For years the traditional style of home decorating has gotten a bad rap. Its worst examples have always been criticized as too formal, too regimented or just plain boring. However, this style has a lot more going for it than most people might think, thanks to current designers who’ve updated the best of its principles.
First, don’t think of a traditional kitchen as brick backsplash kitchen if it’s country or even a European style such as Tuscan. A kitchen done in traditional style incorporates English and French elements, but the colors are more muted, such as creams, light grays, soft greens, taupes, or warm whites. This kitchen decor also seeks, like Country, to bring nature inside, so its motifs include butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and fruit.
Yet while it’s eclectic, this is still a home decorating style that stands on its own. It brings in more homey touches, the kinds of details and ornaments that are absent from most modern kitchens, but it incorporates them in ways that avoid becoming cluttered. The focus is on creating a warm, homey mood for the kitchen, the room that is unquestionably the heart of every home.
Traditional style functions best in kitchens with many windows, especially a bay window if possible. This abundance of natural light highlights the natural materials used on the floors, for the cabinets and in furnishings. Brick, stone, marble or wood will be found in countertops and on the backsplash behind the sink, touches that give a Traditional kitchen a handcrafted look. Wood may be painted, but the paint probably will be a whitewash that allows the grain to show through.
Get rid of any ambiguous furniture and anything with the sleek, simple lines of Contemporary and Modern styles. Choose a few pieces from clearly defined periods, and then start building the design around these pieces. Choose molding and cabinet trims to fit the style of the central pieces. Then start mixing in elements from other periods that are compatible with the main style to achieve the eclectic blend that marks traditional style.
Use a pattern in the flooring, such as basket weave. If using stone flooring, look for irregular shapes to give the room a more natural mood (remember, bring nature inside!). Or mix a lighter stone like limestone with darker stone such as slate and place them in an irregular pattern. Top this flooring with floral rugs in acrylics that withstand traffic and spills.