The goal of good kitchen design is the same no matter where you go. People want a space that functions well for cooking and entertaining, stores everything that needs to be stored, has durable materials, and looks good too.
But while great kitchen design is universal, not all kitchens are created equal. What works for a small apartment owner in France, for example, isn’t going to work for a suburb in Texas. To show how different — and similar — kitchen design can be, we looked at the most-saved kitchen photo from 13 countries around the world.
What you’ll find is plenty of variation but also lots of commonality in how function, storage, and style are handled. Which country is home to your kitchen soul mate?
Popular Kitchens From Sweden
As Swedish kitchens go, this isn’t one that the locals would recognize as typical. Sure, Swedes love white cabinets, but bold wallpaper in a kitchen isn’t a common sight, although Swedes are increasingly embracing color and patterns in other parts of the home.
But the floral wallpaper on the island was enough to make this the most-saved kitchen photo in the country.
Popular Kitchens From Russia
Houzz Russia featured this kitchen, designed by Tatyana Arkhipova, twice. The first story was about unusual Russian kitchens in which designers were asked to explain features we couldn’t figure out ourselves.
Here, all attention was on the surprising door on the side of the island. It turns out it’s a Dunavox wine fridge that holds six bottles.
Another clever feature is the upper cabinets, which were designed in two rows, with the lower one shallower than the top. This design trick ensures the homeowners won’t bump their heads when doing dishes.
Popular Kitchens From Germany
Houzz Germany editor Thomas Helbing was surprised that this compact and reduced-to-the-essentials kitchen was the most popular kitchen there, as opposed to a large, open-plan kitchen with a big island for socializing. But clever storage features apparently captivated the Houzz community.
Even though space in this studio apartment is limited, interior designer Ute Günther was able to install a fully equipped small kitchen. Sacrificing a dining table wasn’t an option, so here it simply pulls out from the cabinetry.
“This kitchenette and bench were made by our carpenter,” Günther says. “There is storage space under the bench, and the corner cupboard can be reached from the door under the extensible table. You can never have enough storage space.”
Another trick is that the sink and range disappear under a cover when not in use.
This mini kitchen shows that a well-designed space is a question not of size, but of good planning and clever solutions.
Popular Kitchens From United Kingdom
This cupboard is a beautiful piece of design that maximizes space and provides custom storage in a London kitchen created by Barry Sawyer at Brayer Design.
The Shaker-style cabinets were designed with minimal ornamentation to blend traditional and contemporary styles. “The units go right to the ceiling, but without any decorative moldings at the top,” Sawyer says.
He included a marble countertop and outlets for a coffee machine and juicer. “The doors are retractable and slot into the sides,” he says. “The cabinet is located near to the breakfast bar for easy access, and concealed lighting comes on when you open the doors.”
Popular Kitchens From Spain
Clever design tricks and customization are always popular with Houzz users, as this Spanish kitchen shows.
A soothing color palette, a pot filler in the range area, and carefully planned lighting are among the features that drew the eye. “The white Corian countertop with a built-in sink is a fundamental feature that brings elegance to space, as does the glass cupboard which stands on top of it,” says Lluisa Deulonder, founder of Deulonder Arquitectura Doméstica. “This solution works only for custom-made kitchens and is very practical because you can store small appliances and always have them within arm’s reach. The American lamps in the range area bring a unique touch to kitchens of this style.”
Popular Kitchens From India
Most urban apartments in India have compact kitchens, so the goal is always to maximize space and create as much storage and functionality as possible. This kitchen does both, with style. “We managed to pack plenty of functional elements into the compact space while still making it aesthetically pleasing,” designer Sunita Yogesh of Sunita Yogesh Studio says.
The homeowner had moved back to India after living in the United States for more than 10 years. She wanted the design of her 1,130-square-foot apartment to make the most of available space yet have a contemporary, calm, and soothing feel through clean lines and a neutral palette.
Her dream was to have an all-white kitchen, so the designers opted for a herringbone backsplash, quartz countertop, and Shaker-style cabinets in white. They added open wood shelves to give the space some warmth. The kitchen also has a small utility zone at the far end for laundry and storage.
Popular Kitchens From France
An open-plan kitchen doesn’t work for everyone, and the pros and cons of open layouts were one of the most debated design topics on Houzz this year. This French kitchen went for the best of both worlds.
Created by Archipelles studio, it was very popular in France after being featured in a Houzz before-and-after story. It consists of Ikea modules customized with high-quality finishes, like the custom-made Carrara marble countertop and the brushed-brash cabinet hardware. The Farrow & Ball paint on the walls and the geometric floor was also popular among Houzz France users.
