When it comes to the kitchen, we’re quick to borrow ingredients and cooking methods from places we’ve visited, but what about interior design? There’s much to be learned from international kitchen styles, in terms of both function and form. With a little creativity, your kitchen can become a reminder of your favourite holiday destination, all year round. Scroll on for your fix of international inspiration.

1. Morocco

Moroccan interiors often influence bathroom and bedroom designs, but those rich colours and mixed textures lend themselves beautifully to kitchens too. Here, bright tiles jostle with a rock-solid wooden table and leather-wrapped stools. Huge globular light fittings in antique brass provide a stunning focal point. Not ready for a full-on refurb? Tile decals and an easy-to-install aged brass splashback are quick ways to add a dash of North African magic to your existing kitchen design.

2. Greek Islands

Achieve the easy, breezy feel of a sun-soaked Greek isle by working with varying tones of blue. From delicate periwinkle to shots of cobalt, blue features heavily in the best Greek interiors. Rooms tend to be whitewashed, offering a cooling retreat from the heavy summer heat. You might not have a sea view from your window, but kitchen cupboard paint is an easy way to give your room a blue boost. And because orange is opposite blue on the colour wheel, a copper splashback would work a treat with this theme.

3. Tuscany

Italian cuisine is one of the world’s most popular, so it makes sense to consider Italy when imagining your dream kitchen. In this stylish kitchen-diner in Tuscany, all the best bits of tradition are combined with slick, modern design. You may not have  vaulted ceilings to play with, but the earthy tones of this room could be recreated with bare plaster, aged copper and weathered Corten steel. Just add pizza, or pasta. And gelato, for dessert.

4. Spain

This bright, Spanish kitchen marries traditional elements with contemporary touches. We love the pattern on the monochrome cement floor tiles. Typically, Spanish interiors work with dark wood, which can be seen here on the ceiling beams and that palatial island. The rich, brown tones of wood such a mahogany work wonders with yellow or mustard walls, but here white keeps things open and bright. A glimpse of polished natural brass on the light fittings adds to the sophisticated air of the room, without going overboard.

5. Ibiza

Moving from mainland Spain and over to the Balearic islands, here’s a stunning farmhouse kitchen on Ibiza. Those worn, driftwood-style beams might not be easy to recreate in your own home, but the rustic cabinetry is a style that can be copied. Here, the colour pallet is kept monochrome; white keeps things cool, letting the bold black of the window frames and the statement wood do all the talking.

6. Mexico

The bold colours of Mexican folk art make for a vibrant kitchen. Here, the floors and walls are coated in a rich mustard, giving a sense of sunshine to an otherwise dark room. The ornate light fitting and utensil rack are at odds with the aged wood below, but this juxtaposition only adds to the colourful character. Surely the crowning glory here is that beautiful, traditional tiling. Search auction sites for salvaged furniture and bright ceramics to give your own kitchen a Mexican edge.

7. Rural France

France is considered to be the world capital of fine cuisine, so going Gallic is a logical step when it comes to kitchen design. We love the pastel cabinetry here, the aged brass taps and the patterned curtains. But the real focal point of this huge kitchen is the pan rack overhanging the chunky island. As is often the case in French kitchens, practicalities become decor. Why hide those rustic wicker baskets and shiny copper pans away in a cupboard when they look so good hanging close at hand?

8. Turkey

There are so many ways to usher Turkish touches into your home, and here are several of them in one stylish kitchen. Vintage Turkish rugs add instant texture and vintage charm to any room, but they’re especially valuable in the kitchen, which can look otherwise sterile. Here, contrasting patterns on a stunning tiled splashback add to the Turkey-inspired design. Look closely and you’ll see more nods to Anatolia: the traditional, hammam-style towel draped over the sink, the bowl of juicy lemons, and that island painted in a dreamy, deep sea blue.

9. Portugal

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Lisbon, you’ll know that the Portuguese capital is awash with blue and white tiles. These iconic tiles are known locally as Azulejos, and they make perfect kitchen decor. In this kitchen, the traditional Azulejos work in harmony with more modern, industrial touches like the metal bar stools and raw charcoal walls. For a more historical Portuguese kitchen, check out the patinated copper pans on the title image for this post; they’re in the kitchen at Pena Palace in Sintra, and the picture was taken by Ramiro Mendes on Unsplash.

10. The Round the World Ticket

Can’t decide on a favourite holiday destination? The answer’s simple: throw various elements from different countries together. The result will be an eclectic, colourful, story-telling kitchen that pays homage to your travels. Take this gem of a kitchen design, for example: tiki-inspired rattan stools, folk art sculptures, African bowls and French crockery all come together in a modern, Scandinavian backdrop. And how could we not mention the strip of glamorous gold provided by that stunner of a brass splashback?


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