What's the difference between American and British kitchens?


Though American homes aren't always larger than those in Britain, English kitchens tend to be more compact and function-forward. With more historic buildings, British kitchens often offer a master class in smart storage and form-follows-function design.


Layout is one of many contributing factors to the overall atmosphere and aesthetic of both British and American kitchens. Mike Whitfield – head of sales at Lusso, a luxury homeware brand based in the UK – says when it comes to aesthetics, 'there are firm favorites in both the UK and the US.


In part due to size and layout, the appliances found in American versus British kitchens differ as well. And while it comes down to more than just brand names, Kimberly says that one specific appliance stands out to her as characteristically European.


'Instead of built-in cabinetry and predictable center islands, as we have grown accustomed to in American kitchens, British kitchen storage is more discrete,' says Kimberly.


'British kitchens have a certain charm which can be hard to find anywhere else in the world. This is especially true of period properties; kitchens in these houses tend to be bespoke, and when done well, they can marry a traditional aesthetic with high-end, luxe finishes for a beautiful eclectic style,' says Mike.


When it comes to kitchen lighting ideas, American kitchens tend to have more to work with. And though those living in Midwestern states or on the East Coast might disagree, Mike says that many US states 'have the luxury of great weather,' making indoor-outdoor designs easier to achieve. He says that the 'option of floor-to-ceiling access to the garden' is 'perfect for family life,' but it isn't always possible in British buildings.


The need for caffeine is universal, but the UK's love of tea just isn't reflected in the states – and this difference is apparent in many kitchens. Over time, the British drink station has migrated over to the US, and America seems to be having a coffee station moment – inspired by, but not identical to, British design.


Open or floating kitchen shelving is a defining feature of classic British kitchens, and Kimberly says this look has started to make its way to the US. Organizing open shelving in a kitchen lets plates and mugs coexist alongside 'objects unrelated to the kitchen,' contributing to the collected, lived-in look many British kitchens evoke.

Follow us on Social Media