Classic Traditional Kitchens to Inspire

I hope these Classic Traditional Kitchens to Inspire provide help with your kitchen design plans. While most examples here are more casual or country kitchens, you’ll notice there truly is a range of interpretations for classic style. While spacious kitchens with giant center islands are commonly seen online, today’s inspiration also includes a selection of realistic, smallish, u-shaped kitchens which don’t accommodate an island of any size.

Classic Traditional Kitchens to Inspire

White cottage kitchen by Heather Chadduck (photo by David Hillegas) with stenciled painted wood floor. #paintedfloors #cottagekitchens
Design: Heather Chadduck; Photo: David Hillegas

Ina Garten’s Classic Approach to Kitchen Design

This glimpse at Ina’s kitchen in Rockefeller Center is from 2009, but the kitchen’s timeless good looks and her evergreen advice make this truly worth revisiting. She loves a simple approach to kitchen design and provides concrete tips for it.

For a more detailed discussion of traditional style – keep reading.

English Country Style Kitchens

Some of our very favorite kitchens on Hello Lovely hail from the English countryside.

deVOL kitchen with dark gray blue cabinets and open shelving. #englishcountry #europeankitchen
Just in case you need kitchen design inspiration: deVOL Kitchens.

But thanks to a presence in the US, deVOL Kitchens can help you create the English country kitchen of your dreams.

Dreams?

English country bespoke deVOL country kitchen with putty cabinets, rustic beams, and Old World style. #devol #puttycabinets #englishcountrykitchen
deVOL

What timeless beauty!

European Inspired Kitchens to Inspire

Who wouldn’t smile every time they entered this French bistro-like kitchen?

French bistro style white kitchen with open shelving and waterfall island - photo by Annie Schlechter.
Country Living – Photo: Annie Schlechter

I just love how clean and fresh it feels. For a much simpler, rustic warm, pared down look, here’s a beautiful country kitchen:

Beautiful English country bespoke kitchen by deVOL Kitchens. COME TOUR THESE Classic Traditional Kitchens to Inspire! #classic #countrykitchen #englishcountry #shaker #traditional #kitchendesign
Just in case you need classic kitchen inspiration: deVOL Kitchens.

French Country Kitchens

Sometimes a charming French look can happen outside of France!

Rustic French country white country kitchen by Myra Hoefer in a Parisian 1925 home.
In case you love a Paris inspired kitchen by Myra Hoefer – see her home here.

An Australian Cottage Kitchen

The restrained color palette heightens the kitchen drama and feels modern in spite of traditional elements. I spy classic materials for cottage kitchens including beadboard, vintage creamware, open shelving, and an apron front farm sink.

Kara Rosenlund rustic white country kitchen with open shelving and vintage treasures.
Just in case you love cottage kitchen inspiration from Kara Rosenlund

Connecticut Farmhouse Kitchen

Another kitchen with white cabinets and open shelving, yet this one invokes a different mood.

Gorgeous open shelving with white beadboard and collected English silver and lacework china in this modern farmhouse kitchen. Designer Nicole Fisher created this "residential retail" show house and family home for One King Lane president Debbie Propst. #farmhousekitchen #whitecabinets #beadboard #openshelves
In case a vintage farmhouse kitchen interests you from One King’s Lane

Kitchens from Sarah Richardson

We have explored Sarah Richardson designed kitchens over the past decade.

Sarah Richardson designed cottage kitchen with rustic elegant details and soft blue-green color palette - photo by Stacey Branford.
Design: Sarah Richardson; Photo: Stacey Branford

Her off the grid farmhouse in Ontario is a favorite (find the story here), and here’s a short video where she takes us behind the scenes. Sarah knows her way around classic design that feels fresh. Take a look!

Scullery in Atlanta

If light blue kitchens thrill you, you may love this one.

Elegant blue pantry with open shelves, round window, and handmade tile backsplash. Designed by Matthew Quinn and Lauren DeLoach for Atlanta Southeastern Designer Showhouse 2017. #bluekitchen #farrowandballlightblue #timelesskitchen #kitchendesign #traditionalkitchen
see this kitchen here.

U-Shaped Traditional Kitchens

I don’t think I’m alone in being interested in smaller kitchens in apartments and cozy houses.

Small classic traditional kitchen with black and white flooring and two tiered upper cabinets taking advantage of every inch of vertical space. #smallkitchen #ushape #kitchendesign #classic #traditional
via BHG

It’s inspiring to see how every inch is utilized for function, yet they also manage to be beautiful!

Go big or go home?

Small all-white kitchen with wood accents, open shelves and vertical storage. #smallkitchen #traditional #whitekitchen #openshelves
One King’s Lane

Okay!

And is it really the worst thing when you have to rub shoulders with family and friends in the kitchen?

Small classic u-shaped white kitchen with black counters and wood floor. #classickitchen #smallkitchen #ushape #kitchendesign
Beautiful u-shaped kitchen via Modern House Magz.

Isn’t this tiled wall unexpected for such a wee space?

