Elements of Style
European-Style Kitchen cabinets are among the most sought-after cabinets in re-modelling projects today. Defined by their sleek, contemporary designs, the primary characteristics of European-style Kitchens are the use of clean, sleek lines and a minimal amount of cabinet detail. The frameless cabinetry construction method is used and regularly features a flat panel or “slab” style door and drawer front.
Cabinets will display simple, flat surfaces that are unadorned with little or no hardware and flush doors. They will rarely use ornamentation and moldings, wood carvings and raised panel doors. Smaller kitchens can be made to feel more spacious with less visual stimulation. Therefore, the flat surfaces of European cabinets help to make smaller kitchens appear roomier.
Finally, the defining element of the European kitchen is its efficient use of space. European kitchens tend to be highly functional. As you will see below, when designing your contemporary European-style Kitchen… it’s all in the details.
Features of the European-Style Kitchen
A consistent theme in the European-style kitchen is the use of design features inspired by the mid-century modern era which originated in the Nordic countries.
- European-style Kitchen Cabinets
European-style cabinetry is all about functionality. Common features will include accessories designed for efficient use of space such as pull-out space racks, specialized drawer storage systems, lazy susans, organized pantry units and integrated appliances.
One of the unique elements of European kitchen cabinetry is the use of hidden hinges. This feature is so synonymous with this style of cabinetry that both are referred to as “European style.” Compared to conventional face-frame cabinets, this “frameless” construction of European cabinets reduces the weight of the cabinetry and yields maximum usable storage space with very little wasted storage area. For a more contemporary look, cabinet doors can be easily replaced with frosted glass, or a laminate-style veneer. The ability to easily change doors is an added feature of the European-style kitchen.
- European-style Countertops
A wide range of countertops are commonly used from granite, stainless steel, glass and manufactured stones. The most widely used sink in the European-style Kitchen is stainless steel.
- Hardware for European-style Kitchens
Essential to the European-style kitchen is the use of accessories and other small components. For example, it is not uncommon to find cooking accessories like blenders, toasters and mixers in bright colours to add visual stimulus to the kitchen. Cookware and large utensils are also available in bright colours and bold designs. All serve to provide a lively kitchen space.
Materials for the European-Style Kitchen
Most materials associated with European kitchen designs are “man-made” and highly processed. These will include such materials as plastic, metal, concrete, and glass.
- European-style Kitchen Cabinetry
With many “man-made” or “engineered” materials lacking any warmth, many designers will look to incorporate some elements from nature within the final design. These may include the use of wood veneer and natural stone. As with most decisions in the process of creating your dream kitchen, a discussion with a design professional will help you appreciate the interplay of synthetic and natural elements.
- Colours & Stains for the European-style Kitchen
The variety of colour options in European-style Cabinet finishes can run the gamut from clear whites to dark reds, bright blues, inspiring greens and nearly any other shade you can imagine. High-gloss automotive finishes can also be used to provide a contemporary look while wood veneer doors can provide a warmer feel.
- Flooring & Tile for the European-style Kitchen
The choice of flooring and tile work must adhere to the overall design of your European-style kitchen. This may include earth-toned ceramic tile for flooring and backsplashes or natural colours and tones to create a more welcoming environment. You will also need to consider how your choice of materials will align with your lifestyle. Laminate is lightweight and durable. In the past, it has been primarily associated with inexpensive, budget projects while it has recently evolved to be commonly used in European cabinets. These are now available in a myriad of styles, colours and texture.
- Lighting for European-style Kitchens
While your choice of cabinetry, countertops and flooring are critical to the success of your final design, your choice of lighting is easy to overlook, yet equally important. Different lighting options include task lighting, under-cabinet lighting, ambient lighting, accent lighting, decorative lighting and general room lighting.
You can consider incorporating an element of layered lighting to provide a unique effect. When lighting is layered properly it can offer a great combination of light variations that will allow for task lighting to prepare food and set a desired mood to entertain guests. Well-designed lighting can combine function with aesthetics.
A Few Final Tips from your Kitchen Design Specialist
European-style kitchens will normally feature engineered materials such as plastics, laminate, and ceramics. Still, the well-designed European-style kitchen will benefit from the use of some natural materials. These will serve to add warmth and make the room more welcoming. These materials may include sleek hardwood floors, granite countertops and wood furniture; all of which can be a tremendous complement to any kitchen.
Essentially, if you love simplicity than you should consider a European-style cabinet for your kitchen. These are carefully crafted and often come together with the pride of a work of art crafted by its visionary.
Finally, your choice of furniture is essential in the European-style Kitchen. It can be functional and well-integrated into the kitchen design. With European designs often trying to maximize the use of space, how wood, plastic and metal tables and chairs are integrated into the overall design cannot be under-estimated.
Why Choose Accord for your Kitchen Design Project?
The journey of creating your dream kitchen begins by drawing the layout. Accord Cabinet’s unique use of 3D Design technology will greatly help you avoid costly errors by outlining how your vision can be realized within the limitations of your available space.
You should begin the layout by determining where to place your large appliances. Next you will need to consider your need for storage space. You must have easy access to commonly used items and these must be well-integrated into the design. Finally, your room must reflect your personality and taste. The goal of every new-kitchen design is to “marry” the need for functionality with a flair for the home owner’s unique style.
Your professional design consultant at Accord will provide you with valuable advice on the principles of design & style, light & colour, functionality & efficiency, proportion & balance; all with the sincere desire to help you bring your vision to life… and all within your budget.
Please search our Photo Gallery for ideas and our Portfolio page for samples of past projects.
When you’re planning your next cabinetry project, CONTACT US at Accord Cabinets Limited for your free, no-obligation Consultation. We would love to help you through the process.
Call, email or stop by our showroom. Appointments are appreciated.