Interior Obsessions – Minimal Kitchen

By Modern Simplicity • posted on 06/04/2024


As part of my job designing custom homes, I am often caught in a bit of a quandary. Visually, I prefer the look of a very simple kitchen space, often with simple base cabinets and appliances, with perhaps a single full-height cabinet and some open shelving. But clients typically want to max out the amount of cabinet space available with full upper cabinets, something packed into every nook and cranny. Typically, we end up somewhere between the two. But the images of these gorgeous simple kitchens continue to inspire me, and I hope you’ll feel the same.

If you love that simple look, but really need the extra storage space, one great way to get the best of both worlds is to devote one section to full-height cabinetry. Because of its repetition and flat profile, a full line of cabinets reads more like a flat wall, especially depending on the style of cabinet you choose. If you want to make those cabinets really disappear, try a full overlay cabinet, and even consider using a touch-latch door system to rid yourself of all those handles. Or add a simple pull handle routed into the edge of the door so that all you see is a thin line. Try to lengthen the expanse of counter space to help create this simple look in the areas where you focus on the lower cabinets. Basic shelving above keeps an open look while allowing for a bit of extra space to put those glasses and plates.

(above) Light and Airy


Wood and Black Base + Elegant Open Shelving


Teal Undercounter


Modern with Old + Black and White


White with Stainless

Amy wrote this post. She is the designer and owner of FormFire Glassworks, where she creates modern lampwork glass beads and jewelry, and by day designs custom homes for a small firm in Southern California. You can follow her twitter @formfireglass.

10 comments | Click here to reply

Where are the pendant lights from?? I love them.

Meredythe Torrence

So great to meet you at the Hello Party before Alt Anna. Your business card was one of my favorites (and your blog is awesome).


I’ve been totally obsessed with the white/minimal look lately and these could not be more perfect! Love them! xo! Anna
p.s. it was great getting to meet you at Alt!

Anna Newell Jones

We are in the midst of a kitchen “facelift” and my heart aches for a wall of windows and open shelving. These photos are total eye candy.

Eleanor @ Ballyhoo & Bedbugs

Interior Obsessions – Minimal Kitchen

milkandhoneynaturals (@naturalssoap)

I completely know what you mean Amanda. I’m pretty short too and we have super high cabinets. I always end up climbing on top of the counter to get stuff. So annoying. I should probably organize my base cabinets better so I don’t have to climb anymore. 🙂


I love a simple kitchen as well and the images you shared are a breath of fresh air! I am short so when I re-designed my kitchen, I wanted nothing to do with upper cabinets. I used a lot of drawers as opposed to the typical base cabinet. I feel like they really make the most of base cabinet space because you have easy access to their full depth. I did install some open shelving for visual interest.


Thanks for pinning it Vanessa. You have some really cool lights on that board….like the hanging umbrellas?! Pretty awesome.


Love the globe glass lights. Just added them to my Pinterest board. Vanessa


Interior Obsessions – Minimal Kitchen: As part of my job designing custom homes, I am often…

Brittni Mehlhoff (@papernstitch)
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