Kevin Dakan kitchen via Remodelista. Small white classic kitchen with glazed tile statement wall and dark counters. #smallkitchen #ushape #kitchendesign
Kevin Dakan via Remodelista

Traditional and dreamy!

Traditional Kitchen inspiration including this small u-shaped classic kitchen with wood floors and white cabinets. #smallkitchen #kitchendesign #ushape #traditional
via Decoist

Black and white are such a tried and true combo for classic kitchens of all sizes.

Come see these photos of lovely white classic traditional kitchens including this u-shaped one with dark counters. #kitchendesign #smallkitchen #classic #traditionaldstyle
source: BHG

Thoughts on Traditional Design

What Makes It Traditional Style?

Traditional isn’t trendy or stuck in the past. It honors the past by incorporating antiques and beautiful print fabrics that feel timeless. Secondly, traditional style relies on comfortable furniture and cabinetry with clean lines, familiar silhouettes, and symmetry.

Country kitchen with black French range, brick backsplash and green-gray cabinets - photo by Emily Gilbert. #statementrange #countrykitchens
Country Living – Photo: Emily Gilbert

Thirdly, senses of order and calm are priorities. Finally, comfort ranks high on the priority list guiding decorating design decisions.

Beautiful modern farmhouse kitchen with light grey cabinets, brass hardware, and blue Ilve Majestic range - Finding Lovely. #modernfarmhouse #kitchendesigns #ilvemajestic #greykitchens
Finding Lovely...hello lovely indeed.

Traditional Origins

How Did Traditional Interior Design Develop? Traditional style developed as a result of furniture designs, interiors, and decor hailing from the 1800s and earlier in European countries.

Country kitchen with skirted farm sink and aqua accents - photo by Laurey W. Glenn. #skirtedsink #farmsinks
Country Living – Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Warm wood tones and rich colors associated with elegance and comfort are associated with traditional decor. A neutral palette or tone on tone is also widely celebrated. Prints such as damask, plaid, paisley, stripe, and floral are all commonly embraced for home decor fabrics, furniture, curtains, pillows, and bedding.

Light blue kitchen with plate rack - design by Rachel Hardage Barrett (photo: Hector M. Sanchez). #bluekitchens #cottagekitchens
Design: Rachel Hardage Barrett; Photo: Hector M. Sanchez

Enduring Appeal of Traditional Decor

Why Does Traditional Interior Design Endure? Timeless and traditional style works because it has withstood the test of time! Qualities of warmth, sophistication, and a sense of history or context flow from it.

Barbara Westbrook designed kitchen with marble topped table - photo by Eric Piasecki. #rusticelegance #countrykitchens
Design: Barbara Westbrook; Photo: Eric Piasecki

Rather than push the envelope or experiment, traditional leans into the tried and true. Still, there are a wide range of creative interpretations for traditional interior design style!

Sally Wheat kitchen. Come see 36 Best Beautiful Blue and White Kitchens to Love! #blueandwhite #bluekitchen #kitchendesign #kitchendecor #decorinspiration #beautifulkitchen
Sally Wheat Interiors

Traditional interiors can be exciting and fresh without the influence of the latest and greatest new fashions on the runway.

F&B Blue Ground painted ceiling in a lovely cottage kitchen by Madcap Cottage (photo by Max Kim-Bee). #blueceilings #farrowandballblueground
Farrow & Ball Blue Ground – Design: Madcap Cottage; Photo: Max Kim-Bee

Design Elements Traditionalists Love: Antiques with a story and pleasant lines are important in traditional design.

Fifi O'Neill designed kitchen with skirted base cabinets and rustic style (photo by Max Kim-Bee). #rustickitchens #frenchfarmhouse
Design: Fifi O’Neill; Photo: Max Kim-Bee

Secondly, hardwood flooring in warm, rich tones is a popular choice. Thirdly, traditional furniture tends to be more comfortable and formal.

Beautiful Blue and White Kitchen with blue ceiling and beadboard backsplash. Come see 36 Best Beautiful Blue and White Kitchens to Love! #blueandwhite #bluekitchen #kitchendesign #kitchendecor #decorinspiration #beautifulkitchen

Furniture details such as claw feet, carvings, medallions, tufting, gilding, and fluting are often present. Fourthly, traditional fabrics tend to be higher end as they intend to stand the test of time. Specifically, linen, velvet, silk, and leather are traditional choices for textiles.

Charming country kitchen breakfast nook with bistro table - photo by David Tsay. #breakfastnooks #farmhousekitchens
Country Living – Photo: David Tsay

Finally, in terms of silhouette, traditionalists admire Gustavian, Queen Anne, Classical French. Chippendale, Sheraton and historical furniture styles that continue to be relevant today.

Blue kitchen base cabinets and white uppers in a beautiful country design - photo by David Hillegas. #bluekitchens #lightbluekitchen
Country Living – Photo: David Hillegas

How to Achieve a Traditional Look

Traditional Interior Design Eye Candy: Traditional style often honors architectural elements such as crown molding, arched doorways, French doors, and transoms. A modernist might deem the same touches traditionalists admire as elements that are too busy or too ornamental. Traditionalists are rarely minimalists! Secondly, symmetry is honored in traditional interiors. It’s not unusual to see a pair of sofas in a room, equidistant from a focal point such as a fireplace.

