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Traditional Kitchen Design Ideas Around the World

June 27, 2021 | Updated on: January 31, 2022

Culture is a very big part of human life. It can be found and expressed practically anywhere including food, work, art, and even daily living. This can especially be true when it comes to various kitchens of the world.

kitchens of the world

While kitchen trends and designs can change rapidly, there will always be a specific design that originates in each country around the world. Each country believes they have the best kitchen in the world, but they each have their own benefits. While the Japanese are more fond of minimalism when it comes to their kitchens, the kitchens in Mexico are maximalists. Moving onto Europe, many kitchens in London, UK, have a similar design style of being bright and modern while still incorporating dark features like in the wooden cabinets and balancing it off with bright white granite countertops. 


The inspiration that people get for their kitchen designs can be inspired by global styles. When you compare the different kitchen styles from around the world, you’ll be able to get a feeling of some of their culture and more. Each country will have its own signature and unique color palettes, characteristics, stable decorations, traditional techniques, and more that are incorporated into its interior designs. 

When it comes to designing a good kitchen, the goal is always the same. Most property owners will want to have a space that is functional for both cooking and entertaining, has the optimal amount of storage, uses durable materials, and is appealing from every aspect. Whether it’s a kitchen design traditional or something more complex, the options are endless.

Even though a good kitchen design can be considered universal, not all kitchens are made equally. What might work for a small apartment in Italy might not cut it for a large house in America with an interior design kitchen traditional. Every country and location will have a few different design preferences and influences that might date back many years. 

Below are a few traditional kitchen design ideas from around the world that you might want to consider incorporating into your own kitchen design. 

Traditional English Kitchen Designs

The classic English kitchen is mainly used for both preparing and cooking food, but it’s common for kitchens to also be used as dining and living rooms too if there is enough space. Due to this, most newly constructed properties have larger kitchens. This is considered to be part of an evolution for English kitchens over the past few years. 

English country kitchen designs tend to incorporate a natural aesthetic and they will typically use ornaments in order to add some color to the overall style. The cabinets and cupboard will be colored white while the countertops are either made from wood or black granite for some contrast. Options for classic English kitchen tile can include subway tile or something more luxurious. These designs are simple yet they set a very clear and light tone for the room as a whole. 

Shaker-style cabinets are popularly used in classic English home interiors kitchen due to their minimal ornamentation and their ability to blend both traditional and contemporary styles. You’ll rarely find an English kitchen with moldings, instead, the cabinets will go straight to the top. 

You can also go for luxury classic english home interiors kitchen by adding some natural stone and other materials. 

Traditional French Kitchen Design

In France, comfort and elegance are key, even when it comes to kitchen designs. The key to having a French classic kitchen design is to mix both elegant and comfortable designs to achieve a cohesive look. Many French kitchen designs will incorporate earthy tones, animal decor, and even toil and floral fabrics. 

Traditional French Kitchen Design

In terms of the cabinets, countertops, and flooring, the commonly used materials are natural like wood, stone, or granite. For high-quality wooden countertops, the common paint color options will include white, beige, or even be a natural slate color with a protective stain covering it. Classic french gray kitchen cabinets can bring out the contrast. As far as the classic French kitchen cabinet hardware goes on the cabinets, it’s usually in either silver or bronze tones. 

Another crucial part to keep in mind when you design a classic french kitchen is the artwork and accessories that are incorporated. Artwork is often framed and hung on the walls and these can oftentimes include natural subjects and nature scenes including farm animals. Common accessories that are found in French kitchens can include wire and wicker baskets. A French classic grey kitchen wall color is also often used.

When it comes down to color palettes, some key characteristics for traditional French kitchen designs include earthy tones and pale colors. Crown molding is oftentimes installed using natural materials and a classic French gray kitchen island is common. Bright colors and lighting are also common in modern-day French kitchens. 

It’s common to also incorporate countertops and cupboards in bright and vibrant colors that are oftentimes illuminated by under-cabinet lighting, built-in cabinet lighting, ceiling lights, and/or natural lighting from the windows into a classic french country kitchen

Classic French kitchen designs will tend to have a more modest style, unlike most American kitchens. They’re oftentimes smaller in size and have fewer gadgets since they’re commonly used as a place to prepare and cook food instead of a place to entertain and eat in. 

Traditional American Kitchen Design

In American, a common saying is that “bigger is better” and that also applies to the size of the American classic kitchen. It’s standard for kitchens to have double-door refrigerators and for there to be an area where you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner without having to leave the room. This means that a spacious classic American kitchen is necessary. 

