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7 Essential Elements of Traditional Kitchen Design

7 Essential Elements of Traditional Kitchen Design

Traditional kitchens are known for sophistication and classic styling. Homeowners who love the look of a traditional home will appreciate every facet of traditional kitchen aesthetic, from elegant craftsmanship to distinctive embellishments and refined details. The best traditional kitchens lean on timeless, tried-and-true elements, while allowing plenty of room for family fun or guest entertainment.

The traditional kitchen allows for flexibility, but most often relies on classic design while making way for accents and embellishments. Traditional kitchens typically incorporate painted cabinets with or without glass front doors, stone countertops, and plenty of detail. No matter the influence – Mediterranean, Old World, or French Country – there are several elements that are universal and essential for traditional design. Arched doorways, beam ceilings, moldings, raised-panel cabinets, and even kitchen island legs are staple elements of a traditional kitchen. When planning a kitchen remodeling project in Royal Oak with traditional design in mind, here are seven design elements to consider.

1. Furniture-Style Cabinets

Cabinets are the most prominent element in a kitchen and typically define its style. Furniture-style cabinets are generally used in traditional-style kitchens and can be modified to create a unique yet classic aesthetic. Cabinets may have mitered door panels, glass door inserts, applied moldings, carved trims and corbels, or wood appliqué embellishments. Flush inset or framed cabinets are preferred for traditional kitchen designs and have visible frames around cabinet doors and drawers, and doors that are set flush with the frame. Hardware elements such as piano hinges or antique bronze and brass details remain exposed.

Traditional stain and paint finishes are rich in both color and texture; glazed cabinetry also remains a popular choice. Antique white cabinetry can add extra age and patina, and lends authenticity.

Cabinet doors can be used to seamlessly integrate dishwashers and refrigerators into a traditional kitchen look. Cabinetry can also be used to frame a vent hood over a cooktop or range.

2. Stone Countertops

Natural stone countertops are typically used in traditional-style kitchens. Popular stone countertops include granite, marble, and quartz or quartzite. The edging of the stone adds an important element to the room; ogee, bevel, and bullnose edging add elegance while waterfall or straight edging creates a clean look. The shape of countertops is also important to consider; countertops can be curved or tiered on an island or peninsula, adding subtle embellishment to create a unique yet classic detail.

3. Distinctive-Looking Hardware

Cabinet hardware gives a traditional-style kitchen distinctive flair. Hardware can be uniform throughout or matched to cabinetry, using glass knobs to accentuate a cabinet door with a glass insert. Hardware finishes can also be matched to accent tile, mirroring or reflecting tile shape, color, and detail. Farmhouse sinks and faucet fixtures create a pleasant atmosphere in traditional kitchen design, adding old-world charisma and country charm.

4. Formal Light Fixtures

Kitchen lighting should be both practical and aesthetically pleasing, as it sets the mood for any kitchen. Many light fixtures will add to the style of a traditional kitchen, and the shape and type of shade used on a fixture are important details, as is fixture placement. Lighting should be planned strategically to illuminate work areas and add ambiance. Richly-ornamented pendant lighting or crystal chandeliers can add a desired formal look and feel.

5. Elegant Molding and Trim

Molding and trim are essential details in a traditional-style kitchen. Molding includes ceiling, cabinet, window, door, and floor trim used in the room. Molding strips can be combined to create an elegant look, and carved corbels, brackets, and appliqués can be used to accentuate cabinets and trim.

6. Accenting Tile

Kitchen tile should be practical, but can also be a prominent design feature in a formal kitchen. Tile is a focal point in a traditional-style kitchen; it accents cabinets and appliances and provides an opportunity for a personal design statement. A kitchen remodeling professional in Utica can help plan a tile design to complement any traditional kitchen remodeling project.

7. Muted Complementary Colors

The traditional kitchen typically incorporates soft, muted colors such as creams, taupes, and light grays. Muted colors help bring in a natural element, with a focus on creating warmth and a homey, comfortable feeling to facilitate both family meals and entertaining. Fabric can mix a splash of color into a traditional-style kitchen; curtains and cushions with nature scenes or subtle stripes can blend seamlessly into formal design while adding accent colors that lend unique charm.

Traditional Kitchen Design Influences

Traditional kitchen design typically incorporates architectural features from the European Old World countries, the Mediterranean, and colonial America. Different design influences can be used to tailor traditional styling to a specific desired influence.
Mediterranean kitchen design uses earth tones and rich wood tones to create a warm and welcoming kitchen design. The color palette of a Mediterranean kitchen can draw from the land or the sea with earthy tones like terracotta, olive green, or ochre; balmy accent colors inspired by the sea can include deep blues, turquoise, or dusky lavender. Brick, stone, and suspended lighting elements all work to create a Mediterranean style that’s rich in tradition and charm.

Country French kitchens typically combine a mix of wood and stone elements to achieve both country charm and French elegance. These kitchens can feature different types of cabinets that work together, granite or quartz countertops to complement cabinetry, and stone veneers and tile frescos to draw in natural elements and add a country look and feel.

Tudor-style kitchens can be designed with coffered wood beams on the ceiling, wood columns, archways, and stone countertops and backsplashes to create an old-world look while maintaining essential traditional design elements. Brass fixtures and bronze accent tiles can lend an old-world charm and a pop of color.

The traditional kitchen is one of the most popular design styles when it comes to creating a room the entire family will enjoy. Traditional styling speaks to many people, and it’s a top kitchen remodeling design choice for many homeowners in Royal Oak because of the many different old-world influences that make traditional design uniquely customizable. A kitchen remodeling professional in Utica with experience in traditional kitchen design can create an elegant, classically designed kitchen to meet every family’s needs.

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Royal Oak, MI 48073
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