Modern or Traditional: Considerations for the Contemporary Kitchen

Modern or Traditional: Considerations for the Contemporary Kitchen

Creating a stunning kitchen design that works, as a centrepiece for the home is a detailed process blending together diverse elements to create a beautiful but functional space.

When deciding on a modern or traditional design there are six key elements you should consider:

Is your home modern or period?

Your architect or interior designer may have a vision for how they want your finished kitchen to appear, but often it’s left to the customer to create a kitchen once the building is complete.

First amongst your considerations should be the age and architecture of the house. A sleek, flush-fitting, minimalist kitchen in muted colours may not sit comfortably in a period home or even within traditional style new builds.

Conversely the curves, mouldings, wooden, rich or earthy tones associated with a traditional design can seem out of place within a contemporary or modernist house.

Contrast or conformity

There are no hard and fast rules, so if you really want to deliver the wow factor you could build a subtle, sharp, minimalist kitchen at the heart of your period home.

But where a design like this can work best is as a differentiator in a traditional property’s new extension, creating a stunning contrast as you move from the old to the new.

What you must do of course is consider your own personal taste. Some people prefer Renoir to Picasso, it’s the same with kitchens.

How are you going to use the space?

We like to think we build kitchens that are constantly in use, hotbeds of creativity and cuisine, but we know that isn’t always the case, that some are used irregularly or just for entertaining.

Functionality then is important; a bustling kitchen serving regular family meals may need a large range cooker and a design that reflects its cosiness at the heart of the home. Even within a contemporary home it’s possible to combine stylish modern design with comfort and practicality.

If though the room is more likely to be used for entertaining, with little everyday use, a space that is chic and impressive dialling back on appliances but up on elegance may be what you need.

We know from experience that use changes over time so it’s important to consider how you future proof your kitchen to meet your needs both now and the coming years.


The colour of your kitchen is dictated by three elements: flooring, walls, work surfaces and cabinets. The dominant feature in most kitchens therefore the most impactful is the cabinets.

In modern kitchens the cabinets, walls and work surfaces are often the same or similar shades of pale colours, with the emphasis on the elegance of the overall design, occasionally with a splash of colour to bring drama to the space.

Within more traditional designs you can create harmony and comfort within the room by using wooden finishes or expressions of the colours used elsewhere in the home.

Contemporary kitchen designs are not afraid of using a bold colour palette or contrasting wood and hand painted surfaces in their cabinetry, producing complementary finishes to create warm, liveable spaces.

Discuss the design in detail with your kitchen designer

Every new kitchen is a unique expression of design flair created through collaboration between customer and designer. Your kitchen designer should listen to your vision, elevating your ideas to create your perfect kitchen.

No matter what type of home you’re creating the designer is there to turn your vision into beautiful reality. They’ll also help with practical elements such as size, shape and colour of cupboards, location of the island, materials for work surfaces, different options for sinks & basins, a lighting plan, plus the best taps, fittings and appliances for each design.

Don’t settle for something you don’t like or doesn’t meet your needs, however after discussing your requirements in detail a good designer will produce a variety of designs to compare. After your feedback, they’ll evolve your preference into the perfect design for your kitchen.

See the drawings in 3D

You’ll never know exactly how a finished kitchen will look until you walk through the completed space and experience it first hand. However the next best thing are 3D rendered drawings showing just how your design looks within the space, including lighting, flooring and walls alongside the kitchen elements.

A good designer should show you the design from a variety of angles, enabling you to make changes before the first cabinet is cut, alter colours before the first brush is applied and move appliances before the first socket is wired.

No matter what type of kitchen you’re creating, modern or traditional, a great 3D render lets you experience the space well before the first kettle is boiled.

For more information about designing a perfect modern or traditional kitchen please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.