It's true: craftsman-style homes are timeless, but that doesn't mean that you can't give them a few modern touches. Luckily, it only takes a few simple upgrades to bring your vintage digs into the present. And the heart of your humble abode, the kitchen, is a great place to let the makeover magic begin.
First things first: What is a craftsman-style kitchen? These spaces spotlight simple color palettes and natural materials — oftentimes natural wood — with thoughtful, customized touches and clean lines for a space that feels homey and welcoming.
Moreover, these spaces focus on wood cabinets — that look like they were created by a, well, craftsperson. The cabinets often include thoughtful detailing, which is the case for the rest of the design elements, too, from backsplashes to light fixtures to the floor plan. These culinary zones are classic. But with a few fresh interior design ideas, you can have an updated craftsman kitchen that combines the best of both design worlds.
Scroll on for 27 ways to give your craftsman kitchen a beautifully modern remodel.
1. Freshen things up with white.
A white color scheme can make a craftsman kitchen feel fresh in a flash. It's also a lot easier to achieve than you might imagine. No, you don't have to gut everything and start from scratch. Instead, spend your money where it matters and make small improvements. Refresh the walls and cabinet doors with white paint like Savor Home did here. You could even swap blah window treatments for sheer ivory panels that let in tons of natural light.
2. Install a tile backsplash.
Want to make your Craftsman kitchen design pop? Splurge on a tile backsplash. We love the tonal variation and texture of the polished Carrara marble subway tile in interior designer Marie Flanigan's kitchen. A herringbone formation would look stunning, too.
3. Add unexpected touches.
Here, Chip and Joanna Gaines utilized unexpected touches like a wooden range hood and vibrant blue-green painted cabinets to introduce modern whimsy into this 1905 Craftsman abode without sacrificing original character. The result is a room you'll look forward to making meals and memories in for years to come.
4. Consider a two-tone paint job.
For something unique and surprising, opt for a two-tone paint job like the one in Brett Goldstein's California kitchen. We absolutely love the combination of crisp white set against the richness of the midnight blue bar in this craftsman space. Light wood elements and plenty of plants round out the aesthetic.
5. Incorporate warm accessories.
The kitchen is the heart of your home. And while a gourmet range and stainless steel fridge can definitely update a craftsman layout, you don't want to neglect accents that feel cozy and inviting. Follow photographer Erin Kelly's lead, and infuse warmth with accessories galore displayed on open shelving. Got a vintage plate set you love? Show it off. And don't forget about a few pieces of art as well.
6. Showcase patterned flooring.
In all of the remodeling excitement, don't forget about the flooring. If your Craftsman kitchen didn't come with rich wood floors, opt for patterned tile instead. Elsie from A Beautiful Mess installed this geometric ceramic tile, which pairs beautifully with the green cabinets.
7. Pick a monochromatic palette.
We've said it many times, but it bears repeating ... paint can make a world of difference, especially in a craftsman kitchen. In this space from the team over at Sogno Design Group, slate cabinets and soft gray walls are a stellar monochromatic combo. Big windows keep the room from feeling too dark.
8. Feature lots of wood.
Wood is earthy and warm. It can also be a bit heavy, especially if used too liberally without introducing other elements to strike a balance. So what's the solution? Bring in whitewashed upper cabinets to offset the richness of the cherry stain. This country-inspired Craftsman kitchen by Naomi from Design Manifest is the perfect example.
9. Mix wood and white.
"Combining cabinet finishes is one of my favorite ways to modernize a kitchen space," says designer Marie Flanigan. She recommends pairing white paint with a beautiful light oak for depth and texture.
10. Modernize your hardware.
Drawer pulls may be physically small, but they make a big difference when it comes to decor. Designer Claire Zinnecker knows that well, and she added sleek, metallic pulls for this kitchen update. The handles help modernize the whole space. To top it off, add shiplap to the walls and open shelves for storage, and you'll have a perfect modern craftsman food prep area
11. Add a craftsman-style banquet.
Say your cabinets veer more modern, but you're jonesing for a craftsman-style kitchen. Take inspiration from this hub by Black Lacquer Design, and leave your cabinets as they are. Instead, bring in a long, wood banquet, juxtaposing the best of both modern and craftsman worlds. Best yet, it'll be functional, adding additional storage and countertop space.
