Obviously the question posed cannot be answered quickly or fully in a single blog post. Yet that won’t stop us from attempting to unpack and demystify a portion of the answer. Images have a way of enlightening and informing. When you’re after a beautifully evergreen design for your kitchen–one that pleases you today and will function for modern life now and for years to come–it is worth taking time for exploration. Timeless Kitchens: What Distinguishes Them from Trendy begins the discussion and such exploration.
Timeless Kitchens: Seeing Beyond Trends
We’re living in an era where there is excessive trendy kitchen content to consume from social media feeds, design blogs, magazines, influencers on television (HGTV, stylish sets on streaming series), and even non-virtual sources such as kitchen showrooms.
Distinguishing Timeless from Trends
In the marketplace, it seems we’re always being shown the new and improved kitchen design features that will improve daily life, boost property value, and thrill our senses.
Modern farmhouse kitchens are still trending in the 2020s which means Shaker style cabinets, floating shelves, shiplap, and subway tile is everywhere in the marketplace, media, and consciousness of mainstream America.
But trends come and go, and what’s temporarily hot may be deemed “over” in just a couple of years. They come with risk. What’s more, modern farmhouse may not be the most appropriate style for your home’s architecture.
Do Timeless Designs Cost More?
They typically do since they are more customized and require more planning, design help, and high quality materials built to last.
House flippers seem to especially love trendy kitchen designs since what’s trending is readily available and cheaper. Since they want to appeal to wide range of buyers, they are safer choosing popular finishes and sticking to trends.
They essentially date the kitchen so there’s no doubt it’s full of what’s new! While flippers may splurge on certain trendy design elements, those elements may not be wise investments…is that gold grouted backsplash that feels utterly WOW and NOW going to feel relevant later?
Trendy options can be less costly, but choosing them could cost more in the long term. Kitchens are expensive to re-do…trust me!
Timeless designs are an investment in time, creativity, and expense now to avoid demo and remodels later.
Is a Timeless Kitchen Boring?
Timeless design isn’t just for conservatives or practical types. It’s also not about creating something old fashioned, unfashionable, generic, plain, dull, or without an identifiable style.
Pretty timeless kitchens have style for miles!
But they often require specialized labor or materials, handmade elements, skilled craftsmanship, and patience.
Successful projects take shape from a deeper sense of history, quality, thoughtfulness, and design confidence.
If you have never designed a kitchen, your confidence is likely low. This is why it is so essential to partner with professional kitchen designers and interior designers who understand timeless design and have years of experience designing kitchens for a variety of personalities.
Tips for Timeless Kitchen Design Planning
Understand your home’s architecture and style to begin the process of imagining what type of kitchen design will harmonize with and elevate what is already there.
For example, if your home is a cottage, there are all sorts of timeless directions you could explore design-wise. While timeless design is often understated and sophisticated, it may be appropriate to lean into casual, country simplicity more than say a formal, traditional, more elegant direction.
Once you find a kitchen style that appeals to your aesthetic and feels appropriate for your home, you can explore that design style it in more detail and note the elements you want to include.
Whether you’re working alone or with a designer, use Pinterest to curate inspiring images of cabinet styles, appliances, flooring, color stories, countertops, sinks, and hardware.
Educate yourself about the durability, longevity, and quality of materials for flooring, cabinets, trim, doors, and windows. For example, wood flooring products that are 1/2″ in thickness cannot be refinished as many times as 3/4″ thick flooring.
Take your time finding a local design professional who has experience creating timeless designs. Your diligence now will be worth it in the end.
What Makes a Design Timeless?
There is all sorts of design and architectural intelligence undergirding timelessness. Knowledge of traditional, enduring, and classic principles will guide your choices for materials, finishes, and even color.
Think about popcorn ceilings or avocado appliances that are a dead giveaways that a kitchen was created in the 1970s!
Timeless materials and design elements age well. For example, unlacquered brass has gained popularity in recent years but is fitting for a timeless kitchen because it not only lasts but also develops an attractive patina with age.
Like the idea of clear glass shelves? I found THESE glass shelf options.
The color palette for a timeless kitchen is also important and neutrals are commonly called for since they feel understated and natural.
Are white kitchens the safest choice for a timeless kitchen?
White kitchens have staying power for sure. White feels clean, bright, and not tied to a particular era or decade.
Incorporating Antiques, Architecture & Handmade into Timeless Designs
There are so many great books on this topic, and antiques are such an important part of finishing any interior.
When everything in a space is new, things can feel dull and ordinary.
Artwork, accessories, seating, and lighting offer opportunities to shop for vintage or antique items.
Architecture can also play a starring role in a timeless kitchen whether it be existing or new.
Is there an opportunity to add crown molding, a built-in, or a special ceiling treatment?
Even details like tongue and groove for walls can add a richness and tradition.
Handmade and hand-crafted design elements often join the mix in a timeless kitchen.
Bespoke cabinets, for example, or hand-forged hardware.
Hand-applied plaster finishes for walls or hardwood flooring finished on site by hand are also examples of such commitment to artful quality over commercial mediocrity.
Obviously, there is much more to say about approaches to a timeless kitchen design project. In my own recent kitchen renovation, I strived to bring together timeless elements I love:
Muted colors, high quality fixtures, gilded iron for lighting, marble for walls, farm sink, and plaster finished custom range hood. (The cooktop is a dead giveaway this is a modern renovation though, and I wasn’t up for having a custom panel made for the existing dishwasher!)
Photo Gallery With Moments of Timeless Kitchen Beauty
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