A Complete Guide to Kitchen and Bathroom Design Styles
May 31, 2022
Reinventing your kitchen or bathroom design is an exciting (if somewhat daunting!) venture. Choosing the right layout, storage, cabinets, tile, countertops, and appliances can change how you live and work in your home. These key living spaces influence the home’s functionality and your enjoyment of home life. They also affect the resale value if you plan to move in the future.
Gone are the days of purely functional cabinets, light fixtures, and flooring. Instead, today’s kitchen and bath designs incorporate top-quality materials, furniture-style cabinetry, comfortable seating, and trendy light fixtures that highlight your personal style. Kitchens and bathrooms have also become more integrated with living and entertainment areas, meaning their style and color scheme are key components of any home’s aesthetic design.
With so many choices available for kitchens and bathrooms, where should you start to create a style icon at the heart of your home? Our complete guide to kitchen and bathroom design styles will walk you through the process.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Kitchen and Bath Design Style?
Start finding your perfect home design aesthetic by assessing what style you want to portray in your home living spaces. Here are a few things to consider.
Your Home’s Current Style
Does your home already have a clear design aesthetic? If your entry, living areas, and bedrooms are all traditional, does it make sense to install a modern style kitchen design? Consider your existing home style and if you like it, stick with it. Another option is to go with a transitional or eclectic design that pairs your favorite elements of your existing rooms with a fresh style.
Have you decided it’s time to change your home style? You may feel your kitchen design style is outdated, or perhaps you are looking for a bath design that is easier to maintain. Consider your existing space and figure out what you like and do not like. Make a list, call a family meeting to discuss it, or just spend time on your favorite design sites browsing styles. If you are no longer in love with your cottage-style home, start by changing your kitchen design style and then make small alterations to other parts of your home to align them with your new kitchen. Or go all out with a first floor or total home remodel to give your family’s home the makeover it deserves.
The Room’s Position
Look at which room you are remodeling and consider how closely it connects to the rest of your home. An open-plan kitchen design is integrated with the surrounding living areas and should flow in layout and style with the rest of your home. If, however, your kitchen is enclosed, you could vary its style from other rooms. Similarly, a bathroom design that forms part of a primary suite should complement the adjacent bedroom, but a small powder room could embrace a distinctive design aesthetic that does not match the rest of the home.
How Long You Plan to Stay
Are you creating a bathroom or kitchen design intended for your long-term use, or do you plan to update and then sell your home soon? If you are remodeling for your own family, then choose a style you will love to live in. If you plan to sell soon, you are better off sticking to a design style that will appeal to a wide range of potential home buyers. Talk to local real estate agents and look at the top listings in your area to see what styles are popular in your market.
What Influences Your Style
Many things could influence your home design style, from a treasured piece of artwork to a favorite vacation spot. You may start with a material you adore like marble or rustic wood or a favorite color like sky blue and let the rest of your design aesthetic fall into place around that one influence. Or you could be inspired by a friend’s home or by photos you saved on Pinterest or Instagram. Take whatever inspires you and use this as a foundation for your design style. Bring along these influences to share with your kitchen and bath design expert at your first meeting.
Available Space and Layout
Most design styles can fit into any size kitchen or bathroom when you apply a healthy dose of design knowledge and creativity, but it helps to know your final layout before you start planning details. Before you finalize your style, consider the space you must work with and the preferred layout for your room. If you want to change the layout, can your room’s footprint support this? If not, can you expand by knocking down an internal wall or bumping out an external wall? For example, if space is at a premium in a small kitchen design, it may be impractical to replace all upper cabinets with rustic floating shelves for a farmhouse look.
The main layouts for kitchen designs include:
- L-shaped kitchens position cabinetry and workspace along two walls in an L-shape.
- One-wall layouts focus on storage and appliances along a single wall.
- Galley-style kitchens are ideal for a narrow kitchen, where cabinets sit along two opposite walls.
- U-shaped kitchen designs utilize three cabinet storage and workspace walls to create more storage and an efficient workflow.
Depending on your available space, an island or peninsula can be added to any of these kitchen design layouts. Islands come in all shapes and sizes to suit many kitchen layouts, but make sure you do not go too big or small for your kitchen footprint. In a large kitchen remodel, you could even include more than one island, with one focusing on food prep and the other for dining and entertaining. If an island does not fit your space or tastes, consider installing a peninsula instead by extending countertops and cabinetry from base cabinets or walls.
For bathroom designs, the layout options are not as simple to define, but they may include:
- A full bathroom typically includes a toilet, sink and vanity, bathtub, and shower enclosure along one or two walls.
- A three-quarter bath includes the same elements as above but without the bathtub.
- A master bathroom design with a larger footprint allows for greater versatility in the layout and could include fixtures along several walls. It could also incorporate a freestanding tub positioned near a window or even in the center of the room as a focal point! [CM2] The larger, versatile layout means you can customize the position of key fixtures, like adding a half wall next to the toilet or a separate toilet compartment for extra privacy.
