top of page
  • Writer's pictureCarolina Cabrales

8 Kitchen Design Styles to Consider Before Renovating

Updated: May 24, 2023

Discovering the perfect kitchen design style is essential to creating your dream space when planning a renovation, ensuring a seamless blend of beauty, functionality, and personal touch. Some reasons to better understand your style include:

  • Better decision making: By familiarizing yourself with various kitchen design styles and their unique elements, you'll be better equipped to select the one that aligns with your needs and preferences.

  • Budgeting: Understanding various kitchen design styles also empowers you to create a more effective budget plan. This knowledge allows you to determine the project's scope, hone in on materials that achieve the desired look at the right price and establish practical expectations.

  • Functionality: Different kitchen design styles have different layouts and features, which can affect how functional and efficient your kitchen is. Understanding these differences can assist you in identifying a design style that suits your cooking and entertaining needs.

  • Home resale value: Kitchen renovations are a significant investment. Understanding different design styles can help you choose one that will appeal to future buyers. This may raise the value of your property when it is sold.

Traditional kitchens are known for their classic design elements and use of natural materials. Wood cabinetry, ornate details, and natural stone countertops are all hallmarks of this style. Here are some of the key characteristics of traditional kitchens:

  • Embrace natural materials: Traditional kitchens often feature imperfections in wood and stone that add character to the space.

  • Raised and recessed cabinetry: Traditional cabinets tend to have elaborate profiles, large applied moldings, and decorative inserts like glass or metal mesh that are commonly found in formal dining rooms.

  • Classic colors: Muted shades of cream, pastel, gray, and green are typical in traditional kitchens. Wood finishes are often stained or glazed to create a distressed or aged appearance.

  • Crown molding: Crown molding adds a finishing touch to the cabinetry, creating a seamless transition from the ceiling to the wall.

  • Natural flooring: Tile, stained hardwood, or patterned stone flooring are popular options for traditional kitchens.

  • Custom range hoods: Traditional kitchens often feature custom range hoods that serve as a focal point. Ornate metal hoods, custom-shaped plaster hoods, or carved stone or wood hoods are all used to add interest and character to the space.

  • Decorative lighting: Chandeliers, recessed task lighting, and lantern-style lights are commonly used in traditional kitchens to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Natural stone options such as granite (Patagonia, Titanium, Alaska White), quartzites (Taj Mahal, Black Misty), and dolomites (Fantasy Brown).

The transitional style blends traditional and contemporary elements, creating a clean and timeless look. Neutral colors, simple lines, and mixed textures are common in transitional design. Here are some characteristics:

  • Natural materials: Natural stone countertops (or veined engineered counters) and wood plank floors.

  • Neutral colors: Deep grey, warm beige, pale blue cream and white. These colors provide a clean backdrop that ensures vintage kitchen touches stand out.

  • Simple Cabinets: Shaker-style cabinets are ideal transitional kitchen cabinets. With simple, square doors, neutral colours and a matte finish, they give a contemporary feel while providing a clean backdrop for accents like gold pulls.

  • Antique décor.

  • Spacious sinks: Farm-style sinks in contemporary finishes.

  • Vintage-inspired fixtures: Vintage-style hanging pendant light fixtures and sconces. Retro-inspired appliances, bar stools and other furniture take the vintage kitchen to the next level.

COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Veined quarts/porcelain, quartzites (Mont Blanc, Aria, dolomite Super White), granite (Viscount White, Himalayan white).

Modern kitchens emphasize form and structure rather than surface ornamentation – think of smooth surfaces like concrete and steel, strong horizontal lines and plenty of open space. Here are some common elements to look for:

  • Frameless cabinets: Frameless cabinets with flat-panel or slab.

  • Clean-lined faucets: Wall-mounted or single-handle faucets in polished nickel, chrome or matte black. Pair your faucet with a simple stainless steel undermount sink.

  • Sleek Hardware.

  • Horizontal lines: Examples include long horizontal tile backsplash, linear lighting fixtures, and cabinet handles with horizontal lines.

  • Neutral, limited colour palette: palette tends toward crisp and clean white, subtle neutrals (dove grey, stone, cream, or beige) and matte black. When brighter colours do show up, it is often in the form of accessories.

COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Concrete looks like quartz or porcelain as well as solid colors. Solid granites such as Absolute Black, Black Pearl, or Steel Grey with a honed or leathered finish.

The contemporary style features sleek, clean lines, and blends modern design with a minimalist aesthetic. Materials such as stainless steel, glass, and concrete are common in contemporary design. Here are some characteristics:

  • Flat-front cabinetry.

  • Sleek fixtures.

  • Stone features: Subtle countertops with addition of matching backsplashes and/or waterfalls.

  • Wood accents: Warm wood cabinetry, custom paneled oven hood, and wood shelves add natural warmth.

  • Stylish tile: Colorful brick tile with coordinating and subtle cabinets and counters making it the focal point of the room.

  • Sophisticated color schemes: For example, colorful cabinetry, an eye-popping backsplash, simple white counters and dark floors.

COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Light quartz with veining or veined porcelain with matching full height backsplashes. Light quartzites such as Montblanc or Dolomites such as Tesoro Bianco. Materials that give a concrete look such as dark leathered granites, concrete quartz, or porcelain.

