You've probably heard the term thrown around quite a bit: European-style kitchen design. But do you really understand what it is and is it right for your kitchen?
How is it Different?
If you are comparing an American kitchen to a European kitchen, you have to look at the people these kitchens are designed for. Americans like to shop in quantity for food and all things kitchen-related.
Think big box stores, many small appliances, and twenty-four packs of paper towels. They love lots of cabinets to store the items while keeping them out of sight. Americans love large spaces, expansive floor plans, and comfort. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets, large refrigerators with freezer space, and shelving to store and display collections are in the American kitchen.
In contrast, Europeans tend to buy what they will eat right now. They like simplicity and easy care. Smaller kitchens translate into minimized upkeep, and without the collections of food and items requiring additional storage space, they opt for smaller cabinets and cleaner lines.
How Does this Translate Into Design?
European-style kitchens are sometimes considered to be a cross between mid-century modern, clean lines of Swedish or Nordic design, with a little bit of traditional thrown in. Euro-style has clean lines, flat surfaces, and hidden hardware.
Cabinet doors are flush, simple, with no visible hinges or pulls. Lines are more contemporary, but choices of materials and layout could warm up the space. Natural materials can be used, but often you will see the use of laminates, plastics, and ceramics for a clean, easy-care feel. Adding a pop of color can warm up and individualize your space.
Flooring in the European-style kitchen, should also be clean lines. However, most flooring choices can fall into this category. If you like French Country Euro-style, opt for something like terra-cotta tiles, or for more modern lines, traditional ceramic or other flooring materials that warm up the space, have clean lines, and are welcoming.
Many European-style kitchens also incorporate dining into the space. The spaces are normally smaller than traditional American kitchens so the dining furniture should be scaled accordingly. Materials can be wood, plastic, or even metal and offer the same clean look and efficient style as the rest of the kitchen.
Is a European Style Kitchen Right for You?
If you are considering a kitchen remodel and have thought that the European style is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the rest of your house have the same contemporary look? If your living space is more traditional, there are still ways to incorporate some European-style qualities into your design without fully committing to changing the entire space. However, if you have a modern, or even mid-century modern vibe in the rest of your house, this could be a great update for you.
- Many people enjoy fancy hardware, cabinets to the ceiling, and more ornate fixtures. If this is you, you may want to work with your designer to incorporate some Euro-style into your kitchen without finding it too boring. Perhaps install a pantry with flush, flat door fronts.
- Consider the size of your kitchen. If your kitchen is large, you may find that it is too overwhelming to install the smaller, less ornate cabinets. European-style kitchens work well in small spaces, making them seem lighter and brighter.
- What kind of natural light does your kitchen have? Euro-style kitchens have lighter cabinets and tend to brighten up most spaces.
A kitchen remodel can be fun and exciting. Your designer will work with you to create the kitchen of your dreams. Contact us today so we can get you started!