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Fad vs Timeless Kitchen...

CPBR
last month
last modified: last month

Wanting a kitchen that is timeless. What I like is white shaker cabinets and a black island with a white medium veined quartz counter on both and dark hardware with a ?farmhouse? sink. I will be adding a engineered wood floor. My kitchen is open floorpan but it is galley style and when I say island it is literally an island but also the other side of my kitchen. But, what I dont want is something I will regret in 5 or 10 years. What I have now is a light/natural fake wood cabinet with a laminate of some sort blue/gray counter, stainless hardware and stainless sink, I have gray 18" tile, I did not choose these. The have been there 15 years and Ive lived with them but not liked them very much. It's hard to see what is a fad and what will be timeless in a kitchen. Its easy to look back to see the fads, but I need to look ahead. I was wanting painted cabinets because I thought they might be easier to refinish in the future though I'd consider the island being a stained wood. What are your thoughts on timeless vs the fads you see today.? Are my likes a fad? What would be a timeless compromise for me?

Comments (55)

  • Isaac
    last month

    If your house has a distinct style or period, a kitchen that reflects that style or period will look appropriate. Flat panel cabinets will fit an atomic ranch, complex moldings may match a Victorian or Carpenter Gothic, etc. Not necessarily a recreation of what would have been there originally, but something that echoes other aspects of the house.

  • cawaps
    last month

    Time travel back to the 60s and ask a mid-century housewife whether white Shaker cabinets are timeless.

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  • latifolia
    last month

    You've gotten some good advice. Over time, most kitchens have one type of cabinet, either wood or white. Paint colors are relatively easy to change. The whole two-tone thing seems like a fad.


    Having a section of butcher block is timeless, as are wood floors. LVP, maybe not so much.


    A good 'ole kitchen table is timeless. A humongous island, maybe not. Quality is timeless.

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thanks for the comments and ideas. I will try and post a picture tomorrow of the space herbflavor so you can see the space. I'm pretty confident my home does not seem to have any "style period". How would I tell? My thought on the darker "island" was also maybe to keep the dirt at bay I suppose with three kids, it will be an area used a lot. But I may be overthinking it. For the counters I was thinking the white quartz because I understand the upkeep and stain resistance is much easier than granite and marble. Is it really as easy as I read?

  • Design Girl
    last month

    Take a look at this recent kitchen makeover. It may not be totally your style (as in it is not necessarily a timeless design) but the wooden island might be more "kid friendly" than a white one. https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6035318/i-m-in-love-again-my-2020-reveal#n=238

  • latifolia
    last month

    If you opt for white cabinets and a dark island, the island could be repainted in the future. That's trickier if the cabinets are oak or something.


    As to style of your home, when was it built? Is it Colonial, Victorian, Craftsman, MCM, Spanish, Greek Revival? If you have a contemporary, for example, a French Country kitchen may look out of place. Or vice versa.

  • Janelle
    last month

    I think only wood floors are timeless.

  • Shannon_WI
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Out of what you listed, the “medium veined Quartz” and potentially the engineered floor have the shortest time horizon. The engineered floor depends on what it looks like. Stripey, and/or gray-toned, and/or a color not naturally found in wood, and/or trying to look like it‘s driftwood just washed ashore, are all already gone. The island - what will the island contain? If it has a cooktop, that is seen less and less these days because of the challenges of exhausting it, and the increased focus on indoor air quality. Also, two-tier islands are considered “out” though many people still like them and choose them.

    Trying to achieve “timeless” is a futile mission. Everything changes. For example, “a farmhouse sink” of 100 years ago would have had an apron front like sinks today, but it would otherwise not look like today’s sleek and deep farmhouse sinks. Also your appliances will age faster than ever before. I advise you to stop chasing timeless, and to get a kitchen that appeals to you.

