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Portland Design Build Remodeling Blog

How to Design a Timeless Kitchen for Your 2023 Remodel

Posted by Lane Cooper on Jan 19, 2022 11:15:00 AM

Kitchens are quite the investment and planning a remodel is hefty work — especially if you want your new kitchen to last you a long time. You need a timeless kitchen: one that looks classic, stays stylish, and will suit your needs for years into the future. With thirty years of industry experience, we know a thing or two about creating kitchens that never go out of style. And we’re happy to share what we know with you! Keep reading for our tips on how to create a timeless kitchen and visit our portfolio for all the remodeling inspiration you need. 

Timeless Kitchen Remodel | COOPER Design Build

Mix Old & New 

A timeless kitchen should strike a balance between today’s hottest trends and classic design elements. Without balance, your kitchen might end up being too trendy — and, thus, out of style next year —  or too dated. But, luckily, the key to finding this balance is relatively simple. All you have to do is incorporate both vintage and modern elements of interior design. In doing so, you’ll create a unique aesthetic that helps your personality shine! Here are a few tips on how to create the right mix. 

Draw From History

If you’re going to include vintage elements in your kitchen, you first need to know what the elements of a vintage kitchen will be at home in your space. Spend a few minutes Googling kitchen designs that match your home's original era and architectural style or check out these articles on vintage-inspired and traditional kitchens. Some favorite vintage elements are shaker cabinets; wooden cutting boards; copper pots and pans; subway tiles; natural textiles like linen and cotton; brass kitchen handles; architectural details; and classic dishware, glassware, and silverware.

Find Ways to Keep it Fresh

The tricky thing about making your kitchen look stylish is that the top interior design trends of the moment are always changing. In recent years, for example, gray was all the rage; but for 2023, warmer colors are expected to continue to dominate. You can keep your kitchen looking fresh by identifying elements of your kitchen that you can easily, and affordably update. That way you can bring a new look or trend into your kitchen whenever you’re longing for a change. For example, you could swap out the  outdated backsplash for a handmade-looking Zellige tile, or colorful glazed ceramic tile  â€” two looks that are expected to top 2023 backsplash trends. Other easily changed elements include artwork, accessories, textiles, dishtowels, decor, and paint. 

Get Appliances that Blend In

Since new models are always coming out, appliances tend to age poorly. And, unlike your paint choice or artwork, you can’t switch appliances out every few years. So it’s best to pick neutral, simple appliances that blend in. Better yet, hide your appliances behind cabinet doors. Or, if you love the retro look, you can pick out vintage-inspired appliances. While these appliances will stand out, they’ll match and accentuate your personal aesthetic — and that’s never a bad thing!

Kitchen layout | COOPER Design Build

Pick the Right Materials & Colors

To achieve a timeless kitchen you have to pick materials and colors that will look fresh for years to come. One way to do that is by choosing styles that are neutral enough to match any season or trend. But, that doesn’t mean you have to go for an all-white kitchen! By combining neutrals that have different colors and textures, you can create a kitchen that’s as visually interesting as it is timeless. Keep reading for neutral kitchen ideas.

Keep it Au Naturale 

Simple black-and-white kitchen designs are about as timeless as you can get. But the harsh contrast between black and white might leave your kitchen feeling unwelcoming rather than elegant and comfortable. Try breaking up your neutrals by including natural materials such as stone and wood for your kitchen’s trim, shelves, island face, or flooring. For modern kitchen countertops that will stay timeless, try marble or another natural stone. While these materials make for great accents, overusing them can be visually overwhelming. So don’t pick out wood cabinets, unless you’re sure you’ll love them! 

Pick Classy Colors for Your Cabinetry 

Cabinets tend to dominate your kitchen, so it’s best to choose a color that provides an understated, yet comforting background. Depending on your color palette, choose a color that plays well with your home's undertones. Consider pale blue, green, cream, or taupe kitchen cabinets. You can always add a pop of energetic color later! If you want something a little more complex than neutral paint colors, try timeless backsplash tiles. Replacing an accent wall, for example, with accent-worthy kitchen tiles will add more texture and energy to your walls.

Mix Your Metals

Kitchens usually have the most metal out of any room in your house. Your appliances are metal, so are your cooking utensils, pots, pans, cabinet handles, faucets, and so on. So it’s critical to be intentional when selecting which metals you use. Try using more than one type of metal in your kitchen. Having multiple types of metals gives your kitchen visual diversity, which lends itself to a timeless look. However, don’t mix metals by having, for example, two different metal knobs for your cabinets. Instead, try a different color metal for different groups of items, such as appliances, knobs, and utensils. 

Kitchen storage | COOPER Design Build

Design with Function in Mind

Although aesthetics are more fun to think about, functionality is the most important consideration when designing a timeless kitchen. Your kitchen has to meet your needs — not only now, but for as long as you live in your current home. The designer working on your remodel will be able to help you create a functional setup, but it’s good for you to get a general idea of what makes a functional kitchen. Here are a few tips.  

Perfect Your Layout 

To pick the right layout for your kitchen, you should be aware of the kitchen triangle. It’s a design concept that was developed in the 1940s to cut construction costs, but it’s been adopted as one of the most efficient and classic kitchen layouts. The rule says that your sink, fridge, and oven should be laid out in a triangle formation. Each side of the triangle should measure at least four feet and less than nine feet. This layout makes it easy to reach things and move about the kitchen. However, consult with your designer about your lifestyle and cooking habits before settling on this layout. Your designer is a fantastic resource for bespoke personalization. They might suggest some tweaks to the triangle formation, or even suggest a new layout altogether depending on your needs!

Place Lights Intentionally

Whether you’re chopping onions or sauteing mushrooms, you need to have adequate lighting in your kitchen. Have task lighting installed over cooking areas and preparing spaces. Then add more ambient light and style with pendants, chandeliers, or another type of statement lighting. 

Invest in Storage

Between pots, pans, dishware, spices, food, and recipe books, there are a lot of things you need to store in your kitchen. So, you’ll need to add lots of storage when designing your remodel. In addition to your cabinets, you can include open shelving — a current trend that’s thought to be a classic in the making — to display your most-used utensils and stylish decorations. Consider also leaving room for a kitchen island that can serve as extra storage and an eating bar. Go for a classic look, such as a white gloss kitchen island, or try something more adventurous like a stainless steel kitchen island. For a vintage take on storage, hollow out a butler’s pantry between your kitchen and dining room. 

Kick 2024 off by designing the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of! If you’re looking to remodel in the Portland, Oregon area, we’re the design-builders to help you do it! We’ll make your vision real while keeping the process streamlined and simple for you. Reach out to connect with us about your Portland project!

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Topics: Design-Build Portland, Kitchen Remodeling, Design