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How to Zen Out in Your Kitchen + Get The Look


Remember the year that we threw out anything in our house that didn’t bring us JOY? Japanese Minimalism is having a moment (or a decade) and we are slowly getting on board and really analyzing what we need to house in our home and why. Minimalism is wonderful in a hotel or a guest room, but can be sad without texture and warmth – even in the kitchen. Today we are analyzing Zen kitchens with a roundup of what can make your kitchen go from boring and sparce to simple and warm.

Japanese Wood Kitchen

Zen doesn’t necessarily have to mean a sparse and minimal look in your home, it more loosely translates (especially in the kitchen) to everything having a place and everything being in its proper place. For that very reason, I love this S hook hanging system. These are the ideas that we are all looking for and wishing we could take credit of. What you have hanging from them has to be beautiful, as any random sippy cup won’t do and everything you own has to have a handle, but if you are this chic you can do your due diligence and shop with handles in mind.

White Marble Gold And Cork Kitchen

As we’ve discussed before black is big in kitchens this year – although it is best for a large kitchen that is part of an open floor plan. But, another trend that we haven’t talked about is no hardware on cupboards, which certainly keeps it quiet and zen. Both of these kitchens have beautiful marble instead of a ceasarstone or something plain which keeps these guys from going too stark and sad. This kitchen is achieving full zen as it is mixing a lot of finishes NOT patterns and wood is the #1 requisite.

Minimal Modern Bright Kitchen

I love this kitchen, especially that chic island shelf – without it that kitchen could go slightly contemporary.

Zen Kitchen Accessories Dramatic Black Wood

We see a lot of black and darker woods again in this kitchen but it works because it is part of a much larger floor plan and the light colored stools and counter help it from feeling too heavy and dark.

Zen Kitchen Accessories Light Wood and White

You’ll notice that there is a total lack of color in these kitchens, with black, white, cream, wood and metals creating a neutral story – a story that I’m very into.

Zen Kitchen Accessories Modern Wood Design

There is a decent amount of contrast amongst all the finishes but without any pattern or really ornate lines, all of these kitchens feel clean. Minimalism doesn’t mean not designed, or just uninentionally empty. instead it’s a delicate toying with finishes and tones, with an extreme eye for the exact right finish.

Zen Kitchen Accessories Modern Wood White Marble Tile

Here is a little product inspiration to get your Zen-gines started (I hope that pun came through). We have pulled together the first board if you are ready for a full zen inspired remodel, or if you just need a few little accessories to bring in the zen-inspired calm that we all need in our kitchen we have round those up for you below as well.

Zen Kitchen Accessories Furniture Minimal Wishbone Chair Indoor Plants Contemporary Modern Kitchen Design Moodboard

1. Brass Faucet | 2. Wood Countertops | 3. Handmade Tile | 4. Brass Pulls | 5. Black Cab | 6. Wishbone Chair | 7. Crest Chandelier | 8. Small Planter with Stand | 9. Large Planter with Stand

Zen Kitchen Accessories Furniture Minimal Wishbone Chair Indoor Plants Contemporary Modern Kitchen Design Accessories

Head on over to 13 New Kitchen Trends if you are craving some more info on what we think is hot this year. Or if your white kitchen is feeling dull and lackluster head on over to this post where we show you How to Bring Personality into Your White Kitchen.


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28 thoughts on “How to Zen Out in Your Kitchen + Get The Look

  1. I’ll take literally any of these kitchens. They’re all incredible! I love the idea of a kitchen with only neutral colors, because then your food really stands out!

  2. These kitchens are great and its fun analysing what gives them their “Zen” quality but I am unclear how they differ from, say, a Scandinavian-style kitchen or a minimalist kitchen? It is just the fact that there is an awful lot of wood in these kitchens vs. more white in a Scandinavian one?

    Having lived in Japan for 5 years I’d like to add than I never encountered kitchens like these! Temples in Kyoto maybe but not the average home.

    1. So True! These are Muji concept homes in style, but real homes in japan… hardly. Funny how Japanese design is touted elsewhere. That’s not to say they aren’t great designers.

    2. The second image is John and Julie’s kitchen (Mjölk, Canada). They draw inspiration from both Japanese and Scandinavian design (and visit both areas frequently) so it makes sense that you see the Scandinavian in it.

      Image 4 is just Australian Contemporary really (actually the brief for that TV show episode was American Modern, but there you go). “Scandi” is all the rage here in Aus.

  3. Personally, I think zen style is boring and lacks imagination. It doesn’t feel comfortable. But it sure is beautiful to look at. A zen house reminds me of a museum. You can appreciate it, but you can’t flop on the couch or spill spaghetti sauce on the kitchen counter.

  4. I quite love all the kitchens (still hard to believe kitchen #2 is a rendering and not real). Thanks for the great round of of items!

    The only item I dislike is the Crest Chandelier which is a cheap looking rip off of the George Nelson Crisscross bubble pendant

      1. It’s a 3D rendering created in 3Dmax (check the source link). I’ve been drooling over it for a couple years. I’d love to own the stools if they existed 🙂

      2. lol whoops I meant to say kitchen #3. I wasn’t counting the first picture for some reason

        1. I knew what you were referring to from the start. Somehow those brass looks “off” to me like unreal. But still great rendering though. 🙂

  5. ZEN!! When I took the quiz in your book Zen came up was my main design style and I was really thrown off by that. (I even took the quiz a 2nd time to be sure. haha) Then I started looking around my house or at the things I’ve pinned and realized you’re totally right! haha. We’re getting ready to move and remodel a new house and half of these kitchens are already on my inspiration board for the kitchen! You know your stuff, lady! Zen-gines!

  6. In love with this zen look. Clutter makes me crazy! I want to throw it all away and start over!

  7. So much inspiration in your photos. Also great tips. I dream about a large kitchen. Thank you for supporting my dream!

  8. The second kitchen made me AHHHH (in a zen way of course) out loud! And those marble and wood cutting boards are so lovely.

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