When talking about classic style – for a house, a garment, or an object –, we immediately refer to a tradition established over the years and to a timeless beauty unconstrained by the latest trends.
The kitchen, the heart of the home, is – both functionally and emotionally – a classic room. Meals are prepared and consumed within it based on old, time-honoured recipes handed down within families from generation to generation. We spend many hours of the day in the kitchen, perhaps engaged in activities that are not strictly related to food: studying, working, and chatting with friends.
Designing a classic kitchen therefore continues to have a current and profound significance, which can be reflected in architectural and interior design choices explored with materials and furnishings which, although modern, embrace the inspiration of tradition.
Classic style has always been an archive of inspirations that are constantly being updated. Indeed, what we label as modern today will, in the future, undoubtedly aspire to establish a new classic tradition.
Let’s take a look at how to design a perfect classic kitchen, exploring the following aspects in particular:
Instinctively, without giving it much thought, any of us, when thinking of a classic kitchen, would imagine it located in a separate room from the living room.
The immediate mental connection to this spatial arrangement comes from the idea of a rather large traditional house, structured into a public living area, a private sleeping area and a series of accessory, service spaces, which once ensured that the whole home mechanism functioned.
Today, we all live in our homes in a much more informal and dynamic way than in the past and the domestic space consequently accommodates and overlaps several different functions, which do not necessarily correspond to specific areas.
This means that if we want to design a classic kitchen, we can either do so by devoting it a well-defined room, separated from others by movable or fixed partitions, or by carving out a corner in the living room, perhaps completed and enhanced by versatile and innovative design solutions suited to the needs of modern life.
In both configurations, we can set certain design criteria to steer our kitchen towards a recognisable and timeless classic style:
Classic kitchen furniture, whether placed in a dedicated room or in a corner of a living room, differs from other styles due to a few main characteristics.
Furniture, complemented by the technological support of appliances, contributes to a harmonious and balanced ensemble which, when the kitchen is not in use, can be perceived as a legible object in all its perfection and cohesion.
Unlike in a modern-style kitchen, the elements in a classic kitchen do not extend towards the living room, but remain enclosed within its finished layout; the entire space can be perceived even from a distance. This works both if the kitchen is very large and well-proportioned in relation to the living room and if it is small, well-organised and distinguished by exquisite, elegant geometry and finishes.
It is essential to choose the right hood for a classic kitchen. It should preferably be visible, in a size that matches the hob and with a finish coordinated with the furniture.
A good design trick is to align the hood with the central axis of the longest side, regardless of the design of the bases: linear, L-shaped or C-shaped. This emphasises the cooking area’s central importance within the space, in keeping with tradition and its modern interpretation.
When faced with the task of choosing colors and materials for a classic kitchen, there are many questions to consider:
Generally speaking, for a classic kitchen, it is best to avoid excessively bright colors and overly marked contrasts. Classic signifies soft, bright, and reassuring. This is why the perfect allies for designing a perfect classic kitchen are traditional materials: wood, stone, and ceramics.
While wood can create a set of furniture with warm tones and full, concrete shapes, ceramics can cover walls and floors with patterns, textures and colors that can be customised by drawing on an almost infinite range of solutions.
It is important to carefully consider which wall coverings to opt for: the walls of a classic kitchen form a backdrop for the overall look and must therefore perfectly match the existing lighting and materials.
Avoid tiles that are too small! They could alter the style of the kitchen, shifting it from classic to rustic. Instead, you should choose medium or large sizes distinguished by their tactile appeal and colors, which can be combined in highly decorative panels.