The Cottonwood Kitchen Remodel

How to Style a Minimalist Kitchen

An inside look at one of our favorites plus tips to achieving minimalism, Studio McGee-style.

24 July 2023 -

At its core, the Studio McGee aesthetic is quite minimal. Not minimal in terms of Scandinavian or Japanese design where clean, straight lines or sparse furnishings are the defining elements, but rather an adherence to a color palette, less clutter and more thoughtful layering, and a sense of calm and warmth throughout. One of our clients in our Netflix show, Dream Home Makeover, tasked Studio McGee with redesigning her kitchen and pantry. She had a clean, minimalistic style and wanted something classic Studio McGee with loads of warmth. Achieving Studio McGee’s version of minimalist style is less about restraint and more about thoughtfulness. We’re going to walk you through a couple of tips for mastering this look in the kitchen, followed by a photo tour of one of our favorite minimal kitchens to date.

Start with a minimalist color palette, one or two colors that are classic and will age gracefully as trends come and go. In this case, the lower cabinets and island are a moody charcoal shade—Peppercorn by Sherwin-Williams—set against a light cream—Natural Tan by Sherwin-Williams—on the upper half and adjacent built-in wall cabinetry. Classic aged brass hardware will wear beautifully over time, paired with the island’s dark-hued quartz and a lighter grey-veined quartz in the rest of the space. Shea and the design team kept with that palette and layered in natural materials throughout, like white oak floors and a plaster hood. Mixing in texture, like the pantry’s woven baskets and the leather-wrapped stools—the Greely Counter Stool from McGee & Co.—gives the space dimension, as well as achieves the minimal, organic feel we’re going for.

Open shelving, or in this case, an open ledge, isn’t just about styling. In a minimal design, you have to pay attention to how each item will perform with everyday use in conjunction to the visual offerings it brings to the kitchen. Shea and the design team placed functional items like our European Brass Pepper Mill and a Seagrass Wrapped Carafe on the ledge, both beautiful and can withstand everyday use. In minimalist kitchen design, exposed items should be dual-purpose. Compose clean groupings and pay attention to composition. It’s not about how much stuff you have—it’s how you use it. Give each vignette breathing room and make sure your look is balanced.

With minimalist kitchen design, the key takeaways are to keep only what you need regularly on the counters, less is more. Think about quality over quantity and design with intention, each piece you introduce to the space should serve more than one purpose. Take a look at our Cottonwood Kitchen Remodel along with our Park City Contemporary and Mountainside Retreat projects below.

jars and canisters in pantry
The Cottonwood Kitchen Remodel built in cabinets
The Cottonwood Kitchen Remodel pantry
Date Posted
24 July 2023