Kitchen Inspiration

September 8, 2010

After writing my last post about kitchens, I tried to quickly collect some images to inspire me. You see, what I’m hoping for here is that seeing them will kick my rear into gear as I embark on putting mine together before the big move.

Kitchen Inspiration

Truth is, kitchen design intimidates me so I need to see some nice (affordable) ideas that can help put me in the You Can Do This mood. I want stuff I can’t afford! My husband wants me to do it in one day and just be done with it! I want to spend 3 months finding the perfect solution! The things I love are too expensive here! I don’t know where to find vintage cabinetry and old farmhouse sinks! Eek, eek and more eek. Well, I think I’ll do what I always do when overwhelmed… run screaming towards a pile of neatly stacked magazines (like Livingetc where I grabbed the images you see in this fine post) and books and try to see what my options are.

Kitchen Inspiration

Love me some open shelving but could not live with it under the counter because I’d always be dusting and washing everything. I currently have open shelving over my sink and I’m not such a fan of the dust so I’ve only placed things on it now that I use daily. Wine glasses are in the glass cabinet now — those little dustaholics!

Kitchen Inspiration

More inspiration that makes me swoon. I love the toaster and blender…. and the counter is just grand. I can see myself plopping toast onto that beauty, buttering it, sipping a big glass of OJ as the morning sun streams in… Wait! What happened to the cookies in my clear glass cookie jar!!!!

Kitchen Inspiration

My new kitchen is no where near this size so having a bar with stools will remain a dream. BUT I don’t like this as much as I dig the more rustic kitchens, it’s a bit too sleek for my taste. What do you think?

Kitchen Inspiration

This is styled so nicely. And that tilework is full on rad. But could I ever commit to tile that is so bold and graphic? No way. I sometimes envy people who can make long term decisions, and be happy with this, like the folks who own this kitchen. I just don’t have THAT gene. You know, the completely organized I always know what I want one.

Kitchen Inspiration

Maybe this is a bit wonky, I don’t know, but the idea is cute. I just don’t know about the frame around it, it looks too fancy for me. I’d dig this frame-free and mounted on the wall. I love the thought of having all of these perfect squares to put things in. I could waste hours rearranging and arranging these babies.

Kitchen Inspiration

How delicious is that tile? I think there is just too much white in here for even me though. I need some natural wood. But hey, if someone gifted me with this exact kitchen I would be such a show off nah nah nahhhhhing it to everyone. Nah, nah nah nah my kitchen is awesomerrrr….

So yes, kitchen design. I know about the triangular work flow thing that all kitchens must have, I know where I want my sink, oven, stovetop and fridge… but what I don’t know is how to find what I see in my mind’s eye over here. Back home, I’d know exactly where to drag my patient husband. I guess it’s time for me to stop whining and start working. I have a long way to go…

(images: livingetc)


  • Reply Frau Mayer September 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Aaah! Good old Living etc :) So looking forward to picking a year supply in London in a couple of weeks (I have it delivered to my best friends who lives there and whom I visit rather often anyway – that’s real Praktisch in its purest form, I guess)

    In my kitchen I did everything just as the pics suggest. Very Scandi. Full of light. Loads of white. White cabinets + rather fair countertop + country style sink + cream fridge (NOT Smeg. A Gorenje – costs a half of it, uses half the energy) + open shelf (I managed to find the right length at a Baumarkt + managed to fit it into my car) + Danish country lamps to finish it off. That’s it. Oh yeah, and I hired a fantastic installer team who did the job for 120 Euros (entire kitchen, ALL apliances, perfect!) – these guys were totally fab!

    This frame looks totally Impressionen-like, btw :)

    • Reply decor8 September 8, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      Frau Mayer – Totally Impressionen-like, I agree, which is why I think I don’t like the frame around it LOL. 120 Euros to install a kitchen? I need their contact information. Do you have piccies of your kitchen, I really would love to see it!

  • Reply laura trevey September 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Wow! That first kitchen is impressive!

  • Reply emma ::emmas designblogg:: September 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    You know I’m a huge fan of white, so I have to disagree with you about the last pic. I don’t think it’s too much white, I think it’s just done wrong. All the non-white surfaces are at the same height, making the whole room flat and strangely proportioned. And it’s too much of the same white hue. I think it would have looked great with different hues of white, that would have added both depth and personality to the space. :)

    You know that Ikea has cheap farmhouse sinks, right? In Sweden almost everyone has Ikea kitchens. They are cheap but totally ok quality wise. A tip is to use worktops and handles from another company it won’t look as cheap.

