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Kitchen Styles 101

If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen, it is helpful to first decide on the style of kitchen decor. Having a style in mind will guide your decision making as you select color palettes, counters and cabinets, and other accessories to furnish your new kitchen. No matter which style you choose, granite countertops can complement any type of kitchen style. Here is an explanation of some of the defining elements of each of the different kitchen styles.


Modern kitchen decor utilizes on neutral colors. It features a minimalist design with clean, and often horizontal lines. It also relies on the natural beauty of materials, rather than ornate decorations. In this style of decor, you are apt to see natural wood cabinetry. It is common for cabinets to be installed so that the grain of the wood runs horizontally, which contributes to the linear appearance.

Similarly, cabinetry is often flat-paneled, meaning that both the frame and hinges are hidden, which enhances the linear appearance. Drawer pulls are either non-existent or simple, often also running in a horizontal line. Because of this style’s reliance on neutral colors and natural materials, granite countertops can be a logical choice. Granite is available in a number of colors, and the natural veining can provide a natural elegance to this style decor. You will similarly want to select accent furniture and lighting that features straight, clean lines.


Contemporary decor is often confused with modern decor. Modern elements are often featured in contemporary decor. For instance, like modern decor, contemporary decor features full overlay or flat paneled cabinets. However, contemporary actually means “current.” So, contemporary style incorporates the latest trends. With this style, you are more apt to see the cutting-edge kitchen technology, like induction stovetops or automated faucets.

Also compared to modern decor, it incorporates more bold elements, like vibrant colors and mixed materials. Granite countertops can be perfect for a contemporary kitchen because it is available in dark and bold colors, like black, blue, golds, and so on. Alternatively, granite countertops can be mixed in various ways. For instance, you might have one color of granite installed in the center island and a different color on the countertops around the perimeter of the room. Or, you might mix granite countertops with a wood-top bar area. You can complete your contemporary kitchen with another contrasting material for your backsplash, like glass tiles.


One of the advantages to classic kitchen decor is that it offers flexibility. Classic kitchen decor features a neutral color palette. In particular, black and white are common in this style, such as white cabinetry. Countertops might also be white, or you might select black as a contrast. While architecture for this style is simple, it is not quite as linear as the previous two styles. You will want to select a simple shaker style for cabinet doors. Also, it is common to see feet on islands or crown molding, but these features are understated compared to traditional decor.


Traditional decor features ornate details. This style decor tends to utilize framed cabinetry, which means that the hinges are exposed on the outside, and in fact, they become an element of the decor. Hardware and hinges often have a bronze or brass finish to them. To complement the hardware, often cabinets have been painted with an antique finish as well, to give it a more decorative and aged appearance. It is common to see raised-panel cabinet doors and detailed crown molding between the cabinets and ceiling. Granite countertops are a common choice for traditional kitchens because of the high-end look that it offers. With traditional decor, you will want to select light colored granite. While you can select a polished finish, it is much more common to see a honed finish in traditional kitchens, which gives the granite a slightly matte appearance.


While there are many variations on rustic style kitchens, cottage kitchen decor is one that emphasizes a cozy, comfortable ambiance. With this type of kitchen style, you should select soft colors. Certainly white is common in cottage kitchens, but yellows or pastels also work well. Unlike the other styles, it is common to see open shelving instead of cabinets above the counter. For cabinets below the countertop, you should try to give it details to make it appear more like furniture than stationary cabinets. For instance, you might select cabinets that have legs, or you might paint the center island cabinets a different color. Granite countertops work very well in a cottage kitchen because it is available in light colors and the natural stone appearance gives it a rustic feel. Apron front sinks are also a common element in this type of decor.

Understanding the characteristics of the style of kitchen can help you select colors, cabinets, and accessories to complement the style. As you can see though, granite countertops can work with just any type of kitchen decor.