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  • Writer's pictureBecka

7 Popular Kitchen Styles

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

Possibly the biggest kitchen design decision you'll come across is which style to choose from. Sometimes it can be an easy decision, especially if you have an overall style already picked out for your home. In other situations, it can be quite difficult to narrow it down.

Modern Style Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home. Over the years it has evolved from being the dreary cooking hub to the place where creativity is fostered, family comes together, and memories are made. A great kitchen space will set the stage to how the rest of the home can and should develop. Here we take a look at 7 popular kitchen styles to consider.


Design elements:

  • Beachy and coastal vibe

  • Cool shades of blue, green, and sand

  • White and cream base colors

  • Wicker, Seagrass, and Sand elements

  • Airy; copious amounts of sunlight

  • Themed decor

With light colors in soft hues, coastal inspired kitchens offer a beachy feel right within the comforts of your own home. One of the primary components of coastal kitchen design is color. Hues tend to be gentle and soothing, with cool shades of blue, green, white, and sand to create a vacation-themed setting. Whites and creams are predominant base colors, often contributing to an overall color scheme that's altogether bright, lively, and relaxing.

Windows that are airily sheer, large, or numerous are common attributes that give kitchen dwellers plenty of warm sunlight to bask in and enjoy. Coastal themed flooring in lighter colors and unique finishes can be used to add to the beachy feeling of the kitchen, in addition to freshly whitewashed paint treatments to offer a casual yet elegant resort-like vibe. Beach style kitchens are a great way to engage in thematic inspiration. Decor is often seaside themed. Curtains, place-mats, and other lines may feature seashell or seal life designs, and are often in soft, soothing colors in shades of pink, blue, and green. Use seashells, sea glass, driftwood, and other ocean related decor items to create a calm and cool beach environment that makes you feel as if you are on vacation every day within your own kitchen.


Design elements:

  • Modern and minimalist components

  • Artistic elements

  • Straight and horizontal lines

  • Uniquely bold simplicity

  • New and old materials; casual and polished

  • Clean aesthetic

Where function meets family friendliness, you'll find the contemporary kitchen. It borrows high functionality and streamlined surfaces from the modernist design movement, but its style often incorporates traditional ideas as well for a sleek but livable feel. The look is a carefully curated mix of materials: new and old, casual and polished. And because cooking with company has replaced cooking for company as the entertaining ideal, today's kitchen has plenty of room for hosts and guests to work and interact. Add gourmet cooking equipment, comfortable, durable seating and lots of open space for a kitchen perfectly suited to 21st century living, making this kitchen design one of the more popular styles that homeowners have been embracing en masse.

Unlike the term "modern", which refers to an actual historical design movement and has a strict interpretation of what elements can and can't be included, "contemporary" simply means in the now. While traditional kitchens employ the use of classic elements punctuated by sometimes ornate or vintage detailing for a more conventional and familiar appeal, a contemporary kitchen differs from its typically more artistic and minimalist approach. Contemporary kitchens are typically unadorned and free of excess detailing. Rather, the focus tends to be on artistic juxtaposition and the complementary relationship between materials, surfaces, and colors.

When decorating a contemporary kitchen, the sky is truly the limit. There is no standard blueprint for a contemporary-style kitchen; rather, the design is defined by minimalist decorating, a clean aesthetic, strong and bold color choices, and an emphasis on embracing the unexpected.


Design elements:

  • Intimate and cozy environment

  • Highly decorative

  • Brimming with personal details

  • Natural and premium materials

  • Large cooking spaces

  • Natural and organically rustic

Farmhouse style kitchens are designed with country-style flair and thematic farmhouse elements. Open and inviting, farmhouse kitchens allow you to enjoy the feeling of a weekend getaway to the countryside - even if you're smack dab in the middle of suburbia. The overall look and feel of a farmhouse style kitchen can range from natural and organically rustic to a more contemporary style.

A very popular design concept, farmhouse style kitchens offer a distinctly intimate cozy look and feel. Decorative adornments are highly utilized; woven baskets and delicate china sets are often proudly put on display. Farmhouse tables and furniture-like cabinetry are popular conventions, and an eclectic mix of finishes helps create a comfortable, live-in look. They tend to focus on natural materials, unpretentious design, and cooking spaces that can accommodate large meals. Guests should always feel welcome and comfortable in these spaces, even if their boots are still a bit dirty.

Unlike minimalist or modern kitchens, the farmhouse kitchen is brimming with personal details. Common design notes include thinks like vintage door knobs and pulls, hand painted dishes and other very individual character details. Colors can range from primary red, yellow and blue to ages tones of cream and pale yellow; whatever hues you favor, mixing rather than matching is more commonly found in the farmhouse. From the ceiling to the flooring, expect this style kitchen to be a study in visual appeal. Exposed wooden beams, unexpected brick accents, and vivid pops of radiant color are all fantastic components in this kind of kitchen style, along with fresh flowers, baskets of fruits, and country style knickknacks.

Cooking implements, appliances, and storage are also important facets of farmhouse style kitchens. Sinks have a special place in these specific designs. The classic farmhouse sink features a deep, wide basin often made of porcelain or stainless steel; it's capable of catering to the cooking and cleaning needs to a large, farm-to-table style meal. Even if they don't feature a farmhouse sink in this style, many farmhouse kitchens still incorporate old-fashioned porcelain sinks.


