Fasten your seat belts! Let’s take a trip around the world to view some gorgeous kitchens from various cultures, spanning the globe. While some details and décor may differ from what we’re accustomed to, we think you’ll find that – when it comes to kitchens – it really is a small world, after all!
A Whole New World of Kitchens
EUROPE: European design can be modern, traditional, or both. Some of our most popular kitchen styles originated as European style – i.e. the cozy cottage, the rustic farmhouse, and even modern design originated in Germany with the Bauhaus movement. You’ll notice that each country maintains its unique cultural style, while sharing the quintessential European aesthetic. Some European design trends include classic white cabinets, farmhouse style, post-modern/rustic combinations, dark greens, uniquely shaped windows, plush dining seating, concrete surfaces, woven baskets, retro-inspired appliances, antique décor, and patterned tile.
SCANDIAVIA: Scandinavian style is the archetypal example of combining nature and modern interior design. Famous for the creative use of natural wood, often light colored, and minimalist design, this ancient Nordic land has a unique style that is coveted the world over. Some Scandinavian trends would be clean and simple décor, lots of neutral colors, especially white, black, and gray (in that order), natural wood, and mid-century modern inspired furniture.
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND: Australian and Kiwi kitchens could easily be indistinguishable from kitchens of the US. Although, you will notice in these examples, there is a little cultural something that does differentiate them. Some of the trends in this area of the world include exposed beams and natural wood accents, vertically opening cabinets, thick natural wood shutter blinds, farmhouse sinks, rustic details, and white cabinets.
EAST ASIA: Known for its exceptionally modern and contemporary design styles, East Asia does have some traditional exceptions that favor classically oriental details. Asian designers are also masters of space efficiency. Current Asian kitchen design trends include natural stone and natural wood juxtaposed to glass and metal, bright accent colors, ultra-mod furniture, bamboo as a staple material, and linear, minimalist styling.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: In the Southeastern quadrant of Asia, modern design is still prevalent. However, we find more of a tendency to incorporate traditional detailing than in East Asia. Tile is popular, and there is often a Moroccan feel. This style is another happy marriage between naturalistic and contemporary, but you’ll find plenty of rustic and traditional kitchens there, too. Trends to expect for kitchens in this region are natural wood cabinets, natural stone and brick, metal and wooden lattice-work, Moroccan inspired tile, and ceramic cabinet and drawer pulls.
NORTH AFRICA: In the Northern countries of Africa, you’ll find kitchen designs spanning from rustic traditional to post-modern contemporary. Even the contemporary applications tend to tie in “old world” details. Design trends in North Africa include open shelving (as both an aesthetic and culturally functional detail), patterned tile, concrete surfaces, and brightly colored accents.
MIDDLE EAST: The Middle East shares some design aesthetics with North Africa. Both regions have a broad range of design styles, in which the pendulum swings from ultra-traditional to super-modern, but also along the median for an interesting blend of both. Some Middle Eastern kitchen trends consist of natural woods (often warm in hue), open shelving, tile mosaics, white and wood combinations, natural stone and brick, and warm metallics.
CENTRAL AMERICA: In Central American kitchens, when traditionally styled, ornate design is tastefully executed. And, when styled modern – you’ll often find bright colors, clean lines, and mixed materials. Both instances hearken to the classic Central American style – with elements including terracotta tile and décor, woven baskets, high-sheen wood finishes, and tapestry fabrics.
There are beautifully diverse kitchens all over the world. Taking some time to look at photos of kitchens from other cultures is a great way to get inspired in decorating your own kitchen with a unique flair. We enjoyed this trip around the globe, and we hope you did too!