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10 Iconic Ways to Style Your Kitchen

Whether you're crazy for the '60s retro look, love the ultramodern minimalist trend, or the simplicity of traditional Shaker styling, there's a kitchen style to suit everyone.

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kitchenFribus Mara/Shutterstock

Farmhouse Kitchen

A farmhouse kitchen evokes an atmosphere of warmth and homeliness, so the décor features traditional wooden cabinets, often in honey-toned aged pine. A wood floor is also popular, as well as exposed beams on the ceiling for added effect. And, you’ll often find a large scrubbed pine table or island at the heart of a farmhouse kitchen. Open shelving displays your accessories and crockery, and a farmhouse sink with goose-neck faucet completes the look.

Beadboard is another signature element – install genuine board if you’re feeling confident, or cheat with paneling or even pre-pasted textured wallpaper to keep it simple. And here are 15 more fabulous ways to add farmhouse styling to your kitchen.

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VintageVisun Khankasem/Shuttersstock

Vintage ’70s-Inspired Kitchen

Bring the vintage appeal of the ’70s into your kitchen style. With a color palette based on mustard, avocado, chocolate and orange, a 70s-inspired kitchen should include darker wood or pine cabinets with paneled doors. Tile-effect vinyl flooring is authentic and practical, and retro tiles for countertops and backsplashes add a thematic touch. Looking for more vintage color themes? Check out these kitchen colors straight out of Grandma’s house.

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Shaker Style Kitchen

Reminiscent of mid-18th-century styling, a Shaker-inspired kitchen feels tranquil and homey. The overall theme is practical and beautiful, in keeping with its traditional origins, so you won’t find ornate moldings or fussy design here. Local timber is preferred for floors and cabinets, either left plain to show the natural beauty of the wood or painted white or pastel tones.

Open shelving and glass-paneled units display traditional accessories like a mortar and pestle and Mason jars.

Wooden accessories like chopping boards and peg rails for holding dish towels and aprons are in-theme. This is the best Mason jar hack we’ve ever seen,

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interiorAnna Andersson Photografi/shutterstock

Fabulous Fifties Retro Kitchen

Fifties retro styling is funky, fun and creating your own ’50s kitchen is simple. Built-ins are simply designed, often with sliding doors, and with unembellished pulls. But, free-standing kitchen furniture also works this style well. A checkerboard floor makes a real statement and looks great with either pastel tones such as buttercream or mint, or stronger red accents.

A plastic laminate countertop celebrates the style, and there are plenty of retro small appliances to display on it, such as a mixer, toaster and electric tea kettle. And, don’t forget the ’50s fabrics and wallpaper for those finishing touches.

Take a look at our cooking-in-style flashback for further inspiration.

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Modern alexandre zweiger/Shutterstock

Modern Monochrome Kitchen

In complete contrast, a modern monochrome kitchen is both sleek and stylish. The color palette is most definitely black and white, although an occasional splash of color from potted plants or natural wood can soften the severity a little. Kitchen units are usually well-fitted and unbroken by details like knobs and handles, and concealed storage is a must to retain the uncluttered feel.

Countertops in black or white marble look fabulous, and railed or pendant lights in black or brushed steel are often featured, as well as wall-mounted spotlights for accented illumination. Monochrome accessories like wall art and dishes complete the look.

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Traditional Colonial Kitchen

Nothing screams traditional kitchen style better than historic colonial decor. The classic feel is achieved through the use of dark wood, often with elaborate scrollwork and decorated cabinets throughout. Glass-front doors are popular for displaying vintage crockery and accessories. Flooring is usually tiled or natural wood, and exposed brickwork and overhead beams enhance the look.

A recessed hearth area is a superb feature, often including a hanging space for old-style skillets or a Dutch oven. Lighting often features scrollwork to match the overall theme. Your cookbook collection would look fabulous housed in a colonial-style bookcase. Here’s how to build one.

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contemporary ariadna de raad/Shutterstock

Industrial Steel Kitchen

With more than a touch of the commercial look, an industrial steel kitchen is ultra-modern and incredibly practical. Brushed steel cabinets and appliances are essential, perhaps broken up with accents in natural wood to avoid overkill, and usually unbroken by handles or knobs. Storage is generally concealed.

Appliances can be free-standing or incorporated into cabinets for a more unified look. A steel vent hood is often present and there is often a rail with hanging hooks for cooking utensils. Further stainless steel touches could include a trash can, a cart, bar stools and of course, the sink and faucet. Installing a steel backsplash is easier than you think—follow our step-by-step guide to see how it’s done.

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CountryGordon Swanson/shutterstock

French Country Kitchen

You can almost smell the aroma of lavender and fresh herbs in a French country kitchen. Evoke all the sun-soaked beauty of Provence with signature earth tones of brown, cream, rust and muted greens. Glass-front cabinets are popular in this style, along with open plate racks and bench seating with cushions.

Add tiled flooring and a backsplash for a truly French feel, and choose floral fabrics for curtains. Accessories should include hanging copper pans and cooking utensils. New cabinets are not essential for a kitchen facelift. Just give your existing ones a clever makeover. Here’s how.

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Nordic Kitchen

With its open airy feel and gorgeously clean lines, a Nordic kitchen is a great choice for those seeking beauty and serenity. Everything here is functional and aesthetically pleasing, without any frills or flounces. This minimalistic styling makes great use of natural wood, generally in light tones, especially with wood flooring and cabinets, and even countertops.

The Scandi kitchen look has a limited color palette, often utilizing grays and charcoals punctuated with the occasional splash of color. Yellows and greens are popular, or opt for red to get a more traditional look. Pendant lighting overhanging a breakfast bar or food prep area is another signature feature.

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home John Wollwerth/Shutterstock

Eclectic Kitchen

And what if you can’t make up your mind? No problem! Just create an eclectic kitchen with elements of all your favorite styles. Anything goes here, so let your imagination take flight by including mismatched kitchen furniture, freestanding units and appliances, and even mix-and-match countertops. Use a medley of colors or limit yourself to a few, and include special touches like classic storage solutions, ethnic glassware or antique kitchenware. A pantry is especially useful in an eclectic kitchen. Check out these 10 genius ideas for building one.

Elizabeth Manneh
Elizabeth is an experienced freelance writer, specializing mainly in digital health & transformation, health & wellness, and education & learning. She's been published on,, The Family Handyman, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and The Good Men Project. She was also a regular contributor to Love Live Health and Daily Home Remedy. Elizabeth is a retired primary school principal and education consultant, with a continuing passion for education and learning.

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