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How to choose from the most popular kitchen styles (a 6-step guide)

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newly renovated kitchen

Planning a kitchen is one of the most exciting stages of designing a house. But coming up with a design that meets all your needs isn’t as simple as it seems. There are so many factors to consider: choosing among popular kitchen styles, picking the right layout, selecting the materials to use, and more. 

In this guide, we’ll help you plan a stylish and functional kitchen for your home. We’ll make sure you don’t miss any details so that you’ll have a kitchen you’ll love for many years to come.

Let’s begin!

minimalist kitchen styles

Step 1: List your wants and needs

Any room in your house needs to align with your needs and lifestyle, but this is especially true for kitchens. Cooking in a poorly planned kitchen isn’t just stressful, it’s frustrating. So, to make sure that you have the kitchen of your dreams, you need to list all of your wants and needs.

Examples of these can be:

  • Appliances: Think of what kind of kitchen appliances you will need. Will you be fine with just a simple electric stovetop or do you need a high-end gas range? Do you consider double ovens a must-have? Can you live without a dishwasher? What kind of range hood would you prefer?
  • Kitchen island: The kitchen island is a special part of the kitchen because it’s essential for prep, but it can also be used as a dining area. Think of how you’ll utilise the island before coming up with a design.
  • Kitchen cabinets: Storage is essential for kitchens. Write a list of all the things you’ll need to put in cabinets so that you can estimate how much storage you’ll need. You should also ask yourself if you’d like open shelving or closed shelving. 
  • Taps: Think of how many taps you’ll need in your kitchen. Is one standard basin enough or would you like a pot filler? Do you want a tap on your island and on your benchtop?

Step 2: Choose a layout

Once you’ve listed down your needs and wants, it’s time to pick a kitchen layout. Whether you have a small kitchen or an expansive one, having a clever layout helps ensure that you can comfortably move and work throughout the space.

Consider the work triangle

When planning a kitchen layout, consider the work triangle. This is an “imaginary line” that connects the refrigerator, the basin, and the cooktop. 

When you put these three close together, you won’t have to walk a long distance each time you want to prepare a meal. You can take ingredients directly from the refrigerator, give them a quick rinse, and then toss them in a pot without a sweat.

Picking a kitchen shape

Choosing a layout means picking the right shape for your kitchen. Here are some options to consider:

One-wall kitchen styles

As the name suggests, all the kitchen elements are installed on a single wall. This layout is common in smaller houses and apartments. 

To make this layout work, add as much vertical built-in storage as you can. This will give you more space to store pots, pans, and utensils. 

While it’s not possible to create a traditional working triangle, there are ways to make this layout aesthetically appealing and ergonomic. Put your refrigerator at the end of one corner so you can have a clean, seamless design. Then, consider putting your sink right next to it. Install your cooktop on the other end to create visual balance.

one wall kitchen styles

Galley kitchen styles

Galley kitchens are like upgraded versions of one-wall kitchens. They consist of two rows of cabinets facing each other, creating a passage between them. 

To make a galley kitchen work, make sure that the stove and the basin are situated on the same side. This minimises the risk of bumping into other people while cooking.

U-shaped kitchen styles

U-shaped kitchen consists of cabinetry along three adjacent walls. This layout is ideal for large kitchens and also offers plenty of storage. 

To prevent this type of layout from feeling too constricting or enclosed, try using open shelving for the upper cabinets.

L-shaped kitchen styles

L-shaped kitchens feature two perpendicular walls. In some cases, you can add a small breakfast nook in one corner.

When designing L-shaped kitchens, make sure that the corner cabinets have enough clearance so that both can be opened without any concern.

Island kitchen styles

Island kitchens consist of one wall of cabinetry plus one centre island. This style of kitchen is great for large families who love to cook and eat together because it offers you a large prep space. This style of kitchen is ideal for open-plan homes.

island kitchen styles

Peninsula kitchen styles

A peninsula has a kitchen counter that runs off from a wall or cabinetry. Unlike an island, the peninsula isn’t a separate structure, so it’s ideal if you don’t have the luxury of space. The peninsula can be used for food preparation or dining.

Don’t forget ergonomics

Ergonomics plays a huge role in making sure that you’ll be comfortable preparing meals in your kitchen. Here are some points to consider:

Consult your building designer on the right height for your benchtop. Depending on your height, you may need a higher or lower workspace. 

The same goes for the height of your cabinets. You can place them a little lower or higher, depending on what you can reach.

Finally, consider the width of walkways. Ideally, it should be about 1 metre wide to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the kitchen.

Step 3: Pick from popular kitchen styles

Now that you’ve figured out the practical elements of your kitchen, it’s time to plan how it will look and feel. When doing so, you should ask yourself: would you like to keep the style consistent with your house’s building design? Or would you prefer a contrasting look?

There are advantages to choosing either option. Keeping the style consistent will make your house more cohesive and polished. On the other hand, choosing a different design for your kitchen will lessen the need for a massive update in case the style you chose starts looking dated.

Regardless of which route you choose, here are some popular kitchen styles to inspire you:

1. Traditional kitchen styles

Traditional kitchens have a formal, old-world feel. They’re known for showcasing the beauty of natural wood cabinetry with raised panels. In some of these kitchens, you may also see ornate glass doors and detailed crown mouldings.

traditional kitchen design

2. Farmhouse kitchen styles

Farmhouse kitchens are best for traditional, rustic-style homes. They’re characterised by their use of natural wood, Shaker-style cabinets, and a neutral, nature-inspired palette. In case hardwood is out of your budget, plywood is also another good option.

If you’re designing a farmhouse kitchen, consider using a butcher's block for your benchtop material. It adds a classic, vintage feel to the kitchen. If you’re up for it, you can also opt for a traditional range cooker.

For those who have traditional pots, pans, and plates, you can opt to put them on display with open shelves. Don’t forget to use traditional wooden chairs for your dining area, as well.

farmhouse kitchen design

3. Modern kitchen styles

Modern kitchens are adored everywhere due to their simple and clean aesthetic. Most contemporary homes have modern white kitchens with stainless steel or polished chrome appliances. 

To achieve this look, go for fibreboard cabinets with flat panels. They’re durable, easy to maintain and have a sleek finish. You can also opt for frameless cabinets with simple or no handles. Make sure that you have enough storage space for all your cookware and utensils – keeping them out of sight is essential in achieving a clean and minimalist look.

When it comes to benchtops, you can pick from granite, concrete, or quartz. You can choose a colour that contrasts with your kitchen cabinets and splashback for maximum impact.

modern kitchen styles

4. Coastal kitchen styles

Coastal-style kitchens are ideal for those who have beach houses or Hamptons-style homes. They’re filled with plenty of natural light and are characterised by clean, straight lines. They’re also notable for their use of white or sandy colours to give the kitchen a light and airy feel.

coastal kitchen design

5. Industrial kitchen styles

Industrial kitchen styles are reminiscent of commercial kitchens. They’re characterised by polished chrome, stainless steel, or copper finishes. Like other elements of industrial home design, industrial kitchens also feature exposed brick, pipes, and metal beams. Open shelving is also quite common.

industrial kitchen design

6. Transitional kitchen styles

Transitional kitchens combine the best features of traditional and modern ones. They can have sleek fibreboard cabinets but country-style furniture or benchtops. You can also pick Shaker-style cabinets with modern appliances and furniture.

transitional kitchen design

7. Eclectic kitchen styles

Eclectic kitchens are all about mixing and matching. But unlike transitional kitchens, eclectic ones tend to have more personalised and unique decor. Don’t be shy about using bold colours and kitschy accessories – as long as the overall space reflects your unique taste, they’re absolutely fine.

eclectic vibe in kitchen

8. Scandinavian kitchen styles

Scandinavian kitchens are refined, minimalist kitchens that boast clean lines, simple shapes, and natural materials. Most of these kitchens have a white and light brown colour scheme.

Step 4: Set your mind on a colour scheme

Choosing the right colour scheme will reinforce the style you want for your kitchen. While most modern kitchens have white cabinets, dark and moody kitchens are also starting to become quite popular. 

If you’re opting for a more rustic or traditional kitchen, don’t be afraid to play around with pastel colours, as well. These pastels go extremely well with a vintage-style refrigerator and a traditional gas range.

