Traditional or Transitional Kitchen?

May 26, 2021

Let’s face it, last year was a pretty rubbish year for us all. So looking ahead to a positive future is the best thing we can do right now. This applies for kitchens too, as trends don’t stop for anyone, so there are always new ways of making your kitchen look as modern as possible!

So at Chester Swan we thought we would help you get ahead of the game and take your pick from some of the most popular kitchen trends in the pipeline for this year.

From what weve seen during our 30 years in the kitchen business, a majority of homeowners favour traditional kitchen styles. About 75% of the kitchen remodels we design are traditional. However, as we follow the trends of kitchen design, we expect to see more clients choosing transitional styles.
In this blog post, we will define
traditional and transitional styles as they are most often confused. What are the differences between traditional vs transitional kitchen design, and where does your personal style most likely fit?


With traditional kitchen design, we aren’t talking about grandma’s kitchen with its floral wallpaper and laminate flooring. Even “traditional” kitchen remodels include elements of contemporary kitchen design. For example, a large stainless steel hood over the range is popular in most kitchen remodels. That’s contemporary. But our kitchen designers can help you choose a hood that can be covered with an ornamental overlay matching the cabinetry surrounding it. That’s traditional.


Our definitions and descriptions are very basic. If you were to take an interior design class, you wouldn’t get off this easy. However, next time you’re scrolling through images Pinterest or any other website or magazine, I think you’ll be able to spot a traditional or transitional design fairly well. And you’ll know why a certain image speaks to you.

Which style will you choose for your kitchen remodel? Understanding your own personal style and where that fits into kitchen design makes for more informed decisions for you and us as your kitchen designer.

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If you want help designing your kitchen OR you want a unique approach to bigger projects look no further than Chester Swan.

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Häcker Hampton Pastellgruen, Swansea Kitchen Fitters

Traditional kitchen design often includes:

• cabinetry doors with traditional raised panels, elaborate profiles or large applied mouldings
• ornamental crown moulding
• classic stains and colours
• natural materials
• detailed craftsmanship
• traditional lighting

When you’re identifying a traditional kitchen style, the six elements (above) are what to look for!

Kitchen Island Installation


It’s not traditional, and it’s not modern. It’s transitional – a blend of traditional and modern styles with a focus on practicality and creativity. Blending elements of two distinct styles can be confusing and uncertain. No one wants to spend money on a remodel that ends up looking like a bad aftertaste. (This is why including a kitchen designer is so important!) With the help of a kitchen designer, you can blend the personal style of each partner and balance feminine and masculine taste all in one transitional design. (Maybe we should call this style “Compromise”?)

Transitional kitchen design often includes:

  • cabinetry doors with simple profile (often Shaker style, pairing stained and painted finishes)
  • crown moulding with very little ornamentation, or no moulding at all
  • neutral colour palettes
  • mix of natural and manufactured materials
  • clean lines in craftsmanship
  • traditional, industrial, or modern lighting

Look for those six transitional elements in photos and images of kitchens to determine if transitional is your style.