The word “traditional” within the context of kitchen styles is a bit misleading.
It immediately conjures up notions of out-of-touch design and archaic tendencies of a distant past.
This not need be the case as traditional kitchen styles are quite the opposite.
Today’s traditional kitchen can seamlessly juxtapose Old World charm with modern convenience, to include high-tech appliances and modern or eco-friendly materials and finishes -- while layouts are updated to accommodate modern family dynamics and trends that redefine how households approach eating and cooking.
But what makes a traditional kitchen style, traditional?
Beyond the warm and inviting sensation that it evokes, the most important characteristic is its ability to transcend the whims of modern design trends.
While traditional kitchens can be contemporary, they are less likely to become blatantly outdated after just a few years. The same cannot be said for the sleek, uber-modern kitchen designs.
Simply put, traditional style kitchens are classic and timeless.
With architectural inspiration stemming from European Old World countries, Mexico and colonial America, traditional kitchens maintain elegant craftsmanship that is anything but mundane.
The new iteration of a traditional kitchen should be viewed as an eclectic combination of styles that incorporate interesting detail and ornamentation.
As varied as traditional kitchens may be - ranging between country tones to the more eclectic - there are certain elements that make them both classic and timeless.
Some of those elements include:
- Cabinetry (construction and decor). Cabinets are the most prominent element in a kitchen and set the stylistic tone. How the cabinet is constructed can determine the overall look of the kitchen. Full overlay are associated with a more contemporary method of cabinet building, hiding any exposed hinges beneath door overlays; flush inset (framed) are associated with the Old World method (or furniture-style) method of building cabinets, where hinges will be exposed.
When it comes to detail options for cabinets, there is almost no limit for traditional kitchens: antique glass, wood mullions in various arrangements, glass with a beveled outside edge and more...
- Countertops. Natural stone or more recently quartz countertops are used in traditional-style kitchens. Some of the most popular include marble, soapstone and granite. How the stone is edged adds a richer dimension to the room. The shape of the counter is also to be considered, as countertops can be curved or tiered on an island or peninsula.
- Hardware. When it comes to hardware for a traditional kitchen, there is no standard rule that applies. Hardware can either be uniform throughout or matched to cabinetry, while finishes can be mixed up to accent tile. As opposed to streamlined hardware, it is best to choose fixtures that have shape and detail.
- Fixtures. Lighting should be planned strategically to light up work areas, provide general lighting and add to the ambiance. Traditional kitchens often include crystal or brass chandeliers, lantern-style lights -- generally speaking, lighting more suitable for a dining room more than a kitchen and feels more like a living room than a utilitarian space.
- Decorative molding and trim. Decorative molding and trim is a “must have” in a traditional-style kitchen. Molding includes ceiling, cabinet, window, door and floor trim used in the room. Tip: Ornamentation with carved corbels or brackets and applied molding between cabinets is a nice touch.
A traditional kitchen is defined by the small, eye-catching details compounded throughout the space -- the end result, a classic kitchen that will always invite people in, with warmth and timeless charm.
That is the reason they are so beloved.