Black and white: Use the absence of color to calm the space. In a new house made in the shell of an old Belgian factory, Milan, Oona, and their mother putter in the spartan kitchen, which keeps the counter clear and necessities stored on nearby shelves. The simple palette keeps things from getting too busy.
Photo by Frederik Vercruysse.
Rail system: This Brooklyn apartment is a study in details, from the stainless steel kitchen countertop to the clever Arclinea rail system that holds the salt and pepper. A bit of well-placed marble goes a long way. Photo by Dean Kaufman.
Spaced out: In the heart of Atlanta, Shawn Moseley worked closely with designer Scott Ball to design and build his new house, whose kitchen boasts a 40-foot-long countertop that melds seamlessly with off-the-shelf kitchen cabinets and stainless steel appliances, creating an unbroken line along one side of the house. Photo by Mark Steinmetz.
Maximize the wall: The owners of this house on North Haven, a rocky island in Maine’s Penobscot Bay, integrated massive amounts of storage into the wall surrounding the entrance to the kitchen. All their favorite pieces are close at hand, while cold-storage and decorative items find homes on higher shelves. This approach could easily be built on a smaller scale. Photo by Raimund Koch.
Under the stairs: In Brad Smith and Brian Brennan’s compact former coach house, tucked away in one of London’s many hidden cobbled mews, the Lilliputian kitchen is bright and spare thanks to the staircase, which acts as both room divider and main storage. Photo by Peter Marlow.
Accent and customize: To convert a musty mid-century San Francisco house with a nonsensical floor plan into a modern and space-efficient family home, three intrepid designers played a bit of architectural Tetris. In the kitchen, artist Riley McFerrin installed custom floating shelves. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
Moody hues: The owners of this Phoenix house introduced a monotone wash of materials and cabinet storage to keep the kitchen tidy. Anticipating that casting a single concrete countertop would be difficult and unwieldy, they poured a rough rectangular sheet of concrete on their living-room floor. When it set, they carved it up into chunks with a diamond blade skill saw and fit the pieces in around their appliances. They recommend Cohills Pro Series or Buddy Rhodes’s countertop mixes. Photo by Ye Rin Mok.
Make a statement: Though counter space is tight in the kitchen of a 1920s abode in Atlanta by designer Barbara Hill, introducing a modern island and statement chandelier allows the space to feel open and uncluttered. Photo by Gregory Miller.
In the kitchen of a house in Finland, the residents tore down the ceiling and wall cabinets, leaving what the resident calls “lovely little nooks that work perfectly as shelves for things like salt and pepper mills.” She added open shelving from the Swedish brand String to show off favorite dinnerware.
A movable feast: In designers Nix and Novak-Zemplinski's 1,000-square-foot apartment’s open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space, almost everything is convertible. Cookbooks are kept in low "nesting" shelving, keeping the countertops free. Photo by Andreas Meichsner.