Oct. 9 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Traditional Kitchen Design

by Megan Stoke

Why is it important to know your design style? Understanding your personal design style is essential for creating a kitchen space that truly feels like home and brings you satisfaction. When embarking on a kitchen remodel, it's important to ensure the space reflects your individual tastes and personality. This not only cultivates a sense of contentment and happiness but also allows you to express your uniqueness. Remember, your style doesn't have to fit rigid categories like "modern" or "rustic"; it's often a blend of various elements that results in a kitchen uniquely tailored to you.

Explore the captivating fixtures, elements, and colors that make up this style.


Why this style might be the fit for you? If you find solace in the pages of vintage hardcovers, the nostalgia of classic films, or a serene candlelit bath to escape the modern world, then traditional design is your cozy refuge. It's akin to the friend who cherishes the old ways, embracing tradition with open arms—a bit like the eldest sibling among design styles.

“You know it when you see it”

  • Cage-style pendants and candelabra bulb lighting
  • Raised panel cabinets
  • Elaborate ceiling details like coffers, beams, or vaulted heights
  • Statement hood vents
  • Rich natural stone countertops such as marble and granite

Avoid These for Contemporary Kitchens

  • Raised panel cabinets
  • Wallpaper in floral or damask patterns
  • Island posts with antique hardware
  • Double handle kitchen faucets
  • Huge, decorative hood vents with ornate trim

Pro Tip

If you are struggling to picture examples of traditional kitchens, visit this Houzz Ideabook for a plethora of different spaces showcasing this style.


Ideal Color Palette


In traditional spaces, you'll often find a harmonious blend of warm, earthy hues set against cool, neutral tones. This combination creates an atmosphere that is not only inviting but also exceptionally cozy. These rich shades gracefully highlight the intricately detailed areas, from cabinets and floors to countertops, adding depth and charm to the space.

These paint color samples are all pulled from Sherwin-Williams,

Flora and Fauna: Sage, Mauve, Saphire Blue, Woodsy Brown, Sunflower Yellow

Cool Neutrals: Anew Gray, Pure White, Beige, Cream, Taupe, Mesa Tan

Cabinet Style


In traditional kitchens, various cabinet styles may catch your eye, but they all share a common thread: ornamentation! Traditional spaces often set their distinctive tone with raised panel cabinets. Alternatively, recessed panel cabinetry adorned with intricate molding and decorative edge details also lends a captivating depth to the cabinets. This allure is further enhanced using textured hardware in an assortment of burnished or unlacquered finishes.

2 Unique Elements of Traditional Kitchens


Architectural Detailing Traditional kitchens often incorporate architectural detailing in the design. This includes features like decorative moldings, intricate cabinetry designs, and ornate hardware. Crown molding can adorn the tops of cabinets, while raised panel cabinet doors add texture and depth. Beadboard wainscoting on walls and islands can evoke a charming, cottage-style feel. Additionally, architectural elements like corbels, pilasters, and arches may be used to accentuate key areas, such as over the stove or around the sink, enhancing the overall character of the kitchen.

Separate Butler’s Pantry Butler's pantries play a pivotal role in enhancing functionality, as they discreetly connect the kitchen to a formal dining room and are utilized for serving and storage. They feature custom cabinetry, often with glass-fronted doors for displaying fine china and glassware, along with ample shelving for organizing table linens and serving platters. A butler's pantry provides a convenient staging area for setting up and cleaning up during meals and gatherings, keeping the main kitchen clutter-free.

3 Selection Details Found in Traditional Kitchens


Silver and Bronze Silver and bronze finishes are popular because they exude a sense of timeless elegance. These metallic tones complement the rich wood cabinetry and classic design elements often found in traditional kitchens. Silver finishes, such as polished nickel or chrome, provide a bright and reflective quality that adds a touch of luxury. Oil rubbed bronze or aged brass finishes, on the other hand, offer a warm, antiqued patina that evokes a sense refined craftsmanship.

Minimalist Backsplash The use of drywall above counters can create a sense of continuity and openness. This minimalistic approach can make the kitchen space feel larger and more cohesive, emphasizing the elegance of the cabinetry, countertops, and other architectural details. It also harks back to the roots of traditional design, where kitchens were utilitarian spaces with less emphasis on decorative elements. If you do see a backsplash, it is typically isolated around the stove or sink.

Apron Front Sinks Apron front sinks are popular in traditional design due to their timeless charm. Their exposed front panel, typically made of materials like porcelain or fireclay, adds a rustic touch to the kitchen, evoking a sense of nostalgia dating back to times when sinks did not have countertops overlaying the edges. These sinks offer deep, spacious basins that are perfect for accommodating large cookware, making them highly functional for the demands of traditional cooking and meal preparation.

What ultimately makes this style so popular?


In this guide to the Traditional Kitchen Design Style, we've unraveled the blend of classic sophistication and timeless simplicity that characterizes this style. You've gained insights into color palettes, cabinet styles, and unique elements that shape a traditional kitchen. Always remember your kitchen should mirror your personality and lifestyle. Embrace the blend of different styles to create a space uniquely yours. We hope this guide inspires you to design a functional, comfortable, and visually pleasing kitchen that you'll love.

IHR Next Steps

Are you ready to delve into the captivating realm of Kitchen Interior Design Styles? Enhance your knowledge with our comprehensive guide, "Your Guide to the 6 Top Seattle Kitchen Design Styles." Add it to your reading list and embark on a personalized journey to discover your own unique style. If you've already explored the various styles and need assistance in finding your perfect fit, reach out to us today, and let us assist you. Start your design adventure now!


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