What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

April 30, 2012

Ah, there is nothing like a custom kitchen. Whether you do it yourself, try a budget-friendly option like IKEA, or go all out and design a kitchen having it completely customized to suit your needs, there is truly nothing like having the kitchen of your dreams. I don’t care what “they” say, money can buy a measure of happiness. HA! :)

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

Thing is, so few of us have our dream kitchen. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer here, but it’s true right? I look at most kitchens that I see and love and think, “Seriously?”, because there is just no way people really live like that. I don’t have my dream kitchen mainly because I rent and there are limits to what I can do. When I designed my kitchen using the online IKEA planner (smile) and some of my own to-scale sketches, I kept thinking of how I would have gone all out if I actually owned this flat. I’m happy with my kitchen but it’s not my dream. It’s definitely not epic! I can’t install the subway tile that I really want nor can I install hardwood floors, the killer lighting or knock a hole in the wall to create a larger space. I am dying to add a transom window over my doorway to let in more light.For my upcoming book, we photographed a home in the south of England and this homeowner had the best kitchen ever – when I was styling it I was secretly pretending it was my kitchen. I lived the dream for the day on that shoot because not only was the kitchen to-die-for but the entire home was drool inducing. You’ll see it in my book that releases this Fall. It was completely custom and so clever and very English.

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

Kitchens are my latest obsession, I think about them constantly! I think it’s because there are so many options these days when it comes to the overall design of them. There are oodles of great kitchen designers and companies who make dreams come true everyday. Though I cannot trick out my kitchen anytime soon, I still borrow from some of their ideas and often find inspiration for my big fat dream kitchen that I tuck away in a folder for when the time comes when I can design my own from the ground up. Consider Plain English Cupboardmakers for instance. They have a gorgeous and very English approach to kitchen design that I absolutely love. When they contacted me about sharing their kitchens on decor8 this morning I thought about how timely it was because just yesterday I was thinking about my own kitchen and what I could do to make it better.

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

By the way, have you noticed that some of the best kitchens come out of Scandinavia, America, Germany and England at the moment? But the same goes for cookery books. That’s my opinion, but when I see kitchen design in these countries and go to fairs I’m always blown away. The kitchen fairs in Germany have some killer kitchens on display, for real. But then again, Germany is developing into a total foodie culture so I’m not surprised that their kitchen appliance obsession has morphed into world class kitchen design. I often wonder if the restaurants and cafes here in all major cities (not just Berlin and Hamburg for instance) will evolve as well because I’ve been visiting regularly since 1999 and have witnessed huge changes in the culture of food as a whole… But I’m rambling. Back to kitchens.

What kind of kitchen do you dream of when you think of the ideal workspace to whip up your meals? Would it be eat-in? Open plan? A cook’s kitchen? How do you imagine it? I think Amy Neunsinger’s kitchen in LA, which was in my first book, is one of my ultimate dream kitchens – you can see photos of it below.

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

What Sums Up Your Dream Kitchen?

Isn’t it AMAZING? When I found out that actress and GOOP-founder Gwyneth Paltrow shot a few of her cookbooks in Amy’s kitchen I wasn’t surprised because that was truly a gorgeous space.

SO…Do you currently have a dream kitchen? Is it a tear from a magazine, a page flagged in a book, an entire folder of kitchens on Pinterest? Here is my kitchen folder where I currently have 90 pins of favorite kitchens from around the world. So, tell me friends – what sums up your dream kitchen in a nutshell?

All of this kitchen talk has motivated me to go make some lunch! See you later friends! xo

(images: plain english cupboardmakers and all amy neunsinger photos from her own portfolio)


  • Reply Brooke H April 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I just had this conversation with friends!!! We live in NYC, are early-ish into our careers and therefore have no where near a dream kitchen. (If you can even call some our kitchens kitchens!) I dream about having space to walk around, having more than 3″ of counter, and a place to sit and dine and chat with friends with coffee or wine for hours on end.

    Other elements of my dream kitchen, if I’m really going to let my mind wander here, a huge farmhouse table, killer light fixtures, perhaps a chandelier above the table, a island that doubles as a breakfast bar with picturesque large windows that flood the room with light. Ahh a girl can dream.

  • Reply Patty Palmer April 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    My favorite post EVER! I, too, am obsessed about kitchens and the kitchens featured in your book are truly inspirational. Mine would be mostly white with a white/gold aga stove, huge pine table and a wall of windows looking over the ocean. Someday….

  • Reply michelle April 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Having owned a condo for almost 5 years that has a small unimpressive kitchen, my vision of a dream kitchen as really changed. Now that I’m house hunting the only two things I look for are counter space and a window over the kitchen sink. That’s it, just light and space. I’ll worry about what it looks like at some later date.

