You don’t have to be obsessively neat and organized for open shelving to look attractive, but you’ll want to make an effort not to let clutter build. Keeping dishware to a single color, as shown here, creates a striking effect.
Style is easier to recognize with your eyes than with words: You know it when you see it, and the photo that inspires you most can often surprise you. Think you know your kitchen style? Check out these guides to a dozen favorite kitchen design themes, then tell us which one takes the cake.
Open shelving. Installed in place of traditional upper cabinetry, open shelving recalls the days when kitchens were more utilitarian than decorative. Not only was cabinetry expensive, but open shelves allowed cooks to retrieve dishes and tools quickly. Today open shelves are as much about aesthetics as about practicality: Their openness helps make a space feel larger, and they often house accessories in addition to kitchen implements.
Architectural details. Traditional kitchens focus on the details in all areas. There’s a bit of embellishment or adornment everywhere you look, but the best traditional kitchens just feel layered rather than overbearing. Speaking of details, this kitchen has it all — arches, moldings, beam ceilings, framed and raised-panel cabinets, a custom hood surround, chandeliers, furniture-style cabinets and, of course, island legs.
Many people are at a loss when it comes to defining their style. Some people know what they like but are afraid of getting the terms wrong, or they’re afraid of being pigeon-holed into one style when they feel like they’re in between a few different ones. The truth is, most spaces have elements of different styles and aren’t all one way.
Contemporary kitchens can be modern as well, but they can also have elements of other styles. When I think of what makes a kitchen contemporary, it most often includes cutting-edge design and technology and use of new trends and materials.
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