Cottage kitchens. Cozy, happy and unpretentious, a cottage kitchen harks back to simpler times and evokes a sense of easy, carefree living. Beadboard, soft colors, vintage hardware, wood floors and colorful accents and curtains will infuse your kitchen with cottage comfort.
Farmhouse kitchens. Warm and homey farmhouses anchored a life on the land, and they still offer great functionality and comfort. Their open shelving, wide sinks, classic flooring and big kitchen table make them easy to work in and easy to love.
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Elements from nature. Asian design places a strong emphasis on bringing the outdoors inside through plants and natural motifs. Consider adding touches of glass or acrylic that has bamboo, grasses or leaves embedded within it, as in the shoji screen–style panels that front this kitchen window. You could also line cabinet panels with split bamboo stalks or add potted bamboo plants or wheatgrass to infuse the space with a sense of life.
Soft colors. The cottage palette is usually light and airy, and kitchens follow suit. It’s hard to go wrong with crisp, classic white, but soft yellow, pale turquoise or light khaki all look fresh and appropriate as well. Or try a mix of cabinetry colors: one shade on the island with a contrasting hue on the cabinets.
Open shelving. In a classic farmhouse kitchen, wall-mounted shelves and doorless cabinets keep dishware and utensils easy to locate and grab. If your kitchen has traditional upper and lower banks of cabinetry, consider removing some of the doors for the look of open shelving, or replace upper cabinets with floating or bracketed shelves.