Katie Holdefehr discusses timeless trends for kitchens for Real Simple.
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Design your forever kitchen.
Between expensive appliances, custom cabinets, and costly countertops, we spend a lot of money on our kitchens. In fact, according to Houzz’s 2019 Kitchen Trends Report, the median spend on a kitchen remodel was $11,000. To make sure that all of this money isn’t creating a kitchen we’ll want to update again in five years, the trick is to incorporate timeless kitchen design elements that won’t soon go out of style. By choosing features that can stand the test of time, you’ll save yourself money (and the work of remodeling) down the line.
So what are the timeless kitchen trends that won’t make you cringe a few years from now? Skip the trendy color of the year, and follow these timeless kitchen ideas that have been loved for decades.
Neutral Paint Colors
The classic white kitchen is sometimes critiqued for being a little boring—but there’s one solid reason to opt for this color in the kitchen: It will never go out of style. According to Houzz’s trend report, a whopping 43 percent of renovating homeowners opted for white cabinets. Not sure which shade of white to go for? Check out these six white paints designers swear by (plus four other options if you’re feeling bold).
Known for their simple design and recessed-panel doors, Shaker cabinets have been in-style for more than 100 years. Shaker cabinets are popular in farmhouse kitchens, but they will also work with a variety of home decor styles.
Drawer and Cabinet Organizers
I’m calling it: Organization will never go out of style. And while features like built-in baking sheet dividers and pull-out cabinet drawers haven’t been around for that long, when hidden behind unfussy cabinet fronts, these functional features are a must-have for timeless kitchens.
There’s a reason the Smeg fridge is a classic kitchen appliance. While stainless steel and white appliances will always cycle in and out of fashion, appliances with retro appeal don’t go through the same fluctuations in popularity. Brands like Smeg, Northstar, and Laconche are still making appliances with old-school charm.
Choose Natural Materials
Adding in natural materials like wood and stone will ground the space and keep it classic. If you want a timeless kitchen, resist the urge to create an ultra-modern look full of shiny stainless steel and engineered materials.
White Marble or Butcher Block Countertops
White marble will always be an elegant choice for kitchen countertops, but if the maintenance and potential for staining has you worrying about its longevity, consider butcher block. The go-to choice for farmhouse kitchens, butcher block will wear beautifully over the years and you can prepare food directly on it.
Subway tile is not only versatile enough to work with many different decor styles, but you probably won’t get sick of it in five years (after all, the look’s been around for over 100 years!). While it may be tempting to go with a trendy backsplash, like metallic tiles, sea glass, or bright geometric tiles, opt for something a little simpler if you want a backsplash with staying power.