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Designing a Traditional Kitchen With a Modern Twist


March 6th, 2017 | Kitchens

There’s an increasing trend in traditional kitchen design these days…and it’s one that pushes the boundaries of what traditional design has always meant. The major shift we’re talking about is traditional design with a modern twist. More and more homeowners are looking for spaces that feel classic, but at the same time they want designs that look fresh and cutting edge, too. So how do you honor a love of the traditional while satisfying a preference for the latest styles? With a design plan we call “traditional with a twist.”

Here are three  kitchen designs that blend classic and contemporary in a way that feels balanced and beautiful. We ranked them in order of most modern to most traditional, and we purposely chose kitchen with a similar gray and white design so you can easily see how the details make a difference.

More Modern

This kitchen below feels split down the middle of traditional and modern thanks to classic cabinet doors, neutral colors, and cutting edge appliances and backsplash tile. However, it does lean toward more modern styles with its sleek, polished cabinetry hardware, streamlined range hood, and trendy Navy-style bar stools. One thing to note: Shaker cabinets, like the ones seen below are almost a requisite for the traditional with a twist kitchen and were the choice for all three designs seen here. We do this because recessed panel cabinetry feels more traditional that flat-panel styles, but Shaker framing feels current thanks to straight edges and simple design.

traditional kitchens design with a modern twist

Meets in the Middle

This next kitchen is similar to the one above, but its details make it ever-so-slightly more traditional. It’s in a historic Massachusetts home, and the family wanted something that felt appropriate for the architecture without being stuck in a bygone era. Again, we used Shaker-style cabinetry, but the door panels here have an extra beveled detail in the trim, which adds to the traditional vibe. The appliances, hardware, and fixtures are modern, but not quite as sleek as the space above, which again adds to the classic appeal. The contemporary white and gray scheme and marble counters and backsplash tie the look together.

traditional kitchens design with a modern twist

A more traditional kitchen

Again, this kitchen design is based around Shaker-style cabinetry and a gray and white color scheme, but it’s the most traditional of the three styles. If you look closely you can see that what makes it that way is the more ornate millwork on the center island, the traditional furniture in the room, and the antique-inspired lighting and range hood. The contemporary twist comes again, from the bright white and gray color scheme, the subway-tile backsplash and on-trend marble stone, and high-tech stainless steel appliances.

traditional kitchens design with a modern twist

Which style is your favorite?


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