How to Choose the Perfect Kitchen Design Style for You

How to Choose the Perfect Kitchen Design Style for You

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Today’s households use the kitchen for more than preparing food. It’s a place to hang out, do homework, and entertain. So you want that space to be a one you love, one that reflects your style. 

“But I don’t know what my style is!” Don’t worry. This is easier than you think. In this post, we’ll take the pressure off and demystify how to choose the perfect kitchen design style for you!

Top 3 Kitchen Styles in 2021

It’s not necessary to choose a kitchen style that’s trending right now. If what’s “in” doesn’t suit you, there are plenty of other options that are just as fabulous. 

But if you’re curious about what’s popular in the kitchen design world, here are the top 3 kitchen styles homeowners are choosing in 2021.

Modern Farmhouse

If you browse online or in magazines for style inspiration, it won’t take long for you to come across something from Magnolia, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ business. Their style is Modern Farmhouse. 

It’s a perfect pairing of the idyllic farmhouse setting with the fresh feel of modern clean lines. It starts with a traditional foundation that gives it a homey feeling, but incorporates modern details to tame down the farmy-ness. 

Shaker doors and shiplap meet sleek black hardware, for example. Antique details, distressed wood, and deep porcelain farmhouse sinks are common in these kitchens. 

The result is crisp and bright, but just enough roughness to add character. 

modern farmhouse style kitchen



Boho is short for Bohemian, which is strongly influenced by traveling artists of the past. In the 1950s, New York City’s Greenwich Village became the hotspot for boho culture. A decade or two later,  it morphed into the hippy culture. Today’s boho aesthetic is influenced by those free spirits.

A kitchen designed in the boho style has natural textures, ethnic and vintage pieces, softer shades of wood, earth tones, clean lines, and plenty of green plants make this kitchen style inviting. It’s a bit eclectic, but it’s relaxed and bold.

boho style kitchen

Mid-Century Modern

The understated Mid-Century Modern look originated in the mid-1930s to mid-1960s. It began in Germany and is characterized by simplicity and functionality. 

Distinguishing features of this style include: 

  • Sleek, uncluttered lines;
  • A nod to minimalism without a lot of ornamentation; and
  • Mixed materials such as varying wood finishes and metallic hardware

5 More Kitchen Design Styles

If the top 3 trending kitchen design styles don’t sound right for you, there are many other options! Here’s a list of 5 more common kitchen styles.

1. Classic/Traditional

A classic or traditional kitchen design fits nicely into older homes, where trends might stick out like a belly after a celebration dinner. These kitchens invite visions of warm family gatherings and holiday traditions.

Not flashy or showy, classic or traditional kitchens are neutral, enduring, and allow flexibility of styling for each feature. Typical elements include painted or stained cabinets with glass-front doors, white tiles, and decorative finishing.

classic traditional style kitchen

2. Contemporary

Defining contemporary kitchen style is difficult because it evolves with trends. Sometimes it’s a blanket term that covers any style that doesn’t fit into a specific category. If you’re going for contemporary style, anything that’s trending is acceptable. 

Unlike a classic or traditional style, contemporary styles push boundaries. Smooth lines mixed with playful finishes, minimalistic with an emphasis on structure, and lots of open space characterize most contemporary kitchens. Personality is created by adding trendy features like a sculptural lighting fixture or bold colors. 

contemporary style kitchen

3. Modern

The modern kitchen design style opposes adornment and rejects the fuss and fancy of the traditional style. It prioritizes minimalism, preferring flat surfaces and sleek, geometric lines. There’s a lot of variance allowed under the modern label, but “streamlined” and “sophisticated” are standard for this look. 

Common features of a modern-style kitchen are glossy countertops, handle-free frameless cabinetry, and polished hardware. Think “luxury”, like exotic woods and stainless steel. 

modern style kitchen

4. Transitional

A transitional kitchen works well when you like elements of both traditional and contemporary styling. It’s the best of both worlds – the clean look and simplicity of minimalism with the warmth of tradition. 

An example of a transitional style kitchen could have traditional natural wood cabinets with contemporary glass tiles and industrial light fixtures.

transitional style kitchen

5. Rustic

The word “rustic” conjures up images of cabin life. Rough-hewn wood, distressed surfaces, and stone provide the rustic feel of this style of kitchen. But don’t assume “rustic” means minimal functionality. Simplicity and practicality combined with craftsmanship and natural elements make a rustic kitchen inviting.

rustic style kitchen

6 Key Elements of Your Kitchen Design Style

The perfect kitchen design style for you depends largely on 6 key elements.

1. Cabinetry Finish

Do you prefer glossy, matte, or something in between? When choosing the type of cabinet finish you want, keep in mind that it’s not just about the look of the cabinets; it’s about maintenance and functionality, too. 

2. Colour

Colour preference is personal. The timelessness of white makes it a popular choice for almost any kitchen style, but colour adds personality and interest. Your kitchen colour choices can make a statement. 

3. Storage

If your household includes children, you likely require more storage than a young couple who orders takeout or eats in restaurants most of the time. Your storage and functionality requirements will have an impact on your kitchen design style. 

4. Accessories

Small details matter. For example, if visible fingerprints bother you, your drawer pull preference might be a cup-style that keeps fingertips underneath and out of sight. 

5. Appliances

If white appliances are your non-negotiable preference, for example, certain kitchen design styles won’t work for you.

6. The Rest of Your House

The style and layout of your house will be a determining factor in what kitchen design works best in your home. If your home is in a mountain village near ski resorts (like Canmore, Alberta), a rustic style kitchen might work for you. But if you live in a loft in a downtown Calgary highrise, that rustic look would seem out of place.

Before choosing the perfect kitchen design style for you, think about your preferences for each of these 6 elements. These are the details that will significantly affect your enjoyment of your kitchen.

The Easy Way to Choose the Perfect Kitchen Design Style for You

So, how do you choose the perfect kitchen design style for you? 

The first step is to create a kitchen concept board or “mood” board. It can be as easy as creating a board on Pinterest and saving every kitchen design picture you like. For simple tips to organize your kitchen design vision, read How to Create a Kitchen Concept Board for Design Inspiration.

You don’t need to label your design style. The looks you love don’t have to fit into a box. Your style might be a mixture of elements from numerous design styles. Your kitchen design should look how you want it to. Period. It’s a reflection of you!

After you’ve gathered some pictures of kitchen design styles you like, talk to a kitchen designer. They can help you pinpoint specific features and elements in your kitchen that provide the aesthetic and functionality that works best for you.

Need help choosing your kitchen style?

Contact a kitchen design expert at Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations for a free consultation today!

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