A lot goes on in your kitchen, so they have to be practical and functional - but that’s not the only thing that matters! You spend a lot of time here, so it should be a space that you’re proud of, that matches your personality as well as your needs.
So, what’s your perfect kitchen design? There are several main kitchen styles to choose from when you’re starting to plan - from traditional to modern, to match any taste.
It’s proven - traditional kitchens never go out of style. They’re warm and welcoming while at the same time sophisticated and luxurious. Traditional designs work best in farmhouse and country style kitchens, which might even have architectural details such as beams or arches.
- Natural materials: wood and stone are common in traditional kitchens.
- Decorative elements: you’ll find little added details in mouldings, lighting or handles.
- Neutral colour schemes: Think creams, whites, light greens and pale blues.
- Embellished cabinets: raised or recessed cabinets are common, with added details or glass inserts.
For a traditional kitchen with a sense of elegance, consider white painted wood cabinets contrasted with a dark hardwood floor. Glass inserts in the cabinet doors will elevate the look and bring extra light into the space, as well as providing an opportunity to showcase some beautiful crockery or glassware!
Alternatively, you can add a kitschy, shabby chic feel to a traditional farmhouse kitchen. A stone floor and cream or pastel coloured cabinets are a fantastic start, and from here you can accessorise with open shelving, patterned textiles and vintage accessories. An Aga cooker is a bonus!
Compared to traditional kitchens, modern kitchen styles tend to be more simple and streamlined, with integrated features and clean designs. Designed to make modern life as hassle-free as possible, they reject clutter and are often designed as part of an open plan living space.
- Streamlined cabinets: units are often installed floor to ceiling to avoid gaps, and frameless, handleless cupboards are also common.
- Mood lighting: go beyond functional task lights to more decorative under-counter LEDs, pendant lights and ceiling dimmers.
- Integrated appliances: modern kitchens aim to maintain clean lines with integrated appliances and clutter-free countertops.
Modern kitchens embrace the use of the kitchen as a social space, so open-plan layouts and functional layouts are common. You should plan your kitchen in zones to allow areas for socialising that don’t interfere with cooking, and you could consider a kitchen island or breakfast bar for dining.
In terms of colour schemes, simple monochrome is a popular modern kitchen choice. White brightens a space, so lead with white as the dominant colour and add black accents. Alternatively, statement tiles are gaining popularity as a way to jazz up a modern kitchen floor!
Inspired by the Shaker religious sect and prioritising simple, functional design, shaker kitchens are timeless and versatile to suit traditional or contemporary homes. The shakers made all their own furniture, so the style has a straightforward, homemade feel to it.
- Real wood: real hardwood, either natural or painted, is a staple of shaker kitchen design.
- Knob handles: simple knobs, often made of timber, are used on cabinet doors instead of metal handles.
- Freestanding units: the shakers made individual free-standing work and storage units, where each had its place in the kitchen.
Shaker style kitchens tread the line between modern and traditional, so there are so many routes you can take with your shaker kitchen design. While shaker kitchens are traditionally made up of freestanding units, many modern kitchens are fitted for ease. But you can still add freestanding elements such as kitchen islands and individual shelving units to get that classic shaker feel.
Real wood is an essential in the shaker style, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be customised. Shakers often coloured their furniture by painting or staining, but neutral tones of cream, grey, blue or green are most in keeping with the style.
Handleless cabinets are most common in modern kitchens, where they suit the sleek look and clean lines of contemporary design. Handleless kitchens can also be safer and a space-saver in small, narrow kitchens, where you’re at risk of catching yourself on protruding handles.
- J-shaped grooves: most handleless kitchens have a j-shaped groove at the top of the door or drawer so they can be pulled open
- Push-to-open mechanic: another approach is to install a mechanic so the door smoothly opens when pushed inwards
- Soft closing hinges: without handles, you could constantly be banging your cupboards when shutting them in a rush. A soft closing mechanic guarantees a silent close.
Handleless kitchens are best suited to modern kitchens, which embrace minimalist, streamlined design. If you’re accentuating the clean lines of your kitchen layout, handleless units fit well into this and can help create a sense of flow through the space.
Handleless kitchens come in a range of colours, materials and finishes, to fit any modern kitchen style.
Whatever style you choose, a fitted kitchen is an excellent choice for you! You can maximise space by planning your cabinet layout to suit the space you have, and often get extra appliances included at a slightly lower rate than buying everything separately.
They tend to be more hygienic and easier to clean, as fitted units are installed seamlessly with no gaps between different elements. A fitted kitchen can even add value to your property, as a new and attractive kitchen can be appealing to buyers!