kitchen’s corrugated material adds authentic farmhouse charm for only about $15 per sheet.

Lake Life

Photo: Nancy Nolan

Hand-poured concrete countertops pick up the floor’s gray tones in this kitchen designed by Heather Chadduck Hillegas.

Restoration Project

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The main working part of the kitchen lines up front to back with twin cabinets capping both island ends and flanking the range.

Family-Friendly Update

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The entire stove niche is tiled with white ceramic subway tile for a clean look that blends seamlessly with the creamy walls (painted Intense White by Benjamin Moore). A single long, white shelf replaces open cabinetry and keeps dishes right at hand.

Sunny Delight

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

When Caroline and Andy Roeser purchased their Houston home, it was done with a love of the neighborhood and a lot of vision. Its windowless galley kitchen felt cold and dated, so the couple wasted no time renovating it to become a sunny, open space.

Wrapped In Wood

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Layered in wood from floor to ceiling, this kitchen would convert even the most ardent city slicker into a lover of all things handmade and hewn. Most of the wood for the kitchen cabinetry, as well as other built-ins in the house, was fashioned from salvaged, old-growth heart pine. The source for this sought-after material came about when the homeowner dismantled a nearby collapsing farmhouse. In the process, he also milled the lumber and then handed it over to his cabinetmaker to use during construction.

Easy Elegance

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

To update this kitchen, the homeowner and decorator Phoebe Howard installed hardwoods to match the rest of the house, swapped the dark black granite and tile for Carrara marble counters and backsplash tiles, changed the cabinet hardware, put in a movable island, and painted just about everything.

See more of this classic Birmingham home.

Warm And Whimsical

Nothing adds vintage, cottage appeal to a space like beaded board. Pair with warm wood, dusty green, and crisp white to complete the look.

Blue And White Done Right

Photo: Christopher Shane

Built around a centuries-old oak tree, this Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, kitchen offers a smart and sleek design created by architect Heather Wilson and designer Luann McCants.

Ranch Revival

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Plenty of wood and old pottery keep this sleek kitchen’s vibe down-to-earth.

Nod To Nautical

Barnes Vanze Architects

Clean white floors complement the cabinetry and island in this kitchen. A minimal number of upper cabinets keeps the space open. In their place, cantilevered antique chestnut shelves, reminiscent of a ship’s deck, add an organic touch. The shelves display plain white dishware against a wall of deep royal blue tile. The stainless steel appliances and large hanging light fixtures over the island call to mind metal boat fittings.

Fake More Space

Photo: Annie Schlechter

This homeowner cleared the back wall of the kitchen and created an opening into the dining room. All white walls, cabinets, and countertops also make the space seem bigger. To keep the room from feeling too flat, she added color and texture with accessories such as curtains and a jute rug. She reinforced the vintage look of the house with a new tongue-and-groove wood-plank ceiling and a trio of oversize globe lights, a splurge item.

Simplicity Matters

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Birmingham interior designer Lindsey Bond Meadows simplified the space by hanging two large glass globes that don’t block kitchen views.

Turn To The Trees

Photo: Helen Norman

To complement the rustic wood wall, Designer Richard Tubb chose freestanding restaurant-grade stainless steel cabinetry and enlisted blacksmith Darren Hardman to craft a custom steel island. Open shelving confines dishware to the essentials, while a row of bare Edison lightbulbs provides general and task lighting.

See more of this Rustic Lakehouse in the Trees

Classic Comeback

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Southern meets Swedish in the kitchen with blue gingham fabric and whimsical carved-wood pulls.

Cottage Style

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Architect Ken Pursley repeated elements from the exterior of this rural cottage inside for a seamless and cohesive design.

Clean And Contemporary

Photo: Tria Giovan, Styling: Olga Naiman

To balance out the traditional feel of the rest of the home, the kitchen’s countertops, appliances, and cabinets are all clean and contemporary. A quartz material protects not only the top of the kitchen island but also the sides from daily bumps and dings.

Reflective Nature

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Benjamin Moore’s Galapagos Green in high-gloss oil coats the kitchen ceiling. The beautiful surrounding lake views are mimicked by the color palette in this nature-inspired kitchen.

See more of architect Bill Ingram’s Lake House

Lighten Up

Photo: Erica George Dines

The walls, trim, cabinetry, and ceiling are all painted Benjamin Moore’s Linen White in the same eggshell finish. Hammered metal pendant lights and newly refinished wood floors are a nice counterpoint to the mainly white space.

Statement Maker


White kitchens are lovely, but it’s also an exciting place to take a design risk while still prioritizing practicality. In this kitchen, the length and height of one wall is covered with Popham Design’s sea glass-colored Goa tile. It’s a functional move too because the tile protects a hard-working wall from cooking chaos. Practicality also dictated the lighting. Rather than pendants over the island, which would have underscored the room’s lack of symmetry and blocked the view, this kitchen features ceramic flush mounts from Cedar and Moss.