Your Kitchen Style Must Complement Your Home and You
Whether your home is traditional, transitional, Craftsman, contemporary, or some other style, your kitchen must have architectural integrity with your home. Why? Because your kitchen is the heart of your home, it needs to blend with and complement the surrounding rooms. You may like many different styles, but you chose the style of your home because it represents and fulfills you. With emphasis on ROI, it makes sense to have your kitchen style be consistent with your home, so you can sell it faster and for a higher price. Can you imagine how out of place the kitchen project featured in this tip would be in a traditional home — or as out of place as a cat at the Westminster Dog Show!
Generally speaking, the cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, and flooring determine your kitchen style. Accent lighting can also be a visual cue. Here are some characteristics of different architectural styles, and features that will help your kitchen style blend with your home, with links to show examples:
Elaborate Traditional Kitchen Style (Can be American, i.e., Federal, Victorian, etc., English, French):
Ornate details, often many of them! Wood carvings, “mantel” hoods, tall crown moulding, compound ogee countertop edges are seen in these kitchens.
- Cabinets: Raised Panel; white, all wood , painted/glazed, or a combination [natural wood is usually tight-grain, like cherry or other hardwoods, with a stain]
- Countertops: Natural stone (marble or non-speckle granite), wood, tile, or a combination.
- Backsplash: Stone (slab or tile) or tile, or a combination
- Flooring: Wood; may have a decorative insert around the perimeter of the room.
Simple Traditional Kitchen Style (Shaker, English Country, French Country/Rustic):
Details are not as elaborate or ostentatious, but they are still present.
- Cabinets: Recessed Panel: painted, wood, distressed, or a combination [natural wood can have tight or open grain, with or without knots, natural or stained]
- Countertops: Anything that looks natural, without a lot of pattern. Matte black is often used.
- Backsplash: Tile, brick or 4″ countertop material (emphasis on simple, no decorative insets)
- Flooring: Wood, stone, or tile
Transitional Kitchen Style:
Often, simple traditional cabinets can be used in a transitional-style kitchen. Recessed-panel cabinets are very versatile! The difference is the surface finishes:
- Countertops: Any material! See the countertop options blog.
- Backsplash: Any material! It totally depends whether your home is more traditional, or more contemporary, and the statement you want to make.
- Flooring: Wood, stone, tile, vinyl, cork. You have many options!
Craftsman Kitchen Style:
People get Shaker and Craftsman mixed up all the time, but there is a big difference between them! I hope you can see the difference in the examples selected.
- Cabinets: Recessed panel with interesting hardware and more details; painted, wood, or a combination [natural wood usually has an open grain, like quarter-sawn oak that was popular in the period].
- Countertops: Stone, engineered stone, solid surface, wood, or a combination.
- Backsplash:Tile or stone, usually rectangular “subway,” with/without decorative inserts.
- Flooring: Wood, stone, or tile. May have decorative geometric accents.
Contemporary Kitchen Style:
Emphasis is on sleek lines, geometry, without “fussy” details. May include Art Deco, Japanese, European influences.
- Cabinets: Full-overlay slab doors and drawers (with a minimum of space between them); painted, wood, high-gloss lacquer or laminate (any color!), stainless steel, or a combination.
- Countertops: Stone, engineered stone, solid surface, wood, stainless steel, glass, or a combination.
- Backsplash: Backlit panels, stone, tile, stainless steel, glass.
- Flooring: Wood, stone, tile, cork or vinyl.
As stated in Tip #1, we are fortunate to have so many alternative products available to fit any style, without stringent trends binding us. Your home’s architecture is important, and your kitchen must fit the style, but your personal style is just as important. If you’re not sure about how to achieve architectural and personal style integrity, your best bet is to hire a qualified, experienced designer to help you.
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