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi Shannon_WI The floor I'm after will be a medium tone wood. Hickory or white oak probably. I'm searching currently. I want it to be lighter than my wood furniture I already own, medium dark walnut. I want to stay away from yellow/red toned wood but I dont want gray wood. My floors currently are gray stone tile and I'm not interested in keeping that look. My appliances are stainless kitchenaid and will stay the same for a while. The cooktop is not on the island, our sink is. A micro is currently over our stove and I'm looking into putting a vent over, but it will not be vented. The kitchen is completely being redone but the footprint will stay the same. Our island is one height and will stay that way. Im hoping to get some pictures of our current kitchen up today so y'all can get an idea. What white Quartz do you think will be more timeless? No veined?

  • Design Girl
    last month

    @CPBR - IMO, I'd do white oak over hickory. Hickory can have yellow undertones and can be busy. White quartz is popular, but won't be timeless. However, just pick one that has minimal veining so it doesn't look like fake tree roots. Plain always works too. Pick the one that looks the most realistic to you.

  • worthy
    last month
    last modified: last month

    very little in kitchen design will still be embraced or revered after 20 years.

    Ain't necessarily so. It ain't necessarily so.



    Source: Elle Decor

    Smeg didn't get the message either!




    Or this Arts and Crafts revival kitchen. (Strangely familiar.) Old House Journal

  • cawaps
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yes, but those examples are after 50 or 60 years, not after 20 (and I still think 95% of people buying a house with that 50s vintage kitchen (even if it is vintage look) would change it. Pastel appliances didn't revive in the 70s, 80s, and 90s because too many people remembered them falling out of favor. Some people still hadn't gotten around to tearing out the dated 20- and 30-years old versions yet.

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @Design Girl Is there a timeless countertop? I like Quartz because of its ease of care. What would be a timeless counter be? Would it be marble? From what I've read marble is a nightmare to keep nice. And although I would, by myself, probably keep it as nice as day one 20 years later, my family of five would not lol. What types of counters are timeless or at least almost timeless? I'd like the main parts to last longer and be transformable and change things like backsplash, accessories, paint and fixtures to update as time goes on.

  • cawaps
    last month

    My Edwardian house's original kitchen had many elements experience a revival (some of which, like the painted Shaker cabinets are still in). But that doesn't mean that is wasn't out, out, out for 80 years in between it being in fashion.


    I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer on the OP's goals. If you avoid flash-in-the-pan trends (multi-colored mosaic backsplashes from a few years ago, for example) and embrace long term trends (cabinet profiles, Shaker now, raised panel in the 80s and 90s, slab doors in the 50s through 70s), you will be more likely to have a kitchen that still looks fine in 10, 15, or 20 years. It's not timeless, but it will take longer for it to show its age, and when it does show it's age it still won't be viewed with horror.


    A former poster (Palimpsest) used to give an example of, I think it was his mother and a friend of hers. His mother dressed sharply but not trendily. Think Jackie O fashion. His mom's friend, on the other hand, jumped on every hot trend. Looking back at photos the friend always lamented how she couldn't believe she ever wore that. HIs mom's fashions still looked good, not OMG-what-was-I-thinking, even though they were obviously from a different period. (I probably butchered that story, but that was the gist).

  • isabellagracepan
    last month

    I think you should definitely be careful of the quartz with veining. I love quartz for its durability, but the veining looks quite artificial in my opinion. I chose a more solid colour white in my last kitchen because like you I wanted a timeless look (also, it needed to coordinate but not clash with the marble on the other part of the kitchen). Soapstone or marble would be the most timeless in my opinion (Martha Stewart has some lovely timeless kitchens from the late nineties in these), but you would need to not mind the upkeep. The two tone kitchen is a new trend.

  • worthy
    last month

    What's missing is why the OP wants "timeless". So it will be a feature for a future re-sale? Or she won't be bored with it in a few years.

    I can now look back at kitchens I delivered 30 years ago. White, white, white. Here they are, back again!

  • Design Girl
    last month

    @CPBR - Marble is a timeless material. However, it does take maintenance. Soapstone is pretty bullet proof, but you'd have to want a dark counter. I think white cabinets with soapstone would be a great long term choice. Some quartzites are pretty bullet proof as well, but not sure you'd find something thats veining would be timeless. Solid quartz is fine, but again it's really plastic with some stone and not what I would choose. How would you feel about dark counters. I think with white cabinets, it can look stunning. In find inset cabinets also timeless.

