5 Stunning Spaces + Saving Kitchens – #5 A Study of Minimalism


Written By: Ashley Gartland

Ask professional chefs what makes a great kitchen and they’ll tell you that less is more. By this, they mean that the most workable kitchens exist in streamlined space with a minimalist, albeit high-functioning, design. Of course, the flaw of such simplistically designed kitchens is that they often put the room’s outward appearances on the back burner while favoring functionality.

Fortunately, for homeowners desiring a professional-grade kitchen, the right finishes can transform a minimalist design into a timeless, clean-lined space that serves the needs to modern home chefs and acts as an aesthetically pleasing gathering place in their homes. Case in point is this striking, galley-style kitchen in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, designed by CKS Kitchens & Design.

Known for their tasteful, restrained designs, CKS kitchens such as this one are studies in minimalist looks that harbor clean lines and a minimum number of elements. In contrast to this simplicity, the designers then boosted this particular kitchen’s appeal by sourcing a combination of texturally rich finished that perfect the room’s modernĀ  bent.

To mimic the inherent texture of the white oak, the designers paired it with a dark wenge wood surrounded on the range wall. A third wood – zebra wood – was then used for the modular table that appears to sprout organically from the end of the island.

To expand upon the natural feel they were creating in the kitchen, the designers sourced an organic-looking tile from Walker Zanger with a linear grain pattern that complements the cabinetry. For for countertops, they selected a honed granite in a light gray hue flecked with earthy green accents. Then, they turned their attention to the backsplash.

Beyond finding the ideal finishes, the designers aimed to create a kitchen as functional as it is flawlessly designed to meet the homeowners’ needs.

Simmons added a center island and framed it with ample workspace to accommodate the homeowners on both sides.

To keep these workspaces clear of clutter, the designers outfitted the room with large, deep storage drawers to make efficient use of the space; adjustable dish pegs inside the drawers can accommodate storing plates and dishes of various styles and sizes. Elsewhere, a butcher-block pullout located beneath the espresso machine provides an impromptu coffee-serving station, while the raised Sub-Zero wine cooler creates space for an extra storage drawer to fit beneath it.

For further storage, the designers also created a larger, streamlined organizational zone in the kitchen’s most surprising feature: the hidden pantry. To the left of the Sub-Zero refrigerator, what looks to be two cabinet doors is actually one large door that opens to reveal a large walk-in pantry.

Such intricate, well-planned design details showcase an end result that is achieved when the designers focus on a few main elements first, and then play up those elements with stunning finishes and functional features. In doing so, CKS designers created the very minimalist, high-functioning design favored by professional chefs and additionally made it an appealing gather space within the home.