Design elements:

  • Lots of brick, metals, and wood

  • Open concept

  • Darker lighting

  • Common in loft condos and apartments (although more detached homeowners are opting for the industrial style kitchen)

Industrial style design is hot. With loft style apartments becoming super popular over the last 20 years, the industrial style has extended to detached homes and carved a distinct style on its own. It's easy to achieve, always looks great and is functional, which makes it especially effective for a kitchen. It's also a very versatile concept that can be tailored to suit individual personal taste. Part of what makes it such an effective style is the fact that old objects can be transformed into something new, creating a room with a nostalgic atmosphere.

What started out as an efficient work environment several decades ago soon morphed into a distinct style that made its way slowly from functional loft-style homes to expansive villas and contemporary penthouses. Cutting across generations, it is a trend that never seems to die down.

This style is all about raw textural beauty at its diverse best. In simple terms, think brick, tiled and even concrete walls while planning for the industrial kitchen. Brick walls are obviously a favorite among homeowners and currently lead the pack, but do not forget the value of exposed steel surfaces and the right flooring, which elevate the kitchen to a whole new level.


Design elements:

  • Sleekly sophisticated

  • Exotic and high-end materials

  • Clean lines and timeless silhouettes

  • Minimalist decor and styling

  • Luxurious atmosphere

  • Reflective surfaces

Sleekly sophisticated, the modern kitchen is designed to keep clutter to a minimum. Reflective surfaces and high-tech materials are central to most modern kitchens, and exotic woods add a touch of luxury without frills or fabric. Iconic mid-century seating are often chosen for a classically modern look; seating made of highly polished woods is often chosen for a more current interpretation of the style.

"Modern" can be a tricky term because sometimes it's used to describe something that's the opposite of traditional, which varies depending on the time period. This word is often used interchangeably with "contemporary", but there are distinct differences in look and terminology. "Contemporary" typically means in the now (the current trend), whereas "modern" refers to a specific design style from the early to mid 20th century that broke with the traditional styles of the days before the Industrial Revolution.

Beautiful, bare expanses of polished counter-top are accented with pops of color to emphasize high-quality materials and artistry. The minimal counter-top decorating lets kitchen dwellers take in the full beauty and quality of the pieces that define and comprise the kitchen's base aesthetic.

High quality materials are in fact hallmarks of modern kitchens and typically include exotic materials which are luxurious to the touch and sight. Luxury is adamant throughout the modern kitchen; classic and modern pieces are consistent with high quality and typically of simple construction with clean lines and timeless silhouettes for enduring elegance and an upscale feel.


Design elements:

  • Elegant and timeless aesthetic

  • Modern American look and feel

  • Clean, comforting, inviting

  • Detail oriented

  • Distinguished and homey

  • Family friendly atmosphere

Turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas, and chocolate chip cookies after school. A traditional kitchen is the perfect backdrop for a life that centers on family, friends and holidays - but it's clean, comfortable look is welcoming 365 days a year. Defined by its clean, comforting, and inviting aesthetic, a traditional kitchen makes use of classic design elements and an abundance of fresh colors to create a look that is elegantly timeless.

Paneled or glass doors on cupboards contribute to a timeless style, and latched or icebox hardware is often added for period detail. White tiles, paint, and/or accenting can add a clean look and help reflect light for visual appeal and sparkling vitality, whereas artisanal or vintage-looking light fixtures can add special touches. Detailing like paneled or glass cupboard doors are often utilized, along with personal details such as coordinating back-splashes, polished hardwood floors, modern stainless steel appliances, and/or gleaming marble counter-tops.

While traditional kitchens exhibit a casual expression yet overall feel of an elegant look, the details can vary immensely. Very often, the visually appealing and complementary color duo of crisp white and dark brown woods are used. Little touches of stainless steel, polished accents, vintage accents, or tailored upholstered seats can help to make your traditional kitchen more unique. The more detailed oriented you are, the more distinguishable your kitchen can be.


Design elements:

  • Traditional + Contemporary elements

  • Clean and simple minimalism

  • Inviting and engaging traditional style

  • Best of both world versatility

  • Very little decoration on the walls or moldings

  • Flexible to mix with additional styles

Transitional style kitchens bring together the best aspects of traditional and contemporary design concepts. The contrasting blend between traditional style and contemporary design is at the heart of the transitional style kitchen; they bridge the gap between the two, borrowing from each aesthetic. Offering all the inviting comfort of a traditional kitchen space, transitional kitchens simultaneously show off the beautifully clean and simple minimalist design elements found in contemporary kitchen styles. While the basis of transitional decor simultaneously uses both styles, it's often found that additional styles are weaved in to the overall look, as well.

Despite not having a strict definition in terms of what can and cannot be used in a transitional kitchen, it is generally agreed that the transitional style is a delicate balancing act in proportions, materials, and harmony. It can be quite fun to remodel a kitchen in to a transitional theme, especially considering that no two transitional kitchen design look like.

A transitional kitchen will often feature wood, steel, glass and stone or marble all in a single space. A pop of color here or there is certainly welcome, but in general, transitional kitchens feature neutral colors in varying shades. Aside from more subdued colors, these kitchen styles are often delightful explorations of texture, using everything from interesting tile surfaces to polished or rough stone. The result is typically a sophisticated and timeless look.


We'd love to hear from you! What kitchen style is your favorite?

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