Modern or traditional? Why not be a bit of both!
Although there are many decisions to be ruminated over when buying a new kitchen, most people will arrive at the showroom for a chat with a designer with at least a sense of the ‘style’ of cabinetry they’d like in their new kitchen. Sometimes this will be simply because of a preference for traditional or modern cabinetry but often it can be driven by the period of the property, the space itself or a wish-list piece such as a much loved cast-iron range.
While clean-lined, handleless contemporary furniture such as our Linear Edge kitchen have been very much at the forefront of kitchen design over the past few years, that doesn’t mean that classic Shaker has taken a back seat. And while the appetite for fiddly Victorian-style cabinetry has waned a little, there’s a renewed fervour for elegant Edwardian interpretations of Shaker, outlined perfectly by the clean lines and delicate details that feature in our latest range, Arbor.
So what separates traditional or classic design from modern and contemporary and do they suit some homes better than others? And what should you consider when choosing the style of your cabinetry to ensure it is a timeless addition to your home.
BE PREPARED TO THINK DIFFERENTLY
Just because you’ve set your mind to a particular door, doesn’t mean you have to stick to that through thick and thin. Visiting a showroom to take a close-up look at all the different kitchens on display will help to cement ideas in your mind but be prepared for them to change if you see an unexpected feature and fall in love. Any designer worth their salt will talk you through the options it’s often then that you realise your ideas of modern or classic furniture may actually be not exactly either but somewhere in-between.
A larder unit, for instance, is often associated with more traditional designs and you might see one in a showroom that makes you waver in your desire for a sleek contemporary kitchen. Remember, though you’ve always got options, if a classic larder floats your boat, you might well decide to have a scheme that errs more on the traditional side just to have one but larders look equally as attractive in a modern space. Our Linear larder was designed specifically to answer a need for a piece of furniture that was becoming increasingly popular but until then it had very classic overtones.
MAKING IT YOURS
First and foremost, there’s no rule that says a modern home has to have a modern kitchen or a period home a traditional one. That said, if the rest of your house is a temple to clean, uncluttered lines then it’s unlikely your taste will be for a ‘Downton Abbey’ style kitchen. Often it’s about picking a cabinet design and then adapting it to your own personal look. Handles are a fabulous way of adding personality to a kitchen and can really change the look of a door. One of our Original kitchen door frames, with its intricate beading and carved cornices, can take on a very different appearance if dressed with simple steel bars rather than cup handles. Likewise, adding cup handles to Linear cabinetry can give it a more timeless feel. There’s no rule that says an Original or Arbor kitchen must have a large range cooker at its heart either. While it would look gorgeous in both, if you prefer handleless cabinets then there’s no reason why an Aga, Wolf or Rangemaster range can’t look stunning in clean, white Linear Edge kitchen.
CLASSIC IS THE NEW CONTEMPORARY
Some of the new looks coming through for kitchens include materials and textures that might once have been considered traditional but taken in a new light, they can create a highly modern scheme. Take veined faux-marble composite worktops for instance. The look of marble fell out of fashion for some time – associated as it was with older designs. Then, as with all things, what goes around, comes around. First, it appeared in high-end furniture shows in Milan and Paris but soon filtered down to feature in home accessory ranges from high street favourites such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer. Used aplenty in Victorian and Edwardian kitchens, marble worktops were prized for their cool-to-the-touch surface, which meant they were great for making bread and pastries on. Sadly, they were porous so required pre-installation treatment and plenty aftercare. This meant it wasn’t a great fit for modern family kitchens where spills and mess are a fact of life. Luckily, makers of hardwearing composites, such as Ceasarstone and Silestone realized there was a gap in the market for a material that looked like a natural veined marble but that was super tough and stain resistant. Now, many modern white kitchens feature elegantly veined worktops and splashbacks, giving a material that was once traditional a new life in contemporary designs. Likewise, this month at KBB, one of the biggest trade shows for the industry, copper and gold brassware was the big hit, with kitchen taps in a range of new metallic shades shining out.
So whatever you think your style is, it pays to be flexible. Don’t become too pigeonholed by limiting yourself to just one style or another, as letting your imagination run just a little wild could result in a unique design you’ll love for years to come.
Do you have an idea of what kitchen cabinetry you’d like at the centre of your design? Book a complimentary design consultation with one of our expert designers here. Alternatively, have a look at our latest projects via our Instagram page.