Kitchen design styles have come a long way over the years. From utilitarian spaces focused solely on function, to open concept great rooms for cooking, dining, and entertaining, there are many options to consider when planning your dream kitchen. The style you choose should complement your home’s architecture and resonate with your lifestyle and taste. Here are some of the most popular kitchen design styles to inspire your remodel.

Traditional Kitchens

The traditional kitchen design evokes a classic, timeless aesthetic. Characteristics include:

  • Ornate crown molding and decorative trim
  • Elaborate cabinetry with raised panels and detailed frames
  • Glass-front cabinets for displaying china and collectibles
  • Butler’s pantries for storage and food preparation
  • Apron-front farmhouse sinks
  • Mediterranean or French country influences with tile backsplashes, arched doorways, and earthy colors like terracotta
  • Islands tend to be smaller to allow more pathway space

A traditional kitchen works well for those who love to cook and prefer a formal, elegant style. The rich architectural details make it a natural fit for old world or historically significant homes.

Contemporary Kitchens

For a sleek, modern look, the contemporary kitchen is the way to go. Hallmarks of this style are:

  • Streamlined cabinetry with recessed handles or hidden hinges for a minimalist look
  • Neutral color schemes like white, gray, or black
  • Glossy, flat-front cabinetry paired with wood or laminate countertops
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Minimal ornamentation for a simplistic vibe
  • Islands and open shelves instead of upper cabinets
  • Bold pops of color on the backsplash, bar stools, or accent walls

Contemporary kitchens have an urban, loft-like feel perfect for modern homes or condos. The sparse, uncluttered look creates the illusion of more space.

Rustic Kitchens

Rustic kitchen designs emphasize natural materials and a cozy, farmhouse charm:

  • Exposed brick backsplashes
  • Butcher block countertops and oversized islands
  • Galvanized metal accents, copper cookware, and antique accessories
  • Wood cabinetry in a natural finish or muted colors like sage
  • Open shelving with woven baskets for storage
  • Vintage-style hardware like bin pulls or hammered metal handles
  • Farmhouse or apron-front sinks
  • Pendant lighting over islands

Rustic kitchens are all about weathered, reclaimed woods, vintage character, and industrial accents. This warm, inviting style is perfect for older homes or new builds aiming for a homey feel.

Transitional Kitchens

As the name implies, transitional kitchens strike a balance between traditional and contemporary. Design elements blend old and new for the best of both worlds:

  • Streamlined cabinetry profiles but with decorative molding
  • Integrated handles rather than traditional knobs
  • Lighter wood stains rather than natural or dark finishes
  • Quartz countertops that mimic marble or other natural stone
  • Subway tile backsplashes with classic shape but modern color scheme
  • Stainless steel appliances for a contemporary vibe
  • Furniture-style islands on casters for flexibility

Transitional kitchens have widespread appeal. The soft contemporary edge makes traditional details feel fresh and current.

Cottage Kitchens

Nothing evokes cozy charm quite like a cottage kitchen. Typical features include:

  • Beadboard or paneled cabinetry painted in pastel hues
  • Decorative molding accents and trim
  • Vintage hardware like bin pulls or porcelain knobs
  • Checkered curtains and gingham tablecloths
  • Floral motifs on dishware displayed on open shelves
  • Farmhouse or apron-front sinks
  • Butcher block islands
  • Wire storage baskets rather than cabinets
  • Ruffled pantry door fronts

Cottage kitchens embody shabby chic style. Playful patterns, colors, and accessories give this classic look a breezy, relaxed feel.

Industrial Kitchens

Industrial kitchens blend old world warehouse character with modern aesthetics:

  • Exposed brick walls, ductwork, and piping
  • Concrete, wood, or distressed metal finishes
  • Galvanized metal, stainless steel, or glass cabinetry
  • Pegboard walls for open storage
  • Track lighting or pendant lamps over islands
  • Butcher block or metal countertops
  • Vintage-style hardware like bin pulls or latch handles
  • High contrast color schemes like black, white, and gray

This on-trend look has an urban loft, hipster vibe. The blend of utilitarian materials and sleek lines creates an inviting workhorse kitchen.

Kitchen Design Styles FAQ

Still deciding on your ideal kitchen style? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What is the most popular kitchen design?

Currently, transitional style is the most popular kitchen design. It elegantly blends both traditional and contemporary elements for widespread appeal.

What kitchen design is cheapest?

Often, contemporary and modern kitchens are the most budget-friendly. The sleek, minimalist look requires fewer decorative moldings and accessories which cuts down on costs.

What style kitchen lasts the longest?

Traditional kitchens stand the test of time and rarely go out of style. The classic ornamentation and high-quality materials ensure long-lasting appeal.

What is the newest trend in kitchen design?

Industrial kitchens with exposed materials, high contrast finishes, and vintage accents are very on-trend currently. The warehouse chic look offers contemporary edge.

What kitchen design suits a small space?

Contemporary kitchens optimize small spaces with clean lines, hidden storage, multi-function furniture, and lighter colors to open it up.

What is the most low maintenance kitchen?

Contemporary, modern kitchens are the most low maintenance. Their streamlined look has fewer nooks and crannies to clean. Durable surfaces like quartz require less upkeep too.


With so many diverse kitchen styles to select from, it’s important to consider your home architecture, lifestyle, taste, and budget. Traditional designs work well for formal spaces and vintage homes, while contemporary options are best for urban settings and minimalists. Those desiring a homey, cozy space can’t go wrong with a rustic or cottage kitchen. For the best of both worlds, a transitional style effortlessly blends old and new. Whatever look resonates most will help craft your ideal kitchen sanctuary. With some thoughtful planning and design, you can bring your unique kitchen vision to life.