Beautiful kitchen ideas: 13 effortlessly elegant spaces
How do you define ‘beautiful kitchen ideas’? In truth, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which means every single one of us will have a different view of what makes for a beautiful kitchen and what doesn’t. However, there’s one thing everyone at H&G, interior designers and kitchen experts can agree on, and that’s that beautiful kitchens tend to have been designed by someone with a fantastic eye for finishing touches and decorative detail.
So, if you are looking for kitchen ideas right now, why not take the advice and inspiration below and use both to create a space that you find truly beautiful?
Beautiful kitchen ideas
One of the best way of designing a kitchen effectively is to look at kitchen pictures for visual inspiration. However, decorative kitchen ideas are so much more impactful when accompanied by expert advice for every element. Below, we include both so that you can find beautiful kitchen ideas personal to you.
1. Dress to kitchen windows impress
Don’t underestimate the ability of window treatment ideas to add personality and beauty to a kitchen, and make it feel like more of a living space.
‘I always try to treat a kitchen like a drawing room as it’s the room that is currently most used for socializing. Kitchen curtain ideas are important to include as they add softness and comfort. Drawn at night they create cozy spaces rather than cavernous black windows,’ says Henriette von Stockhausen, founder of VSP Interiors (opens in new tab).
‘Use pattern to add extra interest and then keep other upholstery items plain with maybe a contrast piping referencing colors from the curtains.’
2. Pick eye-catching, complementing light fittings
The right kitchen lighting ideas balance practicality and atmosphere, but the fittings themselves also play a big part in setting the scene. The presence of wall lights is growing in the kitchen as the ‘fitted’ rigidity of wall units gives way to relaxed open shelving.
‘Stylish wall lights are a great alternative to ceiling downlights and will add an extra design feature on emptier walls,’ says Rohan Blacker, founder of Pooky (opens in new tab). ‘Set on separate circuits, they are great for layering with overhead and task lighting. Alone, they will provide softer, ambient illumination in the evening.’
Go for adjustable wall lights suitable for use with high-wattage bulbs if they are to be used as task lighting. Connect to dimmer controls for extra flexibility. ‘And ensure the finish complements the other fixtures in the room,’ says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens, ‘whether handles or countertops.’
3. Create a beautiful display
To create a beautiful kitchen you have to look at incorporating kitchen styling ideas, because successful kitchen interior design isn’t just about the functional. Instead of hiding everything away, celebrate the beauty of functional objects and keep things on display. Whether cherished china, pots and pans or cooking ingredients, these pieces add purpose to the space, and make for charming kitchen wall decor ideas.
‘An absence of top cabinets really opens up this kitchen, allowing the dusky pink paint color and artwork to add character and personalize the space,’ says Emma Bulmer, head color consultant at Edward Bulmer Natural Paint (opens in new tab).
4. Make space for curated cooking
‘The walls and shelves of kitchens can be transformed with kitchen art ideas, providing a daily dose of happiness,’ enthuses Erica Davis, co-founder of Murus Art (opens in new tab).
‘Hanging a large colorful piece above a dining table creates an uplifting atmosphere, while propping smaller pieces on shelves and countertops will inspire you as you cook. When leaning artwork on countertops, choose pieces framed behind glass so splashes can be wiped clean.’
5. Include subtle texture
Make a statement in a neutral kitchen with luxurious marble-look surfaces. This kitchen was transformed from dark, farmhouse style into a more contemporary space by Martin Moore (opens in new tab).
‘The new color scheme features light, dreamy neutrals,’ says Richard Moore, design director. ‘Our New Classic cabinetry is painted in Chalky Grey, paired with striking Calacatta marble-effect quartz on the island and backsplash. Brushed-brass knobs bring contrast and warmth, while ribbed-glass door panels and pale-blue cabinet interiors provide decorative interest and a visual link to the banquette seating upholstery.’
6. Choose freestanding fabulousness
We love love love this beautiful kitchen, which is packed with French country kitchen ideas. Whether a single dresser or fully unfitted throughout, incorporating freestanding kitchen ideas will evoke a fluid, relaxed atmosphere.
A farmhouse table can be all it takes to stop a kitchen appearing too ‘fitted’, while also proving useful for prepping and dining. Antique or vintage kitchen ideas will boost interest and personality; we love the heritage look of The Dairy Table from deVOL’s Heirloom Collection.
7. Include punchy pattern
‘Adding patterned upholstery into a space that is predominantly functional and often lacking softness is an easy way to make a kitchen feel warm and inviting,’ says Tess MacGeachy, interior designer at Amber Yard (opens in new tab).
