Considering how much time is spent in the kitchen, shouldn’t it be the most gorgeous room in the house, with the most sumptuous materials, finishes, and fixtures? Well, that’s becoming the case with modern kitchens. Many of today’s showcase kitchens boast fine cabinetry that rivals the furniture in an English castle and flooring as intricate and durable as that in an Italian church. Even the everyday kitchen is evolving into a high-tech and highly aesthetic space.
We want our kitchens to work well and we also want them to look good, but the beauty of a kitchen depends on more than just the finishing touches. Consider the bare bones of the kitchen, and make a space that’s bright, well proportioned, and, above all, comfortable and easy to use. So, set your kitchen style: a traditional kitchen, modern-style kitchen, or eclectic kitchen? Here, we will provide a brief explanation about kitchen style.
Traditional kitchens have in common a prevalence of natural materials and articulated details, as opposed to the high-tech materials and sleek detailing commonly found in modern-style kitchens. A generic traditional kitchen will have wood or stone floors, natural or painted wood cabinets, and stone, tile, or wood countertops-or a synthetic countertop material that looks like stone. Hinges may be exposed and moldings may be elaborate.
Of course, it is possible to mix modern elements with traditional details. In fact, today’s traditional-style kitchen rarely forgoes space-age appliances and accessories for stylistic purity.
The hallmark of a modern-style kitchen (also be called contemporary kitchen) is sleek detailing, and back in fashion again. It doesn’t matter if materials are wood, stone, tile, or the latest high-tech, factory-made synthetic. What matters is how the materials are finished and how they are joined. Rather than using moldings to cover joints, joints are left visible, often with a reveal (a narrow slot) between materials. Modern style can require more meticulous craftsmanship, as it’s harder to make two materials flush than to cover their edges with a molding.
If you want to get technical about it, most of us have eclectic kitchens: We mix styles without being bothered by convention. Your kitchen may incorporate both wood countertops and stainless-steel backsplashes, but you consider your kitchen traditional. Or you don’t think twice about using recessed down lights in a Craftsman-style bungalow kitchen. Strictly speaking, we use the term “eclectic” to describe those kitchens that employ purposeful juxtapositions of modern and traditional styles, or to describe kitchens that are simply whimsical. An artfully eclectic kitchen may take many months-or years-to attain just the right look.
(New Kitchen Idea Book, Joanne Bouknight)