Traditional American Kitchen Design

There are various designs that are oftentimes incorporated into an American modern kitchen design. Some can be traditional, Scandinavian, Mediterranean, French, country, etc. In terms of kitchen organization, most homeowners will choose to have American classic kitchen cabinets that are made in the USA for all of their kitchen equipment and essentials.

While there isn’t a concrete design for a modern American kitchen design, it’s crucial for them to have big and spacious kitchens. With a spacious American style kitchen design, there are countless possibilities to make the room your own. When you’re thinking about a kitchen design American style, it’s important to note that the design can also feature some styles from other countries. 

Traditional Ukrainian Kitchen Design

A traditional Ukrainian kitchen design will often mean working with an urban environment. In this case, it’s crucial to make concessions for space. A typical Ukrainian classic kitchen is small in terms of size which means that adding light is crucial in order to create the illusion of having more space. 

Traditional Ukrainian Kitchen Design

Many apartment kitchens can make space by having breakfast areas with lower countertops that can double as bar areas for eating quick meals. Other traditional features of a Ukrainian classic kitchen design include having two different rows of upper cabinets, where one is shallower than the other. This is so that the homeowners don’t hit their heads when washing dishes.

Traditional Italian Kitchen Design

When it comes to Italian kitchens, the options to choose from are modern or rustic. An Italian modern kitchen design is known for its minimalist designs, sleek styles, open spaces, and amount of light. It’s common for wooden materials and stainless steel to be incorporated into the design as well as for the main color in the room to be white. 

One specific feature in Italian kitchens is that their countertops will oftentimes have a sink, stove, and storage space so that homeowners can cook while also having quick and easy access to everything during the process. 

Traditional Italian Kitchen Design

When traveling around Italy, it’s common to find a mixture of older-style kitchens, rustic designs that include copper pans and stone walls, and more. These are oftentimes found in the countryside farmhouses like in Tuscany or Puglia. However, many people also work around these rustic styles and modernize them to their liking.

Most Tuscan kitchen designs are commonly used all over the world. Common characteristics include textured walls that are in dark earthy tones, pale yellows, or even different shades of cream. Some might even include vibrant gold colors, bright pops of red, accents of blue, earthy green shades, and other natural colors that resemble the Tuscan countryside. Additional features can include simple Italian design kitchen cabinets, window treatments, wrought-iron candle holders, custom murals, and some framed prints. 

Some Italian modern kitchen design ideas to get a real Italian or Tuscan feel in your kitchen include adding some reclaimed wood flooring or even Terra-cotta tile. A rustic and natural wood finish in a kitchen can really bring out the Italian design. 

The key to an ultra modern Italian kitchen design is to incorporate as many traditional or rustic styles as possible while still keeping up the modern and almost industrial feel.

Traditional Indian Kitchen Design

India is commonly known for its open markets and a lot of its brightly colored spices that are used in the kitchen. When you walk into a traditional Indian style kitchen design, you’ll notice that the color continues. Most kitchen design in India have a lot of storage space and large countertops. Common Indian kitchen design layouts are in U-shape designs. 

Traditional Indian Kitchen Design

Since most of the urban apartments in India are smaller in size, a U shaped kitchen design india will allow for maximum space, storage, and functionality. Many apartments will incorporate unique dark walnut colors whether it’s for the floors, Indian kitchen cabinets design, or other aspects of the kitchen. Walnut is considered to be a classic color for wood which makes it fit in perfectly with most traditional Indian designs due to its style and modern feel. 

Adding walnut to your kitchen design india will make it match ideally with other colors like black, white, and more. It also provides a sophisticated appeal in terms of kitchen decor for a modern kitchen design in India. A benefit to it is that it doesn’t fade or change to yellow over time. 

An Indian kitchen design for small space is ideal since it can keep the room functional, appealing, and with the maximum amount of storage. 

Traditional Spanish Kitchen Design

A typical modern Spanish kitchen design is both warm and welcoming. Kitchen floors will often have a unique hexagonal shape that stands out against the white walls and other designs. Vintage beauty is the key to any Spanish kitchen design as the room should be inviting and appealing at the same time. 

There are some Spanish kitchen designs that will include warm details, painted tiles, dark wooden cabinets, and more traditional design aspects. Here are some of the more iconic and traditional Spanish style kitchen design ideas

Traditional Spanish Kitchen Design

Decorative Archways

Arched windows and doorways are very significant in Spanish colonial kitchen design styles since they make big impressions. 

