Kitchen Style Guide

Just as there is wide variety in clothing and furniture styles, there are also many types of kitchen styles. There are really only two things that affect a kitchen style – your own personal preferences for look and feel as well as the style of your home. Your new kitchen will reflect your personality, but because the kitchen remodel is such a large investment you may not want to let your design style run wild. Instead consider the overall style of your home and plan for a kitchen that blends well with its surroundings. For example if you live in a brand new contemporary loft, then a country style kitchen may not be the best choice for your home.

There are really only three types of kitchen styles: traditional, contemporary and transitional. Many other style names that you may have heard of, such as rustic or French country, are actually a subset of one of these three.  You’ll find coastal, colonial, old world, country, French country and rustic styles grouped within the traditional style category.  Likewise, the contemporary category may include modern and mid-century styles. The transitional style category blends the best elements of both traditional and contemporary styles to create a fresh, updated look. Before selecting your style check other resources on the internet, TV and magazines to truly match your style with your personality and the look of your home.


Traditional kitchens typically include more decorative and detail features like moldings, appliques, corbels, and raised panel doors. Sometimes traditional kitchens may be more formal in nature as you’d find in colonial, old world and French country.  Other traditional styles, such as coastal, rustic and country, may be more casual.  You may also find Traditional kitchens will most likely use warm color wood species such as maple, cherry and oak that showcases the natural beauty of the wood cabinetry. Traditional cabinets may be finished with a wood stain or paint.


The term modern can be a confusing term – by definition it means existing, occurring, or living at the same time, meaning now. But as a kitchen style modern refers to a design that uses symmetry and minimal movements and shapes. The main emphasis of a modern kitchen will be clean and simple that emphasizes unbroken horizontal lines and details that contribute to the overall sleek look, such as minimal moldings, simple door shapes and no ornate details. Materials used in modern kitchen often are man-made rather than natural: painted, stainless steel, laminate, glass, concrete, metallic and lacquer. Modern kitchens will have a distinctive European feel with monochromatic palette with pops of bold color.


Arguably the easiest and most popular style today, the transitional kitchen combines features of both traditional and modern design. The transitional style really is a crossover look that will blend elements such as texture, colors, flooring, lightning, and highlight appliances rather than hiding them behind wooden panels. Design lines will be softer and lean towards the simple and linear and will not be heavy with decorative accents. The transitional kitchen style will simply be a comfortable mix of styles. Styles you may have heard of that fall within the transitional category include Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Arts-and-Crafts as well as Pottery Barn-inspired cottage styles.

Get Started on Your Design Now

All it takes is one step to get started on your new kitchen. It’s easy and with no commitment. Click below to find out how.

Get Started

Related Topics

Want a great kitchen? Learn more with the topics below to help keep your remodel plan on time, on task and on budget.
How to Plan Your Kitchen Remodel
Your Kitchen Style

What do you think?

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>