Move Over Sweden: This Country’s Kitchens Now Have Our Hearts


I have a bit of a thing for Scandinavian kitchens. I’ve even written quite a few articles about them for Apartment Therapy. But lately, the kitchens that are catching my eye aren’t from Norway, or Sweden, or Finland, but from their near neighbors over in England. British kitchens have, if you’ll allow me, a certain je ne sais quois — a marriage of modern minimalism and traditional warmth. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite examples.

The kitchen above, a design of Plain English, is a good place to start. The island worktable and the AGA stove, as well as the style of the cabinets, harken back to the past, but thanks to the simplicity of the design, the overall effect is minimal and bright. I like how the wall of cabinets on the right adds a bit of color.

This kitchen from Vanapers mixes materials admirably. If you look closely, you’ll see three different cabinet finishes, and three different countertop finishes as well. The detailing is very minimal — the cabinets in simple blocks, the concealed range hood — which allows the textures in the space to take center stage.

You’ll notice that a lot of these kitchens feature dark and/or unsaturated colors, for a look that’s sophisticated, and maybe even a little bit somber. In this kitchen from Plain English, a khaki-clad island worktable complements deep hunter green cabinets and walls.

Open shelving (and an all-white palette) give this kitchen from Plain English an airy, modern feel. The island, with its soapstone worktop, provides a beautiful contrast. Matching the stools to the color of the island is a nice touch, and ensures the the island reads a single, bold color statement.

This kitchen from Michael & Rose Interiors has a rather low ceiling, but it manages to avoid feeling cramped by forgoing upper cabinets. The white floor adds extra brightness to the space, and a full-height pantry cabinet at left helps to make up some extra storage.

How lovely is this kitchen from Plain English? Here we see the island worktable again, paired with some beautifully detailed cabinets, and a contrasting hunter green bar table and stools.

This kitchen from deVOL also embraces the dark look, in a somber, muted hunted green. Against the dark cabinets and walls, the white marble countertop and backsplash almost glows.

Little things can make a big difference. The trim profile that runs around the top of the cabinets in many of these kitchens (including this one, from Light Locations) adds a distinctly traditional feel. The vintage stove feels right at home.

This kitchen from deVOL feels very traditional, right down to the mantel surrounding the stove. This is a common detail for older homes, where the stove often replaced an older model that was built right into the fireplace. Even if your home is not so old, this would be an easy look to replicate by framing out the area around the stove (and is also a handy way to hide the range hood, as well).

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