A glass partition faces the living area, maintaining a connection while mitigating noise and odors. “My clients did not want an open kitchen because they wanted to keep cooking smells and noise out of the living area,” interior designer Hélène Paoli says. “Nevertheless, they wanted the two areas to be in close dialogue. We nibbled away at part of the large 32-square-meter [345-square-foot] living area to create this 12.6-square-meter [136-square-foot] kitchen and make it the center of the flat.”
Popular Kitchens From Singapore
For this Singapore kitchen, Priscilla Tan from Styledbypt reconfigured the appliance layout and designed a storage column next to the island, filling the gap between it and the balcony wall and relocating the oven within that.
She then put a flat induction cooktop into a new peninsula to create a work triangle with the sink and fridge. She used Silestone Calacatta Gold quartz from Cosentino for the waterfall and kitchen countertops as well as the backsplash.
The graphic floor tile is vinyl and “helped to shape and ground the kitchen area and ties the palette together beautifully,” Tan says.
Popular Kitchens From Italy
This kitchen features a clean design with a natural twist and includes finishes such as wood repurposed from old Venetian broccoli — wooden structures, known as “dolphins” in English, used for mooring gondolas — and tiles by Gio Ponti that recall the color of the sea. One of Italy’s most famous television series, Un Posto al Sole (“A Place in the Sun”), was even filmed here.
The project’s starting point was the challenge of hiding a storage area in the left-hand corner of the room. “We created a door [on the left in the photo] flush with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry,” says Maurizio Giancarli, chief architect and managing partner at Toffini. “We also included a 70-centimeter [about 27.5-inch] built-in fridge with freezer.”
The owners wanted to be able to accommodate friends and prepare dinners for several people. “We opted for a central island that would feature various cooking systems: gas, induction, and teppanyaki — a very versatile cooking plate that reaches 572 degrees F and dissolves fat,” Giancarli says. “We added a second sink, to give the island more autonomy, and a downdraft hood so that we wouldn’t need extractors on the ceiling, which would have disrupted the overall look of the kitchen, given the height of the room. Furthermore, a wine cabinet was placed into the lateral side of the island to make opening a bottle of wine or preparing an aperitif more practical, so as not to get in the way of the people doing the cooking.”
Popular Kitchens From United States
This kitchen by MSA Architecture + Interiors for a home built by and owned by Keith Wing of Keith Wing Custom Builders in New Braunfels, Texas, was the most popular new kitchen photo (as well as the most popular new photo overall) uploaded to Houzz in the U.S. this year.
It exemplifies many of the reigning trends in American kitchens today: white Shaker-style cabinets (these are painted in Pure White by Sherwin-Williams), a colored island base (Gravel Gray by Benjamin Moore), warmly colored hardware and pendants over the island.
Houzz users also loved the unique island countertop, which is Florida quartzite, a natural stone, and the floors, which are engineered, wire-brushed European oak. Glossy gray backsplash tile in a herringbone pattern dresses up the walls, and black granite in a leathered finish adds contrast to the perimeter counters.
Popular Kitchens From Japan
This wood-happy kitchen in Japan flows into the dining area and other areas of the house. The owners, a family of three who love nature, requested a stylish space that utilized natural materials.
The team at Dwarf finished the peninsula counter with Japanese cedar in a herringbone pattern. The same cedar is used on the ceiling and floor. The countertop is stainless steel.
Popular Kitchens From Australia
This Australian kitchen by Plot project management builds on the simplicity of the Scandinavian aesthetic by mixing quality materials — wood, dolomite, polished concrete — in an unfussy way. The result is a clean-lined space with a focus on materials.
The island countertop and open shelf unit below combine for a furniture-like appeal that works well in an open-plan environment. Durable, low-maintenance surfaces are the order of the day because if there’s one thing Australians love, it’s a combination of pretty and practical.
Popular Kitchens From Denmark
Dominated by black, white, and gray and featuring clean lines, this kitchen lives up to classic Danish style. The matte cabinet fronts create a calm feel, while the bright ceilings, walls, and window frames, along with the magnificent natural illumination, provide bright contrast.
The kitchen’s well-thought-out design also makes it practical and easy to clean. “A large cupboard wall in the kitchen provides plenty of storage space,” designers from JKE Design wrote in a statement about the project. “For example, there are pullout drawers with sockets behind the black doors, so there is room for a mixer, coffee maker, and other electric kitchen appliances.”
Typical of homes in Denmark, the interior is a mix of newer and older Danish design: The About a Stool bar stools — designed by Hee Welling for Hay — are from this century, while the Flowerpot lights over the counter were designed by Verner Panton in 1968.
Your turn: Which kitchen from around the world is your favorite? Tell us in the comments.