Kitchen Design Around The World

Kitchen Design Around The World

The truth is no two kitchens are the same. Want to know how different they can be? Then let us take a short journey across the globe and delve into the world of kitchens, looking at both décor and functional design differences…


Example of an English kitchen from Kitchen Design Around The World

Credit: Susan Serra, CKD - CC BY-SA 2.0


Generally kitchens in England are used for preparing and cooking food. If there’s the space though, the English will gladly use their kitchen as a dining/living area too. In fact kitchens are becoming bigger here to encompass just that! Over the decades we have seen what can only be described as an English kitchen evolution.

Today’s English kitchen has adopted a neutral aesthetic, using ornaments to add colour. Cupboards and cabinets are often in white with black granite or wooden countertops. Tiling some walls, again in neutral colours, is also a popular choice. These simple designs are all set off with lots of light.



Example of an American kitchen  from Kitchen Design Around The World 

Credit: Boa-Franc - CC BY 2.0

‘The bigger the better’ is the most fitting way to describe the American kitchen. If you don’t have a double door fridge there is something wrong with you. Most Americans eat their meals in the kitchen so they are spacious often including a breakfast bar and/or dining table. Open plan kitchens are also common in America.

White is a popular colour of choice in the American kitchen. You’re also likely to see marble worktops and warm wooden cabinets which add a classic richness. This kitchen wouldn’t be complete without a dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave and ice-maker attached to that giant refrigerator.


Example of a French kitchen from Kitchen Design Around The World

Credit: Tim Crowe - CC BY 2.0

Today’s French kitchen is bright, in both colour and light. Cupboards and counters in bold vibrant colours are illuminated by ceiling lights, under-cabinet lighting, built-in-cabinet lighting and as much natural light the window will allow.

Unlike the typical American kitchen, French kitchens, particularly Parisian kitchens, are a bit more modest. They tend to be small and equipped with a lot less gadgets. They are used for preparing and cooking food rather than a place to eat and entertain.


 Example of an Italian kitchen from Kitchen Design Around The World

Credit: Selamat Made - CC BY 2.0

One word to describe the modern Italian kitchen design is sleek. We can see inspiration from Russian kitchens with the use of curved countertops. Stainless steel makes a frequent appearance, emphasising the smooth lines. These kitchens are ultra-modern with an almost industrial feel which is softened by the contrast of warm lighting and pops of colour.

A notable feature of an Italian kitchen is an island counter/breakfast bar complete with sink, stove and storage space. This way everything is easily accessible for the cook, as well as allowing people to sit at the bar and keep the cook company without getting in the way!


 Example of a Mexican kitchen from Kitchen Design Around The World

Credit: Marissa Bracke - CC BY 2.0

When it comes to Mexican kitchens, think traditional South-American. Large rustic tiles on the floor, splashes of bright colour, often blues, reds and yellows, and brightly tiled walls and countertops. A Mexican kitchen is usually quite small so its design mainly caters for one person cooking. Nevertheless they are fully equipped and everything is conveniently within the cook’s grasp.



 Example of a Chinese kitchen from Kitchen Design Around The World

Credit: Jim Bowen - CC BY 2.0

A typical Chinese kitchen is utilitarian in its design. White tiled floors and white counters and cabinets are the norm here. This kitchen is almost closet sized with little storage space, although the size is not much of an issue as cooking here often only requires one or two pans.

Ovens and fridges, equipment we may find essential to a kitchen, aren’t generally found in a Chinese kitchen. A two ring gas stove is used for cooking and for kitchens without a fridge fresh food is bought daily.   

For Feng Shui purposes, ideally the kitchen will be south facing. Sharp edges should be avoided, so curved countertops are common. Also, the stove (representing the fire element) and the sink (representing water) should not be beside one another.

The Netherlands

 Example of a Dutch kitchen from Kitchen Design Around The World

Credit: Chalon Handmade - CC BY 2.0

There are certain key features you expect to find in all kitchens, but as the lack of an oven or fridge in a typical Chinese kitchen proves, some things we couldn’t live without are not actually standard kitchen features around the world. In the case of Dutch kitchens, you’d be hard pressed to find many with wall cabinets, something almost every UK or USA kitchen has.

The storage space in Dutch kitchens tends to be below eye level, with only a shelf or two if really needed. This gives the kitchen a much more open feel.


Example of a Scottish kitchen from Kitchen Design Around The World

Credit: Jeff - CC BY 2.0

In the cold, blistering weather of Scotland, the kitchen has traditionally been the warm and cosy centre of the house where the family gathered. Scottish kitchens are usually on the smaller side, often with a separate dining area nearby, and are very much rustic in design – think lots of wooden features and refurbished antiques passed down from generation to generation.

It’s not unusual to see an old, weathered-but-charming buffet cabinet used in place of more modern storage here either!


 Example of a Swedish kitchen from Kitchen Design Around The World

Credit: Charlotte Holmes - CC BY-SA 2.0

Ah Sweden, the home of IKEA. Just as you’ll find when wandering the aisles of this home furnishing superstore, the Swedish kitchen has a very unique and recognisable look. Unlike the standalone units and appliances of other kitchens, in Sweden everything comes built-in; you buy the kitchen as a whole package, not in separate pieces.

Swedish designers are also great at space-saving so even in smaller kitchens you’ll find plenty of storage space as no nook or cranny is left unused.

Big, small, colourful, industrial, modern, rustic… you’ve seen it all! Now you know the distinct aesthetic designs of some kitchens around the world. Of course your kitchen can be anything you want it to be, so if Mexican is your style even though you live in the UK, go for it!

You might also like to read:
Kitchens That Stand the Test of Time
Functional Kitchen Tips from the Pros

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.