Category Archives: Home Improvement

Top 15 Stunning Kitchen Design Ideas, Plus their Costs – DIY Home Improvement Ideas for Fall 2016

Are you in the process of redesigning and remodeling your old, boring kitchen? If so, our in-depth guide to top kitchen designs and styles should be a great starting point to ignite your imagination.

From traditional to retro kitchen styles, our guide will help you visualize and conceptualize your new kitchen! The accompanying overview of costs and pros and cons associated with each kitchen style will help you weigh your options and plan your budget for the remodel of this important space in your home. 😉

Traditional Kitchen Styles

1) Classic Traditional

traditional kitchen


The first category and inherent style. It includes for our article 4 other styles. Traditional remains a very popular choice because of how cozy or homey it appears. It’s simple and not looking to make any bold statements. Traditional kitchens tend to utilize wood finishes with colors that are coordinated throughout the space. White, tan and cream are the usual colors. Patterns in a traditional kitchen are familiar and easy to relate to. The stove/oven is the focal point and there tends to be lots of cupboard space all around for noticeable storage.

Pros: it’s the classic style which is also one of the most popular, most designers and builders can implement the style and adding unique features are not seen as outlandish.

Cons: none really other than your personal style may want a more modern flavor, more bold colors are sometimes desired to represent owner’s personal style

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $25,000

“The evolution of kitchen designs and styles is truly fascinating. For thousands of years, it was no frills preparation, fire-based cooking and very basic cleaning. Often, not much of the latter as ventilating lots of smoke and curtailing mess from grease was a secondary consideration. Today, a kitchen relies on cleanliness for food hygiene, smart design for efficient operation, and thoughtful aesthetics for comfort, warmth, and overall appeal.”

2) Rustic

Rustic Kitchen By MorningStar Stone & Tile

“Store, prepare and cook food. That’s the 3 primary purposes of a kitchen. But what’s the fun in that when the modern kitchen offers so much more? Long considered the soul of the home, our kitchens today are fitted with so many conveniences, they are not just for preparing meals for guests, but also for hanging out with friends and family. Beyond the three main purposes, we also socialize, dine, clean, read, relax, and use our computers in this wonderful space within our homes.”


A variation of traditional is the Rustic style. This theme emphasizes wooden features and surfaces. Wood may be stained, but a clear stain that brings out the natural beauty of the wood grain is usually sought. Timber, stone and brick are all common materials to this style. Sand colored wood is possible, but rustic tends to rely on darker tones, particularly mahogany and reddish-brown.

redish-rustic-kitchen Via Houzz.com

Pros: the variation in materials to create a more bold look than ‘classic traditional’ is why this style appeals to many, a more rugged look that can be majestic

Cons: If implemented poorly or not well maintained, rustic appears worn and rough-hewn

Low-end cost for a full renovation including design, materials and labor by a licensed remodeling contractor is about $30,000+

3) Country Farmhouse

farmhouse-kitchen


This style can be challenging to tell difference from a ‘typical traditional’ kitchen. Color is certainly a noticeable difference. Where white and light colors are typical for traditional kitchens; red, blue and yellow are within the range of thematic choices. With a country kitchen, color is more about mixing than matching.

Pros: Of all the kitchens on this list, this may be the most open and inviting, donning a lived-in look

Cons: If elegant design, minimalism and strict color matching is your version of style, a Farmhouse kitchen is not for you

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $30,000

4) Craftsman/Shaker

kraftsman

This style is similar to rustic, in that it places premium importance on appearance of wood, but differs from rustic in that it is unlikely to appear worn. Instead, top quality wood grains and (as the name implies) craftsmanship is the theme. Shaker cabinets and drawers, along with handcrafted tiles are what marks this theme.

Pros: emphasis on quality is top notch in this style, adding in modern touches tends to work well

Cons: None really, but can be challenging to pinpoint this style as over reliance on modern features makes for more of a transitional character than traditional

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $40,000

5) Cottage

cottage

Cottage is a bit of an eclectic mix within the traditional category, but squarely in that. The style calls back to an earlier period where modern utensils don’t fit in so easily. Cottage tends to be a style that as you hunt for antiques and certain knick-knacks, it can likely be adapted to this style’s space without being out of place. Favored colors tend to be white or light, but like the Country Farmhouse, it favors mixing over matching.

