The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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American - Scandinavian Kitchens?

It struck me with this latest collection of Scandinavian kitchens from the fantastic Scandinavian magazine, Vakrehjem & Interior, that elements of some of these images looked very American to my eye.

I'd like to offer some comments on these images. Here we go...

These first two images are castle-like kitchens, sort of down in the musty kitchen we go! I do not see those images as typically American necessarily. It's a bit of a mishmosh to me, this kitchen. I am not a fan of the modern chairs mixed with the traditional chairs, maybe it's just that style of modern or traditional. There are areas of this kitchen that are very charming, but I think its charm lies in the collection of pieces rather than the design of the space per se. That said, anytime one can have authentic beams like those beams in one's home, it's a gift. 

Some of these lower images look very close to American kitchens, and what I am seeing here is the shaker door style that is so popular in the U.S. Add in the beadboard, and I think we are in New England. 

Certain differences illustrate Scandinavian design. The wide use of white in the lower images is very typical. White, white, white. Note that the white continues on the door/window casings and some furniture pieces as well. Or, conversely, sometimes we see the abundant use of natural wood elements, such as ceilings and walls clad in distressed wood.

Platters on open shelves or other fine pieces are often seen on open shelves in Scandinavian country kitchens. Modern touches are too, and in the case of the white kitchen, it doesn't matter that the kitchen is 90% country in its theme, somehow, a modern touch seems never to be out of place and is freely included. I do not have a historical reference on the "X" design seen in the doors, but that motif is generally seen as a Swedish design element.

Splashes of color in the white Scandinavian kitchen are widely enjoyed, which we see in the collection of accessories on the tall shelf over the windows. 

I love sharing my Scandinavian kitchen finds with you. I hope you enjoy them too.

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Reader Comments (7)

You're a woman after my heart (as always)with your post on Scandinavian design.

You are right about the American feel in these kitchens...the last image feels the most purely Scandinavian to me.

Tricia - Avolli

April 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTricia - Avolli

These are the most beautiful kitchens. They rmeind me of my friends's houses in Norway. Light and airy and pratical. Love it.

May 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Blonde Exec

Tricia, yes, it just kind of struck me, so it's fun to disseminate the pieces of each region.

TBE, I swear Scandinavia is a magical place. I'm very biased. :) Thanks for your comment. If a friend is willing to share pictures, that would be nice!

May 1, 2009 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Nice to see my kitchen here, and very surprising! The last three pictures are from my home. Welcome to my blogg if you like to see more of our house:)
Viveka på Humlebacken

The first kitchen is from a renovated castle in France- and the owner's aim was to keep it in the traditional working-kitchen style of the area- with some danish elements (seeing as the owner is from Denmark)
Second kitchen, I believe, is from a cabin in the mountains- recently build in Norway, and the combinations used, are not representative of what one find in a family-home.
So those kitchens are perhaps not the best examples of scandinavian kitchens?
The third kitchen is absolutely lovely, and I love
Viveka's blog:-)

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusanne

Hello Viveka! Thank you for stopping by. Do you know that I have an entire category on Scandinavian kitchens? Look at the sidebar on the right. Your blog is great and your home is wonderful! Is that herring that I see on the Royal Copenhagen plate? Reminds me of eating freshly smoked herring from the smokehouses in Bornholm. Nothing like it.

I will add your blog to my blog list. It's lovely to make your acquaintance. You have a great home!

Susanne, thank you for that information, It's great to have more information. Exactly as I thought. I felt these were not so true to a 100% Scandinavian feeling and actually had some American aesthetics to them, or whatever one interprets their look to be, so I agree with you. Glad you stopped by!

May 11, 2009 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

I recognize those modern chairs! They're kiddie booster seats that you can change with the height of the kid. I don't think it's meant to be a design statement so much as not being as "staged" as most US kitchens are for such pictures. (Those chairs have always seemed awesomely practical to me, but the $$$ has kept me away.)

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMimi R

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