As the heart of the home, the kitchen is a space in which your style and design tastes should shine through. Luci Morris explores the most popular kitchen styles out there.
The kitchen is the most utilised space in the home and while functionality is essential to its success, it is also important that it reflects you and your family. While often the design and age of your home will dictate the aesthetic you follow, there is nothing wrong with a contrast: a contemporary kitchen can look right at home in a villa, while the warmth of a French Country theme can offset the sharpness of an architectural design, with picture-perfect results.
What is important to remember is that when it comes to embracing a ‘style’ in your kitchen, there is no right or wrong option. Like your interior design and even your wardrobe, it is about discovering a look you love and embracing it.
Wood is a defining material of this style with timber cabinetry at its core. Comfortable and warm, this is a look that we are all familiar with as homeliness is essential to its success. Traditional kitchens usually boast a corner feature making the parts of the kitchen look like individual pieces of furniture as opposed to cohesive units.
The Kiwi Kitchen
While internationally we may not have forged an aesthetic synonymous with the title ‘a Kiwi kitchen’, the way in which we use our kitchens is uniquely ours. Over the years we have modified Italian al fresco dining, shaping it into something of our own. The proximity of our kitchens to our barbecues and outdoor living areas has become an integral part of our architecture and our kitchen designs often reflect this.
Similar in look and feel to a traditional aesthetic, a country-style kitchen takes detail to a greater level. Whether you prefer a French provincial flair, English country chintz, or a rural farmhouse design, characteristics of the country kitchen include a painted finish on grooved cabinetry, detailed mouldings and an oversized oven or AGA. Soft neutrals and timber, work effortlessly together to achieve this look, and you can’t go past a butler’s sink.
Not so long ago the contemporary kitchen was all about curves and soft edges, then we moved towards a preference for angular, sharper lines, before curves came back into fashion. Now the contemporary kitchen is about embracing a combination of textures to achieve an air of drama and sophistication. Think brushed metal tapware, paired with glossy cabinetry behind which hide the appliances. Streamlined, uncluttered and linear. Touches of wood bring warmth, and lighting is often used to highlight an architectural element rather than just for ambience or function. The modern or contemporary kitchen boasts up-to-date colours and materials, state-of-the-art appliances and the latest design features on the market. It is a look that can date quickly as trends and fads surpass each other.
The industrial kitchen has been around for a while and it is one that works hand-in-hand with a minimalist aesthetic – so if you like to have lots of knick-knacks on display, this style is not for you.
Designed to ignite a sense you are in an oversized commercial space, the industrial kitchen is centred on raw textural beauty: brick walls, weathered wood and concrete; paired with exposed pipes, aged ceiling beams and oversized pendant lights. Open shelving is a design trait linked with this style so consider bringing in a salvaged item to achieve a sense of authenticity. Grey (of any shade) is a great colour choice for the industrial kitchen.
Done right this style has a sense of effortless confidence, where mix-and-matching contrasting items, fittings and furnishings results in a harmonious, personalised space. It is all about having a bit of fun. Old items can be reused in a different way than originally designed, and bold colours can be paired with patterned tiles or vibrant wallpaper. Colourful appliances and accessories are a great finishing touch to this kitchen.