How To Create A Minimalist Kitchen

Minimalist white kitchen interior design with colorful yellow, pink and orange flowers in vase. Glossy cupboard surface

Written by: Sarah Haley

What is minimalism?

Minimalist style has become increasingly popular in the modern world. Minimalist design began to emerge in the 20th century as a reaction to the past’s highly busy and decorative styles.

It’s believed that minimalism has been influenced by the clean aesthetic of Scandinavian design, the zen simplicity of Japanese gardens, and by the Dutch De Stijl (neoplasticism) movement founded in 1917.1

Today, minimalism has become widespread in the world of fashion, art, graphic design, and interior design.

Dieter Rams is a German product designer, architect, and interior designer who had a major influence on many modern-day designers including Apple products designer Jonny Ive. Rams is commonly known for his simplistic style and the 10 Principles of Good Design that he formulated. The principal Rams is most known for is “good design is as little design as possible.”

Ram's tenth point ties back to minimalism where less is more.

Design historian and author, Sophie Lovell, explained that “a well-designed product should be so good that it is barely noticeable. By omitting the unnecessary, says Rams, the essential factors come to the fore: the product becomes ‘quiet, pleasing, comprehensible and long-lasting.’”2 

The minimalist interior design style of today is primarily attributed to the 20th century consumer culture. The style has also become heavily popularized by social media influencers and movie stars.

The Key Components of Minimalism Design

According to The Spruce, a popular home décor and lifestyle website, the characteristics of minimalism design are
  • Less is more ("good design is as little design as possible")
  • Functionality is key
  • Simple, clean lines
  • Use of limited, but well-chosen materials like wood, glass, steel, and concrete
  • Use of a monochromatic or limited colour palette
  • Space is airy and uncluttered
  • Every item has a purpose and a place
  • Utilization and emphasis of natural light

Steps to Create a Minimalist Kitchen

It can be difficult to know where to start when transitioning over to a minimalist style. To get you started, here are six steps that will help transform your kitchen into a minimalist’s dream. 

1. Keep only one set of dishes

Keeping one (or two) sets of dishes will help eliminate excess counter clutter and keep your kitchen looking cleaner. After every meal, you'll have to wash your dishes which might take a while to get used to, but once you do, your kitchen will look spotless 24/7. 

If you’ve got a small kitchen, limiting the dishes you have will free up cupboard space. Then you can use the free space to store other kitchen items or appliances. Utilizing your storage space efficiently will ensure your kitchen is as minimalist as possible. 

2. Hide those appliances (or incorporate them) 

It’s easy to let air fryers, coffee makers, toasters, kettles, blenders, mixers, and other kitchen appliances occupy the counters. Instead of keeping them all on display, choose the one or two most commonly used appliances.

A good tactic to use when determining whether or not to keep the appliance out is asking yourself, do I use this every day?

If the answer is no, then hide it.

And if you can’t hide it, try disguising it. It's common in minimalist design to hide appliances behind faux drawer fronts and faux cabinets. If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to hide your kitchen appliances, check out Old House’s 6 Ways to Hide Kitchen Appliances

3. Purchase a nesting set 

Nesting kitchen accessories are great if you’re trying to add a minimalist touch to your kitchen. All the items in a nesting set stack (or nest) perfectly inside one another which helps you free up extra storage space.

If you’re looking for new mixing bowls, Canadian tire sells the 8-piece MASTER Chef Nesting Bake Preparation Set. 

If you’re on the hunt for a durable, non-stick, nesting cookware set, check out Calphalon Premier.  

4. Think quality NOT quantity 

This point is crucial whether you’re trying to minimize your bedroom, kitchen, or life.

Instead of buying a set of 30 plastic containers, try purchasing a smaller set of glass containers with wooden lids. Not only will the glass containers last you longer (as long as you don’t drop them), but they are better for the environment and of higher quality. 

The rule can be applied to anything. Pots, pans, cutlery, plates, bowls, wine glasses, and even friends. If it’s high quality, odds are it’s going to last you longer. Plus you'll need less of them which will free up that kitchen space.

5. Clear the counters 

Minimalism means less is more, which means if something doesn’t need to be on the counter, then get rid of it. Counters can quickly fill with papers, soap bottles, and dirty dishes.

To counteract the clutter, make sure you are mindful of what you place down. 

The papers can go in their designated place and the dishes can be cleaned or placed in the dishwasher immediately after use. 

To minimalize your kitchen and eliminate those pesky plastic soap bottles, install a Triden Troop mini automatic dispenser. The Troop has a sleek design, titanium finish, and mounts on the wall. 

Do you need a dispenser for hand soap and dish soap? No worries, the Triden Troop comes in a double set

6. Keep it neutral 

If you want to spice up the kitchen with some décor, a new backsplash, or a fresh coat of paint, it's best to keep it neutral. Minimalist design typically involves primarily monochromatic colours. 

A monochromatic colour scheme is comprised of a single base colour as the foundation. Then, the varying tones, tints, and shades of the base colour are used throughout the space and to add accents.3  

So, if you’re looking to add a minimalist touch to your kitchen, keep the colour range to a minimum and try to opt for neutrals if you find there's too much colour. A minimalist kitchen can still contain bright colours, the trick is making sure that the room doesn’t look too busy. 

For example, if you want a bright coloured wallpaper or backsplash, try opting for neutral wall paint and cabinets. Then you can tie in the wallpaper colour with décor items such as a vase, lighting fixture, fruit bowl, or fresh flowers. 

beautiful minimalist kitchen with bright blue accents and backsplash. Interior design, decor

photo credit: Crystal Cabinetry 

The Takeaway

Minimalism style incorporates simplicity and innovative design to create an airy and clear space. 

If you want to minimize your life, then less is more.

These six steps will help you create a minimalist kitchen that optimizes storage space. 


"Live simply, so other may simply live."
– Mahatma Gandhi, 1928

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