The kitchen is said to be the heart of the home, and these days it isn’t just a place to cook in, it’s a place where you can relax, socialise, and find creative inspiration. If you’re thinking about doing up your kitchen, you might already have a clear vision of how you want it to look – or you might be open to exploring different styles.

If it’s the latter and you’re not yet sure what your ideal aesthetic is, then it could be useful to familiarise yourself with some of the current trends.

So, to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most popular styles of kitchen designs, from Scandinavian to Mediterranean, and farmhouse to minimalist.

1. Contemporary kitchen designs

Contemporary kitchen designs are one of the most popular styles around, and it’s easy to see why.

Sleek, modern, and chic, contemporary kitchens are endlessly adaptable, so while they’ve been widely adopted by homeowners, it’s really easy to put your own stamp on the room.

Because contemporary refers to designs that are currently on trend, rather than a specific look, contemporary kitchens often incorporate a mixture of different styles – for example, new and old, or casual and smart.

Popular contemporary kitchen designs frequently include marble countertops, stainless steel appliances, and pops of colour to soften the overall look.

Currently, colour palettes are often in cool white or grey, aesthetics are clean, and decorating is minimalist. A slick, streamlined look can be achieved by incorporating sharp edges and geometric elements. But contemporary kitchens can also be playful, and unexpected elements are welcomed, whether it’s bold accents or nods to other, more colourful styles.

2. Traditional kitchen styles

Traditional kitchens are another one of the most popular styles around – and while they’re just as practical and functional as contemporary kitchens, they’re defined by their details.

The mix of traditional and modern elements gives this style an elegant and timeless aesthetic. And though traditional kitchens should look clean and modern, they should still showcase your personal style.

Colours tend to be fresh and light, and white tiles, paint, and accenting are used to create a crisp and fresh finish.

Cabinets are usually white or neutral, though darker colours can work well too, from rich wood tones to slick black paint. And traditional kitchens regularly make use of contrasts, like light, bright walls with dark, bold units.

Typical features include arches; panelled or glass cupboard doors; polished hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances; and shiny marble countertops. Vintage or period features like handcrafted drawer handles, antique finishes, decorative crown moulding, and upholstered seats are popular too.

3. Transitional kitchen styles

If you can’t decide between a contemporary or traditional design, then transitional might be the perfect kitchen style for you. Transitional designs merge the best of both traditional and modern; incorporating clean, sleek lines and sharp features, as well as warm colours and textures.

Kitchen cabinets are usually made of wood, laminate, or wood veneer, and they’re often painted in white or other pale neutrals like beige and grey, or they have a wood finish that shows off the chosen timber. Shaker cabinets are popular, and some have a glass front, or inset panel doors. Natural-looking countertop materials are often chosen too.

Timeless designs like range hoods and crown moulding are regularly a feature, and colourful patterns add an artistic flair.

Transitional kitchens are all about balance, so if you like elements of both contemporary and traditional designs but are looking for more creative freedom and flexibility, this might be the look for you.

4. Farmhouse kitchen styles

Also called country kitchens, farmhouse kitchens are warmer and cosier than the previous three styles, and instead of minimalist designs and crisp, clean lines, they invoke a comfortable, lived-in feeling.

Usually highly decorative and teeming with details, farmhouse kitchens also use plenty of natural materials, which help to anchor your home to the land.

Exposed wooden beams are popular, as are open shelving, brick accents, wide sinks, classic flooring, bright pops of colour, and big, welcoming kitchen tables. Cabinets usually feature traditional raised panel designs and are painted in clean whites, warm neutrals, or nature-inspired tones. Alternatively, the natural wood is kept as it is.

Like transitional designs, farmhouse kitchens combine modern and traditional, but in a more relaxed and functional way.

Decorative adornments like woven baskets, copper pots, delicate china sets, fresh flowers, and bowls of fruit are often used, so if you like adding lots of personal touches to your decor – and mixing more than matching – the farmhouse style may be for you.

5. Rustic kitchen styles

Rustic kitchens share some similarities with farmhouse kitchens, but there’s more of an emphasis on natural materials, and a lived-in feel. Wood usually forms the basis of rustic kitchens, from exposed beams and hardwood floors to cabinets and countertops. Stone and brick often feature heavily too.

Rustic kitchens have a comfortable and earthy appeal, and styling is warm, friendly, and eclectic, with nature-orientated influences.

Handwoven fabrics, distressed finishes, and worn surfaces are popular, particularly for the kitchen table. And the light in a rustic kitchen should always be warm and inviting – the opposite of cool, modern kitchens.

Colour palettes tend to be pretty natural, and cabinets are usually either in white or neutral tones or bold dark tones – or kept in their natural wood finish.

And finally, appliances are regularly vintage, walls can be textured, and some larger rustic kitchens even have stone or brick fireplaces, giving the room a cosy, old-world look.

