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Choosing a kitchen style for your home in 2024

Choosing a Kitchen Style for Your Home in 2024 is more than picking out paint swatches and cabinet handles. It’s about carving out the heart of your home, where memories simmer long after the oven is turned off.

I remember stepping into my grandmother’s kitchen; every corner held stories, seasoned with love and laughter. Now, it’s our turn to craft your space, one that isn’t just any old room, but the centre of your home.

In this guide we’ll discover the kitchen style that suits you. Traditional warmth that hugs you right back, contemporary sleekness that mirrors today’s pace, and eclectic blends that tell your unique tale. With smart tech seamlessly woven through each design decision—we’re not just building kitchens; we’re making those everyday tasks more pleasureable by making them both easier and quicker.

Table of Contents

Decoding Kitchen Style: Traditional, Contemporary, or Eclectic?


Embracing warmth in Traditional Kitchens

Image of a traditional style kitchen

The allure of traditional style kitchens lies in their ability to weave warmth and comfort into the core of your home. Think rich wood cabinets paired with a classic farmhouse sink—a combination that whispers homely tales from generations past. It’s no surprise that these inviting spaces are warm hues personified, wrapping you in an atmosphere where every meal feels like a family gathering.

Incorporating this design doesn’t mean shunning modernity; rather it invites you to marry timeless elegance with today’s conveniences. Traditional style kitchens are typically characterised by:

  • shaker style doors (either in-frame or lay-on)
  • decorative (with pillasters etc.)
  • open shelving
  • feature units (such as the trays in the picture above)
  • painted finishes
  • natural woods
  • stone worktops (granite or quartz)
  • high ceilings or cottages

Your traditional kitchen island becomes more than just prep space—it transforms into the focal point for shared experiences. Topped off with statement pieces like ornate chandeliers or vintage bar stools, it beckons everyone to gather round for moments both big and small.

The Sleek Appeal of Contemporary Kitchens

Image of a contemporary style kitchen with clean lines

A contemporary style kitchen is the embodiment of functional design meets minimalist aesthetics—with clean lines leading the charge towards chic simplicity.

Here, modern looking appliances shine against sleek cabinetry while layered lighting casts a luminescent glow over smooth surfaces creating an ultra-modern vibe that’s hard to resist.

This isn’t just about looks though; contemporary kitchens excel at incorporating smart technology seamlessly into their designs. From downdraft extractors that rise elquently from the worksurface behind the flush fitting hob, to boiling water taps that keep surfaces uncluttered — every element works together to bring modern convenience right at your fingertips without compromising on style.

Broadly speaking, contemporary style kitchens are characterized by:

  • simple clean lines
  • slab/plain fronted doors
  • minimalistic
  • contrasting units
  • industrial materials
  • low maintenance
  • handle-less
  • penthouse apartments and flats

If drama is what you’re after, look no further than dramatic marble veining sprawling across expansive countertops—an excellent choice if making bold statements aligns with your vision for cutting-edge coolness mixed with luxury vibes.

In summary – contemporary style kitchens are typically functional clean and simple with the interest or drama created by complementary or contrasting colours and materials.

Blending Styles for an Eclectic Kitchen Style

Image of a mix of contemporary and traditional style kitchen

Diving headfirst into eclectic styled kitchens means embarking on a curated journey through time and taste where each piece tells its own story—all harmoniously housed under one roof. You get carte blanche freedom here: mix industrial-style metal shelves next door to country-inspired open shelving filled up top-notch spices ready for meal prep magic.

Analogous color palettes lend themselves beautifully as backdrops letting unique finds take center stage – perhaps those heirloom copper pots passed down through generations now finally have found their spotlight moment amidst green revolution-themed décor splashes adding life literally anywhere eyes wander…

  • classic styling with a modern twist
  • simple shaker and slab doors
  • handle-less or with handles
  • perfect for open plan living spaces
  • your opportunity to create something truely unique

Mixing materials also adds layers of intrigue, so by incorporating different textures and elements into a design, you create depth and interest. This approach can elevate the overall aesthetic and draw attention to key features within a space.


Key Takeaway: 

Traditional kitchens mix cozy warmth with modern conveniences, while contemporary ones blend sleek design with high-tech touches. Eclectic styles let you playfully combine eras and textures for a unique space that’s all your own.

Navigating Kitchen Door Types

Having decided on the overarching look and feel you desire for your new kitchen, we now need to look closer at two different types of doors.

When it comes to spicing up your kitchen space, the right kitchen doors can make or break the recipe for design success. Lay-on doors boast widespread popularity in UK homes, while designers typically reserve in-frame doors for traditional style kitchens.