  • Reply Samira April 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I wish my kitchen look like one of these!!!

  • Reply Emma April 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I’m thinking a lot about kitchens too lately, as I’m moving soon. But since my budget is small and the space is too, I’m far from planning that perfect dream kitchen… :) But this I know: the walls will be completely covered in white tiles with black grout. I’ve been dreaming of tiled walls for years now, so this is a must!

    I am still at that stage where I change my mind every other day, but today this is the plan for the rest of the kitchen: white matte cupboards with leather handles, black stained wood worktop, stainless steel appliances and open shelving. On the wall over the worktop I will install some simple lighting like this

    It will be an eat-in kitchen with a simple table (stainless steel or white, haven’t decided yet) with white Eames shell chairs on one side and a long bench on the other side. Two small black Caravaggio lights above the table.

    How does that sound?

  • Reply Karena April 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    My next kitchen will definitely have some open shelving and the extra pantry storage! Off to see your pins!

    The 2012 Artist Series featuring Designer and Paper Artist Anita Rivera…(of Castles Crowns and Cottages)is on my site, please stop by! Her work is amazing!

    Art by Karena

  • Reply Lindsay April 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    ohhh how i love kitchens too! my husband flips houses for a living and brings home photos of the before and after pictures of the renovations. some of the kitchens he designs im just like, “can we please have that?!” we rent as well, so customizing and dream-making are very limited for us. someday… someday, we will have a kitchen to die for! i want a kitchen that inspires cooking, experimenting with food, and one that welcomes conversation, interaction, and brings a closeness and warmth to the house. cant wait to see your book!


  • Reply B 19thcenturymodern April 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Timely indeed! I am spending evenings (once my daughter is asleep) down at our new house painting 20 year old yellow pine and wood laminate kitchen cupboards. I’m inspired by the wonderful bespoke kitchens I see, but I also enjoy the challenge of my ‘sow’s ear to silk purse’ makeover. I also quite like rough edges rather than pristine ‘designed’ spaces. Priorities for me are a) an antique timber table and b) a big cooker, neither of which I’ve been able to fit in my previous homes. Pinterest is my obsession, but on a more serious note, it has really helped me to distill what I am aiming for.

  • Reply alex April 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I’ve been dreaming about my kitchen since the day we moved in 10 years ago! Alas, other than the paint color, not a single thing has changed… but some day, it’ll be my dream kitchen with dark grey lower & glossy white upper cabinets, white Carrera marble counter tops, an undermounted farm kitchen sink, brushed nickel tall goose neck faucet, and white subway tiles. Swoon…

  • Reply shelby@honeysuckle April 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    A light and airy kitchen with lots of white for sure. But one of my essentials would be a spot to display some of my favorite vitage dishware – I shared some great collections on my blog today:

  • Reply Ariana April 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    My dream kitchen is definitely set up for cooking meals for large numbers of people! I love the kitchen you showed that had a very, very long dining table close by, with no walls between. My current favorite kitchen element is that it’s right off of our conservatory, where I love to eat when the weather’s not quite warm enough for outdoor dining. I love natural materials– wood counters and shelves, terracotta tile floors, wood and ceramic serving dishes. But it should also be very cheerful and active– alluding to the beautiful alchemy that happens in the kitchen.

  • Reply beth April 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    My kitchen folder is so thick, it’s probably time to go through it as some of my magazine pages are probably as dated as my 12 year old kitchen. My kitchen is an odd little space smack in the middle of a ranch with walls that don’t go all the way to the ceiling and no natural light. Our friends think it’s charming and unusual, but I just want to knock out those walls and open the whole thing up. I want a clean, simple space with white subway tile, warm wooden floors, skylights, a big island and open shelving (and a coffee making nook). I just wish it were possible to do a kitchen reno in reasonable stages. With a child in college now and another one there in 2 years, well, my kitchen folder will continue to collect ideas….

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy April 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I feel like I am edging closer to pulling the trigger on a kitchen reno…the question, do we go whole hog (meaning $$$) or do a cheaper style update? Love these photos and your input too!! Very inspiring!

  • Reply Trina April 30, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Kitchens are always #1 on my list too. And if I could do any room in my house to the hilt it would always be the kitchen. The thing of it is…I have super nice kitchen that most people would say is their dream it kitchen. It is just not my style (cherry cabinets + granite countertops). I dream of subway tile (like you), carrera marble counters and white, white white. It would just be foolish (and I don’t have the funds) to rip out my current kitchen to change the color of cabinets and countertops, etc. But I often dream of my one day, someday house, where the kitchen is exactly the way I think of it now. And, Amy N’s kitchen is probably one of my ALL time faves. Cannot wait to see the English kitchen in your new book!
    xo . trina

  • Reply Alexandra April 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I don’t know exactly what I’d want, but I’d love for it to be durable and have an old world appeal…I do love subway tile for sure!

