Colonial Kitchen Design

Explore ideas and options for colonial kitchen design, and get ready to add a traditional and attractive design to your kitchen.
Pale Blue French Country Kitchen

Pale Blue French Country Kitchen

The kitchen, has a cheerful and airy French Provencal appeal with woodwork treated in a combination of pale blue and wood stain. A rustic metal chandelier over the kitchen island and wide-plank wood floors complete the feel of the countryside.

From: Leta Austin Foster

Photo by: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Photo Credit: Edward Addeo, Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

By: Sean McEvoy

If your tastes generally tend more towards the traditional and you find incorporating historically inspired styles into your kitchen design appealing, you may want to consider a colonial kitchen design.

Kitchen Chronicles: I'm in Love With My Kitchen Makeover

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From Cramped to Cozy

Noelle and Brad Otts of Austin, Texas, go to food festivals like some people go to concerts. They have an organic vegetable garden in their backyard and raise chickens (one rooster and 11 hens).Their original kitchen — a tiny space with such limited storage that Noelle kept the plates in the garage — was just not going to cut it. Over the course of three months, they scrapped what was there to create a larger chef's kitchen with a cozy vibe.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

A Cottage for a Serious Chef

The buttery yellow cabinets, screened pantry door (from and frilly ceramic hardware (Melon handles from pile on the charm. The countertop accessories, like an old metal box, add to the vintage vibe. The commercial-grade Viking range is not just for show — Noelle and Brad use all eight burners, the griddle and the two ovens almost daily.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno


Brad and Noelle kept a consistent, colorful look throughout the space by mimicking the yellow cabinet panels on their Sub-Zero refrigerator (all from The Otts’ kids, Cash, 6, and Maddie Rose, 3, join in the cooking fun, too, so some of the design choices — panel-front appliances instead of fingerprint-y stainless steel, dark gray grout instead of dirt-prone white — minimize the maintenance without sacrificing style.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Easy Access

Collections of cookbooks and wine are perfect for open shelving. "We thought about a wine fridge, but we didn’t want to lose valuable under-counter space — plus, we realized a wine fridge would cost more than the wine we drink," says Noelle.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Real Life With Concrete Counters

Concrete was cheaper than the quote Brad and Noelle got for quartz, but "we were surprised that the counters took 10 days to install. They were laid like a foundation, then sealed," says Noelle. It was worth the wait: They're easy to maintain with soap and water, and blemishes add to their character.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Dream Kitchens Come True

"Can you believe we lived here during the reno and cooked in the laundry room?" says Noelle. Now the room cheers them up instead of bumming them out. "This kitchen makes me even more excited about cooking and hosting dinner parties for friends," says Noelle. "There's no other place I'd rather be."

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, Styling by: Jennifer Berno

Kitchen Castaway

Marsha Pecaut and Bill Blok, a ship captain, bought their San Diego condo for its gorgeous ocean view. But (bummer alert!) they couldn’t see the water from the tiny kitchen, which had only one small window that didn't face the ocean. "It had drop-down ceilings and was surrounded by walls — so depressing," says Marsha. "We wanted something light and bright," says Marsha. "We also wanted to incorporate our love of the water and boats."

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Sailing to New Heights

Internet research turned up designer Amy Meier, who helped Marsha and Bill connect the kitchen to the living room and infuse the space with subtle nautical touches. Brass ring pulls and cabinet handles from an actual boat hardware supplier ( are a bona fide nautical touch.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Light and Dark

Amy steered Marsha toward absolute black granite (meaning no flecks at all) in a casual honed finish. A few carefully chosen dark accents, like inky blue paint, black countertops and black tile grout, look striking against all that white but don't make the room feel heavy. The columns are Old Navy by Benjamin Moore.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Super Sink

Marsha and Bill made the move to San Diego from Oregon to spend more time with their twin grandchildren. An apron-front, dual-basin ceramic sink doubles as the perfect spot for bathing their grandbabies. When it's not bath time, the roomy sink makes washing piles of dishes a breeze.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Opened Up

Fact: Fewer walls means more light! Marsha and Bill took down two walls, so all that's separating the kitchen and the sunny living room are an island and two columns, which they call the kitchen's "masts." One is structural; the other is faked to conceal plumbing and electrical. Now that they're finished, Marsha says, "We love that it’s big enough for both of us to cook — and dance — in." She calls the kitchen "the epitome of fun."

