Traditional kitchens are all about detail. They are filled with fabulous ornamentation and adornment that gives them a warm and Old School feel.
Achieving the right balance of decoration is very important – you want your kitchen to look elegantly layered, not overbearing or over-crowded. Fortunately, there are many design alternatives to help you achieve the perfect traditional look. One of the most important elements is your choice of cabinetry. It needs to look slightly aged and preferably have a more old fashioned design. Also, your choice of countertops and sinks contribute to the traditional look – you should opt for the more natural tones and avoid using very bright coloured countertops or modern sink designs. Best of all, with traditional kitchens, you have a lot of flexibility to play around with different styles and finishes and there are endless decorative elements to choose from.
The style of the cabinetry really sets the tone for the kitchen. Traditional kitchens usually have cabinetry with flush inset or framed cabinetry. This means that the frame around the doors is visible and the doors and drawers are set flush with that frame. In very traditional kitchens you will also find cabinetry with raised panel doors. These doors produce distinct shadow lines which add to the ornamentation of the kitchen. Further detail can be added by your choice of door inserts. You can find inserts made from antique glass, meshed metal or a variety of wood patterns. The cabinet hinges and handles are also a wonderful decorative element and frequently you will find them with an aged metallic look such as oil-rubbed bronze or antique silver or brass. Finally, the cabinetry should have a glazed finish or a finish that makes it look aged to complete the Old School appeal.
The countertops are also a very important element in the traditional kitchen and tend to have a more natural and toned down colouring. You will often find countertops that use marble-like or limestone countertops as well as solid colour surfaces. Caesarstone has a very wide selection of natural stone-like surfaces. For example Caesarstone’s Calacatta Nuvo and London Grey surfaces have an exquisite marble-like feel but are not fragile and high-maintenance like marble. The finish of the surfaces tends to be honed or non-shiny, yet there are designs that effectively use a polished stone look. Also, many traditional kitchens choose apron-front sinks or farmhouse sinks since they have an old-fashioned and handmade feel to them.
As part of the layering motif, traditional kitchens also incorporate different styles and finishes. It is not uncommon to have the island cabinet in one colour and the surrounding cabinets in another. You can also find traditional kitchens that use cabinets of different heights and widths. For example, the sink’s base cabinet can be at a different depth than the cabinets on either side, yielding an undulating look that adds interest. The kitchen can also include a cabinet or furniture that doesn’t typically go in the kitchen such as a hutch-style cabinet or a large bedroom cabinet.
Since detail and ornamentation are fundamental to the traditional kitchen, there are many different design elements that add a touch of Old School and elegance. One of the most popular ornaments is traditional light fixtures. In larger kitchens you can often find crystal or brass chandeliers or lantern-style lights that are absolutely breathtaking. Another great decorative element is a hood. Traditional kitchens can feature ornate metal hoods, carved stone hoods or even custom-shaped plaster hoods with moldings and corbels. Other decorating options include using carved corbels or brackets and applied molding between cabinets. You can also find details such as legs and pilasters on islands, or furniture-style toe kicks that make the cabinets look like they are freestanding.
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