- A powder room typically only includes a sink/vanity and a toilet along one or two walls.
Not all bathrooms are perfectly square (or even rectangular), so you often must work with what you have. Your bathroom design professional will help you determine how to get the most out of your space or even decide if you can extend your bathroom to create a more flexible layout.
Top Choices for Kitchen and Bath Design Styles
Once you understand your room’s ideal layout and your design influences, you can select a style that works with your home design vibe and enhances your room’s functionality. Here are the top kitchen and bathroom design styles.
The traditional look is a timeless classic. It embraces quality materials, elegant embellishments, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Wood cabinetry and natural stone surfaces, with color schemes in muted blues and greens or classic neutrals, feature in a traditional space. Furniture style cabinets and raised panel cabinetry fit very well in this design, along with a few tasteful wood details like decorative molding. Antique hardware and ornate light fixtures are the ideal accessories for a traditional bathroom or kitchen design.
A design that evokes a contemporary style is sleek and minimal but without being stark. Contemporary kitchen and bath designs take on board elements of the latest trends in style and technology but always tend toward clean lines and less embellishment. These clean design lines carry through to hardware, faucets, freestanding tubs, and showerheads, which means a contemporary design is easy to clean and maintain. Cabinetry for contemporary spaces sticks to flat panels or slabs with a frameless door style and customized storage solutions that keep everything organized (and off your countertops!). Floating shelves with carefully chosen contents fit well in a contemporary space. While cool, neutral color schemes are popular, as well as light wood tones, contemporary designs can also incorporate a bold color choice.
Example of Contemporary Style Bathroom Design
Can’t decide whether you love traditional or are ready to embrace a more contemporary home design style? Transitional kitchen and bathroom design is the answer! This style includes the best of both design aesthetics, letting you pick and choose your favorite elements of both. It tends to focus on the clean lines and functionality of contemporary styles paired with some embellishment and warm details of traditional. Cool color palettes like blues and grays are popular, as are more traditional color schemes like brown or white. Other colors like this year’s popular green tones also play a role but keep your color scheme simple with one or two base colors.
Example of Transitional Style Kitchen Design
The modern design movement started in the first half of the 20th century and focuses on minimalism with strong, clean lines. Without extra embellishments, high-quality natural materials, flat surfaces, and handleless cabinetry define a modern kitchen or bathroom design. The modern design aesthetic is an angular and simple yet elegant style. Black, white, and basic neutral color schemes feature strongly in modern kitchen designs or bathrooms.
Example of Modern Style Kitchen Design
And Many Other Design Styles!
While these are the most popular styles, there are many others to choose from if you have a clear design aesthetic in mind. Here is a brief rundown of other top styles for kitchen and bathroom design.
- Farmhouse designs evoke the charm of country living, with apron-front sinks, sliding barn doors, shaker cabinets, and quality wood accents like paneling and open shelves. Modern farmhouse designs take a softer approach to this style, pairing farmhouse accents with more transitional lines.
- Rustic spaces bring in textured surfaces and natural materials like distressed cabinetry and live edge wood countertops or shelves.
- Industrial designs focus on a functional and urban kitchen or bathroom design style featuring exposed brick, concrete, glass blocks, and pipes. Metal accents like iron barstools, matte black hardware, and statement light fixtures all accessorize a modern industrial bathroom or kitchen design.
- Coastal spaces bring the beach vibe into your home. Blues, greens, and crisp white are all ideal color schemes that make you feel like you are near the ocean. Plenty of natural light from large windows and doors soaks you in sunshine like a day at the beach. Glass front upper kitchen cabinets let the light shine throughout your room and make your kitchen feel bigger. Accessorize a coastal design with rope textures, natural stone, or even a selection of shells or sea glass.
- Craftsman design lets top-quality materials and carefully crafted features take center stage. The craftsman movement was a reaction to mass production, so handmade tiles and top-quality shaker wood cabinets are all popular in craftsman kitchen designs and bathroom remodels.
- Cottage features everything you could imagine in a cozy country cottage. Stick to open, airy spaces with soft colors, floral motifs, beadboard details, and repurposed vintage furniture. Hardwood floors bring extra warmth to a welcoming cottage-style home.
- Eclectic is the perfect approach if you love elements of more than one style. Pick a theme, stick to it, and add elements of your favorite design styles. Avoid overdoing it, so your eclectic kitchen or bath design [CM6] does not become chaotic and cluttered, but do not be afraid to pair some unusual elements together to let your personality shine through.
Are you still unsure which kitchen or bathroom design style is right for your home? Our Gainesville, FL showroom has everything you need to find the perfect style for your home remodel, plus our team of experts can help you turn your design vision into reality. It helps to see products, materials, and even full design displays in person. Even better, we are the area’s top location for unique giftware and home accessories so that you can finish off your design with the perfect decorative details. Stop by our showroom to get inspired!