Whenever you approach a redesign, it's difficult to separate fad from design that will last. Here, we have the four essentials when it comes to the kitchen.
Photos by Ryann Ford, courtesy of Heather Scott Home & Design
If you are going to invest money in a kitchen remodel or have the luxury to design your kitchen from scratch, it is important to have an understanding of what elements will impart timeless design into the space. Rather than making costly mistakes or regrettable faddish choices (does anyone remember neon backlit glass tiles in the 80s or the faux paint finishes of the 90s?), we have put together a list of the top four elements that will make your kitchen stand the test of time.
Kitchen cabinets are one of the most essential kitchen elements for practicality (aka storage) and aesthetics. When selecting a type, shaker front cabinets are a classic option. This style creates a clean and streamlined look with only minimal decoration that will marry well with nearly any architectural style. Also, pay attention to the color of your cabinets. Go for classic white or natural shades of paint versus wood-stained cabinetry. Wood stains vary with the times and can quickly date your home. We recommend Benjamin Moore’s White Dove or Sherwin-Williams’s Alabaster White paint. If you want to go bold with color, we won’t stop you. Just keep in mind that it’s riskier.
There is nothing more synonymous with a timeless kitchen than a marble countertop. It is worth the investment! Marble is elegant, sophisticated, and no other product can mimic it. Sourced from Italy, Calacatta and Carrara are timeless choices which have been used in Europe for ages. Calacatta is whiter with more dramatic veining, while Carrara tends to have more gray and softer movement. Either option is a tasteful kitchen staple. However, keep in mind that marble does stain easily. If you still want that stone look without the fear of stains, look to slate, granite, or a quartz composite such as Caesarstone for a durable and resilient option. You’ll be able to have the beauty of natural-esque rippling, all without the fear that you’ll wreck your counters.
A backsplash is an important design detail that can set the tone for the overall style. For classic design, be aware of the material and shape you select. White subway tile is an effortless option since it goes with everything. If you want variety, marble tile or hexagonal shapes are another sophisticated selection. For longevity, try to avoid anything too trendy like glass tile or Moroccan motifs, unless it fits your architectural style.
Last but not least, lighting is where you can provide a real style statement to your kitchen. For a timeless look, the lantern is a stylish option. Lanterns can be found in a variety of finishes, sizes, and price points. A common mistake is choosing the wrong size and placement (height as well as spacing in the room). Consult with a professional so that your lighting can serve a functional purpose but also be a wow factor in your kitchen. For more pointers on lighting specifically, see our designers’ complete guide to lighting your home.
For a thorough guide to kitchen renovations, see our designers’ tips.