Lay-On Doors – The Popular Choice

Image of a lay-on kitchen door style

Think of lay-on doors as the vanilla ice cream of kitchen cabinets – classic, versatile, and with over 80% of kitchens in the UK choosing them.

Lay-on doors sit proudly on the face of the cabinet and use a concealed hinge. There is normally a 4-5mm gap between doors and drawer fronts and fine adjustment can be made on the hinges to get them all ligned up perfectly.

Here’s why homeowners keep coming back to these gems:

  • It’s the Standard: If you decide to spend your hard earned cash on a kitchen from us or any other retailer, this is the standard way of making kitchens. You will find this everywhere you look.
  • Variety: Whether it’s high-gloss finishes catching light like morning dew or rustic wooden textures telling tales of age-old forests – there’s no shortage here.
  • Affordability: You get an excellent choice without needing to dig too deep into those pockets (or cookie jars).

In summary: Traditional, Contemporary or Eclectic styles work with the lay-on types of kitchen doors.

There’s more to it though! Further on we will look at alternative options of opening lay-on doors.

In-Frame Doors – Classic Elegance

Example of an in-frame door

If lay-on is vanilla then think of in-frame as rich Belgian chocolate – timeless elegance that elevates any dish… err I mean room. These beauties open within a fixed external frame (hence in-frame) bringing structured charm into play.

The allure doesn’t stop at just looks though. With in-frame doors you have 2 further options.

  • Butt hinges: If you are going the distance then these doors can be fixed to the frames with butt hinges which will be exposed. Choices from chrome to brass, anything to match your new handles.
  • Concealed hinges: Specially adapted soft close hinges (similar to lay-on doors) to work with in-frame units. These hinges offer the same level of adjustment as lay-on doors to achieve the perfect fit in their frames.

Need examples? Here are some ways people integrate them:

Infographic depecting the difference between butt hinges and concealed hinges on kitchen doors


A Step Into Detail – Opening Mechanisms

Handleless kitchens aren’t just a trend – and the allure of Germanic influences prompt us all to seek something different, something special.

Handle-less doors

Image showing a handle-less kitchen door style

Doors and drawers which are opened from behind using a continuous profile rail. The rail creates a finger space (shown in a dark blue in the picture above).

Plain flat doors used to dominate handle-less kitchens. However, painted shaker style doors are now available to create the Eclectic look.

Profile rails at Saffron Interiors can be finished in a multitude of colours. This allows for our designers to either match or contrast other elements in the kitchen creating something balanced and easy on the eye.

Tip-on (push to open) doors

Example of a push-to-open style of door
For a truely minimalist look tip-on is your answer. No profile rails are required for this type of handle-less door. Over the years mechanisms have improved and now doors and drawers can be pushed to activate a manual spring-loaded catch or electronic motor to open them.

Tip-on is best suited to Contemporary or Eclectic style kitchens. Technically they could be used for Traditional style kitchens, however it would be a bold design statement to try it.

The idea of tip-on handle-less doors appeals to many, however we would strongly suggest you try before you buy if you want to go down this route.

Why do we say this? You need to perform two motions to open a door or drawer with tip-on: first pushing the door on the side opposite the hinge, then changing hand position to open it.

To close the door one can’t simply flick it closed like other doors. You need to close the door to about an inch of the cabinet to re-engage the tip-on mechanism, and then give it another careful push to re-energize the spring for the next cycle.

Also to note that built-in appliances will not open without special help. Some dishwashers already come with the ‘push-to-open’ doors. Fridges and freezers require fitting with a special electronic ram to enable opening the first couple of inches. All this is possible, it just needs to be carefully designed into the kitchen.


Key Takeaway: 

In your quest to find your perfect new kitchen, what images have you been drawn to? Go back and see if you can discover a theme in these images. Was it the In-Frame kitchens that appealed or perhaps most of the kitchens you liked have no handles? You will never look at a kitchen the same way again.. (my pleasure)

Then move on to deciding what your kitchen doors will be made of in our article : The pro’s and cons of each door type.


Choosing a Kitchen Style for Your Home is about embracing what feels right. It’s finding that balance between cozy traditional nooks and cutting-edge contemporary spaces. Remember, it’s your story to tell.

Dive into the textures of warmth with traditional kitchens or revel in the clean simplicity of modern designs. Blend them if you wish; eclectic is all about freedom.

Open those lay-on doors to practicality, or let handle-less ones reflect your sleek style. Touch tip-on technology and feel tomorrow take shape in your kitchen.

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