Beautiful country kitchen by Beekman 1802 (photo by Annie Schlechter) with brick, copper pans, and built-ins for spices. #countrykitchens
Beekman 1802 (photo: Annie Schlechter)

Traditional rooms feel balanced and harmonious, and there’s a sense of “the expected.” Thirdly, there is often an elegance factor in traditional interiors that may be absent in other design styles such as country or modern.

Rustic yet elegant kitchen by Alison Luckman in an Idaho farmhouse (photo by Eric Piasecki). #rusticwoodceiling #rustickitchens #farmhousekitchens
Country Living; Photo: Eric Piasecki

Traditional charm is rooted in more formal sensibilities than informal ones. Therefore, you will find more refined details in traditional decor choices. For example, decorative trim on drapes, carvings on wood trims, heavy wood trims and architectural moldings, paneling, formal china and glassware, silver and gold objects, bookshelves and built-in window seats, etc.

Whimsical scalloped range hood in a kitchen designed by Alison Kandler with blue range (photo by Mark Lohman). #customrangehood #cottagekitchens
Design: Alison Kandler; Photo: Mark Lohman

The Art of Harmonious Interiors

Create Harmony in a Traditional Style Space…Symmetry is an important factor to establish a sense of balance and harmony in a traditionally designed room. Additionally, prints and fabrics are matched thoughtfully for balance.

While traditional spaces may include contemporary furniture or art, the majority of pieces (antique or reproduction) hail from a common era to avoid an overly eclectic look. Traditional rooms have sumptuous upholstery and classical curves from furniture, mirrors, moldings, and accessories.

Farrow & Ball Pitch Black kitchen cabinets in a farmhouse by Bailey McCarthy - photo by Roger Davies. #farrowandballpitchblack #blackkitchens
F&B Pitch Black – Design: Bailey McCarthy; Photo: Roger Davies

Traditional Elegance Deconstructed

The Role of Understated Elegance…Care is taken in traditional style interior design to avoid excessive formality or garishness. Too much metallic, heavy drapery, lacquer, mirror, pattern, gloss, or ornate finery can undo the charm of a balanced traditional design.

Green kitchen (paint color is Coastal Plan by HGTV Home for SW). Photo: Miki Duisterhof. #coastalplain #greenkitchens
Country Living – HGTV Home for SW Coastal Plain – Photo: Miki Duisterhof

Understated elegance is achieved when the mix includes a pleasing proportion of shiny with matte, formal with less formal, and bold with subtle. Additionally, mid-range color and muted tones work best in most traditional interiors, as opposed to bright, dramatic, or bold color schemes.

Renovated kitchen with Viatera Muse countertops and Sherwin Williams Eider White paint color. Cabinets are 50% Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

My personal style is unfussy, understated, and modern French with plenty of tradition.

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shop for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE, and also find home decor here to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing
Follow:

10 Comments

  1. June 23, 2018 / 7:27 am

    Hello Beautiful! You managed to capture me once again with too many PINS to count – love these kitchens! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • michele
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 7:50 am

      Ha! Always a treat to have you here, lovely artist friend. xox

  2. Susan
    June 23, 2018 / 9:41 am

    Thank you so much Michele. As a fellow Liverpudlian the video of Sir Paul brought back many memories of my childhood. Your posts always manage to bring in the unexpected! Kitchen designs are amazing. Love from the UK, Sue

    • michele
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      How lovely is that!?! I was just so moved by that video and Paul’s ageless charm and grace. How wonderful to have memories of that place – I have yet to visit and now more than ever would love to! 🙂

  3. Mary
    June 23, 2018 / 10:04 am

    Great post. Kitchens require much thought, from cabinet style and color, tile, countertops and appliances. I am craving a farmhouse sink. Thank you for all of inspiring photos. Wish I could chat with you about Paul. From that first moment on the Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964, I was hooked. The Beatles were such a huge part of our childhood years, yes? I still have “Beatle cards” that came with the big slab of pink bubble gum!

    • michele
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      I’d love to chat about Paul too. My mom was young when she had me so we were both fans when I was a kid, and I’m crazy about that man. How cool that you have those Beatle cards!!! 🙂

  4. Karol
    June 23, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Another fabulous post. I too pinned almost every kitchen.

    • michele
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 10:15 pm

      So happy you enjoyed. Thanks so much for reading, friend. 🙂

  5. December 17, 2019 / 1:14 pm

    Hello, lovey Michele–you are so full of inspiration! I have a question. I’m trying to choose a paint color (manufacturer only will do in a Sherwin Williams paint color) for my kitchen cabinets. Can you even guess what color would be a match to the DeVol mushroom color in the first photo? I’m holding paint chips up to my computer screen and we know that doesn’t work.

    Have a blessed Christmas . . . Donna

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s SHOP!

White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing