Give Your Kitchen a European FlavorFebruary 6, 2012 // Posted in:
Last Updated on February 6, 2012
In recent years it has become increasingly popular for homeowners to remodel and design their homes to take on a more European style. This design is not only attractive and contemporary, but can look progressive and still be efficient. While there are some general European trends, this guide will also specify which ideas can give your room a more Italian, French or continental style. There will be some information on decor choices as well as some suggestions for simple remodeling tips to transform the home without an extensive budget. Your family should wake up everyday to exotic flavors in an exotic kitchen, and your home insurance should be protecting a kitchen that will make your guests and family alike feel like world travelers.
What is Mediterranean Style?
One of the most popular European kitchen designs is the Mediterranean look. This represents the areas that border the Mediterranean Sea, such as some Italian and Greek regions. As the climate in these regions is typically quite warm, there is an emphasis on outdoor seating areas, open kitchens and elements of nature. The color schemes greatly resemble that of the architecture in the area, with lots of blue and white tiles, ornate materials and a background of stark, clean whites. To incorporate this in your own kitchen, opt for white walls and a tiled backsplash in blue and white.
What is French Country Style?
This European style is not quite modern, but relies on more rustic, rural touches to look throughout French. The color scheme should not be limited to one or two colors, but include softer hues like blue, red and yellow. The decor is not upscale or ornate, but can include embellishments like carvings in the wooden cabinets or in the wooden chair-backs. For a quick way to transform your own kitchen into a French country home, add in some brightly colored cafe style curtains, mismatched china from a flea market and fresh floral bouquets. This French style can be elaborated upon for the whole house.
What is Tuscan Style?
This European kitchen style is part Mediterranean and part country, with airy spaces and colors that reflect the natural environment. Tuscan chefs are famous for using copper pots and pans, which add a unique color to the scheme. Consider the addition of an island to recreate a Tuscan style kitchen in your own home, along with large windows that look outside. Instead of modern appliances try to hide their facades with wooden veneers to give it a more natural look. Luckily a Tuscan kitchen does not need to look polished, and reclaimed woods or distressed secondhand furniture can look striking in a Tuscan style kitchen. Consider these simple tips for a Tuscan style that many will pay a fortune for.
Contemporary European Kitchens
While the Tuscan, French country and Mediterranean kitchens are all very popular styles, a more progressive and modern style is that of the contemporary European kitchen. This style is efficient and sleek, using high quality materials and awareness of space to create the perfect room for preparing, cooking and even eating foods. Kitchen islands are very popular, as long as space permits. In some kitchens the island takes on a curved appearance to better fit the given space. This gives the room an even more unique touch. While many modern American kitchens embrace lighter colors, the contemporary European kitchen might very well consist of darker materials paired with stainless steel appliances. Lighting underneath the cabinets still provides illumination so that the space does not feel too small or constricted.
How to Decide on a European Kitchen Style
Unless you are building a home from the ground up, it is important to pay attention the rest of the home’s style before deciding on a kitchen theme. A progressive, contemporary European kitchen with dark cabinets and a sleek island will look out of place in a rural barn, but a French country kitchen might be perfect. Stick to a cohesive look throughout the house whenever possible. Consider minor renovations like refinishing cabinets or purchasing new kitchen furniture rather than redesigning the entire space. Minor renovations like these can still drastically transform the look and feel of a space without taking months to complete and a large budget.
Whether you dream of creating a contemporary kitchen in your modern apartment or a Mediterranean feel in your open plan home with a view, one of these European kitchen styles is bound to be the perfect solution.
Author Bio: Donna M. is an interior designer and freelance writer. She enjoys offering her expertise to homeowners looking to go beyond the average designs below the average budget. She has also written articles about saving money in many other areas such as car insurance.