One of the most charismatic portions of a home is the cook space — a spot that requires functionality as well as good taste. That means that in addition to a user-friendly floor plan, efficient appliances, and durable countertops, you also need to decide on a kitchen style that will make a lasting impression.
At any given moment, there are a few aesthetics that will be more popular than others. For example, traditional kitchens are the clear winners nowadays, followed by contemporary and transitional designs. But, at the end of the day, trends don't matter as much as what style speaks to you personally.
Whether you've moved into a new home and are taking on a kitchen remodel or you are looking to make changes to your existing space, the following kitchen styles and themes will guide you in the right direction.
1. Midcentury Kitchen
Mid-mod design works well in any room of the house, but we think it really stands apart in kitchens. Between the eye-popping atomic lighting, sleek cabinetry, and punchy backsplashes, a midcentury kitchen is guaranteed to be a conversation starter.
If you want to be authentic in your approach, a midcentury design can require a lot of work and patience. In other words, multiple trips to antique stores and consistently checking your fave vintage sellers online to score retro pieces that will stand out from the crowd. Additionally, if your budget allows, you might want to consider working with a midcentury-focused interior designer.
Also, all those antique pieces might require a lot of restoring — no one wants a Sputnik chandelier or atomic clock in their kitchen that falls apart within moments of hanging it.
For warm, minimal interiors that carry a hygge-like feel, look no further than a Scandinavian kitchen. Known for light wood finishes and cozy-meets-functional touches, the Nordic style is perfect for culinary spaces, with its timeless European flair. Consider natural materials, cool palettes, clean lines, and simple lighting to invite Scandi-chic visuals into your setup. Just keep in mind that the cost of natural wood elements, like flooring and cabinetry, tends to add up quickly.
3. Industrial Kitchen
Drawn from bygone factories and warehouses, industrial kitchens look just right in a space with an exposed brick wall. Top it off with raw materials, stainless steel appliances, open shelving, and edgy lighting. This look is ideal if you're not into kitchens that look "too perfect" or if you'd prefer something with a hint of edge.
This is a relatively easy aesthetic to pull off if you enjoy visiting flea markets and salvage yards for reclaimed items that will look right at home. But if you're in the market for something soft or streamlined, an industrial cook space is probably not for you.
4. Modern Kitchen
Modern style had its beginnings in the early to mid-20th century. Nowadays, the approach still looks hip and fresh and can be turned to when designing an au courant, yet timeless, kitchen. Some modern cook spaces include white finishes, elevated lighting, sleek backsplashes, and classic silhouettes. It's also an approach that tends to center around fairly expensive pieces, something to keep in mind if you're concerned about the bottom line.
5. Farmhouse Kitchen
Popularized by Joanna Gaines, the farmhouse kitchen is still going strong. Noted for its rustic backsplashes, country-inspired lighting, and signature apron front sinks, these customarily white culinary spaces can instantly return your home to a simpler time.
And since it's such an on-trend style, you can walk into nearly any big-box store to find farmhouse-friendly decor that will fit right and complete your pastoral design. These pieces are also relatively easy to track down at flea markets or through online vintage marketplaces.
If you feel like you see farmhouse kitchens everywhere you look, maybe you should consider another style instead, like contemporary or art deco.
6. Bohemian Kitchen
So maybe a typical kitchen style or even one that's "standard" isn't right for you. In that case, may we recommend a bohemian approach? To achieve the free-spirited look, include eclectic kitchen accessories, colorful tiled backsplashes, and lighting that incorporates natural elements. Top it all off with a vintage rug.
Since a boho kitchen pretty much has an "anything goes" approach, this might be one of the easiest styles around. That $5 vintage needlepoint you spotted at the garage sale? Loads and loads of plants? A DIY wood countertop? It'll all look right at home, and likely won't break the bank. In order to avoid a "messy" look, try to incorporate cohesion, when you can, by sticking to a tight color palette or displaying only your favorite items on floating shelves.
7. Minimalist Kitchen
In the arena of kitchen themes, there's one type of cook space that caters to those who are averse to clutter or fussy details. With the advent of the minimalist movement came minimalist kitchens, known for only displaying must-have items on the countertops, open space, and simple lighting.
If you're already a practicing minimalist, crafting a like-minded cook space should be no sweat. But if you're new to the aesthetic, get ready for a lot of hand-wringing over items you can't part with and decor you'd rather display than tuck away in the name of less-is-more.
8. Arts & Crafts Kitchen
If you're typically a fan of classic style and traditional elements, an arts and crafts kitchen design is definitely worth considering. Distinguished by warm wood finishes, unique patterns, vintage decor, and old-world charm, the aesthetic is undeniably rich in character and gives a stylish nod to its heritage.
9. Rustic Kitchen
A rustic kitchen isn't showy or glitzy. Among kitchen themes, it might be the most down-to-earth one of all. The features include handmade decor, well-loved wood, and woodsy accessories.
And since wood generally can be expensive in a kitchen, rustic designs can potentially be tough on the wallet. But aesthetically, they're fairly easy to pull off.
10. IKEA Kitchen
Yes, it's possible to design a floor-to-ceiling kitchen using mostly IKEA products. When pulling together your money-saving culinary ideas, look for utilitarian-meets-cool cabinets — and Euro-inspired kitchen essentials you can keep out on the counter. Bonus: IKEA kitchens are totally hackable.
The wonderful thing about IKEA is that you can literally walk into any brick-and-mortar location, spot a culinary display that you love, and buy everything you see to recreate the same exact setup at home. Difficulty level? So darn easy.
And if you're craving a kitchen with individuality, you may want to consider purchasing your cabinet fronts from brands such as Plykea or Semihandmade, as showcased in this design by Chris Loves Julia.
11. Transitional Kitchen
Why settle for one kitchen design style when you can combine two? With a transitional kitchen, you can do just that. The idea combines both traditional elements (think detailed millwork, curvilinear silhouettes, neutral palettes, rich wood and metal finishes, and intricate window treatments) with modern characteristics (such as clean lines, natural light, natural finishes, and simple window coverings). The end result: an aesthetic that looks au courant with a hint of retro charm.
Transitional can be a difficult look to nail down. If you're not quite sure how to toe the line between traditional and modern, it might be best just to pick one or the other.
12. Craftsman Kitchen
Spearheaded by early 20th century architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, the craftsman style introduced a new kind of modernism to the American home. The aesthetic still feels right for culinary spaces, marked by substantial wood cabinetry, sleek lines, prairie-style lighting, and brass touches. Since it follows a classic, and very specific, architectural style, a craftsman kitchen will require thoughtful planning, and perhaps the help of a pro.
13. Coastal Kitchen
Instantly transport your kitchen design to the beach with the help of an airy backsplash (fish scale tiles are preferred), bright white backdrop, cool blue accents, loads of natural light, and a dash of fresh greenery. Why not feel as if you're visiting a tropical island every time you prepare a meal? Besides, coastal kitchens are generally a breeze to implement. But if you've been dreaming of dark colors or hefty wood finishes, a coastal approach is definitely not for you.
14. Art Deco Kitchen
Make like F. Scott Fitzgerald and cover your kitchen in art deco flair. These can include horizontal lines seen in the cabinetry or flooring, dramatic kitchen islands, and 1920s inspired lighting. Otherwise known as, completely Instagram-worthy visuals.
As one of the most opulent looks for a culinary space, get ready for exhaustive planning and plunking down the bucks. It's not the easiest kitchen style, but if you're in love with the visuals, it will likely be worth the extra effort.
15. Traditional Kitchen
Beadboard paneling, kitchen cabinet trim, crown molding, vintage inspired light fixtures, and hardware flaunting a classic silhouette are just a few of the dreamy characteristics that you'll find in a traditional cook space. Follow the lead of interior designer Heidi Caillier and paint the cabinets in an on-trend color like sage green and consider soapstone for the countertops to keep the look feeling fresh.
16. French Country Kitchen
If you often fancy yourself cooking a meal in Provence, why not bring that beloved Francophile feel into your own cook space with the help of French country style? To nail this dreamy aesthetic, wrap in crystal or beaded chandeliers, toile linens, plaid patterns, and florals artfully displayed in vases.
As beautiful as it is, a French country kitchen isn't especially kind to the wallet. All those pieces look luxe for a reason, so if you're minding a budget, you might have to work extra hard to perfect these visuals.
17. Contemporary Kitchen
Although the words "modern" and "contemporary" are often used interchangeably, they are actually different from one another. Contemporary style typically refers to a space that feels very much right now, displaying new and unexpected decor. In a kitchen, this might mean using bold colors or thick countertops.
Much like modern kitchens, a contemporary design requires a high level of curation and thought. If those things appeal to you, absolutely move forward, but know that this can also be an expensive look to capture since the decor tends to be avant-garde or handmade.