1. TRY A TONAL PALETTE
If you skip the coldest whites and glossy finishes, a well-judged palette of neutrals will feel anything but clinical. Just ask the Scandinavians, who design their minimalist houses to combat long, dark winters.
2. DEFER TO A STRIKING VIEW
'When we design spaces we often look to capture what we call 'single transformative moments', and this kitchen window is certainly one of those moments,' says Noah Walker of his design for this Los Angeles home, which faces a grove of melaleuca trees.
3. CALL ON NATURAL MATERIALS
We've lived with these materials for millennia, so it's little wonder that the human brain registers wood, stone and natural plasters as particularly liveable – never mind the longevity factor. Just like in a minimalist living room, a visible grain or textured clay can do wonders to warm up the place.
4. USE PASTELS AS A NEUTRAL
If you're wondering 'how do I make my kitchen minimalist' and are wary of too much white, then all is not lost If you're not a dyed-in-the-wool purist, you'd do well to take a cue from Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio, who live with their 'Rise' kitchen design for John Lewis of Hungerford.
5. LOWER THE CONTRAST
There's a lot of confusion around contrasting colors and materials – we blame muddled teachings on color theory in art class – but the general consensus among designers is to dial it down for a restful result. That means considering how a stone and a plaster might sit side-by-side: are they natural bedfellows, or do you find your eye drawn to the boundary?
6. DON'T DISCOUNT METALLICS
Benjamin Shields of Dreamer Lab might recommend fewer materials, but that doesn't mean they should be middle-of-the-road. For this impactful kitchen project, the client was keen to use brass in reference to 'an older era of rustic accommodation,' he explains. 'It gives a subtle feeling of craft to the space.'
7. LOOK TO THE LANDSCAPE
A minimalist approach means something a little different to every designer, but for for Lilianna Kim, it's all about 'an experience without any unnecessary distractions' – which also means honing in on the best bits.
8. PICK A PRACTICAL MATERIAL
Here's a kitchen that's earned a double take. So well hidden are the usual kitchen components that you'd be forgiven for mistaking that monolithic island for part of a high-end spa – before you spot the kitchen sink. 'The client wanted a space that was incredibly durable and retained its sculptural quality even with extreme everyday use,' says Noa Santos, founder of NAINOA.
9. CONSIDER RESTFUL COLOR
Call it duck egg or a muted cornflower – either way, we suspect this glorious grey-blue kitchen color scheme could catch the eye of even the most ardent colorphobe.
10. KEEP WELLNESS IN MIND
'Sometimes the most crucial aspects of a well-functioning space are not on display,' says designer Louisa Grey, whose north London townhouse has all sorts of tricks up its sleeve – not least the cocooning kitchen downstairs, designed with a nod to happy Puglian holidays.