    • Reply decor8 September 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      @emma I don’t want an IKEA farmhouse sink though they are nice enough, I’m looking for vintage and just amazing like the one my mother grew up with in my grandparents house. SWOON.

  • Reply oisive September 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I just love the pictures !! (except the black and white) exactly what I love for a kitchen.

  • Reply La Belle Vie September 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Everything we chose for our reno week is in the bottom pic! Except our flooring is dark wood, and our kitchen has crappy appliances… Ok, and the fact our kitchen is 1/16th the size! Other than that though it’s identical. ; )

    I would eat, drink and sleep in that kitchen… Blissful.

  • Reply Ali September 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    The toaster – (it’s a Dualit) my husband has always coveted one. They look wonderful, I’ll give you that, but for making toast? Not the best. We spent a week this year with very bad toast trying to tame the beast, but failed.

  • Reply La Belle Vie September 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    We also just purchased the Ikea sink! We were going to buy a beautiful farmhouse sink but for $300 it looks fine, versus $800-$3000. We would though for our next house, but not for our condo which we only plan to live in for the couple of years…

  • Reply anh September 8, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    i am def wanting to redo my kitchen. all these photos are swoon worthy! i want!

  • Reply Milk and Honey Home September 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I can’t wait to see your kitchen. I know it will be so lovely!

    for what it is worth…I really love my open shelves and would do it again…

    I have had too much fun blogging….I need to get back to class! :)

  • Reply Frau Mayer September 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Sure, Holly. The pics aren’t good at all, sorry, and I guess you’ve already seen them.

    I really need to take more pics! We found the installers at MyHammer, they look like total criminals but are such sweeties, it’s really hard to describe. We invite them to do everything that has to with drillng, hanging etc and they take like 50 euros for a couple of hours which totally shocks me every time.

    • Reply decor8 September 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      Frau Mayer – Oh yes, I saw that kitchen. I forgot about it, I just remember a blue cabinet with a mushroom on it.
      Let me go back. I’ve been busy. Maybe you need to invite me over. ;)

  • Reply Sunny Side Up September 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I couldn’t stop myself leaving a comment . Probably you will not read it because your busy posting amazing things . You do a great job finding all this inspiring images which gives me great pleasure and keeps me hopping that one day I’ll be able to join the designers club .


  • Reply Frau Mayer September 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Oh yeah, dear, I’ve invited you over already, you just need to pick up some quality cake at Carrots n Coffee and show up here!
    And I DON’T have any mushrooms on my cabinet! It’s a heart :) (yeah, like it makes such a BIG difference!)

    • Reply decor8 September 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      Frau Mayer – Did you get rid of that apartment in your building yet? I want to move in so we can eat and look at magazines all day. LOL.

  • Reply juliette September 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I swore off open shelving at our last place and I’m glad we didn’t add it in during our last kitchen reno!

    On white and modern and rustic: I think the combination of ultra sleek white with all rustic accessories would be awesome in your new place. Rustic accessories would be totally obtainable, even rustic table and chairs and maybe even a sideboard.

    I’m in my kitchen so much (I love to cook!) that I am mega grateful for my new cabinets, even the doors and drawers that close softly on their own, that no way in ever would I want to deal with a sticky old wooden drawer for the utensils, etc. They’re also easier to clean. (back to the OCD kitchen freak thing…=P

    You could also soften modern cabinetry with some kind of natural looking counter. We almost went with butcher block, but I just didn’t want to deal with the maintenance and, for me at least, it was a good move.

    Think about how you will really use your kitchen and what your pet peeves are. Things start to fall in place after that.

  • Reply Trina September 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I love these kitchens. I prefer the more rustic ones too. And I’ve always wondered if that was the case with open shelving.. but ahhh so gorgeous. I just bought a dulait toaster last winter and I love it. Still love looking at it and I like that it that the toast doesn’t pop out. You use a little lever.
    xx Trina

    • Reply decor8 September 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      @Trina – I know nothing about appliances. I’m so embarrassed to say that, me the big design blogger. :) But I don’t know much outside of Kitchenaid of course and Braun stuff. So that toaster is called Dulait?