  • cawaps
    last month

    If what you want is a kitchen you won't regret in 10 or 15 years, try to put aside what other people are doing, what's on trend, and focus on what you really like. That's easier said than done, since we are inevitably influenced by what we see--in magazines, in stores, online, or in other people's homes. Think about what you liked 10 years ago. Do you still like it now, or did your likes change when trends changed? Do you have likes that are constant, regardless of where trends go?


    Also, things like a good layout and natural light will make you happy in 15 years even if you eventually question your choice of Shaker, or marble-look quartz, or a contrasting island, or a farmhouse sink.

  • Design Girl
    last month

    @CPBR - 25 years ago when I was doing a kitchen renovation I wanted white cabinets, but I also liked cherry. My husband, of course, liked the cherry, so that's what I did. While my kitchen is fine, I realize now, I should have done the white. A friend of mine (that I didn't know then) was doing her kitchen at the same time. She did white cabinets, marble counters and natural oak floors. 15 years after that, her kitchen was photographed for Architectural Digest, and still looks great today. Her house just sold for 4 million and the people loved the kitchen. Mine is being redone in April. I think white inset cabinets will always be relevant. I also think marble counters are a timeless choice. That's what I'm going to do, but my kids are gone now. With kids around, I think I'd do soapstone. It's been around forever and as with the white cabinets, will always be relevant. Check out the kitchen from the movie "Something's Gotta Give" - the counters were painted to resemble soapstone. To me, that's a timeless kitchen - not trendy or modern, but always relevant. https://www.hellolovelystudio.com/2019/01/somethings-gotta-give-kitchen-design-inspiration.html

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Here are pics of my current kitchen. Don't mind the appliances sitting out, that was before I moved the outlets so they would slide back.

    When we moved in the appliances were white and the walls were blue, that's all we changed. Basically, everything will change now. Besides the cabinets, counters and floors the walls will be some kind of white and we will also be updating the lighting.

    @herbflavor @Issac






  • kiffkat
    last month

    White shaker cabinets are absolutely timeless, no worries there. I also like quartz for it’s ease of maintenance. Wood floors are also timeless. The only outlier in your plan, is perhaps a black island. Overall I think your kitchen plan will look good and unless you’re planning to resell soon, just get what you like without worrying about fads.

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks @kiffkat

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    White shaker cabinets are only timeless in the right home.


    When I was house shopping I was so excited to see one of the homes in the neighborhood I grew up in was on the market. (MCM neighborhood).




    Then I saw what the current owner had done to the kitchen.




    I think this kitchen would look just as wrong in my sister's Tudor home.


    To be timeless it has to match the architectural style of the home.


    This is my dream kitchen;





  • Mary Elizabeth
    last month

    @Jennifer Hogan, can you describe the type of cabinets or the door style of your dream kitchen?

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    The door style is a slab door. My last home had slab doors with integrated hidden finger pulls, my parents home had slab doors with magnetic push latches.


    I love the minimalist style of a beautiful unadorned wood. Some people add pulls to add interest.

  • Mary Elizabeth
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I don't think this fits into the OP's style, but for anyone who's looking for mid century modern,

    Scherr Cabinets has several new lines with a 30% intro sale!

    https://www.scherrs.com/contents/en-us/d109_Northern-Contours-Doors.html

    We have purchased from them. High quality, great communication, & good prices.

  • partim
    last month
    last modified: last month

    ~30 years ago, when my parents replaced their original 1967 MCM flat style kitchen with cherry wood colonial style, they were told the colonial was timeless. The MCM cupboards were moved to the basement utility kitchen, which now looks more "in" than the upstairs kitchen.

    When my decorator helped me choose my fruitwood tone Shaker cabinets 25 years ago, she told me honestly that nothing is timeless but these were "forward" i.e. Shaker was just starting to become popular with the European manufacturers, and soon to come to North America. They've had a good run and I still like them, even though they're the (dreaded) orange toned wood.

