Many of our customers ask us for a kitchen that will never go out of style. While we can’t predict the future, we can give you a kitchen that is easy to update, whether it’s for you or to sell in 15 years.

Laurysen designer Natasha Nash walks you through the secrets to timeless kitchen design in this video:

The are three main keys to timeless design:

  1. A kitchen that functions well and makes it easy to cook and serve food.
  2. Using time-honoured cabinet styles that have simple, clean lines.
  3. Avoiding extremes and gimmicks that will one day “scream” the year it was built.

timeless kitchen light cabinets

Let’s Look at Cabinet Colours and Styles

When you’re choosing colours and styles, think about how much it would cost to replace the item and how difficult it is.

For example, new cabinets or a new countertop would be difficult and expensive to replace. If  your kitchen needs to last, make those styles more neutral.

Changing your light fixtures or your wall paint is a great way to update your kitchen. The knobs and handles on your cabinets are also examples of something most people can change relatively inexpensively. You can have more fun with these items, updating them every few years as trends come and go.

Cabinet Styles

shaker style cabinet doorsShaker and Mission Styles

In terms of door styles, the ultimate chameleon is the Shaker style. The Shakers believed that useless ornamentation was sinful: they made everything as simple and functional as possible. Their classic approach to cabinetry is still popular today, and the iconic simple Shaker frame goes well with contemporary and traditional kitchens alike.Shaker and Mission Styles

Shaker and Mission styles are very similar – the main difference is in the width of the “frame” on the front (actually called stiles and rails). Mission stiles and rails are wider, Shaker narrower. Traditionally these styles were only used with certain kinds of wood, but these days anything goes of course.

raised panel cabinet doorsSquare Raised-Panel Doors

At Laurysen we call this style “Athens”, and it’s another time-honoured classic. It looks a bit more traditional than the Shaker or Mission styles, but as long as the lines are straight it’s still a very flexible look.

Fans of traditional and country kitchens love cathedral or eyebrow arches on their raised panel doors, but if you want a truly timeless kitchen we recommend staying with straight lines.

Cabinet Colours

For cabinets that go well with many styles, you have lots of options, whether you like light or dark cabinets. We recommend you go with white, off-white if you want to go light, or a medium to dark brown if you like dark. At Laurysen we currently have some very timeless finishes including:

  • Light: Coconut (white) and Biscotti (an off white with creamy yellow tones)
  • Dark: Clove (a medium brown) and Cocoa (a rich dark brown)

These colours and styles are very flexible. Depending on the other elements in the kitchen, they can either be neutral, set the tone or act as the focal point in the kitchen.

timeless kitchen dark cabinets

Other Kitchen Design Elements


These will change the look of the room depending on whether they are white, black, or stainless steel. Some manufacturers also create them in fun colours too.

Wall Tile and Backsplashes

There’s almost an infinite variety of choices, when you consider uniform vs tile patterns as well as materials, textures and colours. Here’s a practical hint: the messier your kitchen gets, the shinier the tiles should be, because they’re easier to clean.


Some people like hardwood flooring, others prefer tile. Either way, the colour and pattern you choose has a huge effect on the overall look of the kitchen.

Wall Paint

Possibly the easiest part of your kitchen to change – and the cheapest. It can also have an incredible influence on your kitchen. Just imagine your current kitchen with black walls, white walls, and red walls to see what I mean.


People are using everything from stainless steel to wood to stone to engineered quartz for their countertops. The right countertop material will depend on your taste, your needs and your budget, but all these materials (except perhaps stainless steel) have choices that will age well.

Cabinet Hardware

As long as the holes needed for your new hardware match those for your old hardware, you can easily change your hardware for an instant update. If you have knobs, you can usually update to two-post handles if you can drill more holes. You can’t easily go back the other way, however, so be careful when making this decision.

The Most Important Part of Kitchen Design

In the end the kitchen has to function well, and be a welcoming space for your family and friends. That means a functional layout that incorporates an effective work triangle and also effectively separates the 5 kitchen zones.

If you want a timeless kitchen that still reflects your personal style, good news: you can have both! It’s all about how you balance all the design elements in the room to get the look you want.

If you need help getting the kitchen of your dreams, talk to the friendly design team at Laurysen.

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