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1. White or cream cabinetry. Classic kitchens are timeless yet fresh. This is a style that almost everyone feels comfortable in, even some the modernists among us. White kitchens define this style.
2. Simple architectural details. You may see legs on islands, feet or furniture-style toekicks, crown molding and even a paneled hood, but these details are often restrained in a classic kitchen rather than being over the top and ornate.
3. Honed black countertops. Classic kitchens often go the timeless route with blacks or whites, whether it's honed absolute black granite, soapstone, or cast quartz material.
Alternative palettes like brown and white or black and white also find their way into classic kitchen design. Here, walnut cabinets, white marble and classic door style have all the elements of a classic kitchen.
8. Flexibility: What I love about classic kitchens is that they're chameleons: You can take the same kitchen and completely change its look by mixing in modern bar stools or lighting ... or industrial bar stools and lighting ... or traditional — you get the idea. Classic can become eclectic by adding modern tile and mixing it with a vintage-style table and chairs and industrial-style pendant lights.
Classic can go more traditional when mixing it with an ornate hood, traditional chandelier and turned island legs.
Classic white shaker doors can go more modern by adding a modern light fixture and terrific Saarinen table to the mix. This kitchen even has a bit of farmhouse modern because of the ceiling, but it's still classic.