Finding your home’s style

6_25Casual? Formal? Sleek and simple? Choose your style.

Some kitchen styles are more expensive than others. And like clothing and shoes, kitchen styles come in many different varieties. Choosing a kitchen style needs some consideration. The design elements for some kitchen styles are easy to find, some are not. Some styles suit the home overall, and some don’t.

Let’s look at some basic kitchen styles to help you choose which one is right for you.

Kitchen Styles – Traditional Style

Traditional kitchen styles are timeless and never go out of style. Some of the characteristics are decorative moldings and trim, fluting, and corbels. The kitchen cabinets are usually cherry, walnut or mahogany and have raised panel doors. Painted cabinets are also commonly seen, in light colors. Decorative glazes if applied are generally quite sheer. Appliances are usually paneled or in black but stainless steel has made its way into traditional kitchen styles, too. Granite countertops are the most popular with this style but almost any material can be used. Ceramic and stone tile backsplashes serve as a wonderful compliment. Kitchen sinks are often apron front but of a more formal type than the farmhouse sinks you may see in country styles. Traditional kitchen floors are usually ceramic tile, stone tile or wood. Commonly used metals include brushed nickel, platinum, brass and gold.

Kitchen Styles – Country Style

Country style kitchens are warm, casual, comfortable and welcoming. The cabinets are typically painted, but oak and pine are popular too. Kitchen cabinets are often distressed. Cabinet colors and finishes are many times mixed. Cabinetry insets include bead board, glass, tin, and “chicken wire.” Open shelving is common for dishes and food. Kitchen countertops include granite, solid surface, tile, soapstone, slate, and butcher block. Backsplashes may be bead board, tile, including hand painted tile. Apron front farmhouse sinks-come in copper, hand painted art styles, and cast iron. Metals are copper and bronze. Kitchen flooring is most often wood, but stone or ceramic tile is popular too. Hand painted dishes, folk art, cookie jars, pots of herbs, throw rugs and curtains are design elements seen in the country style.

Kitchen Styles – Cottage Style

Casual and cozy describe cottage kitchen styles. Inspired by English country, it is charming and relaxed, like being on vacation all year round. The cottage style is also reminiscent of beach houses and the Nantucket Shingle style homes. This kitchen style often incorporates white cabinetry or pastels, that are slightly worn, but not shabby. Other characteristics are glass doors on the upper cabinets, fabric inserts or bead board. Tile, solid surface or butcher block counters, tile backsplashes, white or paneled appliances, wood or ceramic tile floors you’ll often see in cottage style. Kitchen walls are bright and cheery and patterned wall coverings are common-in checks, plaids, and small prints or floral. Cottage kitchen styles can often have a beach theme.

Kitchen Styles – Arts & Crafts Style

Also known as craftsmen or mission, this kitchen style is high on craftsmanship, low on fuss, and is a comfortable style. Arts & crafts style uses natural materials, textures, and colors. The kitchen cabinetry has recessed panel doors, thick and flush frames. While it isn’t a formal style, you may see hand carved corbels and wood brackets. Most of the kitchen cabinetry will be of wood finish in keeping with the natural characteristics of the style. Kitchen countertops you’ll find in granite, solid surface, tile, and butcher block. Backsplashes include stone tile, or ceramic tile and common flooring options are wood or stone tile. Tiffany-styled lighting is most frequently used as well.

Kitchen Styles – Contemporary Style

This kitchen style is essentially modern and its characteristics are simple, sleek, with clean lines and few personal touches. The materials in this style are stainless steel, glass, laminate, concrete, chrome, lacquer- although light finished wood cabinetry is quite common. Kitchen sinks are usually stainless; countertops are stainless steel, glass, or laminate, but granite can certainly work too. Backsplashes usually match the countertop. Tile is widely used but wood flooring is becoming more common in the contemporary style kitchen. Appliances are usually steel, but black holds its own in these kitchens as well.

Kitchen Styles – Old World Style

Old World includes French Country, Tuscany, and Mediterranean. Many of these influences are mingled in the Old World style- with beautiful results. Wood is an important element-rich, beautiful wood grains, often with glazes. When painted cabinetry is used it is in rich colors-greens and reds. Mixing wood finish and paint is common. The Old World kitchen style favors natural materials. Stone countertops and stone tile backsplashes, stone or wood flooring, copper, bronze and black cast iron are preferred metals. Apron front sinks-stone or metal-vessel-island sinks also stone or metal are an attractive feature along with black or paneled appliances. Copper or bronze pot hangers are almost a must. Grape and wine themes are very popular in this kitchen style.

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