How do I choose a kitchen style? 7 vital points designers urge you to consider

Wondering how to choose a kitchen style? Designers begin with these 7 steps – for a space that blends functionality and style effortlessly

An all white kitchen with marble countertops, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and gold hardware
(Image credit: Martin Moore)

How do I choose a kitchen style? The answer to this question can come with complexities – when you unpick the varying options that cater to your style and space. 

From modern minimalism to farmhouse-style, there is a trove of kitchen styles to consider – however – the process of knowing how to find the look for you doesn't need to be complicated. 

Whatever your style, the core rules to choosing a kitchen style remain the same. And the process comes down to five points that will translate into every home. 

How do I choose a kitchen style?

Regardless of what your kitchen ideas look like  – knowing how to choose a kitchen style begins with the same seven points. Here, designers explain how they will work in your kitchen. 

1. Accentuate your home's architecture 

Corner of a blue kitchen with bay window, upholstered blue bench, round wooden dining table, blue patterned blind

(Image credit: Future)

Before considering any one of the American kitchen styles, from traditional to contemporary, Wendy Smit, the founder of Wendy Smit Interiors, urges you to consider the architectural qualities and period of your home. 

Whether you're working with small kitchen ideas in an urban townhouse or you have a larger country home – every space is likely to have a special quirk of some sort. Therefore, the first step in any decorating process should involve the question of how to accentuate your space's individuality further. 

'Consider the architecture of your home. If you live in a Victorian-style home, a super sleek modern kitchen will likely feel out of place,' Wendy says. 

2. Choose materials that complement your home

Kitchen with shelves made from vintage trays

(Image credit: Douglass Gibb)

You can cater to your architecture in many ways – from your kitchen island to your kitchen color ideas. Though, chief designer Kobi Aharon of Modiani Kitchens explains that few things are quite as impactful as your countertops and cabinetry.

'[These] are the two most eye-catching elements in a kitchen. They dominate the space, setting the tone for how your kitchen will be felt,' he says. 'By understanding what type of overall look you want to achieve, you will be able to make the best decisions regarding the kitchen countertops and cabinets you choose.'

'One of the best ways to choose the style and materials of these dominant features is to consider other architectural elements and materials already in the house,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief, Homes & Gardens. 'So, if you have a marble fireplace in your kitchen, you may wish to choose marble countertops; if you have a country kitchen, you might like to consider painted kitchen ideas, which will be perfectly appropriate in the space.'

3. Prioritize durability 

Open plan blue fitted kitchen with white worktops, kitchen island and green mid-century bar stools. Marble splashback.

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

When choosing a kitchen style, you would be forgiven for opting for aesthetics above all else. But as Wendy Smit explains, it is vital to cater to your lifestyle – for a kitchen that will last longer and look better over time.  

'Are you retirees that don't live near family and do little entertaining, or do you regularly host family and friends for large gatherings? If it's the former, you can select higher-end finishes such as that $1,000 upholstered bar stool and marble counters,' the designer says.

Alternatively, if you're more focused on family kitchen ideas, it may be better to choose wipeable wood stools and more-resilient counters that will endure everyday wear.

4. Focus on functionality

Kitchen with an island in Sunflower chalky matt from Sanderson Design Group

(Image credit: Sunflower chalky matt from Sanderson Design Group)

Similarly to durability, it is essential to consider your kitchen's main functionality before making any design decisions. 

The kitchen is perhaps the most functional room of the home – but while every kitchen has its uses – some may prioritize certain features over others. 'Think about the layout of the kitchen and how you need it to function and be organized,' Wendy Smit suggests. 

For example, if you are a chef, you will likely prioritize a large stovetop or oversized island with room for cooking and food preparation. 'If so, you might lean a bit more modern in your kitchen style with an oversized waterfall edge island,' the designer adds. 

5. Appliances hidden or on show?

Close up of corner of kitchen with large double fridge in alcove, shelving and cabinetry surrounding, kitchen island with sink, brass tap

(Image credit: Humphrey Munson)

Having major appliances on show versus hidden away has a profound effect on the style of your kitchen. The benefits of hiding them away behind door fronts is that the kitchen will have a sleeker, more laid-back feel that's suited to small kitchens or those that are combined with a living space.

6. Pay attention to lighting

Large modern kitchen, island with marble countertop, bar stool seating, two large windows with open shelves, dressed with ornaments and accessories

(Image credit: Benjamin Johnston Design)

Kitchen lighting ideas may initially feel like one of the final considerations of the renovation process, but Kobi Aharon warns this is not the case. Instead, your lighting will 'define how the space is used' – so it's important to choose wisely. 

'Track lighting over a butcher block will make it easy to use, while a dark corner may go unused during food prep,' he says. '[Also] be aware of where natural light comes from, and plan your lighting scheme to complement and enhance what's already there.'

7. Cater to the future

kitchen worktop with white tiles and colourful accessories

(Image credit: Polly Wreford / Claudia Bryant)

When designing a kitchen, the thought of leaving your newly decorated home is unlikely to be at the peak of your agenda. However, Wendy Smit warns that it is important to consider future plans in the process, as this could impact the saleability of your property in the long term. 

'If you don't plan on staying in your home more than five years, consider a more timeless style that will appeal to future buyers,' she says. 'If it is your forever home, then you can be open to taking more risks, like selecting a busy tile backsplash that may be considered 'trendy,' but that you love.'

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.