    I'd avoid the styles that are the newest most popular thing at the big box stores. Likely to be going out of style fairly soon.

  • Isaac
    last month

    Fashion in all things also starts in the big cities and spreads to less densely populated areas over time, so what is dated in NYC may still be in style to buyers in your area if you live somewhere less metropolitan.


    And there are regional variations and styles. I am sure there are Tuscan kitchens in New England but I have yet to see one. Lots of wood, and white Shaker here.

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month

    So many good suggestions.

    I love hearing your thoughts.

    From the interior pictures I posted would the kitchen I proposed work with my home? Do you need to see the exterior to know for sure?

  • acm
    last month

    The only interior pictures you posted were of your current kitchen. Living room? Other? high ceiling feels contemporary, but an exterior might clarify.

  • partim
    last month

    As far as wood floors being timeless, don't forget the many threads about "orange" wood floors that were timeless when they were installed a few years ago. They will either be replaced, or refinished if that's a cost-effective option.

  • calidesign
    last month

    You have traditional interior doors and furniture. I think all your ideas for the kitchen, which are fairly transitional, including the shaker cabinet, could work with your house.

  • Design Girl
    last month

    Orange wood floors usually come about when people put oil based poly on them that turns yellow/orange with time. Water based products like Bona can stop the orange.

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month

    @acm here's the exterior. I will have to take a picture of the room opposite direction in the daylight tomorrow. The shutters aren't original and we will be replacing the light gray siding with a darker gray siding not sure if the shutters will stay or not.


  • acm
    last month

    I think you're good with a contemporary kitchen. shaker, etc. if you really have a reason to worry about the longer term, you might go with a less veiny stone -- there are some nice quartzes in a gray that look a bit like soapstone that will give you a more neutral feel with the good wear of the quartz (which I love)...

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    "What would be a timeless counter be?"


    Glacier White Corian has been around for 50 years, twice as long as engineered stone. We'll give estone another 25 and reassess.

  • PRO
    Michele G
    last month
    last modified: last month

    White Shaker with Quartz, something that looks like marble. Palm Shade is subtle and timeless. Shaker cabinets can be look Modern, Transitional or Traditional depending on the pull. I would also remove the half walls which will give you more counter space and look cleaner, ditto the walls on the other side. Since you have Tall cabinets and the Fridge you can use end panels, a better look. I would not do 2 toned since technically its a galley kitchen. I would make the overhang on the sink side at least 12 to 25 inches also. It looks too shallow. Not sure what your family make up is but I am not a fan of wood floors in Kitchens unless that are Ipe or Santos Mahogany as wood dents, scratches etc. Personally I have Walnut, beautiful but a mistake with 2 dogs and a 700 SFT Kitchen which is the hub of the house. If you want the look of wood with durability Id go with a wood like tile
    Ive used this brand, Vallelunga, an Italian tile and it is beautiful and wears like iron!


  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    Shaker cabinets will work nicely in your space. Not too ornate, but not completely sleek, which could look too modern with your furniture.


    Quartz counter tops are the easiest to maintain counter tops available today - who knows what science and technology will develop next year. Every counter top has its own list of pros and cons. Pick the countertop that works for your family and fits your needs.


    I didn't see where you stated if you want to change your flooring or are planning on keeping the flooring. Again, every flooring material has pros and cons. I selected LVT for my home after living with tile for 20+ years. Tile can be hard on joints and I am happy that I no longer have foot, leg and back pain at the end of the day. LVT is also warmer than tile - moved from CA where this was not an issue to PA where I don't want cold floors in the winter. For multiple reasons wood wasn't even in the running for me. (Cost, dog, aesthetic/personal preference).


    Before you decide on a white on white kitchen please know that many of the kitchens you see pictured on the web are taken with studio lighting. I don't know how much light your kitchen gets or your climate. I had a white on white home in Southern California. Got tired of it after about 10 years and painted my walls using color. I considered going back to white on white when I moved back to PA, but too many days are overcast or rainy and you need lots of light for white to work. If it doesn't have light, white can go gray and dingy.