Pros: perhaps the most simplistic, yet cozy of all the traditional types; has old world charm

Cons: persons with more elegant tastes will likely find this theme undesirable

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $45,000

Contemporary Kitchen Styles

6) Contemporary

contemporary-cottage-kitchen

This style is perhaps the most broad on the entire list of 15. People think ‘modern’ but that is actually its own sub-category pertaining to a specific era. Contemporary is really whatever is currently popular, and so 10 years from today, that might not be whatever are the trends right now in this style. But as this is a general style, it includes general themes such as: clean, linear lines; sleek styles and focus on function than on (traditional) elegance. Minimalism tends to be the norm in today’s contemporary kitchens, but that can easily have design trends that have a noticeable flavor. This is the only entry on the list of 15 where we’ll not include pros, cons, and costs as the category is just too broad for those type of specifics.

contemporary-cottage via IDesignArch.com

7) Modern

modern

Modern style is surprisingly not necessarily contemporary. It’s easy to confuse the two, and many do. But modern really refers to the style that occurred with thematic designers in the mid 20th century who were looking to break away from the traditional mold. Much of what they came up with is still with us today and is incorporated in many traditional kitchen types. Modern styles led to taking down of the extra wall in a kitchen, so person cooking a meal could still interact with people in the next room over (think parent looking after child in next room watching TV). The modern era made use of stainless steel far more than had previously been done, and utilized neutral/light colors on walls or backsplashes, while hardware and countertops were darker, to intentionally create a contrast.

Pros: Very easy to find designers and builders who can implement this style and who can likely make it unique to your own home, matching your tastes.

Cons: stainless steel is in, wood is less used, so perception of ‘natural beauty’ is lessened, but again deals with matter of personal taste

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $45,000

8) Luxury

Luxury Kitchen Design in Murray, KY via Heather Hungeling Design

This style is more conception than thematic. It’s contemporary to whatever the current era manifests as most expensive tools, most extraordinary details in design and richest materials available. Luxury kitchens have been with us for as long as kitchen spaces have existed. Luxury is perhaps best understood as a cross between (traditional) craftsmanship and contemporary gourmet.

Pros: being the best of the best has its merits

Cons: the average homeowner likely won’t even consider this option due to the expense

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): Not applicable as low end and luxury are incompatible. $40K is possible for luxury kitchen design.

9) Gourmet

gourmet

Gourmet kitchens are like the ‘man cave’ for chefs. Luxurious spaces that take the chore of cooking and make it as fun as humanly possible. For contemporary styles, it tends to be the trendsetter for many other styles wherever function is seen as more valuable than appearance. It’s enticing just to consider the feature set for today’s gourmet kitchens. This includes (but certainly isn’t limited to): six-burner stovetop, industrial strength ventilation system, separate refrigerator and freezer, separate wine cooler, self-sustaining luxury island, stove-top faucets, warming drawer, kitchen computer or flatscreen, and gadgets galore. The list of gadgets for gourmet cooking is a lengthy article itself, as whatever type of cooking is called for, a gourmet kitchen will want specific, quality gadget just for that, such as indoor smokers, specifically styled broilers, countertop steamers, and so on. Essentially, whatever you can think a restaurant might have, a gourmet kitchen probably does have, just at a smaller scale.

Pros: for the cooking hobbyist, there is no kitchen style that beats the gourmet kitchen

Cons: the style can be very expensive and is not modest, nor relying on traditional styles

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $50,000

10) Asian

asian

Asian is a style that embraces several far east cultural design elements. While it intuitively fits well in the ‘traditional’ category, it is for North American homeowners a contemporary stylistic choice. Wood is a very prominent material in the build, but is not rugged looking like a rustic kitchen. Similar to craftsman, but with a different ethnic version of craftsmanship. Simplicity and minimalism replace the excessive wants of the modern gourmet kitchen. All design items have either a simple (read as plain) style or an distinctly Asian bent. Trends are challenging to account for in this style, but our research finds darker colors are being included in this style more and more, including use of stone/granite backsplashes and countertops

Pros: ability to mix traditional craftsmanship with panache and contemporary features

Cons: none really, but the Asian style may not be for everyone, nor fit many households

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $45,000

11) Mediterranean

mid

Mediterranean is the luxury kitchen of southern Europe (along the Mediterranean sea). It is traditional to that area, and contemporary for North American tastes. Well crafted tiles and patterned designs on walls, countertops and flooring truly distinguish this style from others. Texture and variety of textures are huge in this style. Similar to the Country Farmhouse, mixing is conceptually better than matching within this style.

