A kitchen is a place of warmth and comfort where everyone has a seat and a meal to put in their stomachs every evening. A lot of the time, however, that image is spoiled by the fact that modern kitchens have too much stuff. Clutter takes over every surface, and cupboards are jammed full of extra devices and food that really doesn't need to be there. If this sounds familiar, than creating a minimalist kitchen may be a good idea to getting that family-based room to its rightful spot as best room in the house.
What is minimalist design?
Minimalist design focuses on clearing the clutter and excess “stuff” from a room so that it can be used for only the essentials. In terms of a minimalist kitchen, this applies to drawers, cupboards, appliances, counter space and even dining areas. This is an established concept that has been around for a long time and there are a lot of ideas and tips on how to create the elegant and modern kitchen to match the cleanliness theme in the rest of the home.
- Prioritize, triage, and maintain—From appliances to food in the pantry, the first thing to do in creating a streamlined kitchen is to prioritize. There are certain minimalist kitchen essentials that everyone has, including a cutting board, a good knife, forks, spoons, bowls, cups, mugs, etc. Your kitchen needs to be stocked with only the essentials for everyday eating and cooking. This means getting rid of the kitchen mixer (or storing it out of sight), the bread maker, and so on. Stick to the “must-have” pieces that are used every single week. Focus on triaging anything that isn't used regularly and donate it to a place that could use it. This clutter-free space needs to be maintained and “weeded out” regularly to ensure it stays ready for minimalist entertaining.
- Consider open shelving—Another popular part of minimalist kitchen ideas is open shelving. This kind of shelving forces only the essentials to be on display in standard clear jars or canisters. They'll add a uniform look to the room, and the open shelving (whether it's traditional cupboards with the doors taken off, or shelving constructed from scratch). If going with traditional cupboards, consider adding frosted glass or clear glass, which also creates the minimalist appeal but still gives a closed door to keep the front uniform.
- Adjust as time goes on—From appliances to the food that's kept close, needs may change as time moves on. So, make sure that the kitchen is ready to transform and develop as the minimalist design takes over. There might be early formations where it looks great, but doesn't work in terms of where everything is located. This means that it needs to transform again into a newer form that will work and still look minimalist. It may take several of these adjustments for the kitchen design and practical aspects to blend together.
- Keep counters totally clear—The number one rule when looking at minimalist design is that clutter should be totally gone off the counters. The shelving and cupboards have some wiggle room for keeping food and appliances close by, but counters need to maintain clear sight lines from edge to edge. This makes food preparation easier, too, so there are several positives to remembering this essential
Why it's important
There are a lot of kitchens that don't use minimalist design and still look sleek and modern, so why is this something to consider when creating a kitchen makeover? There are quite a few reasons why minimalism is as popular as it is, and here are the highlights to focus on.
- Saves time—When timing is tight and the goal is to get everyone fed and in the car hurriedly, a well-organized kitchen with the essentials all where they should be is going to be a major helping hand. Meal preparation, clean up, cooking space will all be available and ready to keep moving smoothly in a timely manner.
- Saves money—Knowing that the kitchen is reserved for essentials only means that common unnecessary appliances and additional “nice-to-have” won't be an issue when shopping. There will be no temptation to buy a bread maker or a deep fryer because your kitchen design won't allow for it. Likewise, there will be no room to buy an extra cutlery set or dining set because there is no room in the minimalist design to bring in a double set. When grocery shopping, there will be only room for the fundamental provisions and there will be no more accidental buying something that was already in the kitchen cupboard. Clean lines and open shelving play their roles, here. The bottom line is that the money won't be spent, and both the chequebook and the kitchen will be in good harmony.
- Makes life simpler—From storage, to clean up, to food prep, to entertaining, a minimalist kitchen makes everything in life simpler. There is no need to clean up frantically before guests arrive, because the kitchen already looks spotless and modern with the new theme. Grocery shopping will be effortless because the list will be short, cheap, and putting groceries away will be a breeze.
The thing to remember with minimalism is that it can make even the most cluttered small space work efficiently and look larger than ever before. All it takes is clean lines, clutter-free counters and triaging to pull the look together. When admiring minimalist kitchens online through photos and video walk-throughs, it's easy to see just why the simplistic design is catching on with homeowners everywhere. A tidy kitchen often translates into a tidy home, and for those who entertain regularly or have a million things to do and little time to do it, minimalist kitchen decor is going to mesh perfectly with the busy lifestyle. All that's left is to get started.