It's completely fine if you own a traditional kitchen and you're content with what you got in there. However, if you've just been introduced to contemporary kitchen at a peer's place, you might want an upgrade. The question is how to incorporate preferred elements of a contemporary kitchen in traditional one without losing the basic essence. The answer is a Transitional kitchen. A beautiful mix of contemporary and traditional, Transitional offers what you require by just making a few changes here and there such as:
A transition from traditional to contemporary requires a complete shift in colour palette. Go for more sophisticated colours for your kitchen such as warm white and pale grey. You need not go overboard with colour combinations as in a contemporary one. Just choose neutral shades. Complement the soft shades with darker tones such as dark brown, black or charcoal.
Ditch your maple countertop for a granite or sandstone one. It looks elegant and stylish while introducing modern colours and materials in your kitchen. What better way to bring grey or charcoal in your kitchen than a nice granite counter. Marble works wonders as well. It's advisable to use a lathered finish rather than the standard one. A minimalistic design is what's going to impart a modern character to your kitchen.
Get rid of the Victorian styled chandeliers hanging above the dining area if you want a new age touch. Lighting fixtures in copper or chrome finish with a more industrial design are a welcome feature. Don't go for a more intricate design. Instead, utilitarian designs should be looked out for. A simple change in lighting source can make a huge difference in the way your kitchen looks.
Kitchen cabinets in laminates spell contemporary. But instead of going for bold colours, custom kitchen cabinets in laminate in neutral and soft tones can add sophistication to your kitchen. Cabinet door handles in chrome can also do the trick. Experiment with different cabinet formats like pull to open, slide to open or push to open to see which one works best for you. Choose according to your convenience.
Adding an island instead of a peninsula in your kitchen can give you more space for increased maneuverability. This also lends a modern appeal to your kitchen. An island can be doubled up as a dining area by adding high chairs at one side. Use a thicker slab as countertop for island. In this way, you can demarcate the chopping and dining area neatly as in a modern kitchen.
Remove one of the top high cabinets to create open shelves to keep your everyday use appliances or kitchenware. You can also keep simple items for display on top shelf like a flower vase. The aim is to beautify without going over the top.