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There's much more to traditional design than meets the eye. Explore the many elements that can fill your traditional kitchen with personality and updated style.
Glass-front cabinets, vintage-style fixtures and hardware, and beaded-board accents steep this kitchen in classic charm. A coffered ceiling crowns the kitchen, which is the heart of this traditional home, thanks to a sunny atmosphere and spacious layout that accommodates both gathering and cooking.
Displaying collections and personal treasures is an important characteristic of traditional style. Glass-front kitchen cabinets let you showcase favorite dishes or sentimental heirlooms and add personality with color. Windows behind these glass-door cabinets add an unusual twist, opening the kitchen to natural light and outdoor views.
While contemporary design is recognized for its clean lines and sleek surfaces, traditional design often includes interesting details and embellishments. In the kitchen, cabinetry, countertops, and backsplashes provide perfect opportunities for incorporating special stylized touches. This sophisticated kitchen features a showy, two-tier mahogany island with walnut veneers and carved brackets. Carved detailing on the range hood, a marble backsplash inlaid with decorative tiles, and leaded-glass cabinet doors also contribute to this kitchen's traditional roots.
Mix cabinet colors, finishes, and counter depths for a custom, furniture-style look in a traditional kitchen. This oak sink cabinet, with chunky faux feet, inlaid detailing, and contrasting countertop, adds to the casual character of this relaxed kitchen with painted cabinets and a beaded-board backsplash.
Another popular way to incorporate the look of furniture into the kitchen is with the island. Fluted corner posts, built-in shelves, and a warm wooden top personify this spacious kitchen island as a piece of freestanding furniture. The dark painted finish highlighted with lighter tones contrasts with the perimeter cabinetry, which is painted dove white with a dark glaze to carry the furniture finish throughout the room.
Blue is a timeless choice when adding color to traditional style. A pretty Delft-style tile backsplash energizes this white kitchen and introduces color that's picked up throughout the space in decorative accents, such as the pendant lights and barstools.
Traditional style is a melting pot of many worldly architectural styles. The kitchen in this Spanish Colonial home is influenced by its style origins. Hand-painted Mexican tiles add color, pattern, and texture to the backsplash, while Mexican clay floor tiles add cantina character. The turquoise painted island provides visual punch.
Colorful cabinetry brings European influence to this traditional kitchen. The trick to mixing cabinetry colors in one kitchen is giving purpose to each change. Consider painting all of the base cabinets one color, for instance, and the upper cabinets a different color. Countertops and a backsplash provide separation. Here, color defines and decorates the cooking-range area of the kitchen and visually unites it with woodwork around the windows. The kitchen island also offers an obvious point for color change.
A vintage dresser nestled into the kitchen island and incorporated with a matching marble countertop adds an elegant touch to this stately kitchen. Traditional design strives to make the kitchen feel less like a work horse and more like a cozy room in the home. Wood flooring laid in a classic parquet pattern further enhances the ambience.
Mother Nature plays a comfortable roll in traditional design. This kitchen doesn't just rely on the outdoors view from the large windows to bring in the natural world. Plenty of materials within the kitchen itself incorporate materials inspired by nature. A rustic stone-and-wooden-beam arch gives eye-catching attention to the kitchen's cooking niche. And black Marinace granite spread across the island features a fossilized look reminiscent of a riverbed.
A new kitchen with modern amenities can still feature classic, traditional style, as demonstrated in this kitchen addition that looks and feels like it's original to the 1920s Georgian home. Look for fixtures with classic styling, such as these lantern-style lights and old-fashioned drawer pulls. Use materials with vintage charm, such as oak plank flooring. And incorporate modern appliances and features with traditional styling, such as the hearthlike surround over the professional range and cooking area.
A simple black-and-white color palette injected with vintage-style elements offers a traditional look that transcends time and trends. In this kitchen, throwback-style pendant lights and cabinet hardware lead the charge in vintage traditional style, while a farmhouse-style sink outfitted with old-fashioned wall-mount plumbing and black soapstone countertops build on the antique appeal.
Fans of traditional style can still have an appreciation for contemporary influence. To satisfy a desire for traditional warmth and clean lines, this homeowner outfitted her kitchen with classic traditional cabinetry, then accented with whimsical pendant lights, geometric fabrics, and touches of abstract sculpture.
Certain architectural elements are a natural fit for a traditionally styled kitchen. In this kitchen, furniture-style cabinetry with fluted pillars and molding details, granite countertops, and ornate window architecture convey classic traditional style. To relax the mood to better fit this Nantucket vacation home, the cabinetry was painted a buttery-cream color, and casual open shelving and beaded-board accents add cottage influence.
All dark wood cabinetry can make a traditional kitchen overwhelmingly heavy. Instead, incorporate portions of cabinetry in dark hues -- the large island and range hood outfitted in rich cherry in this kitchen -- with plenty of light elements, such as the white perimeter cabinets and countertops, and the sparkling white chandeliers above the island.
Clever design details in this kitchen celebrate traditional style and incorporate concepts found in other areas of the home. The cooking area resembles a cozy family room hearth with its bricklike tile backsplash and chimney-inspired range hood. The long kitchen island is reminiscent of a rambling farmhouse table.
A traditional kitchen embraces the heart-of-the-home label by encouraging personal decorative touches. When the homeowner of this kitchen wanted to feel like she was stepping into a faraway land, she had the cabinets glazed and the walls plastered to convey old-world ambience. Then she incorporated a beautiful hand-painted peacock tile backsplash she found in Mexico.
Old-world Tuscan design is a popular influence in traditional style today. A mix of dark and light cabinetry treated with glazed finishes gives this new kitchen its rustic, timeworn appeal. Even the noteworthy ceiling beams were weathered and glazed to carry the old-world character throughout the room. A heavy bronze-finish light fixture, terra-cotta tile detailing, and a wooden island countertop keep the look sophisticated yet reminiscent.
Discover how to get a beautiful traditional-style kitchen in your home.