If you are designing a kitchen, whether a remodel or a new house, it can be hard to know what style you want to use. Throwing together a hodge-podge of items and styles can work for some talented designers and decorators, but the rest of us do better if we choose one style and use that as our guide during the design process. Here is a summary of some of the most popular design styles.
The modern minimalist look is focused on lines and spaces. This style takes a lot of inspiration from Scandinavian principles of decoration, where clean, simple minimalism is important. When applied to a kitchen, modern minimalist looks like simple, clutter-free spaces, open areas, and basic lines. To implement this look, choose simple cabinets and avoid clutter on the counters. Design the room so that everything can be put out of sight or is aesthetically pleasing. Small appliances can be tucked away in specially designed cabinets that allow them to be used in place and remain hidden. Natural elements add texture and authenticity to the modern look and should be added carefully and intentionally. Decorations usually have a practical appearance or natural element. Choosing decorations such as a simple succulent on a windowsill or a few carefully chosen bowls to display on a shelf supports the overall look and sticks with the clutter-free aesthetic.
Tuscan or Mediterranean
The Tuscan look is exemplified by using terra cotta, dark wood, and tile. Arches and exposed beams are common structural elements, along with stone features such as fireplaces and accent walls. If you are interested in having a Tuscan or Mediterranean kitchen, consider installing dark wood tone cabinets. Features such as elegant iron cabinet pulls, elegant stone or tile backsplash, and dramatic range hood add to the rustic yet sophisticated feel. Having a few special features, such as CopperSmith black vent hoods or a stone fireplace can be an eye-catching way to set the stage. Decorations include practical elements like wine racks and copper pans, as well as items added for purely aesthetic value, such as greenery or paintings.
The modern farmhouse look was popularized on HGTV and other home renovation channels recently. It’s based on the way country houses were decorated and designed in years past, but with an emphasis on cleaner lines and a lot of white. Features such as farmhouse tables, shiplap walls, and the creative use of antiques are characteristic of modern farmhouse. While many designers have been hinting that the modern farmhouse look is too trendy and is doing to look dated soon, it still seems popular with homeowners.
When designing a modern farmhouse kitchen, use a lot of white for walls and cabinets, while incorporating weathered wood in accents and floors. Long farmhouse tables with simple lines are a common feature, as well as interesting lighting fixtures and decorations such as flower arrangements, antiques, and wooden boards with words or signs on them.
The vintage look has gotten a lot of attention lately. This style focuses on midcentury modern and features smooth textures, lines, and chrome. Bright colors are dominant and clutter is minimal. To implement this look, use decorations that focus on a vintage feel. Small vintage-style appliances, such as colorful stand mixers or chrome toasters, can be stored on the counter to add to the look. Vintage appliances are available and often feature colors such as red or turquoise. Preexisting or new cabinets can be painted bright colors or stained a traditional dark wood color. Laminate countertops are perfectly fine for the midcentury look, and may look better than a more modern granite or quartz.
The industrial look takes advantage of features present in many older buildings, such as exposed pipes and brick walls. It incorporates a focus on simple lines and open spaces like modern styles, but also includes grungier aspects such as open shelves and the color black. When implementing the industrial look in your kitchen, Consider skipping cabinets or uppers and using open shelving. One popular feature is shelving constructed from brass pipes. Stick with industrial materials like brick, metal, brick, and glass, and some wood. Consider touches like butcherblock countertops with open shelves, a brick accent wall, and exposed pipes. Decorations are often non-existent or are intentionally placed practical items like an arrangement of simple plates and bowls.
The coastal style is a combination of the cottage look with less clutter and more natural elements. The beach house look focuses on light, airy colors, natural elements, and open rooms. Beach house kitchens are open and airy, with light colored cabinets and decorations such as shells, dried grass in jars, and some vintage items. Cabinets are usually painted a light color and everything is designed to maximize the light and openness available. The coastal style should feel like sun, water, and air.