Skip to main content

13 timeless kitchen trends

Redoing the kitchen is a big undertaking. While you’d like to put some personality into your kitchen, you ultimately want a design that’s going to enjoyed year after year. Luckily, among the many trends that come and go, a few have stood the test of time.

These design elements are always a good idea and can help ground your kitchen in a solid design. You can play with smaller design details, like painting cabinet hardware or wall art, as the seasons change, but the big things will be timeless.

Here are the top 13 timeless kitchen trends to help you make the most important decisions about your kitchen renovation. Let’s take a look at what they are.

1. Stone Countertops

Countertop materials may come and go, but one class of countertop is always in style. Stone provides a wonderful, textured finish to your kitchen and allows you to customize according to your budget, says HGTV.

Marble and quartz are upgraded finishes that give a high-end look and feel, but they can be a more significant investment. However, if you’ve got it, they instantly add value, not just to your kitchen but your whole house.

If you want a more affordable option so you can put that money to other things, granite and limestone are excellent options. They may fall out of favor here and there for more trendy countertops, but they never go out of style.


2. White on White

Every year, designers herald the end of the white kitchen. The following year, people still come back to white kitchens. They just look fantastic year after year.

White kitchens provide an excellent backdrop for changing art, cabinet hardware, appliance styles, and even lighting. They’re like a blank palate you can always use as a jumping-off point to reinvigorate your kitchen each year.

New Life Kitchen & Bath lists several reasons why white kitchens are a timeless choice. “White cabinets are the perfect backdrop to draw attention to the other details of the kitchen: beautiful fixtures, artistic lighting, funky knobs or pulls – all of which can be updated as needed,” states New Life Kitchen & Bath as one of the many reasons.

3. Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands are also a feature that provides space, efficiency, and convenience. They make great focal points for everyone who likes to congregate in the kitchen to visit (and who doesn’t?). They can be customized with wine fridges, dishwashers, composting bins, storage — really anything you’d need. If you’ve got the space, go for it.

farmhouse sink
alabn/Getty Images

4. Deep or Farmhouse Sinks

You need enough space to handle all your dishes while still having room to wash your hands. A deep sink, especially one with a cutting board, is never a bad idea. These sinks have a classy, upgraded feel, and if you get a nicer material like porcelain or tile, they look even better.

Deep sinks increase the efficiency of your kitchen, a nod to what “Design elements that provide true efficiency to the kitchen” — not just looking great — are often the most timeless. Upgrade your sink. You won’t regret it.

5. Blue Kitchen Cabinets

Of all the colors to use for a “pop of color” in the kitchen, shades of blue tend to have the most staying power. Blue can function as a neutral when it’s a grayish hue or a subdued tone, and jewel-toned blues look great with a variety of appliance styles and backsplashes.

If you want to add some color to your kitchen, blue is a pretty safe choice. You get a bolder design element but keep the timelessness of your cabinets. With simple hardware and that upgraded farmhouse sink, you’ll have an excellent design combination.

6. Accent Ceilings

Don’t miss your chance to upgrade what’s above you. Ceilings are an often overlooked piece of your kitchen design. Accent ceilings can make a kitchen feel like a truly custom space. A textured ceiling such as tin tiles can provide a significant visual impact, or shallow coffers can break up the space.

if you have the height. Simple molding can also highlight the space. You could also forgo any architectural details and simply paint the ceiling a contrasting color — extra points if your walls are white and the color is above you.

subway tiles in kitchen
Edgar Castrejon/Unsplash

7. Subway Tile

Like the white kitchen, designers spell the end of subway tile every single year. It preserves despite these predictions. It’s easy to clean, easy to install, and fits in with a variety of aesthetics. With multiple design patterns available, they offer quite a bit of flexibility. These durable tiles aren’t going anywhere.

Remodelista quoted Deborah Osburn, “Think of subway tile as a timeless, practical wardrobe staple that goes with just about everything.”

8. LED Lighting

You must be able to see well in the kitchen, and no light provides that kind of illumination the way LED does. It’s not uncomfortable the way fluorescent lighting is, but it has the same longevity.

Kitchen lighting comes in a variety of styles. That pendant you love or those recessed lights can easily be converted to LED, providing you with more than enough light to see what you’re cutting, clean your dishes, or just make your coffee.

9. Built-Ins for Appliances

A truly luxe addition to a kitchen is creating built-in spaces for your appliances. Keeping the appliances hidden behind doors and in nooks is an excellent way to streamline the look of your kitchen. Because it’s a custom edition to a kitchen, it makes the space feel like an expensive renovation, even if all you’ve done with the kitchen is add the built-ins.

