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Swing Bar Stools and 9 Other Chic Kitchen Ideas Around the World


I officially have the travel bug. Usually around April, I began furiously scouring flight deals to white sand beaches and coconut beverages. But this month I’m moving into a new apartment and can’t go anywhere unless I don’t want to have any furniture or eat…food. Priorities blow.

As a crude, crude substitute, I turned to Google for vicarious gratification. There’s a voyeuristic thrill about peeking into people’s homes. The “I wonder what it would be like to live there?” moment is like a mini mental escape. Instead of just limiting my “getaway” to the U.S., I decided to round up 10 of the chicest kitchens from around the world. Join me on this magic carpet ride:

1. San Francisco, U.S.A.

Bright and light filled San Francisco kitchen with rope swing bar stools
Our first stop is within the continental United States. But, this colorful home actually feels like a tropical enclave with its expansive views city views and surrounding foliage. Thanks to the floor to ceiling windows, natural light permeates the space, reflecting off the white laminate cabinets. The rope swing bar stools suspended from the ceiling are fun, whimsical, and feel like a perennial vacation.

2. Stockholm, Sweden

Old world kitchen with rustic fireplaceThis circa 1905 country home would be the ideal place to wake up in with friends, enjoy long brunches, and host pizza making parties. The gorgeous range is state of the art, yet helps maintain the Old World interior. My favorite part though, is the diversity of lighting. There’s that modern hanging fixture, some natural light, and of course the rustic kitchen fireplace. So cozy!

3. Istanbul, Turkey

Kitchen with tiles, two toned cabinets, and kilims in Istanbul, Turkey
When I see this picture, I instantly smell Turkish coffee. Textures and patterns reign king here and mix bohemian with modern style. Replicate the style by layering rugs, tiles, copper, and terracotta together for a dynamic feel. Keeping it all one color scheme (here it’s warm and earthy) will allow the space to feel unified and streamlined. The two tone cabinets also work great as the white upper cabinets keep everything bright and airy.

4. Surrey, England

Cream traditional Victorian English kitchen with eat in table
A huge fantasy I have is to take a vacation where I feel compelled to do nothing but read. I have a list of novels I’d love to get through and this cheery Surrey kitchen would be just the place. I actually love the casual vibe of eat-in kitchens and love how this space feels quintessentially English Victorian. That vintage blue kettle is just calling for afternoon tea and a great book.

5. Paris, France

Black 19th century stove in Paris kitchen with Italian tiling
This is actually Italian designer Giambattista Valli’s Parisian abode, and it is just as special as his pieces. The stove is a restored 19th century piece, which is juxtaposed with an artisanal ceramic tile backsplash from Positano, Italy. Spaces that are infused with history, personal culture, and art are often the most compelling. This kitchen would be beautiful to entertain in!

6. London, England

Sophisticated and glamorous London Kitchen with bright green island
While few of us may choose a lacquered Kelly green island for everyday use, this would be so exciting to wake up to during a vacation. The lush hydrangeas and adorable dog are simply icing. By keeping the chrome cabinets and marble backsplash sophisticated and simple, the bright island stands out as the focal point of this sophisticated space in London’s West End.

7. Andalucía, Spain

Teal and white Spanish beachhouse kitchen
This Mediterranean beachhouse kitchen is truly inspired by the tones of the sea. Don’t have enough storage space in your kitchen? The owner of this home found the blue and white 50’s era cabinet in a secondhand store. The marquee letter was also found in the street. With some restoration and cleaning, it’s easy to add character and functionality to your kitchen, on the cheap. Bonus: if you’re really going on a vacation, this home is available via Airbnb!

8. Lake Vesturhóp, Iceland

Cozy Icelandic cottage kitchen with blue and wooden accents
Growing up, I loved visiting my grandmother’s home and this cozy lakeside cottage has the same feel of a warm retreat. I love the bare feel, with open shelving and exposed pendant lighting. The owners wanted everything to be left visible as they “love the creation of food”. If you’re trying to spruce up a tiny kitchen, consider painting a couple cabinets with a shocking slick of teal. Accessories and knickknacks welcome!

A Cozy Icelandic Cottage

9. Cape Town, South Africa

Eat in kitchen with industrial accents and chalkboard wall
Located in the heart of Cape Town, this home embodies its urban environment with industrial appliances and furniture. The pendant lamp has an exposed wire, which is a top trend. The table was custom made with wood and steel, and painted white on top to brighten the space. Tip: add wheels to your table (like above) for easy entertaining and moving.

10. Singapore

White modern kitchen with Miele appliances and retro tile flooring
If you love to cook with the local fare when you’re traveling, you’ll want a kitchen like this on your next vacation. This meticulous Singapore kitchen boasts dual cooking stations, Miele appliances, and Silestone (less porous and more stain resistant than other finishes) counters. Generally you see large floor tiles in kitchens, but the tiny almost retro mosaic quality of this flooring balances out the ultra contemporary furnishings.

Which kitchen would you love to escape to on a vacation?

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