Modern vs. Traditional Kitchen Style: What’s the Difference?

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Your kitchen is probably the heart of your home. It’s where your family gathers for meals, stops to chat or just be together while preparing food or doing homework. Your kitchen’s style should reflect your lifestyle and your design taste.

If you’re in the process of building a new home or remodeling your kitchen, you need to know the difference between modern and traditional kitchen styles – two of the more popular designs homeowners turn to when revamping the space.

Modern kitchens

A modern kitchen is fairly similar to the contemporary kitchen, but with more panache. Its hallmark features include a sophisticated feel and a streamlined look. Cabinets are usually not fancy, and feature a flush front panel look, sleek hardware and a simple cabinet style.

There’s nothing fussy about these spaces. And don’t even think about cluttering up the counters – or the room in general.

In this type of kitchen, there are lots of straight lines (for example, on cabinets and counters) and shiny finishes. Surfaces are often reflective and homeowners love to fancy the space up with high-tech materials. You can also bring in some flare with the backsplash, using it to make the stove a central feature or the sink.

Simply put, a modern kitchen design, with its unadorned look, lets the beauty of the kitchen materials – such as the cabinets, counters and flooring – be the star of the show.

Traditional design

This kitchen design style offers the best of all worlds. In short, it’s sort of a hodge-podge of all that has been deemed great about kitchens of the past. In that way, you’re basically benefitting from kitchen design experimentation – without having to endure a kitchen design fail. Put together a kitchen with a traditional style, and you really can’t go wrong.

A traditional kitchen has another unique yet significant benefit: it’s timeless. You also have lots of options when it comes to color. You can stain your cabinets and dark espresso or light brown. You can paint them almost any color – like white. An open feel is possible with glass-front doors, and the multipurpose island is often the selling feature in the traditional kitchen.

The main reason traditional kitchens never go out of style? They usually employ classic elements without feeling stuffy or boring. These same features ensure that the room doesn’t get stuck in a time warp. In 10 or even 20 years, the traditional kitchen will have enough of a timeless look that it will appeal to buyers, who won’t have to do a ton of work to keep it updated.

Compared to a modern kitchen that’s low on the adornment scale, with a traditional kitchen, you have permission to get a little bit fussier. In this type of design, the kitchen may have lots of detail, such as arches, raised-panel cabinet fronts, decorative moldings, antique finishes and more.

Just because you choose a traditional kitchen style doesn’t mean you can’t play a little bit with its features, however. This kind of kitchen mixes well with industrial components or modern elements. Let the details and flexibility of the traditional style reflect your own design aesthetic as you plan for the remodel.

No matter what kitchen design style you choose, be sure that you truly enjoy it. You’ll be living with the space for a long time, and you want to ensure that you get the most out of your investment in the project. If you need design advice, get in touch with your local kitchen professionals for help. A little bit of expertise goes a long way for homeowners who’ve never done a kitchen project before.

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