Traditional Kitchen Design - Details To Consider When Remodeling

A cookbook shelf is featured on the end of this island in DeForest, Wisconsin

Kitchen Details Remodeling for a Traditional Kitchen

A traditional kitchen is the centerpiece of any home. More than that, it embodies many of the things we all think of when we think of “home” – warmth, light, and the kind of charming, well-loved imperfection that transforms a room from four simple walls into a gathering place for a family. Our remodel team here at Degnan specializes in these kinds of transformations and can offer a lot of knowledge to anyone wanting to do something similar in their own space. We have learned over the years that details define the traditional kitchen style, and if you want to bring a traditional element to your kitchen remodel, the details are the best place to start. 

Mix up your cabinets styles

The cabinets define the visual style of any kitchen and are a great place to add a lot of traditional detail. Inset cabinetry with exposed piano hinges adds a bit of Old World or furniture-style charm while showcasing superior craftsmanship. A glazed finish that makes the cabinets appear aged or distressed can also add some characteristic patina to the space.

Custom Island Design Ideas

This island in Sixmile Creek, Waunakee, Wisconsin contains 3 particular design features. A herb growing cabinet is visible at the near end. A paper towel holder is visible along the right side. Spice drawers are concealed in the base cabinets. 

In general, select cabinetry with interesting architectural details like legs, pilasters, and furniture-style toe kicks. Raised-panel cabinet doors or decorative door inserts are another great option with near-limitless possibilities. Feel free to mix multiple styles of cabinetry together in the same kitchen – this adds to the feeling that the space was collected over time and makes it feel more lived-in rather than utilitarian.

Dress up your island

As a focal point of the traditional kitchen, the island is an ideal place to add further architectural details and create some contrast with the rest of the kitchen. If your kitchen island also functions as a serving area or breakfast bar, use that extra under-counter space to include features like corbels and decorative moldings.

Cobalt Blue Sink and Colorful Subway Tile

The brightly colored subway tile was chosen to complement the cobalt blue Kohler sink and the hand-painted wall decor.

Add something unusual

One of the best ways to create a traditional style in the kitchen is to get rid of any furniture that doesn’t have a defined period style or ornamentation. Replace them with a few compatible period pieces you love and use them for the basis of your overall design. You’re not looking for sleek or streamlined – the idea is to create visual interest everywhere you look.

The traditional kitchen, somewhat contradictorily, is a great place to include furniture not traditionally seen in the kitchen. Try adding a hutch cabinet or other furniture-style tall cabinets, which have the additional benefit of providing more storage space than run-of-the-mill kitchen cabinetry, and can even be used to camouflage modern appliances like the refrigerator.

For a smaller project, consider adding niches or ledges to the backdrop or hood to create an extra, unexpected detail. An apron-front or farmhouse sink can also add a lot of old-fashioned character to any kitchen.

Your lighting is another great place to splurge on something unusual or even one-of-a-kind. Because the traditional kitchen style is not “purist,” you can bring in unusual lighting fixtures like chandeliers to illuminate your kitchen.

Glass Backsplash Tile

This remodeled kitchen in Windsor, Wisconsin uses a linear glass tile in a vibrant blue color. Glass tile is oven a luxury splurge, and can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 per square foot.

Use luxury materials

Because there is an element of bringing the outside inside with any traditional kitchen, using high-quality natural materials – or engineered materials that closely simulate their effects – is a key part to getting the look right. Marble is the most high-maintenance choice, but quartzite, light granite, and walnut butcher block are also all elegant options. Generally, honed or matte surfaces work better with this look than glossy ones. 

The backsplash is another opportunity to add texture with materials like marble, brick, stone, and even wood being popular.

If you have a range hood in your kitchen, consider dressing it up with a custom covering made of metal, plaster, or stone. This helps to create a more hearth-like atmosphere in the traditional kitchen.

Remember, the philosophy of the traditional kitchen is that "more is more," so if you are looking to bring that style to your home, don't be afraid of the details. If you would like additional advice on designing a traditional kitchen, contact us to speak with one of our expert designers.

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 7/25/2018.

About Degnan Design Build Remodel
Since 1981 Degnan Design Build Remodel has provided home improvement and construction services to customers throughout Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal is to WOW you with a "Designed For Your Life" solution using a process that will transform your home into a beautiful living space, delivered on time, and on budget. We are known for our communication, respectfulness, and a commitment to our customers and our community. Contact us to speak with one of our designers about your home improvement project.