12. Install shiplap.
We think shiplap walls fit right in with modern craftsman-style kitchens. The panels are bright and fresh but still so timeless. Here, designer Maggie Griffin extended the shiplap look to the ceiling as well for extra impact.
13. Go for barstools that are both modern and classic.
Selecting sleek, modern barstools — like the ones in this space designed by Michelle Lisac — is an easy upgrade for your craftsman kitchen. Keep them the same color as the cabinetry to ensure a smooth melding of styles.
14. Don’t be afraid to go to the dark (paint) side.
15. Select industrial light fixtures.
Austin-based designer Shannon Eddings kicked this craftsman hub up a notch with two industrial light fixtures over the island. Take note of how the varying textures — the sleek, metal fixtures, the plush barstools, and the soft rug — add depth to the design.
16. Show off a brick wall.
Instead of upper cabinets, this kitchen designed by House of Jade Interiors relies on open shelving and an oversize island packed with drawers to let the white-washed brick wall stand out. The more traditional-style island adds a craftsman feel, especially with that generous butcher block top, while the white brick is fresh and modern.
17. Add a farmhouse sink.
Don't let the name fool you — farmhouse sinks complement all kinds of decor styles. A bright white iteration, like the one in this cook space from JLK Interiors, would instantly refresh a craftsman kitchen.
18. Stick with the classics.
Sometimes, it's okay to keep the classic components of your craftsman kitchen. In this cook space we spotted on Interior Impressions, the original hardy wood cabinets are a focal point. Additionally, the craftsmanship seems impeccable, so they'll last decade after decade. If you have similar built-ins, don't tear them down. Just refinish the cabinets so they get a jolt of new life.
19. Get colorful with mosaic tile.
By installing a mosaic tile backsplash, M. Lavender Interiors added unexpected color, texture, and life to this craftsman kitchen. It harkens back to 1960s Italian villas but feels oh-so modern juxtaposed with bright white cabinets and a dark wood island.
20. Show off your best ceramics.
While craftsman-style kitchen ideas often focus on cabinetry, you can step out of the box with open shelves. They'll add an airy feeling to the space, and Caroline Pinkston's kitchen proves it. To make the shelves functional, show off your favorite ceramics, a few plants, and other kitchen necessities you reach for daily.
21. Bring the heat with a fireplace.
Want to ensure everyone gathers in the heart of the home? Add a two-way fireplace focal point. KTII Design Group created this cozy-as-can-be kitchen, with traditional craftsman cabinets and an island for everyone to help with dinner. We know cooking here on cold winter nights would be a dream.
22. Hide your appliances.
While the majority of this kitchen designed by Think Chic Interiors is timeless, there's one aspect that's purely modern: the microwave installed into the cabinetry. However classic you consider yourself, integrating your appliances is a smart way to ensure your Craftsman cook space is eyesore-free.
23. Pick a natural stone countertop.
When choosing countertops for a craftsman kitchen, narrow down your choices to natural stones like stone, quartz, and granite. Take inspiration from this beautiful hub designed by Melinda Kelson O'Connor Design. The kitchen island counter features a subtle veining that adds life to the whole room.
24. Bring in beautiful beams.
This sizable kitchen designed by Perlmutter & Freiwald feels warm but not overly spacious thanks to classic wood ceiling beams. No matter how many square feet you're working with, wood beams make a space feel more intimate and cozy. And that's a true hallmark of a craftsman-style culinary zone.
25. Don't shy away from understated touches.
While beautifully understated at first glance, this kitchen from Black Lacquer Design makes craftsman style feel elegant. Yes, the wood cabinets feature a Shaker design, but the paint color is delightfully unexpected. To make this space even more luxe, a striking stone covers the counters and the backsplash.
26. Go a bit glam.
Math may not be our strong suit, but here's a formula we understand: mint-colored cabinets + vintage art + a glamorous glass light fixture = a luxe craftsman-style kitchen. This beautiful design from Shannon Eddings has a bit of glamour that is striking without being overpowering.
27. Replace outdated light fixtures.
If your light fixtures have to go, switch them out with something that features a modern flourish, like the beautiful globe in this craftsman kitchen designed by House of Jade Interiors. The oversize glass shade gives off a warm glow, making for a cozy feeling which is a must in a craftsman kitchen.