Saltillo Tile Flooring

In a traditional Spanish-style kitchen, it’s common to find Saltillo tiles or terracotta tiles as they make a room more inviting and warm. 

Exposed Wooden Beams

Wooden ceiling beams are oftentimes seen in Spanish kitchen designs. This kind of architectural style is embraced throughout the entire house instead of being hidden in order to get a more rustic Spanish kitchen design.

Decorated Cabinets

Decorated cabinets and furnishings often give off a more antique Spanish style. These cabinets and furnishings will typically be from walnut wood and the designs will oftentimes be rope with beaded trim. 

A Flared Hood

As mentioned earlier with the archways, curves and arches are commonly seen in a Spanish kitchen design. This design is even incorporated into the hood above the cooktop or stove. The flared hoods will be made from sheetrock, cast stone, and/or corbels.

Traditional German Kitchen Design

German kitchens and UK kitchens have been compared to each other a lot over the years due to their; however, they do have a few significant differences between the two. UK kitchen styles often include traditional Shaker cabinets, in-frame and contemporary styles, heavy countertops, chunky corners, bold hardware, patterned doors, and busy patterns. On the other hand, new and old German kitchen design trends tend to avoid most of these design features and keep the styles to a minimum. 

In most cases, a German kitchen design would avoid incorporating features that are busy and instead, focus on minimalism from edge to edge. A typical kitchen design is handleless which means that there is no hardware on the cabinets. You’ll see a lot of sharp countertops, sleek lines, and refined edges. 

Traditional German Kitchen Design

A few popular modern German kitchen design ideas include: 

Supermatt Grey Styles

Even though minimalism is key in a traditional German kitchen design, a Supermatt grey kitchen will definitely bring out the wow factor that is needed. The dark shade of grey will bring out the masculinity in the kitchen and the Supermatt material will provide the fingerprint-resistant technology that will help make the cabinets durable. The grey color can be used in german kitchen vintage design styles and modern kitchens, too. 

Lots of Curves

Similar to Spanish-style kitchens, you’ll find that curves are popular in a German kitchen design traditional. They tend to be more pleasing to look at and can complete the look of the kitchen. 

Industrial Styles

Industrial kitchens have become more and more of a trend over the years and this style definitely works for German kitchens. There are great ways to blend a traditional European design with industrial finishes like concrete doors. It can keep the German farm kitchen design looking and feeling light and fresh. 

Traditional Swedish Kitchen Design

When you think of Sweden and kitchens, chances are that IKEA has popped into your mind. Sweden is where IKEA was founded and as a whole, a traditional Scandinavian kitchen design is one that is quite unique and recognizable. While other kitchens might have some standalone units and appliances, a Swedish kitchen design has practically everything built-in. The entire kitchen will come as a package and there will be no separate parts. 

Traditional Swedish Kitchen Design

For most Swedish interior designers, the goal is to save as much space as possible so even the smaller kitchens will have a lot of storage space. There will be no nooks or crannies that go unused, no matter if it’s a Swedish country kitchen design or something more modern. 

A typical Swedish kitchen can vary in terms of designs. Style options can include rustic, industrial, modern, small, big, colorful, and more. The main key for a small Swedish kitchen design is for it all to be built-in and as space-saving as possible. 

If you have a small and tight space to work with for your kitchen, choosing some Swedish kitchen design ideas can help you make the most out of the space. You can take full advantage of the size of the room and turn it into a welcoming and minimalistic Swedish design kitchen with white appliances and cabinets and maybe even a few wooden accents for some contrast. 

Traditional Japanese Kitchen Design

As a continent, Asia has influenced a lot of the world’s most popular choices in terms of interior design. You tend to see a lot of soft elegance, simple lines, and more which is what draws a lot of homeowners in when trying to choose the right kitchen design style. Whether you pick a Japanese small kitchen design, Chinese, Thai, Korean, or Indian, the look is oftentimes similar. Most designs will feature sleek furniture options, classic charm, and a lot of simplicity. In terms of colors, you’ll likely see a lot of black, red, white, gold, silver, and dark brown. Common materials can range from chrome to stainless steel, silk, and even bamboo. 


Minimal and Clean Look for Japanese Design

Minimalism is key for a Japanese kitchen design. It’s crucial for these kitchens to be clean and a maximum amount of purity and balance. Cluttered spaces and stress should be avoided. Most Japanese-style kitchen designs will focus on the simplicity and functionality of the kitchen which will likely lead to a contemporary and minimalistic design. 

