When it’s time to renovate your kitchen, designers usually try to steer you into one of the two basic kitchen design categories: traditionalor modern. Within these categories are numerous subcategories, but before you can choose from these subcategories, it is helpful to learn more about traditional and modern design features.
Traditional Kitchen Design
A traditional, or classic, kitchen design is one that is both functions and warm, and in terms of its aesthetics, this kitchen evokes feelings of warmth and comfort, and you will often see a lot of organic materials including stone and wood. Though most people place a lot of organic materials in a traditional or classic design, you can also incorporate synthetic materials or engineered stone, such as Silestone or Caesarstone.
Natural finishes, glass doors, wood beams and exposed hinges are all things that you may see in a classic kitchen design. The floors are usually tile, wood or stone. You can add some modern touches to a classic kitchen, too, such as stainless steel appliances or a kitchen island, but work with your designer to ensure that it remains as natural as possible with a warm, comfortable and practical feel.
A traditional kitchen tends to be quite detail focused, and you will likely find adornments or embellishments wherever your eyes fall. However, this also makes it possible for a traditional kitchen to become overbearing, so ensure that you talk to your designer about giving the room a layered look, instead.
Speaking of details, a traditional kitchen often has a number of moldings, arches, beam ceilings, raised-panel cabinets and even chandeliers. Just make sure, as you are adding these details, that they are not taking away from the other features of the kitchen.
Sinks and Countertops
When it comes to sinks or countertops in a traditional kitchen, the most popular styles are farmhouse or apron front sinks. These are signature elements of this type of kitchen design thanks to their old-fashioned character.
When considering countertops, marble, butcher block, lightly colored granite and engineered quartz are all choices for classic or traditional kitchens. Most people choose non-shiny or honed finishes for their countertop, as these look more traditional, but if you want to put in polished countertops, by all means, don’t let a design trend stop you.
Modern Kitchen Design
A modern, or contemporary, kitchen design is one that emphasizes style over everything else. You may see a lot of stainless steel, straight, hard lines, and the use of granite or marble countertops. Some criticize modern kitchens for being too cold or unfriendly, but by giving up the warmth of a traditional kitchen, you can add several highly functioning, top-of-the-line appliances, as well as different types of cabinetry.
The focus of a modern kitchen is function, and you will often find manmade finishes in this room. The kitchen it often austere, and you will often find natural stone countertops.
Modern kitchen designs feature a number of architectural details that you would never find in a classic kitchen. For instance, strong horizontal lines and lack of ornamentation are both found in a modern kitchen, and would look out of place in a classic one. Frameless, flat surface cabinets, glass, stainless steel and the use of accent pieces are all found as part of a modern kitchen design.
Sinks and Countertops
When it comes to sinks in a modern kitchen, you will often find industrial looking designs, and most often they are made of stainless steel. You will find both double and single bowl sinks, and you may find unusual kitchen designs in a modern kitchen. Many of these sinks are under mount sinks, and may even be made of composite materials.
When it comes to countertops in a modern kitchen, you will often see the countertops and cabinetry complimenting each other. For instance, you may find a white Caesarstone countertop matched with a dark walnut cabinet. However, since it is rare to see a lot of details in a modern kitchen, these countertops will not have a lot of flair or other design elements, and if they do, such as a granite countertop with a lot of bold veining, it is typically used as an accent piece.
As you can see, a traditional kitchen and modern kitchen are two very different designs. Though you may like one style over another, you also have to consider other issues, such as the greater design of your home. For example, if you have a home that has a classic or traditional style in all of the other rooms, putting in a modern kitchen will likely look awkward. Fortunately, there are a number of subcategories when it comes to kitchen design to look into, and these design ideas often marry elements of both the modern and classic together. Talk to a designer to find out which design is best for you.
Whichever design you choose, there are some things you can do to sail through your kitchen remodel.