Neutral kitchen featuring a textured backsplash

5 Tips to Create a Design That’s On-Trend and Timeless

  • July 6, 2022

Flash back to the early 2000’s.

Tuscan styled kitchens are all the rage. You envy your neighbor’s terracotta tile floor and swoon over the heavy embellishments on their dark wood cabinetry. You scoff at “boring” white kitchens in magazines as you consider investing in some oil paintings and ceramic chickens despite having little to no Italian heritage.

Despite the choke hold the Tuscan trend had on us twenty years ago, it’s safe to say that today painted fruit and gaudy tile have seen better days.

Whether you were wooed by the allure of Tuscan style or the warm tones of honey oak, chances are you have outgrown a trend or two over the years.

The rise and fall of these trends are largely due to the fact that these days we value creating kitchen designs that are both on-trend AND timeless. While honey oak and the classic Tuscan style of the early 2000’s are no longer hot, elements of these trends are is still around in kitchens today. Just used more sparingly!

People are not as afraid of their space being “on-trend” as they are about it being “out of style”. The goal is finding a balance where you can express your personal style but also create a space that won’t look outdated in a few years’ time. On today’s blog we are going to share with you 5 tips to help you create a design that achieves that perfect balance and is both on-trend AND timeless.

1. Finding a Balance

Like we said, creating a kitchen design that’s on-trend and timeless is all about creating a perfect balance.

It’s important to be aware of trends and use aspects of your very favorite trends (which gives the space an updated look), but don’t go overboard on trends. Instead, rely primarily on those tried and true features/design styles you really, really love (that don’t seem to be changing much) and that you have seen in your favorite kitchens regularly throughout the years.

For example, the reason why Tuscan kitchens went out of style so quickly is because those kitchen designs leaned too heavily into the trend. Then when the minimalist neutral kitchen came into style, that dark wood and those detailed features made these spaces appear dark, cluttered, and cramped. But if you use elements of the Tuscan style, such as a dark wood stain and pair it with a lighter white cabinetry, you achieve balance in the space and create a more timeless look.

On the other end of the spectrum, a design that leans too heavily into the contemporary trend might end up feeling uninviting and sterile. But if you use elements of the contemporary style such as modern cabinet doors and couple it with some warmer traditional elements, you will create a space that’s chic and timeless.

We recommend choosing materials that you personally love. Your personal taste isn’t a trend, so you don’t have to worry about it going out of style. And truly excellent design is timeless so we recommend working with one of our K&B designers and one of our interior designers when composing your space.

Neutral kitchen featuring a textured backsplash  Timeless cabinetry design
This kitchen, by Studio M Kitchen & Bath, is a wonderful example of using trends sparingly. The neutral color pallet paired with shaker cabinet doors and light countertops keep this space timeless while the funky patterned backsplash makes this kitchen fresh and on-trend.

2. Start small

Incorporating trends in your kitchen design doesn’t need to be on a grand scale.

Smaller elements like light fixtures, hardware, barstools, décor items (rugs, curtains etc.) are the perfect way to test out trends because they can easily be replaced over time as your style changes. Not only is it less of a commitment but it allows you to express your style without fear of breaking the bank!

Modern kitchen featuring gold light pendantsThe hanging gold light fixtures in this Fox Homes kitchen add a pop of color to this predominately black and white space while also giving the kitchen a modern flair. If in the future the homeowner wanted to swap these lights for something more traditional, they could do so easily and affordably.

3. Keep it neutral

A neutral color palette allows you to integrate different trends over time without it looking like you went overboard. Whites, greys, creams, and browns keep your space light and airy and are a beautiful contrast to darker colors and stains.

Many of our current project are featuring lighter stains like sand, coastal, and driftwood. For small pops of wood our designers are starting to lean more towards medium brown tones, like Briar from Décor because they work well both with grey tones, tans, and taupes. Otherwise, we are starting to see some nice charcoal stains sneaking into designs for more modern designs that want a higher contrast.

If you are a lover of color, you can always incorporate statement pieces in your kitchen design such as a colored stain on your island or on your backsplash. Another way to incorporate color without going overboard is to include it in a bar area, coffee station, or baking center!

Our SLP Modern Foodie kitchen features a generally neutral color palette but has a pop of blue on the cabinetry in the baking center!

4. Mix old and new

Some design elements have proven to us that no matter what the year, they will always be in style.

  • Shaker doors
  • Granite countertops
  • Neutral color palette

One of the easiest ways to design a kitchen that will stand the test of time is to base your design on kitchens that have already stood the test of time. Look back over the last century and you can identify which kitchen styles, layouts, materials, appliances, and decorative elements seem to transcend time.

Mixing and balancing old and new elements will ensure that your kitchen design doesn’t look like either a vintage time capsule or a trendy space that could feel dated by next year. Timeless kitchens look like they have always been there but are functional and well maintained enough to feel perennially fresh and current. 

It’s important to remember that trends are cyclical! While we hope that carpet or plaid wallpaper never makes its return to kitchen designs, other trends will ebb and flow in and out of style throughout the years. Reeded cabinetry is a great example of a vintage style that has recently made a resurgence in today’s designs!

5. When it comes to countertops and cabinetry – Keep it timeless!

Those bigger design elements in your space are expensive and hard to replace. Countertops and cabinetry are often a focal point and set the tone for the entire space, so we recommend choosing a timeless design for these features. 

For example, the shaker door style is versatile and pairs well with any stain or design style. This kind of cabinetry will stand the test of time and complement any trend. And when it comes to countertops, quartz/granite are classic and built to last, perfect as a staple feature in your kitchen design.

Modern Classic Double Island Kitchen

It’s important to remember that what’s “trendy” and what’s “timeless” is in the eye of the beholder. While some homeowners may think subway tile is a trend that will come and go, others may believe that it’s timeless and here to stay. While we gave you tips to guide you in your design process, it’s important to stay true to you and your unique style. It’s your kitchen after all!

Let us help you create your dream space! To meet with a designer or set up a consultation, contact us.