  • Reply Sasha April 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    My dream kitchen would have … lots of counter space!!

    My boyfriend and I cook daily and we’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding one another while we prepare dinner in our tiny rental apartment kitchen – But I am so over having 2 people trying to chop, process, mix and serve a meal in about 2 square feet of space. :P

    Aside from the much-needed space, I would flip over a gas stove and large windows to let in lots of natural light :)

  • Reply Margarita Lorenzo April 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    haha you have red my mind, I don’t know if to cry or laugh, I dream almost everyday of a new kitchen and bathroom, I own the house (well the bank owns it still) but do not have the budget to do up these two rooms, I keep getting journalist interested in writing about the house but i keep refusing unless I do all the rooms up. one day soon i will be able to do it, right now all the money goes back into my very small business. I have a very similar taste to yours and will love an open plan kitchen, I like to entertain and cook for friends and it would so much easier to have all open. I will keep dreaming about it and hope for 1 day soon that dream to became a reality, I wish the same for you, and YES money brings you lots of happiness haha…

  • Reply Tina April 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I am planning my kitchen as we will soon move to our house. It will definitely have a floor of old fashioned cement tiles like these,

  • Reply Ría April 30, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I love a big and white kitchen.

  • Reply Heidi May 1, 2012 at 1:52 am

    I’m always dreaming of kitchens. Love the bright ones you have pictured, I’m off to check out your Pinterest board!

  • Reply Amberly May 1, 2012 at 4:19 am

    At this point in time (I am one to go through phases), my dream kitchen would have hardwood floors, lots of white, and an apron sink! I love the look of zinc countertops as well… my goodness, it’s so fun to dream! :)

  • Reply Rosie May 1, 2012 at 4:34 am

    I am currently blessed with my dream kitchen, and it’s taken 1.5 years to finish, and we are very close to done. A week doesn’t go by that either my husband or myself comment on how much we love our kitchen. It’s the most used room in our house… More so than the living room or bedroom. We are very lucky, but proud that we dreamed, designed, built and use our dream kitchen. Ps I think you would like it! I’ll tag you in an Instragram pic so you can see!

  • Reply Kathryn May 1, 2012 at 4:54 am

    You must have read your reader’s minds! We’re in the midst of remodeling our vacation cottage kitchen. This will be the kitchen of my dreams, not just because of the design but what I will cook in it: lots and lots of homegrown vegetables and fruits from our new kitchen garden. Here’s my pinterest site for inspiration. Hope it inspires some of you!

  • Reply Nina Lamb May 1, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I totally and utterly fell in love with Emily Loxton’s kitchen in the latest issue of est (p.47). ( I love the grey cabinets, subway tiles, wooden floors and a hint of industrial in form of tolix stools.
    I am renting a place with an original 70s kitchen, complete with brown tiled bench top. Needless to say I am a long way off my perfect kitchen :-)

  • Reply Tania May 1, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I’m always looking at nicely designed kitchens too and I barely even know how to cook! But I do love to eat and nothing brings me greater joy than eating my poached eggs and drinking my cappuccino at my kitchen island with sparkly black granite countertops each morning. My dream kitchen is black and white with brightly colored small accessories and linens. An open design and eat in or with an island. I prefer an open floor design where I can see the living area as well. One benefit of living in a small space is you can better afford the faucet, countertops and other materials as you have to buy less.

  • Reply Coco May 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I kinda do have my dream kitchen. But its not totally my dream DREAM kitchen. Unfortunately, my boyfriend had a say in it as well ;-). We have an open kitchen, we dine in our kitchen area (which i love). The cabinets are plain white (I would have preferred rustic wooden cabinets or blue/green colored once). The thinks that I did choose on my own is the black stone countertop it isn’t shiny or anything and it’s real black! LOVE it! Its so rustic looking. And because that was black I also choose a black cooker hood. The man who sold us our kitchen tried to talk me out of it, saying that a black hood made no sense since we choice (actually my bf did) for stainless steel handlers, oven and water tap. But the black countertop and black hood totally matches and it looks soooo awesome! I can’t describe it otherwise.

    We have a rustic wooden table in the kitchen, blue eames chairs and a black chandelier. It feels so great, we have it now for more than 5 years and everyday I walk into my kitchen i’m filled with joy still :)

    But if I did had the possibility to choose my own kitchen it would have different cabinet-doors, (still the black countertop and hood) a different water tap and the tiles on the wall would have been mixed up. So still have dreams :) but I’m pretty happy!

