What is a Traditional Kitchen?
Traditional in the context of kitchen design by no means implies “old fashioned” or “out of date.” In fact, it has remained one of the most popular kitchen designs, creating a beautiful space that is sure to stay in style and admired for many more generations to come.
If you have ever been confused by the “kitchen speak” of designers, fabricators, contractors and suppliers, these guidelines will help you pick exactly what you really want, without the confusion of industry jargon or trying to figure out what your kitchen designer means when talking about modern, contemporary, traditional, olde world, country, or cottage charm kitchen designs. No design style should be “boxed” into strict parameters and the best personalised designs often contain elements of different styles. Separate articles which further elaborate on other styles, can be found on worktops.net
Traditional kitchen design is a timeless style that takes its inspiration from 18th and 19th century European décor, merging the elegance of tradition with the comfort, convenience and functionality of the 21st century.
The main feature of a traditional style kitchen is the attention to tasteful eye-catching detail, elegant design embellishment and use of memorable decorative accessories. Lavish use of mouldings, corbels and luxury finishes are the order of the day, without going over the top.
- Traditional kitchen designs commonly employ classic colours in either deep, warm, hues, or crisp, cool neutral shades, both of which highlight details, design and materials.
- Luxury worktops in natural stone, solid wood, solid surface or quartz with their wide range of colours and textures are perfectly suited to the traditional kitchen. White marble or quartz that reflects a lot of light will make a small kitchen look bigger, while granite, solid surface or solid wood in deeper colours with lots of “movement” in the grain pattern will enhance the elegance and opulence of a large kitchen, completely avoiding an industrial character.
- Raised or framed panels on the cabinets, or more ornate upstands, downturns or edge detail on worktops, with either a highly polished or textured surface and ornate door handles and drawer knobs will ideally match rounded integrated basins and colourful or ornamental appliances.
- Furniture style cabinets, panelled doors hiding appliances, arches, custom hoods and surrounds and box beam ceilings can all be achieved with modern materials like solid surface materials that can be moulded, shaped, formed and engraved to emulate the carved wood of bygone eras. Niches have always been a signature of traditional kitchens and the advent of thermoformable solid surface materials such as Corian, Diore, Hanex and Himax have given new meaning to this concept, making it possible to have an integrated niche, giving a uniform appearance, like it was created out of the same piece of natural stone.
- Worktops and/or cabinetry with antique or baroque finishes, ranging from very light to very dark colours with exotic names like clamshell to evening prima, or in wood ranging from beech to walnut, give the kitchen designer endless options to create the perfect traditional kitchen. The ultra hygiene and ease of cleaning of solid surface and quartz worktops will alleviate the high maintenance and hard work previously associated with this style of kitchen.
- Decorative lighting, or ornate chandeliers will faultlessly draw together all the rich elements in a traditional kitchen.
- Wall panelling has always been very popular in a traditional style kitchen and with the invention of re-engineered stone such as solid surface and quartz, the options have multiplied exponentially.
One word of caution: Colourful and highly patterned backsplashes have become very popular and can be used to great effect, but may be overwhelming if combined with too many other decorative elements.
Heavy stains and scratches can be erased without a trace simply by rubbing with household cleaner
Proven to be remarkably durable, a versatile material that is easy to live with in both domestic and commercial environments
Bacteria and mould have nowhere to take root. When it looks clean, it really is clean
Inconspicuous seams result in a smooth surface that enables you to create large designs fashioned from a single element
Easy to Clean
With a non-porous surface that prevents dirt and stains from penetrating the material.
Olde World Kitchen Designs
Old World kitchen design is a blend of various European influences from as far back as the 16th century. At its core are earthy materials such as marble, granite, limestone, solid wood and antique accessories of brass, copper, wrought iron, silver, terra cotta and pottery, often with deep textures, rich dark colours and hand-crafted appearance. It creates a rustic, warm, homely and inviting atmosphere.
Elements of Olde World (Old World) kitchen design:
- Natural materials including woods, stone and metal work, with heavy wooden kitchen cabinets, natural stone or solid surface worktops, stone floors and wrought iron curtain rods. Old World kitchens are old in tradition, but new in creative ideas and everything but old-fashioned. It gives you the freedom to combine robust, large scale elements with dainty handcrafted decorations and functional items.
- Combine various species, colours and textures of each material to create additional depth and blend with other materials. For instance, natural stone (marble, granite, limestone) or solid surface worktops can be combined with copper faucets and taps or kettles, pots and pans, and solid wood cabinetry.
- Free standing elements are very popular in this design style and solid wood butcher blocks, kitchen island with wooden, granite or solid surface worktops will fit in extremely well.
- Kitchen cabinets are uncomplicated in design, with frequent use of arches, beams, hearths, hearth style ovens and stoves, highly visible hinges on doors, and usually corners and edges are moulded or rounded. Modern solid surface worktops are available in such a wide range of colours, textures and accessories, putting modern technology to use to recreate the glamour of the past.
- Custom cabinetry can be used effectively to hide and harmonize modern appliances such as microwaves, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.
- Display areas for knick-knacks, mementoes, family heirlooms, brass work or copper can add to the ambience and invite family and friends to gather in the kitchen.
- Wrought iron frames above the stove to hold large utensils, especially in copper, brass or metal, add to the atmosphere.
- Let your imagination go wild and enjoy the freedom this style allows you!