What goes into a Traditional style kitchen? To hear the nay-sayers tell it, kitchens decorated in Traditional style are too stiff and regimented, lacking the color and pizazz of Mexican, Tuscan or Country French kitchen décor. However, there are many baby boomers around who fondly remember their mothers’ kitchens because of the many homey touches they incorporated.
For starters, a Traditional kitchen has some shape and decoration to it. Unlike the gleaming metallic edges and bold contrasts of Modern or Contemporary kitchens, a kitchen done in Traditional style is more mellow. Its color palette includes warm whites, creams, taupes, pale grays and soft greens. Like its Country cousin, a Traditional kitchen wants to bring some elements of nature indoors. Flowers, fruit, birds, dragonflies and butterflies often are among its favored motifs, especially for wall decorations, windrow treatments and area rugs.
The old adage claims that home is where the heart is, so it’s natural that a Traditional style kitchen would be the heart of the home. In addition to its nature-related motifs, kitchens in this style use natural materials such as wood, stone, marble or brick. Kitchen tables and chairs are often rounded spindle backed styles. Woods are typically used in their natural finish, but if painted, they’d done in a wash that lets the underlying grain show.
Among other tips for creating kitchens in Traditional décor styles:
1. Choose furniture from clearly defined style periods, whether it’s Early American, Louis Philippe, Victorian or other era, and build on these pieces. Avoid anything that evokes Modern or Contemporary styles, such as stainless steel, chrome, clear or smoked glass and so on. Match the cabinet trims and molding to the main style era. Then mix in some accent pieces and accessories from other periods to get the eclectic mixture that’s a highlight of Traditional style.
2. Think in terms of patterns for flooring. A basket weave placement for tile or wooden slats looks appealing. Another option is to combine light and dark stone in irregular patterns for a more natural appearance. Place acrylic area rugs in floral, fruit or farmyard patterns on top of the flooring. Acrylics are preferred in kitchens because they withstand spills and high traffic better than natural fiber rugs.
3. Kitchens with lots of windows are prime candidates for Traditional style. With a bay window, it’s possible to create a breakfast nook by installing a wooden table and a couple of bench seats, along with a couple of chairs. Remember, Traditional décor always has some ornamentation to it, so choose furniture with turnings or carvings.
4. Use fabric to bring color into the kitchen. Prints of nature scenes work well, and can be contrasted with striped fabric for seat coverings. Avoid anything geometric in kitchen materials; they don’t belong in a Traditional scheme.
5. Remember that Traditional style includes lots of eclectic combination’s. Choose cabinet knows of different designs and avoid any streamlined styles in plumbing and other fixtures. Attention to details is what sets Tradition offer from other decorating styles.