Macaulay Culkin's modern kitchen embraces the most popular kitchen trend of our generation – its sleek, simple and timeless

The new handleless 'invisible' kitchen designs are garnering tremendous praise from interior experts – here's why Macaulay Culkin's space caught our attention

Macaulay Culkin
(Image credit: Getty Images / VALERIE MACON / Contributor)

American actor and musician, Macaulay Culkin is best known for his role as the mischievous Kevin McCallister in the Home Alone franchise. One of the most successful child actors of the 1990s, Culkin became a household name overnight. Fast forward 34 years, and the former child actor has grown up and has a home he can call his own. In it, he embraces one of the key trends in kitchen design in recent years – the handleless kitchen.

The mainstay of modern kitchen design is simple, flat-fronted cabinetry – and it's a sleek look that's aging well. In fact, much of what we consider to be contemporary design dates back to the 1930s. Even the streamlined cabinets so typical of current kitchen design have been around since the 1960s – likewise the notion of open-plan living. 

For a while, innovative, handleless schemes seemed to take starkness to a whole new level – kitchen cabinet ideas pared down and invariably sleek, white gloss. Thankfully, present-day kitchen trends are a far warmer affair. The use of clean lines and a fuss-free finish are still prevalent but with texture, surface finish, and soft color and timber designs bringing more personality and warmth. Simple lines showcase clever engineering, form, and finish, and the latest design techniques have helped give new life to materials previously out of favor.

Culkin's kitchen design is especially popular for open-plan spaces, as the look is somewhat less kitchen-y than designs such as Shaker; the minimalist style blends easily into the background so that other features can take center stage. 

Recessed or push-touch opening mechanisms allow cabinets to blend into the background. ‘Handleless kitchen design provides a unique opportunity to create simple furniture language without the competing complexities of additional materiality that handles present,’ says Alex Beaugeard, creative director at Lanserring. Lean towards matt finishes helping limit the visibility of fingerprints on cabinetry. 

These spaces remain as functional and practical as a conventional kitchen – but with one key exception – they are more discreet, and minimal and are perfect for small kitchens, or ultra-modern homes. 

To ensure your kitchen remains warm, invest in oak kitchen cabinet ideas in two different colorways, as Culkin has done here. If you want to introduce two or more species of timber in the same room, it’s wise to ensure enough contrast between them. In this kitchen, the upper cabinets have a lighter stained oak, whereas the tall units are warmer, richer, and darker. This clever contrasting trick adds depth and dimension to a modern space. 

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.