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Modern Makeover

When Brooke and Blake Hortenstine bought their 1950s home in Dallas seven years ago, they agreed on one thing from the start: The cramped, dark red kitchen had to go. Immediately. "The kitchen was too closed in and disorganized," says Brooke. "Even though I grew up in a traditional house, my style is much more modern these days."

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Room to Grow

With the help of Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, the Hortenstines embarked on a renovation that sent them packing to Blake's parents' house for almost a year. The result: a sleek but warm room for their growing family (2-year-old Rollins will be a big brother this summer).

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Efficient Kitchen

The new kitchen is a model of efficient design: All the plumbing and appliances are along one wall and there's plenty of storage space. IKEA cabinetry, with its affordable price tag and customizable shelves, is a dream come true for organized bargain hunters.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Lighten Up

Dark cabinets can go dreary, but Brooke brightened hers by pairing them with honey-color granite counters and a limestone mosaic tile backsplash. Brooke chose the pendants (from for their cool design and ambient light, but for function, she installed strategically placed ceiling cans and bright under-cabinet fluorescents. "The room looks contemporary to me, but it still has a cozy, stay-awhile feel," says Brooke.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Center Island

An ultra-long island (8 feet!) means the whole family can hang out: veggie chopping on one end and bill paying on the other. The island also has deep storage drawers. The leather-topped stools are cushy and easy to wipe clean.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Thoughtful Living

When it came to designing her dream kitchen, she knew she wanted a streamlined look that was easy to navigate. The new space is just what Blake and Brooke, a self-professed "neat freak," had envisioned. Not only is the style clean and simple, "there's no place for clutter to find an accidental home around here," says Brooke.

Photo By: Photo by: David A. Land, styling by: Jennifer Berno

Colonial kitchen designs take inspiration from the kitchens of the American Colonial era of the 17th and 18th centuries. Spanning roughly two centuries from the 1600s to the 1800s, this historical period was a time of radical change. This evolution of thought was subtly reflected in the design of colonial kitchens. Characterized by a fairly straightforward and unadorned approach to design, colonial kitchens often feature muted, traditional colors, cabinets and furniture constructed from high-quality woods, and fixtures and hardware in metals like oil-rubbed bronze.

Cabinet styles are an important consideration for any colonial kitchen design. A range of traditional cabinet options can be a great addition to a colonial kitchen. Relatively straightforward and unadorned, but often boasting a hand-crafted look and expertly carved molding, colonial cabinets may be left in their natural state, stained in a range of colors, or painted. Light stains or colors like white, cream and beige are common choices for colonial cabinets, complementing an overall design that's often simple, unadorned and functional. Colonial kitchen cabinets are often constructed from the high-quality hardwoods that were commonly available in the original American colonies. Maple, oak, pine and cherry are examples of woods often used for colonial cabinets.

Furniture for colonial kitchens follows the same examples as cabinets, boasting quality hardwood construction, intricate, expert carving and natural or light colors. Throw pillows or cushions in gingham, toile or plaids can help add color to the design, featuring traditional colonial colors like reds, blues and greens.

Countertop design for colonial kitchens also reflects a straightforward, efficient but elegant approach, often featuring high-quality, durable materials like granite and marble. For backsplashes and walls in colonial kitchens, some homeowners choose to featuring tiling or wallpaper featuring toile designs or stenciling, each popular during the colonial era.

Floors in colonial kitchens often feature hardwood or other natural materials like slate, grounding a high-quality but efficient and straightforward design. Pairing darker floors with an overall design that boasts light colors for cabinets and other furniture can be a great way to add contrast and depth to your colonial kitchen design.

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