With the dizzying array of choices, selecting an overall style for your kitchen can become a daunting task. Do you prefer a modern esthetic or a classic country one? Do you and your spouse have same style or are you going to have to find ways to compromise? Are you designing with resale of the home in mind or are you creating a kitchen that you and your family will enjoy for generations? When embarking on a kitchen renovation, many homeowners feel they need to choose distinctly between a modern or a country kitchen. The fact is, however, contemporary design trends allow for elements of both styles to be included in the same kitchen and, for many kitchen renovators, this may be the best choice. Read on for tips on finding the style for your kitchen that works best for you.
The Fully Modern Kitchen
Warning: Contemporary kitchen styles continually change. If fact, every 15 years or so, they complexly evolve. If you opt for a completely modern kitchen, be ready for it to become dated while you still live in the home. That’s OK for some people who don’t mind redoing their kitchen every couple of years, but if you are looking for a kitchen that you can enjoy for decades, or if selling your home is on the horizon, consider tempering the modern esthetic in your kitchen with some more classic, timeless elements.
All in On Country
Bead board paneling, a farmhouse sink, gingham curtains…for some people, these and other country elements create a welcoming feeling unlike anything else and are simply must-haves when renovating their kitchen. Today’s country kitchens are actually anything but old-fashioned. They include the same modern appliances and conveniences as any newly built kitchen. As with the modern esthetic, however, be careful about overdoing the country in your kitchen. If you overdo it, you may scare off potential buyers for the home or create a kitchen that you tire of quickly. Consider balancing the rustic feel with some modern elements.
After a thorough design consultation, many homeowners realize that what they’re really after is a classic kitchen design that will stand the test of time a provide a lifetime of enjoyment to whoever is living in the house, be it the current residents, their children or a new buyer. Here are a couple of ways to create what many designers refer to as transitional style.
A White Colour Scheme
White really never goes out of style and can be applied to a modern design, a country design or something in between. White cabinetry is a very safe and appealing option and an overall white color scheme can provide the perfect backdrop for you, or the home’s next owner, to add as much or as little detail, in the form of accessories and accents, as you’d like. White does not have to be the only colour in your kitchen, but opting for a neutral color palate and keeping the scheme monochromatic will accomplish the desired effect.
Crisp Lines, But Not Completely Devoid of Detail
Cabinets in a modern kitchen may have completely flat front to create that clean, contemporary look. Cabinets in a country kitchen may have ornate detail and moulding on and around them. Compromise with something that is streamlined, but not completely sleek, like Shaker-style cabinets.
When selecting materials, opting towards the natural, like wood cabinets and granite or marble countertops, allows you to satisfy the classic side of your design and because they are available in such a wide array of styles and colours, you’ll find something that also appeases the modern side. Here, again, avoid overly ornate details, like scalloped countertop edges and detailed moulding to balance the natural material with a modern design.
Contrast Natural Materials with Man-Made Ones
Using man-made materials to contract with natural ones is a hallmark of any transitional kitchen design. Stainless steel appliances, when combined with wood cabinets and stone tile, make both materials stand out. Wrought iron lighting fixtures against the backdrop of stone, ceramics and wood can help create a kitchen that will appeal to both your modern and country sides.
A white subway tile backsplash is a can’t miss element that appeals to a broad range of styles. Consider your options though. You may want to select a more traditional or rustic, rough-hewn tile, but stack it in a grid rather than an offset pattern. This brings in a country element in the material while also creating a more streamlined, modern pattern.
Continuing the hardwood flooring from an adjacent room into the kitchen accomplishes two things. It brings a natural material into the kitchen and it ties multiple rooms together for a more open feel, a trademark of modern design. Additionally, modern hardwood flooring stands up well to the high traffic and punishment that most kitchens dish out.
Choosing between a modern and a country-style kitchen is not a cut-and-dry decision. Thankfully, you don’t have to select between fully sleek and modern and completely rustic and country. Combine elements of both to create a kitchen that you and your loved ones will be happy with for years and will make your house the envy of the neighborhood.