By Lydia Geisel

Published on September 16, 2018

You can learn everything there is to know about someone just by taking a step inside their house. The most telling of rooms? The kitchen, of course. As the soul of the home, the kitchen is also one of the most descriptive spaces. How much (or little) clutter you have, the colors you gravitate towards, and the types of material used within the room say more about your wants, needs, and daily habits than you think.

For instance, someone living with a whitewashed kitchen with all-marble countertops is going to be unquestionably different than, say, someone with salvaged wood shelves and wallpaper as a stand-in for the backsplash.

So, now, it’s time to ask yourself: What does your kitchen say about you? Well, we’re here to tell you (sort of). Ahead, we run through some of the most common kitchen tropes, and what they really mean for your personality and your design style. Plus, what your kitchen style says about the trends you should try next.

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Paul Dyer

If You Have an All-White Kitchen

You are: Your friends say you’re type-A, and, hey, you’re not ashamed. When it comes to keeping a squeaky-clean home and clutter-free surfaces, you are the ultimate champ. If someone had to sum you up in two words, effortless simplicity would certainly suffice.

You like: Clean, airy, and sun-drenched spaces are just a few things you gravitate towards. Your aesthetic exudes the same ease and ethereal beauty of that known only to California-cool. You almost always prefer natural light over boldly colorful surfaces and never go to bed without overseeing a final sweep of your space.

What to try next: Copper, eucalyptus, and vintage rugs If metallics are something that especially speaks to you, consider peppering in copper accessories in the kitchen and beyond. Aged metals fall in line with your sleek ways while offering room for whimsy. Likewise, softer elements like [%2939%] and healing greens will pick up on your calming ways.

 

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If You Have an Ikea Kitchen

You are: A diehard deal hunter. Being resourceful is in your blood and you’re unafraid of a taxing DIY. You’re always thinking of innovative and creative ways to personalize your decor to better suit your space and style.

You like: To customize. If your kitchen has largely been sourced from Ikea, chances are you’ve likely looked into (or have already installed) one-of-a-kind fronts for your cabinets or found some other savvy Ikea kitchen hack to make your place completely your own, like adding chic handles and pulls.

What to try next: Blonde wood, faux leather, and a portrait gallery wall Seeing that Scandinavian design speaks to you, continue to stick with streamlined furnishings and organic shapes and textures. This fall is the perfect time to embrace natural materials and get creative with your art displays. A wall of antique portraits is a fun way to add a little personality to a room.

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Aaron Bengochea

If You Have Concrete Counters

You are: Sturdy, reliable, and low-key edgy. In your eyes, being a little rough around the edges is the silver lining to a happy life and a happy home.

You like: Classic forms and industrial spaces. Whether you veer toward industrial-farmhouse or industrial-modern, what matters to you is structure and architecture. Materials and surfaces that, to others, come off as “cold” or “impersonal” don’t bother you. In fact, what you love most about these details is their uniformity.

What to try next: Monochromatic color palettes and green marble. You can easily up the visual intrigue of a room by getting clever with color. While your spectrum may not go far, completely committing to one color—be it jet black or a rosy burgundy—can make for a stunning scene. Similarly, we’re loving the depth and dimension that green marble accessories can bring to a space.

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Aaron Bengochea

If You Have Salvaged Wood Cabinets

You are: Conscious of the environment and love making old things new again. Instead of telling a story about the future, you see the value in objects that place an emphasis on the past. For you, introducing reclaimed materials and recycled goods into the home isn’t about saving money, it’s about saying something meaningful.

You like: Rustic country cottages and tales of unexpected transformations. You know HGTV like the back of your hand and there’s little you love more than watching a broken home brought back to life.

What to try next: Aged brass and dark shiplap walls. Embrace your inner fixer-upper and take to your local flea market with worn metals and wood planks in mind.

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Danielle Nagel

If You Have Vintage Appliances

You are: A little quirky, but love to have fun. While you might not be the most efficient or seasoned cook, to you, the kitchen is a place to source and create new ideas. Although your taste spans the decades, you’re especially digging the return of chic 1970s decor.

You like: Full-on kitsch. Hot pink and all-over bathroom tiles pull at your heartstrings.

What to try next: Fuschia and fringe. Embrace cliches and pull inspiration from the past. Fluorescent shades, wild prints, and stringy forms are making serious waves in both fashion and home design right now. Giving into your retro desires is a great way to jazz up the most boring of spaces.

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Aaron Bengochea

If You Have a Ton of Tile

You are: A tactile thinker. You experience the world primarily through touch. While you might shy away from saying things out loud, you shine when it comes to making a statement through texture.

You like: Be it a bold hexagonal tile or antique terracotta stunner. While your style most closely resembles bohemian, you also gravitate toward eclectic and contemporary aesthetics. Street scenes from Morocco and Mexico City are the latest thing to consume your Instagram feed.

What to try next: Artisanal glass and wall murals. Continue to tap into your artistic sensibilities with intricate compositions, tubular shapes, and elevated materials. Design-forward glasswork is one trend we’re obsessing over right now—and it feels as good as it looks.

