5 Essential Elements For A Timeless Kitchen Design (Examples Included)

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While it can be fun and exciting to do renovations that bring our kitchens up to date with all the latest fads, sometimes this isn’t practical. Maybe you don’t actually like the current trends. Maybe you want a space that you won’t have to renovate again and again as styles change. If this describes you, it is important that you go for a classic, neutral look that will stand the test of time. Today, I’m going to discuss the 5 elements of a timeless kitchen design that will ensure your kitchen will stay in fashion, without ever actually being in fashion!

1. Neutral Colored Cabinetry

For a classic and timeless kitchen design, choose a neutral color for your cabinetry! If you keep the cabinets neutral, you can always jazz things up with hardware and lighting. These accents are relatively easy and inexpensive to change out, compared to trendy and colorful cabinets. Check out this Modern Coastal Kitchen Renovation, where I decided to go with simple white shaker style cabinets for a classic lake house look that will never go out of style.

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If you want to see what a fresh coat of white paint can do on dated cabinetry, come take a tour of Our Guest Cottage Kitchen makeover! We painted the dark wall behind the cabinets and the cabinets themselves the same shade of white. This really opened up the space and made this farmhouse kitchen look open and inviting. These freshly painted white cabinets make such a difference!  

I have to admit that sometimes just a coat of paint is simply not enough.  As part of the kitchen remodel we did for my brother and his wife, we ended up ripping out all the old, mid-70s, incredibly dark and suffocating cabinetry. We changed the kitchen’s layout and replaced it with two-toned upper and lower cabinets.  Watch the video below to see how neutral colored upper cabinetry completely changed the look and feel of this kitchen! It went from cramped and dated to fresh and now in a flash.

Speaking of two-toned kitchen cabinetry, here is how we went about Planning Our Family Kitchen. With black lower cabinets and cottage-style white upper cabinets, we achieved the look of a cottage kitchen and the drama and unexpectedness of a more modern design.

2. Durable Finishes

If you want a look that won’t need to be replaced as kitchen trends change, I highly recommend durable, neutral finishes. 

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We used two different products in two different kitchens to achieve this same goal: white subway tile and neutral grout in my brother’s kitchen that will need to stand up to young children for several years, and white peel and stick in my other brother’s kitchen that provides the same clean, timeless look for less. Visit the post to see the full transformation of both spaces!


Choose durable, neutral flooring if your goal is a kitchen that doesn’t need to be updated or refreshed very often. Learn more about how we used a beautiful neutral colored luxury vinyl plank floor to complete our Modern Coastal Kitchen Renovation, a flooring that draws no real attention to itself but complements all our other choices perfectly. 


3. Stainless Steel Appliances

When trying to keep your kitchen simple and classic, appliance choice is important. Come and see how the stainless steel appliances my brother chose for his Mid-century Modern makeover blend effortlessly into the white cabinetry and backsplash, adding to the neutral, classic look of the entire kitchen. 

I can’t say enough about stainless steel and it’s timeless, rugged qualities. Get the step by step details on how we installed a gorgeous and practical stainless sink and faucet in my brother’s kitchen that will look great no matter what other changes they decide to do over the years.   

Our Kitchen Makeover with Black Stainless Steel Appliances is a fresh take on stainless steel! Not everyone knows that it comes in black. It’s such a neutral, durable, timeless finish that I promise you will not regret. 

What a transformation a set of classic stainless steel appliances brings about in this Modern Scandi Industrial Kitchen Makeover! They complement the black, white, and brass palette of the room without overpowering it at all. These gorgeous appliances will feel relevant and trendy for years, and are beautiful to boot. 

4. Simple Hardware

Hardware is an excellent way to set the tone for your kitchen. If chosen wisely it will help your kitchen feel timeless and relevant. Check out how we used simple gold pulls for a modern look that’s easy to change. Also, the gold in the handles matches the gold accents in the light fixtures. This is an easy and inexpensive way to make your kitchen look smart and tied together. This is to be expected in timeless kitchen design! 

Simple thin black pulls add to the clean, modern look of our Modern Coastal Kitchen Renovation below. If you keep its lines simple, your kitchen hardware never has to go out of style!   

5. Marble or Marble-Look Accents

Marble (or faux marble!) finishes are a classic, clean look. This will keep your kitchen from getting that dated, needs-replacing vibe. We used faux marble IKEA countertops and a marble backsplash panel to achieve this very goal in our Modern Coastal Kitchen Renovation. Click the link for all the details about how we did it!

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I am a big fan of marble as a neutral, timeless kitchen feature. In my IKEA Kitchen Review of my very own kitchen, you can take a peek at my counter to ceiling marble backsplash, which has been in place for years and which I still love. In the original post about this very same backsplash, I share with you some more details and pictures of this gorgeous marble feature, and a tip about how to make this high quality material more affordable. 

And to finish off, I’ve got two posts to leave you with some serious inspiration for planning your own space!

First, my Mom’s Lake House Kitchen Reveal, which I absolutely love and which ticks every single box for a timeless, classic kitchen design that will never go out of style: 

  • White cabinetry
  • Durable flooring
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Simple hardware
  • Marble countertops

Secondly, check out my list of 5 Things Every Family Kitchen Needs to make sure that once you’ve thought about how to incorporate all the ideas above for timeless kitchen design must haves, you also think about functionality and adding your own personal flare like window treatments and accessories to your space! Tag me @TheDIYMommy to show me your own timeless kitchen!

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