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Kitchen Design 101 (Part 2): The 3 Most Popular Kitchen Design Styles

Everything You Need to Know to Design Your Perfect Kitchen

Kitchen design is personal, it’s a high-traffic space that nourishes, entertains, and comforts. When dreaming up your ideal kitchen space, it’s helpful to know the basic layouts and styles. In part 1 of this article, we discussed the 6 most common types of kitchen layout designs. In Part 2, we will cover the 3 most popular kitchen design styles. Welcome to Kitchen Design 101!


The 3 Most Popular Kitchen Design Styles


Most kitchen design styles fall within 3 main categories: Traditional, Transitional, and Contemporary.


What is Traditional Kitchen Design?


Traditional style kitchens can be formal or informal. They feature architectural details like decorative millwork, arches, and furniture-style islands. Traditional kitchens use high-quality, natural materials such as marble or wooden countertops. Cabinets are framed, often with raised panels.


Traditional kitchens are warm and inviting. They often use vintage-style hardware or antique finishes. Traditional kitchen design styles can also reflect cultural heritage  – like a French Country Kitchen or a Mediterranean Kitchen.


kitchen remodel east side of providence
This beautiful traditional kitchen was part of an award-winning historic whole-house remodel on the East Side of Providence, RI. Read about the project here.

What is Transitional Kitchen Design Style?


The Transitional kitchen is the most popular kitchen style, according to research by the National Kitchen and Bath Association.  A transitional kitchen borrows features from both traditional and contemporary design. It combines cozy vibes with clean lines and neutral colors. It uses a combination of man-made and natural materials, like the quartz countertops and the hardwood flooring in the example below. The best of both worlds, the transitional style has a broad appeal. It is current, without seeming too modern.


Transitional kitchens most often employ shaker-style cabinets. Shaker cabinets have recessed-panel doors and simple hardware. They appeal to lovers of both the traditional and contemporary with their clean lines and timeless style. 


kitchen remodel in East Greenwich
This bright and light contemporary kitchen is part of a large first-floor renovation in East, Greenwich, RI. See more of this project in our Portfolio.

Contemporary Kitchen Style


Contemporary kitchen design mixes current trends with cutting-edge technology. The design is clean and clutter-free. Man-made, low-maintenance materials are common in a contemporary kitchen. Popular materials to use are stainless steel, concrete, and glass. Contemporary style is not fixed, it changes constantly based on what is in, what is out, and what is new. 


Cabinets in contemporary designs are frameless and flat-paneled. Hardware is simple. Strong horizontal lines are a prominent feature. The minimal elements create strength and artistry in their design. However, contemporary kitchens are not without moments of surprise. It is very common to see a pop of color among the basic color palettes. According to HGTV, contemporary color palettes should go by the 60-30-10 rule: 60% dominant color, 30% secondary color, and 10% accent color. 


contemporary home design in rhode island
This is an architectural rendering of a contemporary kitchen by the design team at Red House. If you are interested in learning more about our design process contact us.


Are you looking for a traditional, transitional, or contemporary kitchen designer in Rhode Island? Check out our portfolio for inspiration. Contact us today to learn more about our team of architects and builders.


Read Part 1 of Kitchen Designs 101: The 6 Most Popular Kitchen Layout Designs


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