Classic white kitchen

12 Timeless Kitchen Designs

Originally contributed by • last updated 3/29/2021

Mark McCammon

The right mix of classic elements can keep your kitchen on the cusp of style without falling into the trendy category.

Timeless kitchen designs aren’t loaded with the latest trends but don’t succumb to the boring nothingness of a personality-less space. They balance the kitchen’s configuration and architecture with design elements that withstand the test of time.

Timeless designs are the perfect place to invest in the value of your home. 


Classic White

Mark McCammon

White never really goes out of style. It’s clean, fresh, and offers a blank palette as seasons or design styles change. Classic and timeless, white isn’t boring.

You can pair white cabinets with a unique, yet neutral backsplash to keep the kitchen from feeling too simple. This kitchen features a neutral backsplash, but the gray with stripe offset the clean cabinetry.

This orderly look is complemented by clear glass pendant lamp shades. Subtle changes in accessories will allow this kitchen to update or change while the base elements stay the same.  


Simple Cabinetry

Sidekix Media

Steer clear of the beadboard cabinet doors or arched cuts with antiqued paint. They look beautiful at the time of installation, but they may not be on-trend in five years.

Opt for simple cabinetry styles that are neither trendy nor too defined with one style. For example, beadboard cabinets are typically associated with country or farmhouse styles. They’re both beautiful but go in and out of favor as trends change.

Simple cabinet fronts with well-made hardware keep the kitchen design in the middle of the road, where “timeless” lives. 


Subway Tile

via Reddit

Subway tile is functional and beautiful. It comes in different sizes and widths, providing a few design options.

However, if you want to keep the kitchen timeless, it's best to go with the standard 3" x 6" tiles laid in the half-offset pattern.

Grouts come in a rainbow of colors these days, too. Again, if you’re leaning towards classic, white and light grays never really go out of style. You can get away with other neutrals like varying shades of gray, but too far from neutral and the backsplash might not hold up to time as much as you’d like. 


Simple Architecture

Solomon Rodgers

Timeless kitchen design features simple architecture. In fact, the architecture shouldn’t take center stage at all. You’re steering clear of arched doorways in favor of those of traditional shape and height. While crown molding isn’t an architectural feature, it’s used to enhance the architecture.

Here, simple and classic are functional and beautiful at the same time. It’s not about cutting back but showing restraint. An island with legs or a styled hood is fine as long as the look doesn’t lean toward ornate. 


Brown Is Beautiful

Jesse Bridgewater

White may be classic, but it is by no means the only way to create a timeless kitchen design. Brown cabinetry paired with a neutral color palette creates a warm, inviting kitchen.

Brown falls into the neutral category and can take the kitchen through decades worth of use. Different woods will have different undertones, so be careful in the selection process.

If you’re refinishing, watch out for red or yellow undertones in the wood stains. If you’re installing new, lean toward simple cabinet door styles rather than ornate. 


Black And White

Christ Love Julia

A black and white color palette stays classy whether you or your house is wearing it. This timeless kitchen design features a simple black and cabinetry with vintage-inspired hardware.

White concrete countertops with open cabinets keep the kitchen from feeling heavy or closed-in by the dark cabinets. The final touch — a butcher block-topped island for a natural glow. All of these elements blend, but none overpower the room. It’s a classic look that won’t easily get dated. 


Shaker-Style Cabinets

Lemon Thistle

Remember how we’ve been talking about simple cabinet styles? Usually, that means something that looks like a shaker-style cabinet door. However, it was worth mentioning again because this kitchen has classic shaker cabinets but in a deep olive green.

It’s a perfect example of how you can have a timeless kitchen design but still incorporate your personal tastes. The simple cabinetry paired with white subway tile and countertops prevents any one feature from overpowering the design.

It leaves space for a unique cabinet color that falls right on the edge of a dark neutral. 


Pendant Lights

Tylynn Sattler
Bitterroot DIY

Pendant lights allow you to layer your lighting design. In the timeless kitchen, they balance style with function.

As long as you don’t jump on a trend bandwagon like industrial Edison bulbs or modern planar pendant lights, the kitchen will be attractive and welcoming no matter which generation uses it. 


Natural (Or Faux) Stone Countertops

Michael Browning

You can’t talk about countertops without including both natural stone and their faux counterparts.

Marble, soapstone, and granite have a timeless appeal that won’t go out of style or lose their value. Quartz and solid surface, the faux stones, have the look and feel of a natural stone, but are often more durable and easier to maintain.

Many of the man-made stone countertops come in options that mimic the real thing. If you’re aiming for a timeless kitchen design, either the real thing or a nearly indistinguishable imitation is a good choice.


Durable, Neutral Toned Flooring

Im3rd Media

You can’t forget the flooring, especially in the kitchen. Hardwoods and tile never truly go out of style.

However, you can keep the kitchen timeless by opting for neutral tones and high-quality materials. Opt for mid-range wood tones instead of those on the dark or light end of the spectrum.

Solid tiles in neutral tones will complement the kitchen for years, whereas patterned tiles could fall out of favor with five years or less.


Pantry Organization With Glass Cabinets


Glass front cabinets act as a kitchen display area. They’re classic, timeless, and provide a way for you to change out the decor for the season or as your tastes change.

In the fall, they could be filled with pumpkins and cookbooks with deep orange, red, and yellow covers. In the spring, change out the display and put in your favorite white dinnerware. Glass fronts also give you a built-in way to display fine china.

It’s all about giving yourself ways to express your design style without having to repaint the cabinets, replace the floors, or change out the hardware in the kitchen. 


Black Cabinetry

Mary Ann Wooten

We’ve mentioned white, brown, black and white, but what about just black? Yes, just black can create a timeless kitchen too, because black acts as a neutral.

Follow the same rules as you would with the other cabinet colors, like simple cabinet fronts and hardware. This design inspiration features a neutral rather than a white countertop for a quieter, warmer feel.

Bold black is a great option in a kitchen bathed in natural light. Light still permeates the space but doesn’t glare off of light-colored countertops or cabinets.