Pros: Elegance with panache, bold textures and well conceived patterns make for a style that’s intriguing and majestic

Cons: If simplicity, minimalism and color matching are your style, then Mediterranean kitchens are not for you

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $55,000

Transition Kitchens and Related Styles

12) Transitional

transitional via

Transitional kitchens are specifically conceived and designed as a mix between traditional and contemporary kitchen styles. While each kitchen style offers its own brand of creativity, transitional styles invoke creativity during implementation as a statement. Generally though, the theme of transitional is minimalism in design, and neutrality in colors. Such as shaker style cabinets and crown molding with no decorative ornaments. Mixing natural and manufactured materials is the norm. The goal of this style is to project balance and harmony. Transitional kitchens tend to be for couples/families where two themes are desired, and one style (transitional) is implemented to achieve a balance (between the two).

transitional-kitchen via Scottsdale Remodeling and Design

Pros: the best of both worlds (traditional and contemporary)

Cons: mixing two styles can appear awkward unless a pro designer is involved

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $40,000

13) Vintage

vintage

This style, similar to Retro (below), is an authentic renovation mixing old with new, intentionally. With Vintage, the choice is to be a lot like a Cottage, or perhaps Farmhouse, and utilize the tools, main cookware from pre-Industrial Revolution era. The look is critical, but this style is transitional. Finding harmony between Old World charm and modern conveniences is what makes for a Vintage style. Perhaps all this is debatable as Cottage itself would look identical to Vintage, but Cottage isn’t assuming there is desire to appease modern tastes. Vintage does.

Pros: panache through tradition, and convenience through modern touches

Cons: Same as any transitional – mixing two styles can appear awkward unless a pro designer is involved

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $45,000

14) Retro

retro-kitchen

Like Vintage, Retro mixes old with new, desiring to create an authentic early to mid 20th century kitchen. Think 1940’s to 1960’s style kitchen. And if having trouble imagining all the main details for each kitchen feature, then use a kitchen designer familiar with retro kitchen design. Use of stand-alone cupboards and shelving units are a staple in this theme. Old school refrigerators and black and white checkered flooring would make this theme readily apparent. While lots of contemporary gadgets would certainly appear out of place in this style, chances are good Retro will find a balance or way to include say microwave and dishwasher if at all possible.

Pros: panache through tradition, and convenience through modern touches

Cons: Same as any transitional – mixing two styles can appear awkward unless a pro designer is involved

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): Info not readily available, but likely expensive or around $50,000

15) Eclectic

eclectic-kitchen-with-mosaic-backsplash

This last style is the hodgepodge or miscellaneous category. It certainly can be an intentional theme, and the rebellion against needing to fit into a particular type of theme from this list. It’s finding your own style, your own colors, and going with that. Again, a pro designer can probably make that work better than non-designer type. With this style, you get to include whatever from this list appeals to you, and mix it with anything else on this list, or from your imagination. While the style is perhaps impossible to describe accurately, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done for good reason, such as reflecting a persons many travels, sense of humor or irreverence.

Pros: this style is likely to satisfy the exact tastes of the most important person, the home owner

Cons: everyone but you will find something to criticize about this style and dislike your utter non conformity to what is right and good in the world

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): Very challenging to account for, but $25,000 is fair place to start


Additional Costs and Other Considerations

As a home improvement project, a kitchen renovation is great in terms of satisfaction but very expensive, compared to other projects. According to this RemodelingImage, the Return On Investment (ROI) for a kitchen renovation is good. In other words, one can expect to get back about 67% of the value they put into it. That article notes higher costs than what this article has been suggesting, but that is average range, with a median cost around $60,000 in today’s prices, for major kitchen renovation.

The general rule for budgeting for kitchen remodeling is to spend at least 5% of the overall value of your home and not more than 15%. Less than 5% would actually devalue your home and more than 15% means you are less likely to get a decent ROI from the improvement. According to HGTV.com, the breakdown for what expenses are for a kitchen renovation are:

Design fees: 4%

Installation: 17%

Appliances and ventilation: 14%

Cabinetry and hardware: 29%

Countertops: 10%

Lighting: 5%

Flooring: 7%

Doors and windows: 4%

Walls and ceilings: 5%

Faucets and plumbing: 4%

Other: 1%

While a five figure price tag is very expensive, it is yet another reason to consider a designer. Yes, that is added cost, but it usually considerably less stress and more likely to achieve whatever your vision is, and match that with builders. Renovation can also be had over time, such that the improvement is done in phases. With many of the styles, not everything needs to occur at once, and a designer can help determine what phases make most sense for the type of style you want.