Create a traditional-style kitchen by mixing and matching colors and textures.
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Don't confuse a traditional kitchen with Old World or country. Although, like the latter two, the traditional kitchen design style is "warm and classic," with elements of English and French taste, "the colors are different," says Mary Broerman, a California-based interior designer who owns MDB Design Group in Altadena.
Instead of the brighter blues and golds you'd find in an Old World design, the traditional kitchen incorporates soft, muted colors: creams, whites, taupes, light grays or greens.
Part of its charm, like country, is that it brings the outdoors in, so patterns can include fruits, flowers and butterflies. You can mix and match. It's a design that is open to interpretation and appeals to all ages and personalities.
"Traditional" is a "very general term that encompasses many styles and doesn't lean real heavy in any one direction," says Gail Drury, who owns a kitchen and bath design studio called Drury Designs in Gllen Ellyn, Ill.
They are not "purist" kitchens, she says, but rather a more eclectic combination of styles that incorporate more detail and ornamentation than the simple clean lines of most modern styles, Drury adds.
The design works best in a room with lots of windows, because if possible the kitchen would likely include a bay window. The focus is on creating warmth and a homey feeling, says Broerman, because you're going to spend a great deal of time in this style of kitchen.
The need to bring the outdoors in to represent this style means the space will include natural materials on the floors, in the cabinetry and with furnishings. You might see marble, brick, stone and even wood on the backsplash, for example, Broerman adds, and other materials and surfaces that give the space a handcrafted look.
If wood in the room is painted, it probably will be whitewashed, with the wood grains showing through.
It's a design that allows you to mix and match the layers of detail, including color and texture, says Broerman, who lives in a Tudor style home, traditionally designed with granite countertops in the kitchen, wood beams on the ceiling and wood columns framing each side of the stove.
How to Get the Look
To create the traditional look, here are a few tips: