5 Kitchen Styles for Your Remodel

Ready to remodel your kitchen, but overwhelmed with design options? Start by choosing a style to guide you, then explore your options for colors and materials within the broad strokes of that style. Let’s look at five great styles that work beautifully for kitchens.

1. Cottage

Cottage style is all about cozying up to natural elements and tones. White is a classic choice, but really any hues can work if you keep the overall aesthetic on the muted, neutral side -- for example, pale greys and taupes.

Another key feature is eclecticism, which you can achieve simply by pairing up unexpected styles -- say, a table from one style paired with chairs from another -- or mismatched chairs, for that matter, perhaps tied together with fabric or paint.

If cabinetry is overwhelming, it can throw off a cottage kitchen design. Instead, consider glass-fronted or open shelving to lighten up the look. Wooden floors and pendant lighting will help complete the cozy cottage look.

2. Modern

The key to modern design: simplified, dramatic color schemes and a sleek aesthetic. Black, white, and stainless are popular, but modern doesn’t mean “clinical and cold.” Warm up the basics with accent colors that pop. Think citrus -- lime green, bright orange -- and incorporate it with rugs, kitchen towels, artwork, bowls, or appliances.

Flooring should be kept understated and clean. Concrete is a solid choice, but geometric tiles can also work. If you’re not a fan of the black, white, and steel motif, try blond wood for your cabinetry and accessorize with a cool accent color.

As for materials, you can go natural and earthy (wood and steel) or molded plastic (think sleek eggshell-toned high-backed bar stools or chairs).

3. Contemporary

Contemporary is about what’s current today. So, while tones of taupe, brown, cream, and white work just fine in both modern and contemporary aesthetics, you want a fresher approach with contemporary style. Consider changing one wall or panel to a bright accent color.

As for materials, use wood strategically. Either keep the wood light-toned and minimally grained, such as birch or maple, or go with darker woods (walnut, cherry) but pair with predominantly white or cream tones.

Glass is another popular choice. You can create an easy bit of texture and visual interest by selecting a frosted glass for table tops or cabinet fronts. Brushed nickel, chrome, and stainless steel are dependable contemporary touches.

4. Country

“Country style” can encompass a huge variety of looks, colors, and materials, but the overriding aesthetic is warm, comfortable, and rustic. Color schemes can range from cheerful and busy to sedate and earth-toned. A wide range of patterns from florals to checks and plaids can also work nicely here.

For materials, think exposed brick and wood, whether stained, painted, or au naturel. Depending on the size of the room and whether it’s an open floor plan, you may find that too much medium to dark toned wood overpowers the room. Lighten things up elsewhere, perhaps with white or neutral walls. Antiqued brass and pewter fixtures can also work nicely.  

5. Classic

Classic style never goes out of style - that’s why we call it “classic”! Elements for this timeless style include marble-topped counters and island surfaces together with classic raised-panel cabinetry in darker woods (think walnut, cherry). Pair cabinetry with brushed nickel or brass hardware to lighten things up a bit.

While color schemes tend towards neutral, there’s nothing that says you can’t embrace bolder colors for wall paint, such as a deep red or hunter green, although those colors may be overpowering in a smaller kitchen. You can also go all-white, and even extend it as far as the cabinetry itself, but pair it with darker-toned appliances -- steel or black, for example -- to add some depth.