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aaron bengochea

If You Have Exposed Shelves  

You are: Extremely organized and a very visual person. You like to approach life like an open book. No one is ever left questioning who you are and what you’re all about.

You like: Mixing and matching, going to antique fairs, and dusting. To you, cleaning doesn’t feel like a chore. In fact, you find it quite relaxing. You like collecting colorful objects and fanciful things and are constantly making small changes to your home to fit the day’s mood. So what if you can’t sit still? Everything is always in its place.  

What to try next: Temporary wallpaper and a leaning ladder shelf. Bring pieces into your home that make it easy to switch things up on a dime and put your styling skills to the test.

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Ryan Garvin

If You Have a Dramatic Range

You are: A statement maker. You have a secret penchant for entertaining and are always looking for new and exciting ways to impress guests. Going bold is almost always your move—and it has paid off.

You like: Dramatic marble slabs, traditional finishes, and powerful focal points. When you walk into a room, you like to be told where to go and where to look. One visually captivating detail is all you need to feel connected to a place. That said, you like it when everything else blends in and keeps quiet.

What to try next: Large-scale art and sculptural overhead lighting Loud, proud, and certainly eye-catching, continue your message with an enormous framed print or other work of art in the living room or invest in a breathtaking fixture for over the dining room table.

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Robert Peterson

If Your Backsplash is Wallpaper

You are: Fun and carefree. You keep your messes contained, laugh often, and have an eye for ambiance. You know a “wow” factor when you see one and have the talent to easily recreate a similar feeling for yourself.

You like: Surprising people with the unexpected and everyday elegance. Happy colors and punchy patterns are how you often choose to communicate your sense of self to the rest of the world.

What to try next: Memphis design, pattern on pattern, and terrazzo-inspired accessories. Never apologize for being a maximalist. Instead, get incredibly playful with furnishings, as well as small knick-knacks. Keep an eye out for funky graphics and grandma-chic finds.

 

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If You Have a Black Kitchen

You are: A minimalist, by most standards. Drama isn’t something you like to bring into your personal life, but you certainly approve of embracing highs and lows in the home. You’ll never settle for a decorative crutch, no matter how long it takes to find the missing piece.

You like: When modern meets rustic. Rich blues and forest greens also speak to you and fall within this more masculine framework. You’re not necessarily interested in forgoing color and warmth, but rather enjoy the character, and standing out from the crowd.

What to try next: Lustrous velvets and gloomy blooms. For added flair, kick the moodiness into high gear by incorporating luxe textures in the living room and scattering deep, dark florals throughout.

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Cody Guilfoyle

If You Have Subway Tile

You are: Always on it when it comes to the latest trends and swear by the basics. The kitchen, in particular, is a space you spend a lot of time in. Before you purchase anything you always ask yourself, “But is it timeless?”

You like: Floating wood shelves, vintage breakfast stools, and woven objects—from handknit wall hangings to seagrass baskets. You don’t tend to break the rules, but when you do it’s subtle and sophisticated.

What to try next: Black tile and make it glossy. Of the many reasons we love lacquer (be it on the entryway credenza or on the ceiling in a nursery), we can’t get over its classic appeal. Opting for shinier finishes on your furniture or walls is a great way to step out of the box without dating a space.

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Aaron Bengochea

If Your Kitchen Island is a Table

You are: Flexible by nature. No one can tie you down and that’s one of your favorite things about yourself. You go with the flow and are up for just about any adventure.

You like: Informal seating arrangements, last-minute Friday night dinners, and unplanned walks through new neighborhoods. Casual, cool, and collected are a few ways you might choose to describe your approach to style. Change is constantly on your mind, and your interior reflects that.

What to try next: Floor cushions, modular wall tiles, and geometric area rugs. Not everything has a place, and that’s alright with you. Get creative with furnishings and art that is customizable and easy to replace once the mood changes.

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Aaron Bengochea

If Your Island Offers Seating  

You are: A homebody. Whether you’re doing the cooking or not, you love to take part in engaging conversation and have friends constantly rotating through your door. Being comfortable in your own home is your first priority.

You like: Bright bursts of color, functional objects that pull double duty and working from home in PJs.

What to try next: Cool, sculptural stools (for extra seating, of course), a tufted chaise, and mirrors that double as art.

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AARON BENGOCHEA

If Your Counter is a Haven for Clutter

You are: A collector of treasures. You love your things and want to see them every day. Keeping said gems hidden from view isn’t in your nature. Sure, things may get messy at times, but you’re a firm believer in chaotic beauty.

You like: To always be on the go. Because you’re often rushing out the door in the morning, you like to keep all your gear where it’s easy to grab. Antique bins, tiny baskets, and see-through jars are a few ways you try to keep the clutter contained.

What to try next: Graphic trays, refrigerator-friendly bins, and incredibly cute Tupperware are some fun ways we’re experimenting with the surface-level organization right now.

See more kitchen stories:

Our Favorite Kitchens From Around the World

Read This Before You Pick Out Your Kitchen Counters

Kitchen Design We Should (And Can) Be Stealing From the English