Creating Kitchens That Aren’t Cookie-Cutter

I’ve been doing a lot of kitchen research recently to gear up for two upcoming renovation projects. I love designing kitchens as they tend to be the space my clients spend the most time in, even when they claim they don’t cook (if the wine and booze is there, guest will still congregate in the kitchen even if you’re ordering in, come on now). Since my clients tend to spend a lot of time in their kitchens, I always think they should reflect the tastes and personality of the residents—just like every other space in a home.

Now, perhaps I’m the minority in this thinking because I feel like lately, I’ve been seeing the same elements repeated over and over again in every kitchen I see. The same light fixtures, same hardware, same colors, same tile, and so on and so on. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have and will use all of these individual elements in projects, but not all together and not all at once. I fear that these super trendy and specific spaces will quickly become dated and fall victim to the ol’ “That’s SO 2017” exclamation. Now I certainly understand not wanting to go all-out crazy in a kitchen for resale purposes but come on, we can inject some personality and individuality into these rooms without scaring away the masses. Scroll on to see some of my favorite unique but functional spaces and get inspired to think beyond being basic.


A mix of wood and white cabinet fronts adds interest in this space by Jute Interior Design. The vintage-inspired pendants feel fresh and the simple marble slab backsplash over the stove is a welcome change from tile.

Natural oak cabinets in Mindy Kaling’s Los Angeles kitchen feel both fresh and appropriate in her vintage home. Bronze fixtures and hardware are a refreshing change from brass.

I love the use of color in this space in Birmingham Home and Garden both on the cabinets as well as the tile. Usually people are reluctant to go all in with both surfaces and prefer to keep the tile, paint, or counters white. Kudos to this family for not being afraid to be different.

I’m so in love with these square tiles available through Exquisite Surfaces. Their timeless texture is pretty amazing and such a refreshing change from white subway.

Deeply grey veined counters, textural brick tile, leather cabinet pulls, and light wood cabinets. I mean, so fresh.

So what do you think? Am I totally off base and wrong here?