The quintessence of gracious living, this Italian style is distinguished by bold, classical form and detail, generous proportions, and a sense of expansiveness that is reminiscent of the new vitality and creative genius of the Italian Renaissance. Its interpretations can range from the rustic simplicity of the Tuscan countryside to the elaborate detail associated with the homes of the gentry.
Country French is often the most emulated French styling in American kitchens. This is a relaxed version of the high court styles prevalent in the times of Louis XV in mid to late 18th century. Curving scrolls and naturalistic motifs abound, and depending on the thickness and proportion of massing and details, French can be either delicate and feminine or robust and masculine.
A style that is attributed to prosperous French farmers who copied original Parisian court styles, whilst interpreting the sophisticated and pretentious motifs with skilled workmanship, ingenuity, and delightful naivete. It is a study in unpretentiousness that houses a variety of mismatched patterns, colors and textures. Nothing would appear to be new or fixed in place, but rather, an unfitted look works best, lending a timeless informality to the setting.
The English style most portrayed in American kitchens is an eclectic blend of classical details. Often, this is a combination of Georgian panels and moldings with pilasters, turnings, and other details that might be classified as “Classical Country Cottage”
The English prefer the Georgian and Gothic schemes, generally following the rustic interpretations of Georgian court style with elements of Gothic heraldry. Beaded inset doors or heavily applied moldings work well, along with beaded board interiors and panels, open dish racks and fretwork are common details.
An interpretation of 18th century Georgian styling, with details from Italian Renaissance precursors in architecture, that creates a cleaner, more restrained design than English of the same period. The best of Colonial American interior woodworking has a crisp, almost ascetic appearance in spite of its flutes, dentils, and curved molding profiles.
Oak, Pine, Maple or painted in a milky, velvety finish, cabinetry could have a pickled or dragged finish to suggest age and many layers of paint. Color should not be timid, and butted boards or stile and rail with a flat panel are the best door styles, with very simple edge details.
Arts & Crafts
With its squarish members offset to emphasize or imply wood joinery, American Arts & Crafts is often associated with woodsy lodges and bungalows of the early 20th century. Simple, rugged, and uncluttered details with a notched or overlapping appearance defines this style.
Simple square or rounded molding profiles create this form of modernism, without the uncompromising lack of decorative detail. Warm, natural materials with rich colors and contrasting textures can be used with common veneers and slabs, or simple frame and panel faces. Geometric balance and proportions are extremely important.
Simplicity and nostalgia drives this theme that reflects pastimes such as collecting antiques and crafts, cooking for enjoyment, or reading about canning preserves. Think of Pottery Barn, or Martha Stewart, and you get the feeling.
These are just a few of the themes that are available. Other themes that may pique your interests are: Traditional; Contemporary / Art Deco; Mission / Shaker; Southwest; Louis XIV; English Colonial; Italian Formal; Mediterranean; and others