European Kitchen Design

Gather ideas and inspiration for European kitchen design, and prepare to add an elegant and efficient look to your kitchen space.
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Photo by: BBP

BBP

By: Sean McEvoy

European kitchen design can range from modern kitchen design to a more traditional style—but a consistent theme in contemporary European design tends more toward styles inspired by the midcentury modern design that originated in the Nordic countries.

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Often featuring a mix of dramatic angles and flowing curves, midcentury modern design can be seen in many European-style kitchens, reflected in the furniture, cabinets, accessories and even colors employed.

The designs that proliferated in the Nordic countries from the 1930s to 1950s often featured hard lines and geometric forms alongside flowing curves, often seen in the arms, backs and legs of chairs, for example. European kitchen cabinets often display a simple, unadorned style, featuring flat surfaces, little or no hardware, and flush doors.

Traditional kitchen design tends to incorporate natural materials for cabinets, countertops, floors and furniture. European kitchens may do the same, or, if their style is more modern or contemporary, they will often feature materials like laminate, ceramics and molded plastics. But even the most avant-garde European kitchen design can benefit from the use of natural materials, as granite countertops, sleek hardwood floors and aesthetically striking wooden furniture can be a tremendous complement to any kitchen, whether the prevailing design is modern, traditional or somewhere in between.

Accessories and other small components can be an essential feature of European kitchen design. For an easy-to-install, updated look, cabinet doors can be replaced with frosted glass, or a wood or laminate-style veneer. Another great way to add visual interest and pops of color in your European kitchen design is with cooking accessories like blenders, coffeemakers and mixers. These are now available in hyper-colorful, modern styles, many of which seem to live at the intersection of vintage and contemporary design and therefore can work exceedingly well in a European-style kitchen. Cookware and large utensils are available in similarly bold designs, helping to create a lively and interesting kitchen space.

When it comes to flooring and tile work in European kitchen designs, these aspects tend to adhere to the overall design. Some European kitchens may adopt the individual style flourishes of a particular region or country—for example, Tuscan kitchens often feature terracotta or earth-toned ceramic tile for flooring and backsplashes, as is the custom in that fabled region of Italy. French country kitchens, similarly, may feature natural colors and tones to create a soothing, welcoming atmosphere.

Furniture can be both functional and attractive in European kitchen designs. Because European kitchens are often smaller spaces, efficient table and chair sets in wood, plastic or metal—sometimes featuring bold colors like yellow, red, orange and blue—are common, offering an aesthetically pleasing but also convenient eating space.

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