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What is Traditional Kitchen Cabinetry?

With so many different design styles, it can be hard to narrow your preferences down to one, or even to differentiate between them. What draws you to these cabinets over those ones? Why does the style of that kitchen call out to you but another ones don't? Is it just the color you admire, or something more? At Bella Domicile, our designers often suggest that clients come prepared with images of spaces they love to help sort through a client’s likes and dislikes for their kitchen remodel. .


Traditional design is a style that continues to be one of our most popular.  A traditional kitchen style isn’t confined to any one time period, color, or even type of materials. Traditional design is actually much more fluid than many people think, and borrows its style cues from several centuries of design practices. While it can feel imposing, traditional design can be both comfortable and elegant. But what exactly makes traditional style, well, traditional?


There are some design elements that help place a space firmly within the parameters of traditional design. That’s not to say these things won’t be found in other styles, but if you come across many of these together in your own favorite images, chances are you’ve come to love a design that is traditional.


Raised panel doors. Raised panels - where the panel in the center of a door projects forward instead of laying flat - is a key element in traditional design. Raised panels have a more ornate feel to them, and are a key differentiation between traditional style and the slab, flat panels of contemporary design.


Antiqued metal hardware. Additionally, the drawer pulls and door hardware tend to have an antiqued or hammered finish. Handles with lots of detail add more dimension to the cabinets themselves. Instead of square and linear lines, traditional hardware has more curvature and variation.


Decorative corbels and moldings. In a traditional kitchen, more is more is more. The cabinetry features such design details as corbels, turned post, stacked moldings, and even carvings to add more detail and definition. These architectural details are layered on to add a truly custom feel to any traditional kitchen space.


Furniture-style cabinets. Large, furniture-type pieces, such as hutches and tall pantry cabinets, often take center-stage in a traditional kitchen. When layered with the decorative details described above, they add the feel of furniture with an extra opportunity for decoration, as well as provide precious storage space.


Stainless or wood paneled appliances. Stainless steel is a timeless finish for appliances that coordinates with just about everything and won’t be going out of style anytime soon. For an extra “finished” look, many traditional kitchens will opt to panel appliances with wood panels, stained and finished in the same style as the cabinetry, for a custom, built-in look.


Neutral colors. Rich wood stains and cream tones are typically found in traditional kitchens. Other neutrals, such as black, gray, and navy will often be used, but bright color palettes are completely out of place. Additionally, the addition of distressed and antiqued finishes to the cabinetry add an extra layer of finish to a basic paint or stain.


Ornate tile work. Tile, usually in light, traditional stone such as marble or travertine, is often set in elaborate patterns to create a backsplash or dramatic floor design. Think of patterns in basket weave, herringbone, and rosettes. Another way to incorporate interesting tile work is to add a tiled niche or ledge into the backsplash.


Even if traditional design isn’t your particular brand of style, these elements can be used in other ways to create your own, personal kitchen design. Mix in a raised-panel door with a more contemporary design for a transitional look. Use rich, neutral tones with a more modern cabinetry style, then spice it up with pops of color. Or tile a ledge in your own backsplash, to gain function regardless of your personal design preferences. These are ways to add in traditional design features without compromising your own design style.

Still not sure what your personal style is, but ready to move forward with your own remodel? Contact Bella Domicile to meet with one of our talented designers today! Call (608) 271-8241 or fill an appointment request form here.

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