    As for the color selection. . .

    I think the nicest homes have a cohesive feel to them. If you have one white room in the house with colors everywhere else it can look stark or like you primed the walls and forgot to paint.


    I love these two examples of whole home color palettes. You may not love the colors, but you can see that they had a plan and that everything was meant to coordinate.





    If you look at your home as you walk through the front door and make your way to the kitchen what colors do you see? What will be the connection from the rooms leading to the kitchen and your new kitchen? Will the colors you plan give you a cohesive feeling?







  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    I forgot to address the lighting.


    Currently it looks like you have warm lighting - 2700k.


    It is casting a yellow color. Many will tell you that this is bad, but again, I think it is personal preference. Since white is highly reflective it will make whites appear more yellow.


    If you are using warm colors, warm lighting can enhance the colors. It can also be more relaxing.

    Whiter light is better for cooler colors and especially if you have purple and taupe colors in your home. Purple and yellow make mud.


    Your typical bulb choices are Soft white - 2700k, bright white - 3000k and daylight - 5000k,

    I see advice all the time telling people to use 4000k - I have not been able to find 4000k from any of the major manufactures. There is also a difference in the quality of light you get from different bulbs. I did quite a bit of research and testing before choosing a brand for my home.

    I ended up with Cree and Feit brand bulbs both fitting my needs. I only use one brand per room, but the two are very close in color. I can buy Cree locally. I can by Feit at Costco (hour drive) but at a much lower cost.




  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @Michele G Are you responding to me? What are you referring to as a "half wall"? Do you mean the shelving at the ends of the island counters? Yes, the shelving will be gone. The counters will extend to the edges which will Also give me more storage space. The walls on the other side? Not sure what you're referring to. Behind the kitchen there is actually a hallway with the entryway and closets. Also, what do you mean by overhang on the sink?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    you have those gorgeous cathedral ceilings.

    marble will never go out of style.

    soapstone, the same.

    you can't compare the 60's with anything because that was an entire decade unto it's own. first time anything Modern came into existence.

    Look back at vintage 1920/30's kitchens and you'll see the same type of white cabs or wood cabs, are going strong. The difference is, those were all custom made to the house. You couldn't just go buy them at the store! Craftsmanship will never go out of style.

    counter materials are diff. those are going to wax and wane. get what you like. 10-15 years, get something else you like.

    I have marble on my island, and quartz on the perimeter.

    if you like the black counters, look at Silestone Eternal Charcoal. looks like soapstone w/o any of the hassle. But soapstone is beautiful. it will patina just like marble.

    or look at Black granite. Or Negresco black quartzite.

    here's your black and white w/a wood stained island. copper farmhouse sink. I hate the chairs and the pendants.


    I'd do any one of these and you won't have to worry about it going out of style






    your ceiling isn't quite this high, so forgo the funky trac lights.






    backsplash will change, but that's an easy redo


    take advantage of those ceilings and do something w/them. beams, wood slats, trusses,,






    I'd be doing skylights, wood on the ceiling, beautiful pendants,,, (hate the SS vent hood tho)



    I would do this wood ceiling if I had your house. not necessarily this color. and the beams would be either white or black.


  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @Jennifer Hogan Wow, interesting. I'm going to have to look into this information as I have no idea about that stuff, but I'm excited to learn. Thanks!

    The walls will be a type of white and the cabinets and counters but floor will be wood so warm there. I was thinking of doing black cabinets on the island with the white counters.

  • PRO
    Michele G
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yes, sorry. Talking about want appear to be walls on the side of Fridge and Pantry Cabinet. The picture doesn't show that angle. If possible you may consider cutting them back. Another thing is you could put 12inch deep bases on the seating side of the "island" for extra storage. That is if you have the room. I did that with this island and raised the back.



  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month

    @Beth H. : I love all those pictures. Great ideas in there!