  • Reply Traveling Mama September 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I am dealing with the very same thing. Our new flat has an ultra modern kitchen that is so sleek and beautiful, but it is very white and stainless. I’m trying to be patient until all of our stuff arrives, but either way I plan to soften it a lot with rustic elements and soft vintage accessories that will hopefully work with the design rather than look like I wish I had gotten a farmhouse kitchen rather than the hip urban one I have! :-)

    On the plus side, I will say that the modern drawers that pull all the way out are nearly giving my happy heart palpitations. They seriously need to export these to the States and beyond! I swore I would never do open shelving after all the detestable dusting I did in Morocco, but our kitchen is just too open to install anything but open shelves. I may take the opposite method as you and only put things up there that we rarely use… that way I’ll only have to dust them every now and then. LOL!

  • Reply Frau Mayer September 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Lol. I guess it’s still available – but it’s got carpet in it. Carpet! I reckon it was too small for your friend.

  • Reply Valentina September 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I absolutely love the ceramic in the first picture. I want it ;)

  • Reply Rhonda Short September 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Have a look at my kitchen in the 2008 Canadian House and Home magasine. If you like perhaps I can help. :)

  • Reply Ludmila {} September 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I’m in love with the tiles in the 1st kitchen! Makes it instantly much sunnier! swoon!

  • Reply danielle September 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    ooh, I like what emma said about the last picture, done wrong and too flat. I never would have thought of that! There must be some old farmhouses either estate sale or old barns that have an old farmhouse sink in the rural lands of Germany. Maybe your husband’s family would know where to look? You could do glass cabinets so you have the look of open shelving but no dust would get in. Maybe you can use old windows for the fronts? Germany has some master crafts men, yeah? (jah?) I would just scavenge for pallets/old wood for counters and drawers from dressers then have them build the frame to size, slap some paint on some and leave the others bare. Get some nice pulls/knobs and you’ve got a kitchen! :) Can you tell I’ve never remodeled a kitchen and it probably isn’t that easy…

  • Reply Mandy September 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    My old boss and now friend just finished her kitchen remodel. She designed the tilework herself! Pretty cool!

  • Reply Tina September 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I love these pictures, especially the first one. :-)

  • Reply handmadeflowers September 8, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    I love them all. I can find inspiration in each one. Love the open white shelves, it remind me of a summer house.

  • Reply Penny Patten September 9, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Love the back splash of the first pic., and the white kitchen. One day is not enough time to plan/design a kitchen-we need time to think about it!

  • Reply daria September 9, 2010 at 1:06 am

    You can always try It is an amazing place for search for things at reasonable price. I found a vintage floor lamp made in 1930’s, and it cost me $30. Another place for serch is garage/moving sales. It takes a lot of time, but if you have very tight budget it is reasonable. One more place, especially for ceramic tiles for your kitchen, is tile’s outlets, you can find some in your town, I am sure.

  • Reply Kelly September 9, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I completely relate to the need to comparison shop on everything! I hate the idea that I might have missed a better option. However, it’s probably a good thing that my husband is there giving me THAT look, because I might never decide. I love display areas in a kitchen, but only if there’s enough behind-closed-doors storage first. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Reply Delphine September 9, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Okay, I’m gonna jump right in here. I just found your blog and understand your dilemma. I’m a tad old and waited a long time for a new kitchen. When it finally happened we still didn’t have a lot of money so I had to choose carefully. We chose a kit kitchen which was really easy to assemble. I like wood, so the doors were in that style. My kitchen is small and I cook a lot, so all cupbards were close at hand. The colour scheme is pine with light olive walls. White is lovely but if you cook or aren’t into constant cleaning, I would advise against it, the same for open shelves. In this country (Australia) you can go to recyle yards and often pick up the sink you want. Don’t be swayed by cost – most expensive is not necessarily best. My other suggestion is be patient. Choose the kitchen and everything else will fall into place afterwards. I sat staring at my kitchen windows for months trying to figure out what to put up. Again no money so I made some very simple calico curtains that sort swish over the curtain rail and around. Many people have commented, and if I get tired of them I will find/invent something new. Have fun.

  • Reply Kathryn September 9, 2010 at 2:23 am

    How exciting to design a kitchen, sigh! We have similar tastes, I love white rustic kitchens that aren’t too modern. And Livingetc is a great resource I agree. I also love InsideOut magazine. Every home featured is just my style. Love it!!

  • Reply Ingrid September 9, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Love your ideas Holly and wondered if you have thought about Pinterest as a way of collating your online inspiration.
    Here is mine for the white kitchen I am planning to do in our new house.