Traditional Japanese Kitchen Design

One of the main materials used in Japanese-style kitchens is wood since it makes them feel more inviting and warm. The wood also acts as a great contrast for hard elements like steel and ceramic. To get a more modern look, white is often incorporated as color into the kitchen. Some might even use white to contrast light grey shades and blues. 

Other designs like sliding doors and windows are essential when it comes to a Japanese design kitchen. Property owners will typically use sliding doors instead of ones with hinges in order to save space. Shoji screens or translucent glass panels will oftentimes be used to make the room feel warm and cozy. 

In order to enhance the simplistic and minimalistic feel of the Japanese home kitchen design, simple cabinetry will be incorporated and oftentimes, it will be handleless with an emphasis on clean lines. Nature is also oftentimes incorporated into the kitchen design.

Traditional Chinese Kitchen Design

Since China has an incredibly high population density, space can be limited. This means that maximizing the space in the kitchen be crucial, especially when dealing with smaller properties. A traditional residential Chinese kitchen design is practical. White countertops, cabinets, and tiled flooring is commonly found in most Chinese kitchens. While many kitchens might be the size of a standard closet and have little storage space, it’s not much of an issue for the Chinese. Most of their cooking only requires the use of a pan or two. 

Some of the commonly found kitchen equipment essentials, like ovens and fridges, aren’t typically found in a Chinese style kitchen design. Fresh food is bought on a daily basis so there isn’t a real need for refrigerators whereas a two-ring gas stove is all that is needed to cook food. 

Traditional Chinese Kitchen Design

There are other Chinese kitchen design ideas to consider, especially when it comes down to Feng Shui. In this case, the kitchen should be facing the south and curved countertops are often preferred since sharp edges should be avoided. Since the stove represents the fire element and the sink represents the water element, they shouldn’t be next to one another. 

You can choose to have a more modern Chinese kitchen design or a rustic Chinese kitchen design. Whatever it is, incorporating the proper Feng Shui is essential and one of the main factors of this style. 

Traditional Irish Kitchen Design

A common goal for a traditional Irish kitchen design is to create a sanctuary. There are oftentimes mushroom-colored cabinets that tend to create a country-style feel while also incorporating a restful ambiance. Taupe is another color that tends to work well in Irish kitchens that have a lot of natural light since it’s what prevents the color from looking sludgy. 

Traditional Irish Kitchen Design

Bold colors are also a brave way to incorporate an Irish look into your kitchen. Royal blue is a great choice to use in order to make a statement. Adding some white elements can create the ideal amount of contrast and adding copper light fixtures will help modernize the traditional style of the kitchen. 

Since blue is a bold and brave color, you might want to stay away from it. Instead of completely diving in with the royal blue, you can try to incorporate it into just a small part of your kitchen, like on the island. When it comes to creating centerpieces in a vintage Irish kitchen design, it’s important to keep in mind that rich reds and blues will work great. 

You can embrace the dark side with an old Irish kitchen design. From grey window frames that give off that chic look to dark countertops, the options are endless. Mixing some modern light fixtures with colonial-style furniture can create the perfect balance. 

Incorporating a few natural elements can also do wonders for the small Irish kitchen design. These can include vaulted beams, white paint, natural wood, and even luxurious materials like marble can be ideal. 

Traditional Mexican Kitchen Design

A traditional Mexican kitchen design is also considered to be a traditional South-American kitchen design. There are a lot of large rustic floor tiles involved, some bright colors, and bright countertops. Common colors can include reds, blues, and yellows. A typical Mexican kitchen is small in size so the design will oftentimes cater to a single person cooking. Despite this, the kitchen will likely be fully equipped and functional. 

Traditional Mexican Kitchen Design

Earlier, we talked about how traditional Japanese kitchens are all about minimalism. Mexican kitchens are the opposite as they scream maximalism. A lot of the designs are inviting, warm, and spicy. The main elements of a Mexican kitchen include lots of decorative tiles and bold colors as this brings out the festive designs. In this kind of kitchen, you won’t ever have to worry about overdoing it. 

The walls of the kitchen are typically a warm beige color and some might even be textured or use stones in order to have some kind of definition. Neutral-colored kitchen walls can allow for the homeowners to change up the decorations and paintings as they’d like. As far as storing kitchen essentials goes, most Mexican kitchen designs will have some kind of open shelving for boldly designed plates, pots, and pans. 

Final Thoughts

While kitchen designs are known to constantly change over time, there will likely be some kind of geographical hint of some of the distinctive elements that are found in the room. This hint will determine the design origin of the inspiration. While you can always incorporate your favorite style into your kitchen, chances are that you got at least one idea from this article.



Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.