How to Create a Timeless Kitchen Design

As a homeowner, you can certainly create your own layout and probably do a pretty good job because a lot of it seems like common sense.

But it’s easy to make some mistakes, so the designer plays a critical role in that part to choose a neutral style. Think of picking a neutral backdrop, and then accenting that backdrop with some creative accents. Some styles just naturally lend themselves to being adaptable to change, other styles do not. We’re going to over that.

A classic example is; it’s pretty easy to take a mid-century modern style, and some rustic accents and kind of turn that into an industrial style. Things like that are what we’re going to be going over. Then another thing to think about is consistency. Those of you from the South are familiar with the mullet, which is a short haircut upfront and long hair in the back. They call it a party upfront or not, and they call it a business upfront party in the back.

What that really means is, you want your house to be consistent throughout so you don’t want your kitchen to be like a mullet. Also, that’s not a good way to create a timeless design so we try to avoid mullet designs as much as possible.

Express Brooklyn Tile

What’s New in Kitchen Cabinets Design?

Let’s talk about styles that lend themselves to change. A lot of them are popular styles today, they’re called transitional styles. Transitional is a kind of transit between a traditional and a modern or a contemporary style. It’s kind of a uniquely American style that’s been growing and becoming popular and it dominates these days. You don’t really see it overseas.

For instance; the farmhouse style. A lot of farmhouse styles are transitional. But you can take a farmhouse style and you can turn it into an industrial-style or rustic country style or French country very easily. That’s one of the nice things about transitional designs. Mid-century modern is another great one. It could become industrial Scandinavian or they can skew very modern as well.

Then we want to point out contemporary styles. A lot of people we meet say they want a contemporary kitchen. Contemporary really isn’t a style. We like to avoid using the word contemporary. When you say you want your kitchen to be contemporary, you’re saying you want your kitchen to be stylish for today. 

There are, of course, some styles that don’t lend themselves to change. As an example;

  • a bohemian style or what some people call an eclectic style that’s very unique. They’re not very hard to adapt to.
  • art deco and
  • glam styles, which are again, quite unique.

One thing we will say though, while you do want your house to have this consistency, and we want to avoid that mullet design, you can have a lot of fun in some rooms of your home as well as basements. Then you can have some fun with design without locking yourself into a whole-house style that’s going to be outdated in a couple of years.

For example, powder rooms are like a fun place to do that too just because that’s where your guests are going to be going. It’s sort of like a surprise when they go into the bathroom. It’s an area to kind of play with some fun, different styles, paint colors, cool wall coverings, and things like that.

Then one final note; remember that your personal style, your personal taste, trumps everything. As a homeowner, you’re driving what you want to look to be. If you have a particular style, and that’s what you love, that’s what you want to do, don’t feel like you have to sacrifice that style, because it’s not trendy or it might be out of style in a couple of years. It’s your home, you need to love it. We still want to function, but style is personal.  We want to make sure your home reflects your style.

How to Pick Your Style

Let’s talk about some strong traditional elements. For instance; there is the medallion style, it’s a classic style. If your kitchen looks like that style, it might be time for an update. The distressed wood, the raised panel doors, very traditional, this sort of natural stone backsplash, the ornaments, or some sort of corbels are all very traditional elements, which are not super popular today, and lends themselves to adapt much.

As we mentioned you could turn a kitchen into another more modern style by matching it with proper materials. For instance; you could turn a kitchen into a traditional or a contemporary traditional pretty easily. You could turn it into a farmhouse pretty easily with some relatively minor updates, such as changing the backsplash tile or the lighting. An example of a trend like raised panel doors on a transitional design could be a beautiful match, but the homeowner can still incorporate some elements that make it personal. 

Another trend for 2021 that is popular these days is the rail system. What is the rail system? The rail system allows opening the drawer easily. There’s a recess right where you reach in and it allows you to open the drawer. It also creates a cool contrast and between lines that look nice for the modern design. It’s a way to open your cabinets without poles. You don’t have the difficult decision of picking out poles. The rail system is very European as well as very contemporary, very modern, and is not really a style that’s made it across to the States yet, but is probably coming.

If you’re thinking, you might not be in the house forever, you want to make sure other people can enjoy it without having to totally renovate it, which is a good way to do it. It is not an expense, it is an investment. You will realize that an updated kitchen will raise your house’s value.

Also, here is an expert tip; while designing your kitchen you should be brave about colors, you shouldn’t go with only one color and tone. We see this quite a bit when we’re working with clients that try to be too safe. They try to keep everything in one tone or one color, and kind of wind up with a boring kitchen. It’s nice to mix and match with some personality, just be brave and do not be afraid to put your soul into it.

