My Top 10 Timeless Kitchen Design Tips for 2017 & Beyond

I don’t like the words, “trendy” and “trends” when it refers to kitchen design. Trendy almost always suggests a negative connotation, and it implies that your design will inevitable go out of style. The last thing you want to do is spend a large sum of money on your kitchen then realize it is out of style as soon as it is completed. I feel these are less “trends” and more design “tips” that lead to a more timeless design for many years to come:

  1. Match the design of your kitchen with the architecture of your home

I have blogged about this before… respect the architecture. Your kitchen cabinet design and layout should complement the architecture of your home. Mid-century modern homes should have kitchen cabinets with clean lines and minimal details. Shaker style cabinets work well with Tudors, Cape Cods, Colonials and Arts & Crafts homes.

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Flat-sawn walnut kitchen cabinet doors in a mid-century modern home

  1. White and Off-white cabinets

Yes, I know… you’ve read on many, many blogs – including my own – about how timeless white kitchen cabinets are. So, let’s just consider how many different versions of the color white there are. Benjamin Moore has an entire series of Off-White paint colors to choose from. Instead of choosing that basic, bright white paint, investigate the whites with warm gray undertones. Some of my favorites: Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray HC-173, Farrow & Ball Shaded White No. 201 and Benjamin Moore Ashwood OC-47.

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Cabinets are painted Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls OC-122

  1. Copper sinks

Did you know that Copper is inherently bacteria resistant? According to the American Society for Microbiology, “Metallic copper surfaces kill microbes on contact, decimating their populations.” Why not invest in copper to eliminate bacteria in one of the most susceptible areas in our homes, the kitchen sink? Plus, it looks fabulous too, especially if you like a little patina.

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Copper sink and faucet

  1. Whitewashed brick

I am sure you have all witnessed the shiplap craze on HGTV over the last few years, courtesy of Chip and Joanna Gaines. I love them, btw. Shiplap is fabulous if you live in a farmhouse in a rural setting. It is not timeless, however, if you live in a house in the burbs or a brick rowhouse in the city. Brick, on the other hand, is totally ageless and works with all types of architecture and design. If the brick you have is too bright red or 70s multi-colored, whitewashing is a fabulous way to soften it and make it look more even. To whitewash brick, you apply half white latex paint and half water… it creates a muted tone, rather than just painting it with 100% paint. Whitewashed brick also creates a great, neutral backdrop for art too.

Courtesy of

Whitewashed brick backsplash

  1. Tables as Islands

Islands can often be bulky and break up a kitchen rather than open it up. If you can sacrifice a bit of storage, update your kitchen with a table at counter height. You can either build a custom one, or there are many furniture options available at furniture stores, such as Crate & Barrel, Room and Board and Restoration Hardware. The bonus is added seating for guests all around the table!

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Custom table island with pencil drawers

  1. Mix your metals

No need to match your cabinet knobs with your kitchen faucets and light fixtures. Draw the eye to those expensive light fixtures you spent so much time looking for. Various finishes create a more custom look and create more character in your kitchen.

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Brass pendant lights over the island and oil-rubbed bronze wall sconces above the sink

  1. The exhaust hood should not be the focal point of your kitchen

Have you ever noticed how your eye is distracted by the bright, stainless steel exhaust hood in a photo of a kitchen you like? Try something different, and make the hood more subtle. Clad the exhaust hood insert using the same cabinet style in your kitchen. I especially love the plaster exhaust hoods that are painted the same color as the wall… they disappear. Genius.

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Custom plaster and drywall exhaust hood

  1. Appliance garage

Are you tired of hiding all of your appliances off the countertop before guests arrive? An appliance garage is the perfect way to store and use your appliances. Basically, you continue one of your wall cabinets to the top of your countertop. Then install either a slide-in or slide-up door for ease of use. Make sure to have your electrician install outlets on the inside, so you can keep them plugged in and use as needed.

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Appliance garage hidden by slide-in doors

  1. Panel Ready appliances

Stainless steel appliances will always be popular for home buyers, but if you are also designing your forever kitchen & you don’t like how they distract the eye or ruin the overall design aesthetic, purchase “panel ready” appliances that hide your appliances with custom panels that match your cabinets

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Panel ready beverage fridge to the left of the sink

  1. Quartz countertops (and backsplash too)

I’ve blogged about this before in my entry, My Non-tile Solutions. Quartz is the most practical, because it is scratch-, stain- and scorch-resistant, unlike real marble, concrete, or soapstone. No more worries with wine stains, coffee or tomato sauce. Quartz manufacturers continue to introduce styles that mimic the look of your favorite material: marble, concrete or soapstone.

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Quartz for both countertop and backsplash that looks like Calacatta Gold marble

Here’s to your new kitchen design that will withstand the test of time!

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