6. Minimalist kitchen styles

On the other end of the spectrum are minimalist kitchens, which embrace the idea of ‘less is more’. Perfect for smaller kitchens, minimalist designs tend to feature plain monochrome colours – usually black, white, or neutrals – clean lines, and simple materials.

While farmhouse and rustic kitchens embrace cosy decor and warm personal touches, the opposite is true in a minimalist kitchen. The emphasis is on practicality and simplicity, and there should be nothing in the room that you don’t absolutely need. No unnecessary details are allowed!

Cabinets often have solid door panels, appliances are hidden away, and storage should always be optimised. That way, the focus is on the presence of clean space and the absence of clutter, making your kitchen feel like a blank canvas for your culinary creations. Some minimalist kitchens do contain pops of colour, but only very sparingly.

7. Eclectic kitchen styles

If your style is a little bit out of the ordinary – or you just don’t like being pigeonholed – then an eclectic kitchen design might be for you.

Because eclectic designs are so personal, it’s difficult to really describe what an eclectic kitchen actually looks like. However, they tend to be visually stimulating, incorporating rich colours and textures, and personally curated decor.

Many eclectic kitchens contain elements of modern, mid-century, and rustic designs, while others feature bold paint choices and unique items of furniture.

Eclectic style is all about contrasts and mixtures; sleek countertops with patterned tiled walls or jewel-coloured cabinets with traditional wooden floors and modern tables.

The beauty of designing an eclectic kitchen is that it can look however you want, and borrow as many aspects from other styles as you like. It should represent your personality – for example, if you love to travel, you can take inspiration from your favourite countries and decorate your kitchen with your favourite worldly adornments.

8. Industrial kitchen styles

The industrial kitchen look was inspired by restaurant kitchens, and while this style isn’t particularly warm or cosy, it can be very stylish and is ideal if you prefer a more urban aesthetic.

Hallmarks of industrial kitchens often include an open concept, neutral colours, and darker lighting.

However, industrial kitchens are usually identified by their materials, as they incorporate lots of brick, metals, and wood. Exposed structures like water pipes, metal beams, and other industrial decorations are popular too, as are exposed brick walls. Counters and floors are frequently concrete.

Colour palettes tend to consist of white, black, grey, brown, and dark blue, though red is sometimes used too, and open shelving for the top cabinets is another common feature. Plus, cast iron or stainless steel pots are regularly on show, either in the open shelving or hanging from overhead racks.

9. Scandinavian kitchen styles

If you like light, bright, simple aesthetics, then you might want to look into a Scandinavian kitchen design.

Also called the Nordic style, Scandinavian designs have some similarities to the minimalist style, but while they’re also about practicality, functionality, and looking uncluttered, they’re warmer and more relaxed.

White is usually the main colour, which allows more light to stream in and reflect off the walls, making the kitchen look calm, fresh, and clean. Though, for a more eye-catching look, a patterned wallpaper can work too.

Wood and other natural materials also tend to feature predominantly, but these need to be light woods – and floors are almost always blonde wood.

Unlike a minimalist kitchen, you can add colour and character to Scandinavian kitchen styles. This is usually achieved via bright furniture that has pops of colour or vibrant patterns, or fun, contemporary wall art.

Light features are a hallmark of Scandinavian kitchens too, and long, hanging pendants are especially popular.

10. Mediterranean kitchen styles

If you’d prefer your kitchen to look a bit warmer and more vibrant, a Mediterranean-style kitchen could be the look for you.

Mediterranean kitchens are designed to invoke the warmth and beauty of sun-kissed kitchens on the continent, perfectly balancing old-world opulence with rustic charm.

Hallmarks of Mediterranean kitchens include terracotta accents, warm wood cabinets, intricate tile mosaics, beamed ceilings, and arched cooking alcoves with flared range hoods. The colour scheme is usually well-balanced too, and tends to feature warm, rich colours paired with earthy neutrals.

Unlike the simple aesthetics of a Scandinavian kitchen, the Mediterranean kitchen usually features plenty of colour, creativity, and high-quality details – from hand-painted tiles and fine-quality hardwood furniture to uniquely textured walls and rustic glazing techniques.

Final thoughts…

From sleek minimalist styles to cosy farmhouse designs, the beauty of interior design is that there’s a perfect kitchen out there for everyone. And because there are no rules, you can choose one look you like and stick to that aesthetic, or go down the eclectic route, and mix and match as you like!

You might love the clean lines of contemporary kitchens, the lightness of Scandinavian style, and the warmth of rustic designs – so if you’re not sold on one specific style, you can always draw inspiration from the designs you like the most.

While doing up your kitchen from scratch can be expensive, there are many small, inexpensive steps you can take that can help to transform your kitchen – from giving the room a fresh lick of paint to buying new light fittings, or picking up some colourful cushions or bright prints to hang on the wall.

For more interior decoration inspiration, you might want to check out our article; 18 home decorating ideas.