How to Design a Timeless Kitchen That Will Never Go Out of Style

Our San Antonio Interior Designers and Architects Reveal the Nine Secrets to Designing a Timeless Kitchen You’ll Enjoy for Decades

Whether you are remodeling or building new, the kitchen is one of the biggest investments you will make in your home. So, it only makes sense to plan a timeless design that will remain functional and stylish for decades to come. Designing a timeless kitchen that works so well that it never feels dated or difficult to use requires a delicate balance of futuristic thinking and a resistance to passing trends. You don’t want to get caught with the equivalent of avocado-green appliances in 10 years! Our San Antonio interior designers and architects reveal nine tips on how to design a timeless kitchen that will never go out of style. 

9 Tips on How to Design a Timeless Kitchen 

Here are our San Antonio interior designers and architects’ nine tips for designing a timeless kitchen. 

Timeless Kitchen, Dark cabinets and counters. White Subway tile backsplash
Timeless Kitchen by Amity Kett

1. Avoid Trends

Trends come and go faster than your renovation timeline. Just this year, we said goodbye to 10 dated design trends, including stark all-white kitchens devoid of color, personality, and texture. When designing a timeless kitchen, don’t allow yourself to get distracted by trendy finishes, color palettes, or accents. Instead, focus on function and design elements that have withstood the test of time. Keep it classic! 

Classic Kitchen with two tone cabinets
Classic Kitchen Design by Amity Worrel

2. Celebrate Your Home’s Architecture

To be clear, not all trends are bad, and it is possible to include trending elements into a timeless kitchen design. However, they need to be applied with consideration to the home’s architecture. Trending finishes and designs tend to fall flat and feel dated faster when they don’t feel cohesive to the home as a whole. For example, we have all been in houses where the kitchen has been renovated and it feels disjointed—almost like walking into a different home entirely! If you have an Art Deco home, a “trendy” farmhouse-style kitchen won’t make sense. And, a cold ultra-modern kitchen won’t feel cohesive in a warm Craftsman-style interior. Instead of letting trends guide your kitchen design, lean into the architectural style of your home and create a concept that honors the structure. The final result will feel cohesive and be enjoyed for decades. 

Natural Wood Cabinets, White counters and Backsplash.
Mid-century Kitchen Design by Amity Worrel

3. Mix Old and New

Designing a timeless kitchen is not about dreaming up a design concept that has never been done. It is about looking to the past to see what has worked and still feels stylish, functional, and relevant today. Pulling elements from different periods will create a layered look, resulting in a warmer and more refined kitchen. Make informed design choices that relate to the home’s architecture while also packing in modern conveniences. 

Mixing old and new in Kitchens. Vintage Refrigerator and new cabinets
Mixing Old and New by Amity Kett

4. Put Function First

No matter how elegant the backsplash, hardware, or fixtures, the kitchen is a workroom at the end of the day. Put function first when designing a kitchen layout. Consider the placement of major appliances like the refrigerator, stove, and sink. Make sure work surfaces are appropriately sized, providing ample space to prepare and serve but not so large as to divide and alienate people. While oversized kitchen islands may look nice in photos, one may not function for your lifestyle. Finally, don’t feel pressure to expand your existing kitchen footprint. There are many benefits of smaller kitchens, and they often have more function than an oversized space.  

Green Kitchen Cabinets and white counters and backsplash
Kitchen Island by DK Studio

5. Design a Floor Plan with Flow

There are many kitchen layouts to choose from, and you need to make sure to pick a design that functions for your workflow and fits the confines of the space. Whether you choose a galley, L-shape, or double island kitchen layout, allow for large enough walkways and an uninterrupted work triangle. (The stove, sink, and fridge should make a triangle shape when connected.) Don’t get hung up on a layout you saw in a magazine or on TV. While kitchen islands are popular, they may not be the right choice for your space. 

Classic Kitchen with two tone cabinets
Classic Kitchen Design by Amity Worrel

6. Choose Durable Materials

To create a timeless kitchen, you need to invest in materials that are classically beautiful and durable. Select high-quality finishes that will stand up to wear and tear, even if they are expensive. Opting for low-cost cabinets, counters, and appliances will be more costly in the long run as they will need to be replaced in just a few years. Want a durable material that is also unexpected? Our San Antonio interior designers love cork floors in the kitchen. Cork has the warm look of wood, feels soft on the feet, and even has self-healing properties that allow it to stand up to anything you dish out. 

7. Consider Future Storage Needs

While you are designing your kitchen today, it is important to plan for tomorrow. Create a space you can grow into by addressing future storage needs now. Consider the placement of handy storage for pots, pans, and spices, and make sure to add additional storage for larger appliances and special occasion items. Your collections of dishes, platters, and cookware will continue to grow, so it may be worthwhile to add a butler’s pantry or scullery behind the main kitchen. 

White Kitchen
White Kitchen by DK Studio

8. Personalize for Yourself, Not Others

Timeless doesn’t mean generic. Personalize your kitchen and add features, materials, and colors that will bring you happiness every time you cook a meal. Make sure to design the space for yourself. You don’t have to copy your neighbors or the pages of a magazine. You can even go bold! However, you need to be able to live with your choices for years. For example, purple cabinets can be a lot for some people, but they can also be absolutely fabulous! Focus on your needs, tastes, and the architecture of your home rather than the passing fashions of the day. 

Purple Cabinets in Kitchen
Purple Cabinets by Amity Worrel

9. Take Your Time and Plan

Building a new kitchen or renovating an existing one is a major undertaking and investment. You are making some big choices that will affect your daily life for years. So, it is important to take your time, plan, and make sure you get everything right. After all, creating a timeless design takes time! Embrace the process and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a design team. Investing in the right decisions now can save you from living through another renovation in five years.


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