residential interior design for spacious kitchen with dining area, bespoke white cabinets, Brockley


Create a timeless classic kitchen interior design that will not date with time.

Before we dive into the topic of timeless kitchen schemes, let’s set the score straight. We are designers, so we love an all-out kitchen, we love personal style, colours, pattern and fun. We love trends, and we love experimenting with new things, and we genuinely believe that lots of our clients love that too. In addition to that, we think in many cases that’s the most appropriate and wisest thing you can do, because the alternative is living in a property that you don’t enjoy and doesn’t really feel like a home – and when the next person buys it they might just rip out everything and start new anyhow.

However, we understand that there is a time and place for timeless kitchen design. First of all, if that is truly your style, you should 100% go for it. Also, if you are planning to refurbish and sell on the place within a short period, as opposed to making it your forever(ish) home. If you are aiming for the rental market, you are in pretty much the same situation. So we scrutinised every piece of information and every bit of experience our team had and moulded it into our ultimate timeless kitchen design guide, which takes everything into account from colours, to cabinets, worktops, handles and appliances.

The classic route

It’s all in the name. Traditional style has been popular for a long time, so it will probably keep its appeal for some time longer. There is no sophisticated science to back up this kitchen trend, just the common sense of the ‘how it’s always been done’ principle, mixed with plenty of nostalgia. So you can confidently opt for shaker style or in-frame painted cabinetry that will increase the longevity of your design scheme.

The modern route

Even within the realm of timeless kitchen cabinets, there is some leeway. A simple, modern design can work equally well as a classic scheme. The primary consideration would be suitability, meaning in a contemporary setting it’s worth to consider a contemporary kitchen, while in a period house you are probably better off with a shaker style alternative.

If you are set on following the contemporary kitchen trend, there are still some handy guidelines to consider. The overall shape of the kitchen needs to be clean, thought through and practical. Handleless doors are the winning solution, be it ‘true handleless’ or the cheater’s budget-friendly alternative: J groove handle detail on the top.

Kitchen colour scheme

The key to timeless kitchen design is keeping the material and colour palette to a minimum. Mixing finishes, metals, colours and or patterns is a great 2019 kitchen trend, but it’s unlikely that it will last. Even seemingly simple ideas like an encaustic patterned tile for the splashback can bite you in the back ten years from now when it has been so overdone that even non-Instagrammers is will cringe of the thought of them.

Both the kitchen cabinets and the worktops should be light in colour. Think white, off-white, light grey, light beige and the likes. While every colour has a meaning and colour trends can shift rapidly, these have been considered neutral for interiors for so long that it’s unlikely that they will suddenly go out of fashion. It’s interesting if you think about it – as having only these colours in your wardrobe and wearing them every day from top to bottom would be quite a fashion statement.


You need to go for hidden appliances wherever you can, and where you cannot, we don’t think there is a point trying to mask the look. For example, having a built-in oven or microwave on show in a shaker style kitchen is acceptable. You could put them behind cabinet doors, but the idea of having to open the doors every time you need to use one of your appliances defeats the purpose of being able to use the kitchen comfortably.


Longevity isn’t just about style; it’s equally about quality. There is no point designing a timeless colour and material palette for a cheap and poorly fitted kitchen that will damage beyond repair in 10 years in any way. If budget is your single most significant consideration on your project, at least you get to give yourself a break, be creative and go for whatever whacky style and colour you can think up, in full knowledge that this particular kitchen won’t be serving generations – and that’s fine.

The key to a long-lasting kitchen is durable work surfaces. We often recommend quartz worktops and matching splashbacks as they are practically heat, scratch and shock resistant and extremely easy to maintain. Couple brand you can consider is Silestone, Unistone or Caesarstone. Clients often ask us about the advantages to real marble; however, we are trying to keep people away from this if their objective is longevity, as the maintenance of real stone is somewhat trickier. We don’t argue that the unique beauty, unique patterns and colour of the real stone is worthwhile for a more aesthetically minded project, but for the ultimate ‘timeless kitchen’, this isn’t the right option!

Bad examples

Remember how colourful glass splashbacks with white kitchen units used to be the height of contemporary kitchen design back in the day? Now it would be on the list of design crimes somewhere near Magnolia paint colour. So what else should you be avoiding?

Stay away from any ‘special finish’ ironmongery. Chrome, brass and nickel are your friends, and everything else is your enemy. If the aim is a kitchen that won’t go out of style, rose gold is a terrible idea and sorry to say, so is copper.

It might be self-explanatory, but colours and patterns are off-limits. You might think a couple of yellow pieces mixed with a range of grey small format tiles will be okay, but the next person might happen to be disgusted by yellow, so play it safe.

Now one concept that is hard to grasp and you might not take our advice on this one, but any wood finish is tricky. You might say that wood is a natural finish that never goes out of style, however particular wood stains can go in and out of fashion. Remember when cherry wood was all the craze? Now only mid-century modern hotels dare to go near it, and we bet even they wouldn’t dare to put it on a kitchen. So that’s why.

interior design for modern loft apartment. large, bespoke kitchen in open plan design with exposed brick walls and glass mezzanine level in Wapping, London

Dark schemes aren’t for everyone. And they don’t need to be! As long as you love it, you should have it.

Final words of wisdom

If you have read this article and now think that a matt white kitchen with light grey worktops sounds like a hell of utter boredom to you and you rather eat a ham sandwich for every dinner for the rest of your life than cook there, there is no need for panic. We don’t live in a binary word where a kitchen scheme is either timeless or will go out of fashion by the time our next blog post it out. You can most definitely aim for a timeless kitchen that still has some personal touches or a little bit of colour or pattern, and with a bit of luck (and some good taste!) the next owner will like it as well!

So our point is, as long as you are intentional with your choices and picking materials and finishes that suit your goals with the property, you are doing a great job! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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Temza design shares their top interior designer tips for creating a timeless classic kitchen interior design that will not date with the time.
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Since 2012, we have delivered over 50 projects to our happy clients. Our meticulous project management and attention to detail ensure projects are delivered on time and within the budget. We take a friendly and flexible approach to problem solving, resulting in a hassle-free and enjoyable customer experience.


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