10 Tips & Tricks for a Modern Minimalist Kitchen

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a tidy, uncluttered kitchen. If that minimalist look is something you want to have all the time, then it’s time to transform your space into a modern minimalist kitchen.

Not naturally a minimalist? That’s ok. You can learn how to design, organize, and maintain your kitchen for that pristine look and stress-free feel. Take a look at these 10 tips and tricks to get started.

Conquer the Utensil Drawer

You know the drawer we’re talking about. The one that’s completely full of spatulas, wooden spoons, and random odds and ends like nutcrackers that you dig up about once a year. The utensil drawer is a great place to start when you want a minimalist kitchen.

Start by sorting. Put all like items together. Next determine just how many of each item you need. Do you need two sets of measuring spoons? Probably not. Minimalists make do with one or two spatulas, wooden spoons, turners, and measuring implements. As for the things you use rarely, like the nutcracker, assess whether or not you really need it. If you’re not sure, err on the side of minimalism and get rid of it. You can always borrow one from a friend.

Go Organization Bananas

One key feature of a minimalist kitchen is organization. A place for everything and everything in its place is the mantra of a minimalist. When things don’t have a home, they get lost or end up becoming clutter.

Cupboards and drawers are excellent storage but you’ll generally need to add some organizers to make these spaces work for you. Drawer organizers are indispensable. Consider things like plate racks, containers, and cabinet dividers to get things organized.

If you have a smaller kitchen, you may like accessories like knife blocks, spice drawer inserts, and pull-out cabinet drawers or racks to make the most of what storage space you have.

Get Rid of Extras

Having a backup plan is usually a great idea, unless that backup plan comes in the form of an extra blender, waffle iron, and toaster. Keeping extras on hand takes up a lot of space and is fundamentally at odds with a minimalist kitchen.

The minimalist kitchen is not the place for collections. In minimalist kitchen design, there isn’t much place for sentimental items—at least not large collections of them. Functionality comes first in a minimalist kitchen design. Your coffee mug or salt shaker collection takes up valuable cabinet or shelf space, space that should be left to other items.

In the modern minimalist kitchen there is some value placed on vignettes as an element of the decor. You can add spare items of sentimental value on open shelves for a personalized, yet minimal approach to adding some simple decor to the kitchen.

 A white kitchen with cleared countertops.

Clear the Counter

The first thing you’ll notice about the minimalist kitchen is how little there is on the countertop. Minimalist kitchens only have the bare necessities on the countertop. Even then, some may opt to move the toaster out only while it is needed rather than letting it live on the topside.

A good rule of thumb for what to keep and what to put away is twofold. If it doesn’t take up much space or has a more vertical aspect, like a crock of kitchen utensils, it can stay. If it is something you use daily or multiple times a day, it can stay. If it’s both, it can definitely stay.

Be sure items you leave on the countertop add something to the design. In a kitchen with chrome accents, a chrome toaster and chrome utensil crock won’t detract from the streamlined vibe of the space.

Evaluate Your Abilities as a Chef

Today, kitchens are multi-functional. They aren’t just for cooking anymore. Minimalists do a good job of assessing how they’ll actually use their kitchen and design it around that. If you are a budding gourmet chef, then you’ll want to focus your kitchen around cooking, i.e. a good flow from appliance to appliance and easily accessible kitchen tools.

However, if you’re more about entertaining, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of seating and a butler’s pantry to stage the courses of your meal. If you’re more of a warm-it-up rather than cooking kind of person, be sure to keep the toaster oven and microwave readily accessible.

Learn the Joy of Multi-Tasking Tools

Spend 10 minutes flipping through the TV channels late at night and you’ll know just how many random kitchen gadgets there are. The problem is, a kitchen gadget that does just one thing tends to become clutter. Any minimalist will tell you, if it does only one thing, it’s not worth having around.

The minimalist kitchen should be filled with items that can do a myriad of things. For instance, a good stand mixer that comes with attachments can do the work of a pasta maker, meat grinder, slicer, dicer, and even snow cone machine but only takes up the space of your standard mixer.

Be Disciplined

We won’t lie, a modern minimalist kitchen takes discipline to maintain if it doesn’t come naturally to you, it won’t be long before the kitchen is cluttered again. Vow to clean up right away, put things away immediately, and don’t bring more stuff in unless you already have a place for it.

It can also help to get into the habit of doing a quick clean up every evening before going to bed. Put everything away, tidy up, do a quick clean, sweep the floor, and you’re ready to start fresh the next day.

Minimalism is as much a mindset and lifestyle as it is a design style. Make your mind up now to live the minimalist lifestyle and your kitchen will naturally follow.

Revise Your Color Palette

Too much color, too bold colors, or too much pattern are minimalism killers. A modern minimalist kitchen is neutral, airy, and fresh. You may want to think about simplifying your color palette if you currently have something a bit more colorful.

The classic white on white kitchen is an excellent choice. Kitchens in gray are a great option too. Greige, beige, and slightly tinted whites or grays like sage work as well. If you crave a bit of color, reserve that for an occasional accent in a temporary feature like flowers in a vase, a piece of art, or hand towels.

Say No to Knobs

One concept of the modern minimalist kitchen removes as much as possible from the structure of the kitchen. That includes handles and knobs, overly fussy appliances, and kitschy decor.

When you think about how many cabinet doors and drawers you have in the kitchen and a handle or knob for each one, that adds up fast. Those knobs can become a distraction in an otherwise streamlined kitchen design.

Opt for simple, barely there knobs or get rid of them altogether. Instead, cutouts (called J-pull) or rail grips on the interior of the cabinet door help you open the cabinets easily without any visible handle.

Say Yes to Flat Front Cabinets

Flat front cabinets are a minimalist’s dream. They have no decoration, just clean flat surfaces that don’t detract from the harmony that is a minimalist kitchen. A modern minimalist kitchen design might opt for white or gray flat front cabinets without any handles. A bit more relaxed minimalist design might favor a wood grain or a mix of looks.

Either way, the flat front cabinet is clean, simple and ideal for the minimalist aesthetic. If you want that simple look but want a bit of decoration on the cabinet, a great alternative is a Shaker cabinet. They are clean-lined and do a great job of blending minimalist styles with more rustic or transitional looks like a modern farmhouse.

Crave the simplicity of a modern minimalist kitchen? Try a few of these tricks to transform your kitchen into the harmonious space you desire. In the meantime, be inspired by these minimalist concepts.

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