  • PRO
    Michele G
    last month

    About the lighting temperatures ( My family owns a major electrical wholesaling company and my husband owned a large residential electrical contracting co. before retiring ) The three primary types of color temperature for light bulbs are: Soft White (2700K – 3000K) , Bright White/Cool White (3500K – 4100K), and Daylight (5000K – 6500K).

    The higher the Degrees Kelvin, the whiter the color temperature. Although the whiter lights will appear "brighter" than those of a lower Kelvin reading, the amount of Lumens (measurement for brightness) does not change, and true brightness is not affected.

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @Michele G yes, they are walls there on that side. They end just where the cabinet does but they extend back to be the sides of the closet. Are you suggesting I make the cabinet sides the walls instead? I'm sorry again, but could you clarify what you mean by "deep bases" and "overhang" on the sink?

    So in theory you want cool in the kitchen but warm in the living room. How does that work when you have to light a room with kitchen, living and dining all in one space?

  • PRO
    Michele G
    last month

    First yes to the walls, Id do the cabinet sides as walls. When I say sink side Im referring to the Island. See below my thoughts in another Kitchen I did. Deep bases are your cabinets that house the sink, DW etc. and another bank of them facing out ( obviously). When these were taken the carpenter mistaking put pulls on them but now the doors have been replaced with push latches do the cabinets are fairly invisible. Overhang is referring to your seating area. Currently it looks shallow to me but that may be the picture.

    This island has 24" deep cabinets on the sink side and on the seating side has 12" deep ( taller than the sink side by 6" ) cabinets with a 15" overhang for the counter . If you haver the room on the dining side you could do that. If you give me the measurements I can illustrate what Im talking about tomorrow.


    Finally Lighting.


    This room has dining as well. We did recessed lighting, pendents and under cabinet ( Legrand my personal favorite as they are well hidden including the outlets so your backsplash isn't broken up by outlets. I dislike outlets especially on backsplash. See below.


    So the recessed are your "work lights" but can be dimmed or off when you are in the DR.


    Im out for now!




  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @Michele G

    The counter on the island is 36" deep. The cabinets are 24" and the overhang is 10.5"

    The counter with the stove is 25".

    We could probably add a couple inches to the depth to the island since the stools stick out anyway. What's the proper hangover for seating? I know the counters will stay one height.

    I like the idea of having lighting under the cabinets and not seeing the outlets in the backsplash. We do have two coffee makers that always stay plugged in and a fish tank as well. So I would aways see handing cords. The fish tank may find a new home after the kitchen is completed though.

    The room is 42' long and 23'5" wide. The space between our counters, counter edge to counter edge is 50.5". The height of our cabinets with the molding is 8'. I don't know the ceiling height at the center but just above the end of the cabinet it is 10'3". The with of the walls on the sides are 4.5" each. We don't have a lot of walk through space between the couch and table and table and island. I was considering movie the floor outlets a couple inches by the couch and moving the couch a couple inches to add more space around the table bit im not sure. The living room is a nice size but I don't think a loss of a couple inches will impact it too much. From the opposite wall to the edge of the area rug 12x15 its 14'7" and the couch is about 5 or 6 inches from the edge of it. From edge of counter to edge of dining chair there is 27" and from edge of chair to back of couch there is 32".


    Here is the opposite direction:


  • PRO
    Michele G
    last month

    I will circle back later today!

  • CPBR
    Original Author
    last month

    Really great pictures Beth H. 7, 9, 11 really speak to me. Ive considered the black counters over white cabinets. Not sure how it will look in my room. Im also considering the wood bottom for the island, my only wonder is with the black bottom island I can repaint it later on even to white to match the others (maybe when the kids are older) but with the wood I can really only restain them and the material will never match that of the other cabinets. Also, if you see my previous picture I have a wood dining table in front of the island and that may be too much wood in a row including the wood floor we will add. I definitely am considering the darker island bottom though with kids I think it will look better for now and yes it seems to be more of a trend now but like I said I can always repaint them later. I really like black but a dark charcoal may be nice too. @Beth H. :