    Pinterest is new and if you need an invitation just let me know.

    • Reply decor8 September 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      @Ingrid – I think we have the same taste! I love your picks. And two of those houses on your pinboard we shot for my upcoming book!!!! LOL

  • Reply Lisa September 9, 2010 at 4:27 am

    You asked about vintage kitchen goodness…
    An awesome resource is
    Pam does an awesome job of organizing ideas and tips by room, resources and much more. Vintage cabinet sources? She’s got lists!
    Thank you for your inspiring blog, too!

  • Reply Elle September 9, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Yes! Renovating a kitchen is HARD! We just bought a 60’s mod house with hot pink cabinets and chartreuse countertops WITH matching wallpaper. I’ve never had to design a kitchen before, and am finding out that the city you live in makes a huge difference. Oklahoma City isn’t one of the top cities for finding good modern design for, well, just about anything. But I’m finding that as I just keep asking around, there’s always some obscure little place that has what we’re looking for.

    I love the clean and rustic kitchens that you’ve pictured above, but I’m having to compromise with my husband who loves modern elements. Good luck to you!

  • Reply nattie @ simplynattie September 9, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Thanks for brighten up my day!! I love this so much. So needing a kitchen inspirations as we’ll be doing a mini kitchen decor here and there :P THANKS HOLLY!!

  • Reply Anna September 9, 2010 at 6:53 am

    There’s a gigantic chance you’ve seen this, but seeing your pictures of the pretty tiled backsplashes reminded me of this gem.

  • Reply kt September 9, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I also love the tiles in the first photo. I think it screams kitchen. We rent a house here in Italy and it has some old funky tiles on the walls at first I wanted to change them (oh wait can’t do that, not my home:) but now they have grown on me, I couldn’t imagine the kitchen without them. I think fun colorful patterned tiles are cozy and cool at the same time I say go for it anyone can choose just white!

  • Reply caro September 9, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Oh, Holly, now I think, that I REALLY NEED a new kitchen :)

  • Reply Nay-K September 9, 2010 at 10:46 am

    OMG, the mosaic tiles in the first image are amazing!

  • Reply Jane September 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    The tiles on the first kitchen are beautiful!
    I’m completely loving the idea of colorful/bold encaustic Moroccan/cuban tiles, very simple cabinets and a farm house sink!

    I’m always of the opinion that if your stuck, find whatever it is that you love and have to have in your room and make everything else work with it.

  • Reply Juana @ SweetVisualAids September 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I love the tiles in the first picture! :) really reminds me about Portuguese tiles

  • Reply jacqui September 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    i adore the framed pidgeon holes! For me I love white kitchens with open shelves, white ceramics, smooth lines and old school pastel appliances and utensils :)

  • Reply Casa e Cose September 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Oh i swoon over those tiles in first pic and those open shelves allthough i agree with you: only things you use daily otherwise it gets dusty and greasy.
    Looks good the first day though :)
    Adore the blog!

  • Reply JulieB September 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Love your selection of pics (but then you can never go wrong with white in the kitchen, or with Living Etc!). I agree though that the open shelving look is probably a tricky one to pull off (I know I certainly couldn’t – I need to have my stuff hidden away!). Have fun putting together your kitchen, and keep the pics coming!

  • Reply Sarah September 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Does anyone know where to get the tiles in first picture? I’m in love and we are in the process of renovating our 1975 “harvest gold” kitchen. blegh.

  • Reply Leigha September 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Here’s a cute kitchen from Young House Love (I am in love with wood coutnertops):

    It’s not entirely Holly-esque, but it’s pragmatic and cute. Just imagine a few pops of Holly around the room.

    I also really adore your desire for vintage components (rather than new)…more character in those rusty old finds.

  • Reply Piper September 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Oh Holly I’m so with you – I love the idea of open shelving in a kitchen – but I just feel like I’d constantly be dusting everything!!! A vintage farm sink would be so lovely…I can already see it!

  • Reply Joseph September 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    It is difficult to do a new kitchen on a severe budget and get it to look like anything when it’s finished. Some people buy used cabinets, but I am personally leery of those. There are also those who go to IKEA and declare themselves just as happy as they would have been with the more expensive cabients that would have been my preference. I do think you are right to take your time figuring out what you want. I am one who likes to push the envelope every chance I get, but my wife always grounds me by saying, “If you stick with the classics, you won’t grow tired of them.” And she’s right.