10. Polished Silver Fixtures and Finishes

There’s always going to be a trendy finish on the horizon, but one type of finish stands the test of time. Polished silver coordinates with a variety of colors and is easy to keep clean. It looks expensive and weathers trends from year to year. Upgrade your fixtures and finishes to this metal and enjoy your design for a long time.

open shelves in kitchen with kitchenware
Becca Tapert/Unsplash

11. Fewer Upper Cabinets

If you love the minimalism of open shelving, but you aren’t sure you can make it work practically day to day, fewer upper cabinets could do the trick. You can make the few upper cabinets you have work for the bulk of your kitchen gear and have a few open shelves here and there for displaying just a few your pretty kitchen things.

12. Stainless-Steel Appliances

Appliance colors also come and go, including bright and bold colors, but one option that always stays a crowd-pleaser is stainless. Stainless upgrades the look of your whole kitchen and can fit in with a variety of other finishes well. Plus, they offer excellent resale value if you decide to put your home on the market.

Thor Kitchen explains why stainless-steel appliances are timeless. It’s neutral tone is what makes it appealing and match with the rest of the kitchen. It’s considered easier to clean and sanitize. Stainless-steel also adds value to the home.

13. Minimal Farmhouse Design

We aren’t talking about frilly country kitchens or shabby chic here. This design style uses clean, minimal lines, neutral colors, and upgraded finishes to create a serene kitchen with good lighting.

Farmhouse design uses efficient and realistic design elements to hide clutter and make prep work easy. It assumes you’ll have visitors in your kitchen and that you may even be serving food directly from the kitchen itself. It’s streamlined and classic.

Have Confidence in Your Kitchen

Timeless doesn’t mean boring. Choosing certain timeless elements to anchor your kitchen design can give you the freedom to play with other elements. Change your artwork or your shelving arrangements. The core of your kitchen will always be timeless.

Editors' Recommendations

Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
What colors go with gray? How to make a neutral hue pop in your home
Make gray walls work for your home decor with complementary colors
Modern living room with gray walls and yellow furniture

Neutral colors like gray and taupe are always popular options for your home's interior design. Both are versatile shades that can go with a plethora of other hues, which means you can easily change up the look of your decor with gray walls and a rotating rainbow of accessories like colorful throw pillows. With all the different shades of gray paint available, from matte to glossy, warm to cool, and brownish to blueish, it's certainly possible to find the one that's perfect for you and your home.

Of course, you can always have too much of a good thing. While gray can be a sophisticated and elegant shade, too much gray can wash out a room or make it feel dull and dingy or cold and unwelcoming. Think of gray as the neutral backdrop on a canvas that lets your color palette shine, and you can't go wrong. So, it’s important to incorporate other colors into the decor, whether it be with pieces of furniture, art, or throw blankets -- but what colors go with gray? If you're looking for the best options to brighten up your current decor, keep reading to find out how to accent this elegant tone.

Read more
7 striking yellow kitchens on Instagram that prove this hue is design gold
Yellow is an ideal color for the kitchen. Here are a few ideas to help you style this bright tone
yellow kitchen cabients

If you're in the mood for a kitchen redesign or remodel, you may be considering introducing a new color into the mix. While we love a crisp, white kitchen, yellow (in all of its lovely shades) is making itself known to designers and homeowners alike. A yellow kitchen is bright, sunny, and cheerful, the perfect combination for a room where everyone gathers to play, eat, and work. If you're in love with the hue but wondering what you do with a yellow kitchen, we've got some ideas. If you need some inspiration, look no further than these Instagram designs to get you in the mood to transform your kitchen space.

Is yellow good for a kitchen?
We adore the color yellow for kitchens. There are so many shades to suit your personal taste, and the hue can completely transform the look of the space. There are so many ways to incorporate yellow — from wall color to cabinets to wallpaper and everything in between. Here are a few of our favorites.
Mustard yellow cabinets
The before-and-after pictures tell it all in this kitchen remodel. The yellow color opens up the space to give it a warm, welcoming feel. The simple decor, white walls, and understated backsplash allow the color to shine on its own.

Read more
How to keep oak kitchen cabinets from looking out of place in a modern kitchen
Transform your outdated oak kitchen cabinets for a luxe, modern design
Modern kitchen with red oak cabinets and white countertops

Oak kitchen cabinets are a staple in many traditional homes. Their earthy tones and elegant appearance have placed them at the top of the ladder, making them one of the most beloved cabinet materials in recent decades. While this wood has stood the test of time in interior design, keeping an oak-heavy kitchen from looking out of place in a redesigned home can be challenging. Oak cabinetry often caters to traditional decor, making it hard to implement these gorgeous tones and textures into a more modern or contemporary space.

If you’re a modern enthusiast who wants to maintain the traditional oak cabinet look without creating a tacky design, then we have the tips for you. Here’s how to dress up your kitchen to balance modernity with traditional oak cabinets.

Read more