If you’ve decided to update your kitchen, but can’t figure out what your preferred kitchen style is (or if you even have one), you’re not alone. Many people have a wish list when it comes to a kitchen that includes:
- The colours and materials they want
- The appliances they consider must-haves, and
- The storage solutions they require
There should be a fourth wish on this list: style. The above elements are important, but designing a kitchen without a cohesive style is rather like starting a giant jig-saw puzzle without the benefit of a picture. The puzzle rarely gets finished correctly, if at all! Research different styles to ensure you get the most from your kitchen before you build or renovate.
The Modern kitchen, Contemporary kitchen and Traditional kitchen are consistently popular styles, so if you want a stunning kitchen that adds value to your property take the time to understand the elements of these styles.
Are you thinking flat panel doors with frameless cabinet construction? Are horizontal straight lines, zero ornamentation and sleek and simple hardware on your wish list? If you’ve answered yes, then you’re thinking modern!
Modern kitchens rely on the texture and beauty of natural or man-made materials, and a consistent choice of accent pieces to ensure a clean, functional look. This style is minimalist and incorporates integrated appliances, raw materials and simple colour palettes. Modern kitchens are naturally suited to contemporary city apartments, but get the design right and this style will be at home in the suburbs or the country.
If you prefer a touch of ornamentation or like to mix and match your materials, a contemporary kitchen style may be more your thing.
What is a Contemporary Kitchen?
Most contemporary kitchens follow the basic design principles of modern kitchens, but there is no hard and fast rule. Contemporary kitchens use the latest in appliance technology, storage solutions, and accent materials. Glass and mosaic tiles, polished cement floors, and stainless steel kickboards are favourite choices for adding decorative twists. One of the major strengths of this style is its flexibility, and a good designer will understand how to harness this strength to add interest and balance with both natural and man-made materials.
If you have trouble distinguishing between contemporary and modern kitchens, remember that the former refers to what is new in kitchen design and the latter to a distinct style that adheres to Modern design principles.
But I want a Traditional Kitchen!
So you’ve been dreaming of a soft-lit kitchen in warm, woody tones; an inviting space filled with cut flowers and the aroma of fresh-baked bread. If ornate wood-work, raised cabinet panels, antique finishes and farmhouse sinks gets you excited, look no further than a traditional kitchen.
Don’t be put off by the term – being traditional doesn’t mean you have to forgo the latest in kitchen gadgets and appliances. Good design will deliver a traditional kitchen with excellent storage and functionality. Refrigerators can be hidden behind large timber cabinets, and stoves recessed with niches to give your kitchen a country feel. Just remember that the choice of materials is important in a traditional kitchen. Use natural materials such as marble bench-tops, painted or stained wood for the cabinets, and polished wood or stone tiles for the floor. It is also usual to use ornate lighting and decorative inserts in cabinet doors, and contrasting bench-tops – black marble or stone, or rich wood with white cabinets, or vice-versa.
Refining your kitchen style
There are hundreds of images of modern, contemporary and traditional kitchen styles, with endless variations, available on the net. Good places to start developing a scrapbook of ideas are visual bookmarking websites like Pinterest and Houzz. Search for kitchen photos that appeal to you and add them to your scrapbook.
When you are ready grab your wish list and visit one of our kitchen showrooms to find out how the Art of Kitchen’s design team can work with your individual style and design your perfect kitchen.