The Mid-century Modern style is characterized by clean lines, organic forms, and a focus on function over ornamentation. This minimalist style focuses on well-crafted pieces, graphic shapes & a varied colour palette. It highlights nature by bringing the outside in through large windows, plants & earthy materials. Here are some elements of this style:

  • Sleek cabinets: Simple with minimal details such as flat front or slim shaker. While wood is a popular choice, painted kitchen cabinets are a way to incorporate mid-century modern kitchen colours.

  • Balanced shapes: Blend curved light fixtures with angular furniture, square island with curved chairs, or rounded appliances with a sharp faucet.

  • Furniture: Furniture is minimal, well-crafted and favors function over flash.

  • Open shelves: Provides a surface for potted plants and a place to show off retro glassware, serve ware, décor and other vintage finds.

  • Contrasting colours: Bright and bold colors can be used or a contrast of colors can be created by incorporating cream and grey to balance darker tones.

  • A bold backsplash: Unique graphic shapes bring a retro vibe.

  • Outside in: Add plants around the room for pops of nature.

COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Immerse yourself in the elegance of solid hues and subtle patterns. Explore the dynamic contrast of two-tone countertops, featuring distinct colors for your island and perimeter, and achieve the perfect harmony by blending neutral tones with vibrant, retro-inspired accents. Experience the durability and beauty of cutting-edge, man-made materials like engineered quartz and porcelain for a truly exquisite finish.

The Scandinavian design style has long been known for its simplicity, functionality, and beauty. A Scandinavian kitchen embodies these characteristics by creating a warm, inviting, and efficient space that prioritizes both form and function. The most important elements of this style include:

  • Simplicity and Functionality: Scandinavian design is all about clean lines, simple forms, and practical solutions. In a Scandinavian kitchen, you'll find plenty of storage options and efficient use of space, ensuring that everything has a purpose and a place.

  • Light and Bright: Scandinavian kitchens make the most of natural light by using pale, neutral colors and large windows.

  • Colour scheme: Whites, grays, and light wood tones dominate the color palette, creating a bright and airy atmosphere that feels open and welcoming.

  • Natural Materials: Incorporating natural elements is a key characteristic of Scandinavian design. A Scandinavian kitchen will often feature wood finishes, whether it's the flooring, and/or cabinetry. Stone and other natural materials can also be found in backsplashes or as decorative accents.

  • Minimalist Aesthetic: A Scandinavian kitchen is all about minimalism and reducing visual clutter. This means keeping the countertops clear, using streamlined cabinetry with hidden hardware, and choosing simple, unadorned accessories and fixtures.

COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Neutral tones quartz or porcelain with solid patterns. Matte finishes can be a design element without taking from the minimalist aesthetic.

The Farmhouse style features rustic elements such as exposed wood beams, shiplap walls, apron-front sinks, and shaker cabinetry. The color palette is typically muted, with white or neutral tones dominating. Here are some characteristics:

  • Apron-front sinks: White fireclay, porcelain, stainless steel, and copper paired with traditional bridge or gooseneck faucets.

  • Shaker-style cabinets with simple hardware: Shaker-style cabinets cab be painted or simply finished to allow the natural wood grain to show through. Latching hardware and simple wooden knobs provide just the right finishing touch.

  • Natural wood floors, exposed beams, and farm tables.

  • Beadboard and paneling.

  • Open shelving: Use the open storage to display everyday essentials that are both useful and beautiful.

COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Discover the beauty of rustic charm without the fuss with durable, easy-care materials such as quartz and/or porcelain countertops. For a fresh, modern edge, try our concrete-look counters that pair perfectly with white cabinets. Or, light up your space with our crisp white or cream quartz options. Whatever your style, we've got the perfect countertop solution for your kitchen.

The Industrial style features raw materials such as brick, metal, and concrete, creating a utilitarian and urban look. Exposed ductwork, open shelving, and pendant lighting are common in industrial design. Here are some common elements to look for:

Tough materials such as concrete, steel, brick and wooden beams: Use the concrete look for flooring, backsplash, and flooring.

Restaurant-grade appliances and details.

Utilitarian light fixtures: Clean lines, functionality, and simple elegance.

Exposed piping and ductwork.

Neutral, limited color palette: Shades of cooler grey, bright white and matte black, rust orange, brick red, royal blue, and navy.

COUNTERTOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Matte finish porcelain and quartz pair excellently with this style, creating a sleek, modern look. For a more classic touch, consider adding shiny, grey-toned quartz. Don't hesitate to bring in a bit of color; stones with rust-orange or blue veining can provide a lively contrast that enhances the overall design.


Divine Design Build, (2016, January 5). 7 Characteristics of a Traditional Kitchen.

Gaskill, L. (2020, September 14). What is a Modern Kitchen?. Houzz.

Gaskill, L. (2019, August 19). Your Guide to a Farmhouse-Style Kitchen. Houzz.

Gaskill, L. (2019, October 7). Your Guide to an Industrial-Style Kitchen. Houzz.

Sullivan, D. (2022, June 25). 20 Contemporary Kitchen Ideas That Stay In Style. The Spruce.

329 views0 comments


bottom of page