Decorating & Design

December 16, 2008

A Guide to Kitchen Styles

While a kitchen should be practical and efficient, injecting the same style into your kitchen that is carried throughout the rest of your home will help create a balance between form and function in your space.

The Modern Kitchen

Clean lines, sleek surfaces and minimalist styling are representative of the modern kitchen.

A concrete countertop, while expensive, offers a sturdy, substantial material to work on. Other modern countertop choices include stainless steel, granite, glass and solid surfaces such as Corian.

One of the hottest backsplash materials is back-painted glass that offers a shiny appearance with a hint of colour. Simple white subway tile is a classic choice that works with almost any style of room, while glass tile offers a watery, luminous look. When choosing hardware and faucets for a modern kitchen, good choices are satin nickel, chrome or stainless steel.

A modern design may include a stainless, under-mounted sink, a streamlined faucet, smooth seamless countertops and clean architectural details. Plain or glass-fronted cabinetry coupled with stainless steel appliances will make a kitchen feel fresh and current.

The French Country Kitchen

This style of kitchen has a warm, welcoming feel with a decidedly casual look.

Use colours such as deep yellows and blues, bold raspberry or sage green. Choose a variety of solids, stripes and classic Provençal patterns for window coverings, furniture upholstery or wallpaper. A bistro-style table and chairs are a good choice for an eating area. Windows can be dressed in painted wood shutters or fabric roman blinds. An apron sink paired with a gooseneck faucet in polished chrome, brass or oil-rubbed bronze will complete the look.

The Traditional Kitchen

A traditional kitchen is made up of classic, elegant elements packed with staying power.

This style of kitchen typically includes sturdy finishes like granite, soapstone or marble for countertops and glass fronted or shaker-style cabinets painted white or stained a rich cherry finish. A gooseneck faucet in brushed nickel or chrome adds charm to the room.

Professional-style stainless steel appliances appear at home in the traditional kitchen while upholstery made of textured fabrics like chenille, velvet or leather add luxury and comfort to the space. Architectural details like moulding, trim and built-ins help pull together the look and create long-lasting appeal.