Express your personality, because things are easy to change, fixtures and hardware is a good example, so don’t be afraid to mix. Also, it’s a trend to mix and match. For instance, a faucet or hardware things that are easy to change. It’s nice to have those little surprises in a design that you don’t see at first. But then the more you’re in a space you will realize that you didn’t notice some things before. Another fact that can affect your kitchen’s overall look is lighting. It is one of the easiest ways to change the look of a space and makes your design more personal. Floating shelves are also another idea that is very easy to adapt to your style. 

One another option is you can use tile in a very personalized and specific way. There’s more tile available today than there has ever been and it’s not crazy expensive. Plus it comes in all different shapes and colors. If you’re looking at a 30 square feet average kitchen, it’s 1,000 bucks, which obviously isn’t a tiny amount of money. But every three, four, or five years you want to change your kitchen to swap out a backsplash tile, which is probably not a huge deal and is a great great way to update.

Usually, if we’re going with a white shaker or black shaker painted cabinet, we try to get our clients to do some fun kind of tile in their kitchen and they absolutely love it. But if you’re doing full quartz or marble up the backsplash, you don’t want to have all the cutouts from the outlets be a great area. The ankle power strips don’t have to put holes in your tile. We actually love them on islands, because it goes right underneath the countertop on an island.

Plus recently we’ve been running LED strip lighting underneath the island as well. If you just want to turn on your under cabinet lighting and maybe put some underneath that island, it’s going to give off enough light. We’ve started doing it with RGB strips, so you can change the color, which is just fun and it’s not any more expensive. Tons of stuff you can do with lighting doesn’t add a lot of expense, but can really change the look and function.

There is a point that you need to be careful about. If you want natural marble in your kitchen or you want wood in your kitchen, you’ve got to be okay with the organic nature of that material. It’s going to age, patina, scratch, and stain, but it adds character to your kitchen. If you’re the kind of person who needs things clean and perfect all the time, then those materials might not be for you.  

As another element, the tile was very popular in the kitchen. But more and more we’re seeing the luxury vinyl plank these days. It’s thinner, It’s very, very durable and rigid, it’s 100% waterproof, very scratch resistant, and is warm on the feet as opposed to tile which can be cold.

How to Set Your Remodeling Timeline

We do small kitchens, medium-sized kitchens, or large kitchens in the equation, so never feel as though your job is too small or too big for us. The majority of our work is right in the middle.

How long does it take you to open all of these steps? First; the cabinetry phase takes six to eight weeks waiting, which means your kitchen is under renovation for six weeks from start to finish. If we’re doing your floor start to finish, it takes six weeks to renovate and in addition, you’re waiting eight weeks prior to us starting for the cabinetry to arrive here on site.

We don’t take your existing kitchen out until all of your cabinetry is here. Because we wouldn’t want you to have any kitchen for all that time. Six weeks is the typical timeframe that a kitchen is under renovation. We do set up your kitchen in a separate area of your home, oftentimes that’s in your dining room and we bring your refrigerator into that kitchen space or give you light to just walk in. We bring your dining room into that satellite area with a six-foot table. Oftentimes your microwave goes on the table so that you’re still kind of operating in a satellite space. The thing that you miss the most of course is your kitchen sinks which do go away.

You kind of should try and eat your big meal during the day and your lighter meals at night. But everybody gets through it because of course there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We do use pepper filters in your renovation just to try and keep the dust down to an admirable degree. Plus we do use big plastic walls and plastic kerning to curtain off the area we’re working in. After all these steps, your kitchen becomes ready to unpack and enjoy.

Do you charge for the consultation?

No, we do not charge for consultations. That first appointment is usually an hour to an hour and a half long with us and there isn’t a charge and it certainly is fun. We enjoy what we do, we enjoy meeting you and by the end of that appointment, you have a really great idea of what a kitchen remodel will cost. Most people end that meeting by feeling really thankful that it’s not smoke and mirrors anymore.

They really now have a more candid approach to a project they were overwhelmed by because they had no idea of costs or procedures. We’re going to open up and walk through projects to show you what they cost. We’ll walk through your project, talk about real costs associated with your work and also offer options of how to save.

If we don’t have an existing hood, is this something difficult to add?

No, it’s super easy to add, even if it’s on an interior wall. The hood application goes right behind the crown molding detail. In each cabinet, we’re trying to bring down associates like now if we have the budget, and it’s traveling, so we want to make the most of the space too. We do what’s called facial molding, which is a flat piece of board, and then your crown, which kind of steps off of that arch. That six inches of framing that’s needed to bend your foot outside goes behind the crown and out the window wall and it’s pretty easy to do, it’s no issue at all.