‘Furnishings such as fabric dining chairs not only soften the space aesthetically but also cocoon you in comfort at the table.’
8. Find fringe details
If you are looking for beautiful kitchen ideas that extend into the pantry, take note of this pantry by interior designers Salvesen Graham (opens in new tab).
It is bursting with details that elevate it from functional to fabulous – in particular its stunning scalloped detail. ‘We wanted this room to feel cheerful and what better way than with joyful yellow (Mister David by Little Greene) and scallop edging?’ asks Nicole Salvesen. ‘We used glass cloths trimmed with old fabric for the gathered curtain – the perfect opportunity to reuse and reinvent.’
9. Use symmetry for a pleasing finish
Using symmetry in interior design is very pleasing visual, as is carrying an accent color through an entire space. Here, both are done skilfully with painted kitchen ideas and matching kitchen flooring ideas to help a large open-plan kitchen feel cohesively connected from every angle.
‘As this large spacious room has very high ceilings, it was important to create meaningful points of interest within,’ explains Blakes London (opens in new tab)’s lead designer Annie Ebenston.
‘Using warm red on the pantries that frame the fireplace lifts the whole elevation to be more than just a period fireplace.’
In isolation, the pantries could have overpowered but the custom-colored floor tiles play an anchoring role that unites them with the rest of the kitchen. ‘The matching tile color ties the room together beautifully,’ says Annie.
10. Use color in unexpected spaces
Beautiful kitchen ideas always include a splash of color somewhere, but how to keep it subtle?
‘Painting the interior of glazed wall cabinets is a really effective way to add a touch of personality to your kitchen,’ says Jayne Everett, creative director at Naked Kitchens (opens in new tab).
If you really want to celebrate your favourite kitchen color ideas, go for clear glass and let the color sing. The breezy blue used here only accounts for 10 per cent of the kitchen’s overall color palette but its eye-level placement and vibrancy ensure the color goes much further.
‘Reeded glass doors will provide a more diffused color, when shut, especially if the shelves are filled with glassware. No color is too bright or out of bounds,’ adds Jayne.
11. Ensure that old meets new
Farmhouse kitchen ideas tend towards homey, beautiful spaces. Introducing some antique or vintage furniture into a kitchen has the immediate effect of creating a warm, lived-in home environment. Farmhouse furniture in the form of a scrubbed kitchen table or dresser is the obvious choice for a traditional look.
Timeless, built to last and often inexpensive to find at vintage fairs, antique pieces will introduce character to a new space. This design by Ben Pentreath was a 21st-century take on a Welsh farmhouse kitchen. Simple joinery, including a large larder cupboard and open shelves, combines with a butler’s sink, Delft tiles, period-style lighting and antique furniture to create a timeless feel, perfectly in keeping with the house’s architectural style.
12. Introduce all the frills
Pattern doesn’t often make it into the kitchen, but a fabric skirt is an of-the-moment way to bring in a little decorative softness. A rippling skirt creates a relaxed feel and evokes a nostalgic, country kitchen mood.
Here it brings a homey feel to smart cabinetry, but the handsome deep cornice of the plate rack stops the room looking twee. This kitchen is the Heirloom Collection by deVOL (opens in new tab), a bespoke range, in Refectory Red.
13. Choose a soft colorwash for walls
Immerse yourself in color by painting walls and painting kitchen cabinets the same shade. From knocked-back olive to smoky sage, for many kitchen designers green is the new neutral.
The sage of Neptune’s Henley cabinetry continued onto the walls has a restful, serene effect. ‘The strong architectural elements, such as the beams, provided instant charm and interest so we decided not to compete with them, creating a simple, pared-back monochromatic scheme,’ says Simon Temprell, interior design manager at Neptune (opens in new tab). ‘A light-oak countertop with black-bronze hardware enhances the vintage feel and the result is one of calm, understated elegance.’
How can I make my kitchen beautiful?
To make your kitchen look beautiful, first look at declutttering tips to ensure it can be kept as tidy as possible. This done, consider whether the cabinet doors need to be updated or repainted. Updating hardware, such as handles and even faucets can make a dated kitchen look more beautiful, as can upgrading light fittings. Ensuring any hardware, from lighting to handles, complement each other is vital in ensuring your beautiful kitchen ideas work together. Assuming walls are smartly painted and flooring is sound, hang artwork and lay rugs to add color and pattern, and finish off the space with pretty window treatments.