Step 5: Choose materials

Selecting the right materials is the most important step in planning a full kitchen renovation. Here are some options to consider:

Benchtops

Kitchen benchtops need to be both stylish and durable. Feel free to pick from the following options:

  • Sealed granite: Granite is the most popular choice for kitchen benchtops. It comes in a wide range of colours and styles, and it’s also extremely durable. Make sure to reseal it regularly so that it won’t stain.
  • Marble: Marble is another popular choice for people who want natural stone benchtops in their kitchens. While it has a stylish and high-end finish, it requires regular sealing and ongoing maintenance.
  • Quartz: Quartz countertops are made from a mix of crushed stones, dust, and glass. Unlike traditional stone, it’s not porous and does not need to be sealed. However, it can be pricy and prone to chipping.
  • Wood: Wood has a soft and traditional look that adds character to any kitchen. However, they require a lot of care and maintenance. 
  • Concrete: Concrete benchtops are perfect for minimalist or industrial kitchens. While they’re durable and easy to clean, they can also be a little expensive. You’ll need to find a skilled technician who can fabricate a custom benchtop for your kitchen.
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel benchtops are usually found in industrial kitchens, but they’ve found their way into homes in recent years. They’re easy to clean and maintain, but they often have a cold and utilitarian appearance.
grey kitchen design

Tiles

When it comes to kitchen tiles, you have to consider your budget and the design you want. Natural stone tiles are more expensive and require more maintenance, but they add plenty of warmth and charm to your kitchen. You can pick from marble, limestone, travertine, or slate.

Meanwhile, man-made ceramic and porcelain tiles are more budget-friendly. These days, you can also find kitchen tiles that mimic the look of stone and wood, so you can still have a stylish kitchen without blowing your budget.

Superdraft tip: While subway tiles are extremely popular, you can go for more uniquely shaped and patterned tiles. This will give your kitchen a one-of-a-kind look.

Flooring

Kitchen flooring needs to be durable enough to withstand heavy traffic as well as occasional spills. Here are some of your options:

  • Porcelain or ceramic: Porcelain or ceramic tiles are time-tested options for kitchens. They’re durable and also resistant to staining.
  • Vinyl: Sheet vinyl flooring is a budget-friendly and durable option. They’re moisture-resistant and are ideal for both kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Concrete: Concrete is extremely durable and non-porous. They can also be dyed into a wide variety of colours.
  • Engineered wood: Engineered wood has the appearance of solid wood, but is more durable and requires less maintenance. It can work well for rustic and traditional kitchens, as well as for minimalist Scandinavian-style homes.
  • Laminate: Laminate is another budget-friendly option for people who want to mimic the look and feel of real wood.

Step 6: Think of a lighting concept

Adequate kitchen lighting is essential for your safety and convenience. You have to be able to see what you’re preparing and cooking very clearly, no matter what time of the day.

Consider adding ceiling spotlights together with wall lights. You should also consider under-cabinet lighting so that you can clearly see what’s on your benchtop.

Accent lighting can be pendant lights for islands or dining tables. If you have an industrial-style kitchen, cage pendant lamps can also work.

How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

The ideal budget for kitchen renovation in Australia is around $10,000 to $20,000* for smaller kitchens but can go up to $20,000 to $45,000* for med-size to larger kitchens. The overall costs depend on the size of the kitchen, the materials chosen, and the appliances selected.

To get a clear idea of how much you need to spend on kitchen renovation, ask us for a free quote. We’ll also help you find highly capable building design experts for your project.

*Rates are only rough estimates.

How long does kitchen renovation take?

Kitchen renovation can take 4 to 5 months, including 6 to 8 weeks of planning and 4 to 12 weeks of construction.*

At Superdraft, we have an easy-to-use project planning dashboard that allows you to keep track of your project on the go. Here, you can get real-time updates about the renovation and communicate with building design experts.

*Timelines are only rough estimates

new coastal kitchen

Start your kitchen renovation project now

Choosing the right style and layout for your kitchen helps ensure that you can prepare meals for your family or entertain guests with ease. The layout needs to be appropriate for the size and shape of your kitchen to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. As for the look, you can pick from traditional, modern, or contemporary styles.

At Superdraft, we can help you make sure that your kitchen renovation project is as stress-free as possible. Using our free platform, you can:

  • Get matched with reliable building design or drafting professionals who can help you plan your dream kitchen
  • Find skilled and dependable builders who can execute the project smoothly
  • Understand all the requirements to get council approval for your renovation plans
  • Monitor and manage your project online

Sign up for Superdraft now!

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