Classic Modern Simplified Style Kitchen

Friday Five: Simplified + Stylish Kitchen

Tori Daly Decor + Design, Interiors, Organization

Creating a simplified home is a constant work in progress+ I have been really trying to find a good balance between living simply but still having things that look good + add to the comfort of home. I’m trying to find my place on the minimalism spectrum: I don’t want everything to feel hard, cold + un-lived in but also REALLY want everything to look clean but without spending a ton of time maintaining it.

In addition to reducing the amount of “stuff” we have, the other part of life we need to reduce is our waste + more specifically the use of plastic + paper. With kids, it’s easier to wet a paper towel + wipe their faces or clean off the table or high chair but it makes me sick to my stomach to think about how many rolls of paper towel we have been through. And plastic storage bags? Embarrassed to even talk about it. So I am on a mission to start reducing our waste as a family on what seems to us, a big level. We have been too irresponsible for too long.

So I am facing these simplifying challenges head on and starting this journey in the kitchen. Here are the small adjustments I am making that will hopefully have a big impact on the way we live:

{This post contains affiliate links which help keep the blog running + may result in me receiving a small commission but will not be an additional cost to you}

1. Keep the Essentials Simple + Classic

Right now most of our everyday plates, bowls, mugs are plain white ceramic. I bought everything from Pier 1 and I love them because they are simple, inexpensive + easy to care for. Best of all, they are a classic + simple style which means I can use them for both everyday meals + holiday get-togethers. And because these pieces are sold individually, if one breaks I don’t have to worry about having an incomplete set or needing to go buy a whole box of the same style just to replace a few pieces. The same for our flatware. I went to Pier 1 and bought the individual everyday forks, spoons and knives. I like purchasing this way because I can always have just what I need.

2. Clean + Comforting

I love a white/light kitchen because oddly enough it seems like it’s easy to clean. I prefer to see dirt {strange, I know} so that it doesn’t build up to the point where it’s caked on. The drawback to having an all white or light kitchen is that it can come off really cold + uninviting. For us, and probably most homes, the kitchen is the Heart of the House. This is where we pour love into our food {even microwaved day old mac and cheese} and where conversation + fun + holidays have been had. Personally, I love the casual feel of European country kitchens but need to find a balance between the rustic laid back feel + a clean modern approach. I have been doing this by incorporating a blend of wood + marble into our space. It’s a great balance between elegant + light {albeit, relatively cold} classic marble + the dark warmth of wood, bringing the necessary ying + yang elements into the kitchen.

3. Linen + Glass…Not Paper + Plastic

Reducing our paper+ plastic usage is the next step for us. I despise plastic food storage containers for the following reasons: you can never seem to find the matching lid when you need it; there is no room on the top rack of the dishwasher; I then have to hand-wash but they never seem to get clean enough {especially after pasta sauce}; + there is no way reused, thin plastic can be good for our health. To remedy this, I have been purchasing glass containers instead. They still have plastic, clip tight lids but I feel much better about my food sitting in glass than in plastic. I have bought most of ours from Homegoods {occasionally you can get a really good score and get a bunch at once} but there are similar ones on Amazon {same brand as what I already have} and The Container Store. I would suggest going through Amazon or The Container Store this to ensure you’ll get an entire set in a color you want instead of playing the waiting + guessing game with Homegoods.

These Komax containers are meant to stack, will keep your refrigerator clean + organized and keep harmful chemicals away from your family’s food.

I have also stocked up on a lot of microfiber clothes for cleaning the counters + table with instead of paper towels. I try to use just one per day then wash them with the other towels once a week. Cleaner than sponges; cheaper + more eco-friendly than paper towels!

Komax Glass Storage Containers

Komax Oven Safe Glass Food Containers – Microwave & Freezer safe – Airtight Storage with Snap Locking Lids – 6 Piece Set – BPA-FREE

White Microfiber Cloths


Buff Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber Towels – 12 Pack| Premium Cleaning Cloths | Dust, Scrub, Clean, Polish, Absorb | Large 16″x16″ (White)

4. Pantry Perfection

I am also looking to streamline our pantry with glass storage containers for my dry goods. Currently it is an annoying mix of mason jars and hermetic flip-top containers. In the spirit of creating a cohesive look for the kitchen but also finding products that are safe + environmentally friendly, I have opted for glass canisters with wooden lids. There are a ton of different styles on the market, so settling on one has been a challenge but here are the ones I like the best so far.

These canisters will help

create a streamlined look for the pantry, be easy to organize + locate my items, and again…no plastic!

WarmHome Oak Lid Borosilicate Glass Clear Airtight Canister(47.34oz)

Artisan Glass Storage Containers                                                                              Artisan Glass Storage Containers


5. Add Personality

Adding thoughtful accent pieces to the kitchen is the final step in keeping the space from seeming too utilitarian + reflecting the personality of your family. You can do this in any way that speaks to you but some ways I accomplish this are displaying cookbooks or using decorative bottles for storing, using + displaying everyday items like olive oil or soap. I also like to corral items together on a simple dish to keep the counters clean + like items together. Finding new uses for unlikely pieces also adds a bit of whimsy + displaying baked goods {even if you bake once a month…or year} is also another one of my favorite ways to add warmth + love {even if you’re displaying a bunch of turnovers you bought from the grocery store}! Incorporating a small pot of fresh herbs, a tiny olive topiary, or a simple display of paper whites will bring life, nature + softness to the kitchen. Finally, to round out the mood, a really good candle or two. I like a fresh scented candle with citrus + herb notes for a clean feeling + a more food based one for when you have that baking mood going.

One of my other most favorite additions to our kitchen/dining area is a display of old recipe cards from family members of memorable dinners, side dishes + desserts. I love the nostalgia the handwriting + weathered cards {or scraps of paper} bring. I decided to display them in double-sided picture frame since a lot of them have writing on the back. It is literally my most favorite project so far! Here’s a little pic + I linked a similar frame here:

Here are a few other favorite accent pieces that keep my kitchen looking clean, inviting + unique:

White + Wood Essential Kitchen Accessories

cachepot // dishes // wood + marble cutting board // recipe card box // wooden spoon rest // olive tree // candle // shelving // bread box // oil bottle // tea storage box

Is your kitchen the heart of your home? How much do you waste? Is it efficient? I’d love to hear what successes + pain points you have experienced with creating a functional but organized + reduced waste kitchen!

Follow along with these Pinterest Boards for more inspiration + tips!