  • Reply Franca September 9, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Nice to hear from you after such a long silence. :)
    Love the last kitchen too.
    And i think i would be so happy with this huge space. I think my whole apartment fits in this kitchen :)
    Would be nagging all the time too…

    Greetings Franca

  • Reply Rian September 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for all the lovely photos. I love kitchens! I recently had to move from my house in Portland where I designed a kitchen which I love, into a condo in Seattle which has horrible dark counter-top and cabinets. I can hardly wait to get my own place again and re-design a kitchen, so much fun!
    I swooned over some expensive farmhouse sinks, but eventually went with the IKEA farmhouse sink and splurged on tile and counter-tops. I got compliments on that sink every time someone new came to visit, so would still recommend, but of course nothing is as nice as vintage.
    Love open shelving, white, and natural materials. I’m excited to see what you come up with!

  • Reply allegram September 9, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Oh but Holly you live in the same country as Judith Milberg! Her show on Arte Design für jeden Tag was all about hunting treasures through antique stores and upcycling and renovating, and it was very inspirational to me. You should really check out her work, here is her production company:

  • Reply Tiffany @ Makes Me Blush September 10, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Omg, omg! The black and white tile backsplash is UH-MAY-ZING! I need that!

  • Reply Alex Louisa September 10, 2010 at 4:12 am

    There’s something I really like in all of these photos, especially everything in pic #2.

    We’re extending the back of our house (where the kitchen is) in a couple of years, so I have plenty of time to decide on exactly what I would like in a kitchen, but it also means I have to put up with our pokey dated kitchen in the meantime. I try not to think about that though!!

    I adore the look of open shelves, but they do get so, so dusty. Is it possible to get non-glare glass to go over shelves to give them an open look since the glass is virtually invisible – or am I just making that up?

  • Reply Laura September 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    The third picture is divine… The white kitchen with the subway tile looks like the kitchen featured in the Sophie Dahl cooking show… agreed too white, but they jazzed it up with some wallpaper and accessories in the show and it looked beautiful. Great post! Lx

  • Reply Trina : la la Lovely September 11, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Holly -Yes, the toasters are Dualit (had spelled it wrong above). It is a British brand (they know toast) and the engineer was German. This toaster is the fav of design mags. You can get them in a variety of fun colors. I like the white/stainless & plain stainless the best. I actually bought mine from at a discount (not the latest model). There is a manual timer and a lever. So you can pop up your toast whenever you like and you can set the timer for however long you like, giving you the choice of how you like your toast. The newer versions have even more settings (defrosting, etc). But the truth is, the thing I like best about it is ….it’s design. So pretty.

    Here is their web address :


    • Reply decor8 September 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

      @Trina – Thank you so much, I will check out that link ASAP. It’s funny how you said that British know toast. I had to laugh because when I was in London this summer I had toast out several times for “English breakfast” and my friends and I joked that the toast was so hard you could tile the walls with it. ha ha!

  • Reply Trina : la la Lovely September 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    That is funny! You are so welcome…so glad to help. BTW, I am loving the BYW class. I’ve never enjoyed a class so much in my life. I’m eating it up! xo

    • Reply decor8 September 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm

      @Trina – OH THANK YOU! This is wonderful!

  • Reply Jamie Herzlinger Interiors September 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I love all white! I hope I get the chance some day to design an all white house. The geometry is fantastic as well.

  • Reply hena tayeb September 14, 2010 at 3:14 am

    the backsplash in the first picture is lovely.. but my favorite element has to be the tea cup storage cubby/frame

  • Reply Leni September 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Open space under the counter? Not with a baby and pets!

  • Reply Michelle at Milk and Honey Design September 30, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Decisions, decisions, Send me over what you are wanted to do and your plans and I can help you out. I would love to do a blog about it. I am looking for a design dilemma for the week to post about. I my specialty is kitchens and i love white, vintage, functional, timeless. I want my customer’s kitchens to be theirs in personality and function. I would love for you to pick my brain on what you want to do.

  • Reply Richy January 22, 2011 at 7:20 am

    That looks great! Time to get back to work. My kitchen is more like a war-zone at the moment. X)

  • Reply SillyLee January 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Does anywhere know where I can find the tile in the first picture?

  • Reply 2Caipirinhias August 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    @SillyLee: I’m looking for it too! Did you have any luck tracking it down?

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