Finding Your Kitchen Style
Committing to a specific style of kitchen can be an overwhelming decision to some. It’s not only an expression of your personal style it is also a reflection of the overall architecture and design of your home. So when you begin the process of selecting the style of your kitchen, make sure it fits in seamlessly to its existing environment. In other words – an old-world Tuscan style kitchen would stick out like a sore thumb in a sleek and streamlined contemporary home.
Since the kitchen is the hub of all activity and tends to relate from one space to another it’s very important to consider how the kitchen materials, details, shapes and cabinet styles relates and transitions from one space to the next.
Smaller kitchen spaces tend to call for cleaner lines and less detail and ornamentation in its design style – where a larger more spacious kitchen area could definitely tolerate more detail.
I always advise my clients to research all the kitchen design magazines – on and offline – and to focus on the specific styles of kitchen cabinets, counter tops, backsplash materials, flooring and appliances that really speak to you. Creating that inspiration file will serve as your starting point – in fact, you’ll begin to see your design style begin to emerge.
So how do you know which kitchen style best suits the style of your home?
Consider these guidelines when doing your research.
Colonial Style Home:
- Shaker, country or traditional style cabinetry – stained maple or painted wood kitchen cabinets in green, blue, cream or grays.
- Keep the cabinetry design simple and avoid heavily decorated embellishments.
- Wood floors, and fireplaces are characteristic of Colonial designs.
- Natural countertop material such as soapstone, limestone (dense) and butcher block will lend some authenticity to the kitchen.
- Simple backsplash tiles without patterns.
Classical Style Home:
- Country and traditional style cabinetry – stained or painted woods of birch, maple and pine.
- Rectilinear design and slight ornamentation keeping symmetry in mind.
- Can be an unfitted kitchen with free-standing furniture, balanced by natural materials and warm neutral colors of cream, browns and greens.
- Stone or wood floors were indicative of the classical style.
- Wooden butcher-block counters are also indicative of this period.
Arts and Crafts Style Home:
- Stained or painted flat panel and bead board (inspired by the Shaker period) styled cabinet doors constructed of oak, maple and ash are characteristic of the period.
- Introduce plain glass or colored glass to lighten up the darker stained cabinetry.
- Stone materials with similar characteristics and tone to limestone or soapstone will lend credibility to the Arts and Crafts style.
- Oak and slate flooring were typically used in these kitchens and are still perfect for today.
Mid Century Style Home:
- This is where the fitted kitchen is at its best – with long runs of base and upper matching cabinetry with integrated appliances.
- Can take the design a little retro incorporating either painted or wood slab doors and drawers.
- Clean lines and simple ceramic tile or wood floors.
- Backsplashes can be finished with clean machine cut tile, brick, stone or even stainless.
Contemporary Style Home:
- Crisp clean and sleek rectilinear lines inhabit this kitchen.
- Wood cabinetry either natural or stained a deep rich tone adds warmth and drama to the simple lines.
- Woods, stainless steel, glass, and quartz countertops are characteristic of this style.
- Typically cooler and more neutral tones but a jolt of color adds some added drama to the space.
- Texture and interest is created by a combination of materials and surfaces.
Whether you’re traditional or contemporary always pay attention to the integrity and the architectural style of your home – and borrow elements from a few of them to represent your kitchen style.
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Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.