The main visual element that dominates an American traditional kitchen is of course wood. Wooden panels and drawer fronts give a heavy and solid look. The strong feel comes from the fact that the cabinetry is not a veneer but actual wooden joinery. Dark stained oak is the most common material, and often this is carried through onto the counter top.
Edging and Detailing
Traditionally American kitchen has a high detailing element. Door and drawer fronts are paneled and the handles that adorn them are large and ornate. Even counter tops have complicated edging detail. Around the top of the kitchen a cornice should adorn the tops of the cabinetry.
Just because there is a traditional look there is no reason why you cannot have the latest modern appliances. All you need to do is conceal them. The extraction unit should be hidden inside a large mantle and modern appliances should not be on show. Where possible integrating these into the cabinetry.
An Unfitted Kitchen
Each individual unit should seem to be freestanding. The concept of kitchen as furniture has been around for a long time and the beautiful wooden cabinets should feel as if they been placed in the room rather than installed. If they can be made with feet rather than toe kicks it will enhance this unfitted look.
Stick to natural counter tops, granite and timber. Even consider using both tops in the same kitchen or even butting them up to each other. Tops should be thick and chunky and as mentioned before they should have an edge detailing.
A Collectors Kitchen
The nice thing about this style is the ability to show off collections. In particular exposed dresser units and mantle tops are the perfect place to show off you precious items. Plates, mugs, or old kitchen implements all add to the detailing. With china choose a particular colour and style so that it will work with your kitchen colours.
Follow it Through
Remember there is more to a kitchen than appliances and cabinetry. Lighting is important but avoid down lights and halogens. There should be a main feature pendant and matching wall lights. If you need more light it is possible to conceal fluorescent tubes under wall cabinets, or on top of the cabinets. These wash light onto the walls and ceiling for a soft but effective illumination.
Flooring is another area to remember. Timber or tiles are best and tiling also gives you the option of installing under floor heating.
The American Traditional kitchen is the most popular style in the USA today and will continue to be so due to its old school charm.