I have a lot of clients who come in and say they have a house with a particular architectural style, such as Mid-Century Modern or Mediterranean, for example. The first thing I ask them, then, is if they want to keep the kitchen close to the same style. Not all clients have a clear idea of what they want and sometimes that’s just out of fear of trying something different. In this case, especially, they might like a particular design for their kitchen but feel that steering away from the home’s architecture could be risky.
In years past, it was common practice to keep the kitchen within the existing architectural style of the house, as it was thought that this would help maintain the integrity of the design. Our approach and sensibility to design have changed, though, so I let my clients know that it’s perfectly acceptable to stay within the same design as the existing architecture or to be more bold and eclectic, by putting modern design into a home with a more traditional architecture.
Do as the Italians do…mix it up!
In Italy, for example, a country that is much older than the U.S., there are a lot of homes built in past centuries with very distinct architectures. Yet Italians routinely opt to put modern kitchens in such homes. Today, as with fashion, interior design has become more personal and flexible, so the focus should be on creating a kitchen design that you feel comfortable with, that you like being surrounded by and that is a reflection of your lifestyle and your unique personality.
Find a balance
Start with thinking about what it is that you want and like, without letting existing factors inhibit you. Be free to evaluate different options. Designing a kitchen is a process and sometimes you have to play with many different scenarios before you can settle on a final choice. That’s part of the fun, so enjoy the exploration. And keep in mind that what’s important is that you build fluidity and cohesiveness in the final design, with all the elements complementing each other. That doesn’t necessarily come from sticking to the same style but from using creativity and a sense of balance.