  • Reply Sandra May 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    You know that cliche of the kitchen being the heart of a home? It’s so true, isn’t it?

    What I adore about the kitchens in Living Etc and Real Living and online is that they are real spaces and often small spaces. Not these crazy 600 sqft kitchens but realistic sizes where real people live. The challenge of fitting it into a small space interests me.

  • Reply Emily May 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I dream of my ideal kitchen all the time. I think it’s the one room I dream of more than any other.
    I’d love a big open kitchen with a huge table for big family dinners and entertaining, and a lovely place for all my children to be while I cook and potter in the kitchen.
    I think the kitchen is the heart of a home.
    White or grey. Great lighting. And full of love!

  • Reply Lauren Zabaneh May 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I recently clipped a kitchen out of House Beautiful…after a long dry spell of not really dreaming much about the kitchen I would love to have someday. It felt good.

    We too, currently rent. Our kitchen is borderline hideous with a buckle in the floor that causes you to walk uphill on the way to the sink. The dishwasher is across the kitchen from that sink and I tripped the first six weeks on that “speed bump” with each pile of dirty dishes that I carried until my body adjusted and compensated for the wonkiness of the room. Draw pulls that seem more medieval than anything else, for they stand out inches from the draw for which they are to pull and grab hold of my nubby sweaters and yank me back or catch my smallest child’s nogan and leave a welt.

    Upside…I have a dishwasher.

    The clipping (that now dangles from my inspiration clothesline) is so similar to the ones you’ve chosen…not just saying that. White cupboards with dark gray countertops and my favorite, white and black checkered floor on the diagonal to make me feel like I’m in Wonderland without it being too obvious.

    Streaming light, open bright etc. Someday, for now, I’ll appreciate and accept the weird limitations of my current kitchen and adapt.

    Thanks for the renewed hope of a someday dream kitchen…

  • Reply Perry May 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    This will be the kitchen of my dreams, not just because of the design but what I will cook in it: lots and lots of homegrown vegetables and fruits from our new kitchen garden.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente May 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Ohhh…..I am SO with you hunnie! All I do is daydream about my dream kitchen. I have a folder devoted to it on interest too and it makes me happy to think about! :)

  • Reply Dee May 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I think I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time dreaming about my perfect kitchen.

  • Reply Kat May 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Oh I can see why you loved Amy Neunsinger’s kitchen so much Holly, it’s gorgeous, that old fashioned style, mixed with modern open plan living and a lot of white, yummy!
    Kat xox

  • Reply Traveling Mama May 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I think if I ever got to choose my dream kitchen that I would have a total panic attack. Anything I want without any limitations? How would I EVER narrow down all my favorite things? It would probably end up looking stupid! :-)

  • Reply Janet May 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    love the black and white!!

  • Reply The Squirrel's Drey May 2, 2012 at 4:38 am

    I saw the British Standard stall at Ideal Home Show and since then all my kitchen dreams have been framed by that one example. I love the two tone grey but also the fact that they are british made and built. I’ll be at the show room as soon as it opens, but I think it might be out of our budget.

  • Reply kalanicut May 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    The kitchen seems to be becoming even more the heart of the home than ever. So much good stuff happens in the kitchen. I love Amy Nuesinger’s kitchen, gosh her entire house is amazing. I rented a home from a friend for a year and her kitchen, while very simple was incredible well organized. This small kitchen had the perfect spaces to store everything you need in a kitchen. I loved that kitchen!

  • Reply Ella May 3, 2012 at 3:05 am

    I rented a home from a friend for a year and her kitchen, while very simple was incredible well organized.

  • Reply chantel May 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I have been dreaming of my dream kitchen ever since I moved out of home. the first place I lived in was rented with the worst kitchen ever – an oven that didn’t work properly, slippery tiles on the floor ( i’m sure they were meant for the walls), alot of space that wasn’t utilised properly. I hated cooking in it! I thought everything would change once I had a nice oven and cooktop and all the mod cons. My husband and I bought a one bedder with the tiniest kitchen ever. It looked lovely when you didn’t cook in it but all I could do was visualise how I would have designed it. Living in such a small space I crave some space, so as long as I have space, it’s white and the appliances work, I think I’ll be happy! Maybe?!

  • Reply Chrystina May 8, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I love kitchens. Also, good use of the word oodles.

    My kitchen has a large work space, big enough for at least 4 people to be able to roll out sugar cookies at the same time, a really large sink, a pantry and a table that seats a minimum of 8 people – probably square. Large windows that let a lot of light in. A breakfast nook. Benches for seating. A large bookshelf for cookbooks. Lots of display for dishwear/glasswear.

    I love kitchens.

  • Leave a Reply

    Scroll Up