Clean lines and unfussy details may just make a traditional kitchen design right for you

Formal and elegant, traditional kitchen designs encompass a range of interior design styles from 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. But, what is it that unites styles like Victorian, Regency, Georgian, French Country, Colonial and Mediterranean under the same term?

In a word: details.

While contemporary kitchen design is renowned for clean lines and sleek surfaces, traditional kitchens are characterised by their bespoke features, premium materials and embellishment. In today’s modern home however, the opulence and grandeur of traditional kitchen designs can be challenging to incorporate authentically. That is precisely why interior designers are looking for innovative new ways to treat the core elements of traditional kitchen design in simpler and less “fussy” ways.

The ornate metal, or moulded plaster kitchen hood is the showpiece of the traditional kitchen. © nakedkitchens

The ornate metal, or moulded plaster kitchen hood is the showpiece of the traditional kitchen. © nakedkitchens

Kitchen Hoods
The ornate metal, or moulded plaster kitchen hood is the showpiece of the traditional kitchen. Mouldings and corbels are aplenty in plaster models. Metal hoods are replete with intricate strapping and finishes. To get the look in a more modern version of traditional kitchen design, update the hood with straightforward forms and classic materials. A stainless steel double sweep hood with polished straps and a brushed body is a timeless statement-maker. An unembellished white plaster hood that reaches ceiling is majestic when flanked by glass-fronted cabinets.

Cabinet Crown Moulding
For many people, cabinet crown mouldings are the main signifier that they are in a traditional kitchen, because these often provide the extra element of adornment omnipresent in traditional kitchen designs. If overused however, the overall look can be overbearing. For a modern interpretation, opt for the simplest of crown mouldings rather than those that are intricately stacked. If the cabinets are white and are ceiling-height, even better! White cabinets, with ceiling-height white crown mouldings create a spacious and open feel in an otherwise intricately styled space.

© nakedkitchens

© nakedkitchens

Kitchen Islands
Though considered a mainstay in all kitchens, the kitchen island can add volumes of elegance to a traditional kitchen, especially when they are made with fluted corners, carved brackets and multiple tiers, or topped with luxury materials like Calcutta marble. To get the same traditional feeling without the all of the showiness, use a familiar cabinet style, like Shaker, inset or beadboard. Choose a colour that matches the rest of the cabinets, or contrasts in a bold way. An ecru kitchen island with all ecru cabinets for instance, or a dark brown stained model that is offset by a white worktop and white cabinets. Then top the island with unpolished stone in a neutral tone, or a contemporary material like concrete.

The final result? A traditional kitchen that feels more like your room than a showroom!