5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Minimalist—No Matter Your Style

October 29, 2016

Make way for minimalism in the kitchen—and that doesn't mean tossing everything you own. We partnered with Bosch Home Appliances to give you five ways to clear the clutter, inspired by their modern appliances like this electric range.

Minimalism is not: painting everything you own white, getting rid of all your possessions, or going to live in the woods. In its nascent, artistic sense, minimalism is about paring down with purpose—the results of which are often calming, impactful, evocative (sometimes all at once!). Take Frank Stella's famous "pinstripe" paintings, just black lines on a white canvas but somehow so much more. Or the Japanese art of ikebana, which aims to elevate the most essential part of a flower in an arrangement.

Clean but functional, a focus on just the essentials... it sounds quite a lot like a tidy home kitchen! If you're looking to embrace a more minimalist aesthetic in yours, don't feel like you need to take everything to the local thrift store. A light purge of unused tools (think back-of-the-cabinet stuff) is a great start, and then here are five ways to embrace a more minimalist aesthetic in your home kitchen—no matter your style!

A modern stovetop (like Bosch's electric range) keeps kitchen zen front and center. Photo by James Ransom

Stow Most of Your Stuff Out of Sight

Open shelves are nice, but if they're as long as your kitchen and filled to the brim, even the most well-styled selection of plates and glassware will start to feel cluttered.

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Top Comment:
“Everything in my kitchen is there for a reason. There are things I only use a few times a year, but they are indispensable for those times. I mostly keep the counters clear, but my drawers are full. And I'm not one of those people who needs a special brush to clean mushrooms, for example. But I love to cook many different cuisines, requiring many different pots and utensils. ”
— CFrance

If you don't have enough cabinet space in your kitchen to store everything—and just can't part with any piece of your cookware—invest in a hutch or set of cabinets that can live just outside the kitchen to safeguard the overflow.

Show Off Just a Few Favorites

Now that the large majority are tucked away, select a half dozen or so pieces you're especially fond of—an elegantly worn cutting board, your favorite mug, a go-to piece of cast iron—and put them on display. Contradictory though it might seem, setting out a small selection will make the room feel curated, and very pared down indeed. (The illusion being: All I ever need are a few mugs and a cute skillet!)

Introduce Bright White Light

Soft yellow bulbs, great for setting the mood and making your complexion look flawless, aren't very helpful in a room where sharp tools and open flames are a regular occurrence.

Think Monochromatically

If you've got tons of competing colors in your kitchen, and don't want to overhaul it entirely, use the feature that would be hardest to change as your color guiding light. Marble counter? Paint the cabinets white or a pale grey, DIY a tile backsplash to match. Slate floors? Go with darker cabinets and an inky wall color.

Not every element needs to be the exact same color, per se, but keeping them in a family will give it a cleaner, more minimalist look.

Clear Your Air Space

A massive, looming dish rack does not a minimalist kitchen make. Make room for pots and pans in low cabinets, and if the resulting air space still begs to draw the eyes up, hang a few simple, slender pendant bulbs (high enough so they don't block any sight lines!).

How do you keep kitchen clutter at bay? Tell us your best tips in the comments.

The modern design of Bosch Home Appliances inspired us to start streamlining our kitchens, so we're sharing design tips to declutter your decor.

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Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.


Sandra E. November 10, 2016
My dream kitchen. Hope, I'll get it.
tastysweet November 9, 2016
My clutter leans more on paper. The coupons and restaurant deals that arrive in the mail everyday. I clumped them altogether onto my weekly calendar for when they expire. But the pile keeps getting larger. Then of course I either forget to take them with me or they have already expired. And don't me started on the recipes I collect. I do go over them every now and then. But alas, it is a lost cause. If they are put away, I might as wel,throw them out because I won't remember to look at them-:)
tamater S. November 9, 2016
I used to be swamped in paper too. I just decided to force myself to go through all my piles and recipe files, once every month or two. It was excruciating at first, and took me years to conquer my paper hoarding, but eventually, sanity won. So take heart, my friend. If I did it, there's hope for anybody.
Donna J. November 9, 2016
I value a clean home. And the great thing about minimalism is that you spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying life! Having only the things that are needed and make me happy.
normaburns November 8, 2016
Bosh may be beautiful, but just don't make the mistake of buying their washing machine. It wrings clothes into a rope and then ties them into knots. I have their dishwasher, too, but it's excellent!
tamater S. November 8, 2016
:-O Thanks for the warning! That's why it's so important to have #1 - a good return policy. #2 - That there's a brand approved repair centre in your area. I have an LG W/D in one that I love, but it was dicey at first; had to have a guy out twice in the first 10 months, (a pump) and it was free because of the age of the machine. But we're rural, "in the middle of nowhere" and that repairman has retired, and oh lordy, nobody else has taken over his area!
Karin B. November 8, 2016
Normaburns --Read the instructions, there is a spin speed adjustment and then put a mixture of garments, not just all long johns, add a bath sheet. I am German and I have had Bosch or Miele washers all my life.
tamater S. November 8, 2016
I have tools for everything, but some of it is seasonal; cherry pitter, strawberry huller, canning supplies, long grilling tongs, the big scale (I have a small one for regular use, but it can't handle large amounts, like tomatoes, apples, etc.). It gets stored outside, in a wooden, lidded box. Then too, anything 'holiday' such as witch & bat, santa or easter bunny cookie cutters or holds, they're in another box out in the shed.
CFrance November 8, 2016
Everything in my kitchen is there for a reason. There are things I only use a few times a year, but they are indispensable for those times. I mostly keep the counters clear, but my drawers are full. And I'm not one of those people who needs a special brush to clean mushrooms, for example. But I love to cook many different cuisines, requiring many different pots and utensils.
hilary November 8, 2016
My "best tip" is to own less stuff. Follow this one simple tip and you'll be shocked at how much time you have now that you aren't managing your stuff.
Karin B. November 8, 2016
Since your business is selling clutter this article may be counterproductive for you (smile)
P.S. I like clutter
barbara N. November 8, 2016
Just had to say that I love your comment.
Author Comment
Amanda S. November 8, 2016
I admit to being fond of clutter myself—these tips are for those less keen on it! (Or at least keen on keeping up the illusion of hoarding less.)
Lucy November 9, 2016
Isn't that the expensive truth,
brenna G. November 8, 2016
Danica R. October 31, 2016
great article! i love it!