At The Wright Kitchen one of our favorite parts of any kitchen project is deciding what style to design the new kitchen in. The most common options are contemporary, modern, traditional, and transitional. But what do all of these actually mean? Your lifestyle, and style preferences play a big role in deciding what your kitchen will look like. The size of the kitchen, the decorative features that you choose, and even your colour palette all work together to define your kitchen’s style. Read on to learn a bit more about each of these four kitchen style designations.

Find your Style

The Contemporary Kitchen

A contemporary kitchen focuses on functionality. This style has been heavily influenced by the modernist design movement, but features a high degree of livability. Simplicity is key for the contemporary kitchen. While “modern” refers to a specific historical time, “contemporary” design refers to what is happening right now. A contemporary kitchen is influenced by trends and fads. At the moment, contemporary kitchens features stainless steel appliances and fixtures, gleaming white surfaces, and the use of bold colours. When it comes to deciding on a palette for your contemporary kitchen, stick to the 60-30-10 rule. This means that 60% of the kitchen is one colour, with 30% a secondary colour, and 10% an accent colour.

The Modern Kitchen

Distinguishing between contemporary and modern can be difficult. Bear in mind though, that while contemporary simply means “in the moment,” modern kitchen design refers to a specific historical movement in the world of design. This period of time was from the early to mid 20th century. This style made an abrupt break with the traditional design elements of the earlier Industrial Revolution. You can expect to see flat-panel (also known as slab-door style) cupboards as well as frameless cabinets, simple and sleek hardware, the inclusion of natural elements, strong use of horizontal lines, and an overall lack of clutter. Remember that accent colours, when used, are supposed to be subtle.

The Traditional Kitchen

For many homeowners, the traditional kitchen is the one they are most familiar with. The traditional kitchen is defined by its strong reliance on historical details. For example, intricate architectural details like moldings, beam ceilings, furniture style cabinets, and framed, raised panel cabinets. More ornate elements such as antique and glazed cabinet finishes are common, as are decorative cabinet door inserts. While modern and contemporary kitchens focus on uniformity, traditional kitchens allow for more variety. Don’t be surprised if you see multiple cabinet styles, and a combination of inset and raised panel doors. Apron front or farmhouse sinks combined with luxury countertop materials and ornate decorative lighting is common in a traditional kitchen.

The Transitional Kitchen

Last, but not least, the transitional kitchen. Like the difference between contemporary and modern, the difference between transitional and traditional is subtle, yet important. Transitional kitchens incorporate traditional and contemporary design elements to create a highly personal and unique space. You will find the warmth associated with a traditional kitchen, and the efficiency and sleekness of a contemporary one. Transitional kitchens often feature sleek cabinets, alongside natural surfaces and approachable backsplash, often textured tiles. The combination of natural and industrial looking surfaces is a fixture in a transitional kitchen. While contemporary kitchens eschew embellishment, transitional kitchens embrace it. Architectural details on cabinets, ornate tile work, and natural materials are used to create a highly unique space.

If you’re interested in changing your kitchen’s current style and would like some professional help, contact The Wright Kitchen today!