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.