Pros & Cons of Modern vs Traditional Kitchens

Modern kitchen

Having a new kitchen fit is exciting and can even create a new look and feel for the whole house. When considering what styles of fixtures and fittings to go for, one common argument is that of modern vs traditional kitchens.

Do you want to create a classic farmhouse look? Or how about a kitchen that captures a smart and sleek design? Take a closer look at all the pros and cons with our guide to modern vs traditional kitchens.

Modern vs Traditional Kitchens

How you approach this early decision is largely likely to depend on your own personal tastes. This can be difficult if tastes amongst the household differ, however by properly assessing the pros and cons of each style of kitchen, it should be possible to come to an agreement that suits everyone.

Pros of Modern Kitchens

Modern kitchens certainly have their merits. With their sleek design and digital gadgets, they can often be a strong talking point amongst guests.

Our experts have outlined some of the main advantages of modern kitchens.

  • Modern Kitchens Optimise Space – Space and clever storage are often at the heart of a modern kitchen, which means it’s easy to keep clutter out of sight. Whether you enjoy cooking multi-course meals, or hosting visitors in the kitchen, a tidy, clutter-free space is a huge advantage. Expect handle-less drawers and cupboards, as well as clever hidden storage that optimises all the space available.
  • More Space for Hosting – Having appliances and equipment creatively stowed away or integrated means there is even more space for hosting in a modern kitchen. It can free up room for additional seating or tables, or even an island for cooking, eating, or socialising. When it comes to modern style kitchens, even smaller kitchens are likely to feel more accommodating for guests.
  • Modern Kitchens Offer Smart Appliances – Another common factor in favour of modern kitchens is that of the incorporation of modern, digital appliances. Whether this is a large, digital American-style fridge-freezer, or a coffee machine you can operate from your mobile, there is certainly more room for smart gadgets in a modern kitchen. Such appliances can make life easier, especially for busy individuals and family homes.
  • Options for Trendy Lighting – Many modern kitchens make use of attractive lighting. In Scandinavian-style kitchens, for example, low-hanging artistic lighting is a popular option. Not only would this serve as an attractive centre piece, but it can also be used to create a welcoming ambience for guests. Low-hanging lighting is particularly suitable over a dining table, where it can highlight the food being served.
Modern kitchen design

Cons of Modern Kitchens

Modern style kitchens do also come with a few disadvantages that can be enough to put some people off choosing them.

  • Modern Kitchens Can Seem Cold – Without proper thought going into colour schemes and lighting, some modern kitchens can end up feeling quite cold, uninviting, and almost like showrooms. While this look can be appealing in magazine spreads, it doesn’t shout ‘welcoming space for cooking and entertaining’. The monochrome look can cause this, because black, grey, and white are all cold colours. When there is no warmth and interesting lighting, or soft furnishings such as a rug or cushions, this style of modern kitchen is not the most comforting space.
  • They May Use More Energy – Those who choose to fill their modern kitchen with an array of modern, digital appliances, may notice an increase in their bills. This is because with more appliances comes more energy usage. Having said this, many modern appliances are built with energy-saving components, so this may not always be the case.

Pros of Traditional Kitchens

Traditional kitchens have stood the test of time, with many people choosing to install new kitchens that are even reminiscent of Victorian-era kitchens. This is because this style of kitchen comes with several advantages that our experts have outlined below.

  • Traditional Kitchens Are Typically Warm and Inviting – One of the most popular qualities of a traditional kitchen is how this style can convey a very warm and inviting atmosphere. Traditional kitchens tend to use natural-look wood, soft lighting, and warm colours like terracotta and cream. These features help to create a cosy, comfortable space, meaning traditional kitchens are inviting for visitors, as well as those cooking in them.
Pro's and con's of traditional kitchens
  • More Suited to Those Who Enjoy Baking/Cooking – Many would consider that traditional-style kitchens are more suited to people who enjoy spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking. Traditional kitchens tend to have large cookers or ranges, as well as practical accessories like heat protection surfaces, and cooling areas. While these can be incorporated into modern kitchens, they are most commonly seen in traditional ones.
  • Traditional Kitchens Can Be More Functional – Another advantage of opting for a traditional kitchen is that they are very practical. As mentioned above, they tend to include useful accessories which help with everyday activities. Where modern kitchens are often more focussed on clever storage and compact designs, traditional ones are centred on functionality and use for busy families.
  • Fewer Gadgets Means Less Energy Used – When it come to the disadvantages of traditional styles, looking at modern vs traditional kitchens, there are a couple of things to consider.

Cons of Traditional Kitchens

When it come to the disadvantages of traditional styles, looking at modern vs traditional kitchens, there are a couple of things to consider.

  • Traditional Kitchens May Offer Less Convenience – While traditional kitchens are usually designed to be practical and useful, the lack of modern gadgets may mean they actually offer less in the way of uses. Today’s appetite for convenient, modern appliances is not always compatible with traditional kitchens. Having said this, there is no rule that says modern gadgets cannot be present in a traditional kitchen. Talk to your kitchen designer about including more gadgets at the point of design.
  • A Traditional Kitchen May Look Dated in a modern property – Depending on the style of property, a traditional kitchen may look out of place and dated. This is especially so in new-build properties when the rest of the rooms are designed in a modern and sleek way.

Modern vs Traditional Kitchens: How to Choose

Both modern and traditional kitchens have characteristics that appeal to many different people, which can make it difficult to settle on which style to choose. As well as your own personal tastes, there are a few other considerations to think about.

What is the Style of The House?

The architecture and décor of the rest of the house should play a part in the decision making. For instance, if you live in a period property, a traditional style kitchen may work well with features like exposed beams and listed sash windows. On the other hand, if you live in a minimalist new build, a modern style kitchen may be more suitable.

How Long Will ‘Modern’ Stay ‘Modern’?

Another concern for those who would prefer a modern style kitchen is whether it will always be considered ‘modern’. Many people fall into the trap of buying new gadgets and upgrades almost every year in order to keep their kitchen modern. The meaning of ‘modern’ is always changing, and eventually, as the years go on, a modern kitchen will become outdated and may even move into the traditional category.

Can You Combine Modern and Traditional?

A combination kitchen is becoming an increasingly popular option for many households. This is where you take your favourite elements from each style and find a way to incorporate them in a personalised kitchen designed to suit you. An example of this could be if you really like the look of sleek, handless drawers and cupboards, but you also want a large, traditional range cooker.

For inspiration on choosing exactly what you want for your kitchen, take a look at some of the KNB kitchen projects we have worked on or explore our brochure. You can also contact our team for more advice and information on designing your perfect kitchen.