Style Guide: Characteristics of Traditional & Classic Kitchens

Style Guide: Characteristics of Traditional & Classic Kitchens

Catrin Morris
May 12, 2011

While I love the sparse sleekness of the uber-modern kitchen (especially because they are irresistibly clutter free!), traditional kitchens can be equally stylish. You may think you don't like "traditional" kitchens. But you may be confusing "traditional" with Baroque, "French country" or the ubiquitous "Tuscan"-style, with its elaborate architectural elements and ornate moldings and canopies.

These styles are decidedly contemporary--and most likely temporary. Traditional kitchens, on the other hand, are classic and timeless; the kinds of rooms that don't become glaringly outdated after just a few years of use.

A traditional kitchen may be a little bit country, a little eclectic, a little rustic, and a little old world. The newest iterations of the traditional style incorporate some contemporary design trends, including high-tech appliances and modern or eco-friendly materials and finishes. The layout is updated to accommodate modern family dynamics and the "foodie" frenzy that has redefined how we approach cooking and eating.

What are some elements of traditional or modern classic kitchens?

-Recessed panel cabinets or raised panel cabinet doors
-More texture and variation, less sleek uniformity
-Handles and knobs (as opposed to handle-free doors in modern kitchens)
-Use of freestanding furniture
-Country or rustic elements, such as farmhouse sinks or weathered woods
-Natural materials, especially hard wood and stone like marble
-Upper cabinets and storage
-Glass or open cabinet
-Skirting boards
-Crown molding
-Neutral tones and white
-Antique or vintage elements
-Natural or oriental rugs
-Wood flooring or black and white tiles


1 Architectural Digest via Material Girls
2 Traditional Home.
3 House Beautiful.
4 Lonny.
5 Lonny

6 Brabourne Farm.
7 Brabourne Farm.
8 Vintage on the Farm.
9 Elements of Style.
10 Elements of Style.

11 Absolutely Beautiful Things.
12 Sacramento Street.
13 Plush Palate.
14 Moon in the Tenth House.
15 Elements of Style.

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