Creating a Timeless Kitchen: Classic Design Elements That Never Go Out of Style

Incredible Bath, MI Kitchen Remodel from K. Fedewa Builders with dark wood cabinets on the bottom, white upper cabinets, a white countertop, light wood flooring, and stools on the left at a large island.

The kitchen is a space where functionality should meet aesthetics. While trends come and go, certain design elements remain timeless, transcending decades and fads. At K. Fedewa Builders, we strive to ensure our kitchen styles last the test of time while also incorporating elements unique to our clients. In this article, we’ll delve into classic features that continue to define beautiful kitchens. From Shaker cabinets to subway tile backsplashes, these enduring choices stand the test of time, ensuring that your kitchen remains both functional and visually appealing for years to come.

  1. Shaker Cabinets

Shaker cabinets epitomize simplicity, elegance, and versatility. Originating from the Shaker religious community in the 18th century, these cabinets feature a recessed center panel framed by clean lines. Here’s why they endure:

  • Timeless Aesthetics: Shaker cabinets blend seamlessly with various design styles—whether it’s a farmhouse kitchen or a modern urban look.
  • Durability: Their sturdy construction ensures longevity.
  • Neutral Palette: Opt for white or natural wood finishes for a classic look.
  • K. Fedewa Style Tip for Unique Timelessness: Shaker cabinets aren’t limited to kitchens alone. You can use them in living rooms, dining areas, or even mudrooms. Pair them with a board-and-batten wall to add style and character to different spaces in your home while maintaining a cohesive design theme.
Beautiful kitchen remodel with white Shaker style cabinets, white countertop, light wood flooring, and wide open windows.
Stunning St. John's, MI kitchen remodel from K. Fedewa Builders with dark cabinets, white countertops, and massive windows and skylights letting in sunlight.
  1. Subway Tile Backsplashes

Subway tiles evoke nostalgia and practicality. Originally used in New York City subway stations, they’ve become a staple in kitchens worldwide. Here’s why they’re timeless:

  • Clean Lines: Subway tiles create a clean, uncluttered backdrop.
  • Versatility: They complement any kitchen style, from traditional to industrial.
  • Easy Maintenance: Grout lines are minimal, making cleaning a breeze.
  • K. Fedewa Style Tip for Unique Timelessness: While classic white subway tile is timeless, you can choose tile with different finishes and textures to add depth and character. Breaking up white subway tile with a custom backsplash behind your stove that uses a totally different tile and pattern brings your own flair to this classic look.
Close-up view of white Shaker style cabinets, white marble countertops, and stainless steel appliances.
Close-up of grey Shaker style cabinets with white quartz countertops and white subway tile backsplash.
  1. Farmhouse and Apron Front Sinks

Farmhouse sinks hark back to simpler times when functionality was paramount. These large, deep sinks have a front apron that extends beyond the countertop. Here’s why they endure:

  • Generous Space: Farmhouse sinks accommodate large pots, pans, and even babies for bath time.
  • Charming Aesthetics: They add rustic charm and evoke memories of country kitchens.
  • Durability: Made from materials like fireclay or cast iron, they withstand daily use.
  • K. Fedewa Style Tip for Unique Timelessness: Most farmhouse sinks are typically white, but go with an incredible copper sink to truly set-off your kitchen from others.
Close-up of apron style sink on top of blue cabinets, white quartz countertops, and below a white subway tile backsplash and white upper cabinets.
Close-up of large copper apron-style sink.
  1. Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher block countertops combine warmth, practicality, and natural beauty. Crafted from wood, they develop a rich patina over time. Here’s why they’re timeless:

  • Warmth: Butcher block adds warmth to any kitchen.
  • Functionality: Ideal for chopping, kneading, and food prep.
  • Renewable: Sand out scratches and reseal for a fresh surface.
  • K. Fedewa Style Tip for Unique Timelessness: Opt for a chunky, thick butcher block appearance. These substantial countertops create a striking contrast against sleeker materials like quartz or granite. The organic and sophisticated aesthetic adds character to your kitchen. Use wood countertops as accent pieces rather than covering the entire surface. Mixing textures and materials adds interest to a busy kitchen.
  1. Glass-Front Cabinets

Glass-front cabinets strike a balance between display and concealment. Here’s why they endure:

  • Showcase Possibilities: Display fine china, glassware, or collectibles.
  • Illusion of Space: Glass reflects light, making the kitchen feel more open.
  • Variety: Choose clear glass, seeded glass, or frosted glass for different effects.
  • K. Fedewa Style Tip for Unique Timelessness: Consider adding interior cabinet lighting to highlight the contents behind the glass. This creates a warm and inviting ambiance.
Close-up of frosted glass and white cabinet.
Kitchen remodel by K. Fedewa Builders with white cabinets on the bottom and white and clear glass cabinets on the top.
  1. Classic Hardware

Classic hardware includes knobs, pulls, and handles. Opt for timeless finishes like brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, antique brass, or matt black finish. Here’s why they’re essential:

  • Jewelry for Cabinets: Hardware adds personality and elevates cabinetry.
  • Easy Updates: Swapping hardware is a quick way to refresh your kitchen.
  • K. Fedewa Style Tip for Unique Timelessness: Ensure that the hardware proportions match the cabinet size. Larger cabinets may require larger handles, while smaller drawers can have smaller knobs.
Close-up of square nickel metal cabinets pulls on white cabinets.
Beautiful white Shaker-style drawers and cabinets with a white subway tile backsplash and stainless-steel appliances.
  1. Neutral Color Palettes

Neutral colors—such as whites, creams, and grays—create a serene backdrop. Here’s why they endure:

  • Versatility: Neutrals allow flexibility in accessorizing.
  • Timeless Elegance: They never overpower the space.
  • Bright and Airy: Light neutrals make small kitchens feel more spacious.
  • K. Fedewa Style Tip for Unique Timelessness: Create a dramatic visual effect with white upper cabinets and color lower cabinets such as grey or a shade of green. A dramatic focal point kitchen island built on bold color cabinets such as navy or cobalt blue also brings in unique style that blends modern and classic timeless style.
Close-up of sage green cabinets in a kitchen island with a white apron-style sink, sage green lower cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, and white upper cabinets in the background.
Close-up of cobalt blue cabinets in a kitchen island with white countertop.

Remember, the key to achieving a timeless kitchen design is to balance functionality, aesthetics, and quality craftsmanship. In the ever-evolving world of kitchen design, these classic elements remain steadfast. Whether you’re renovating or building from scratch, consider incorporating Shaker cabinets, subway tiles, and other timeless features. After all, a well-designed kitchen transcends trends—it becomes a cherished part of your home’s story. With decades of experience, we know which styles come and go and which ones stand the test of time.


Contact us, K. Fedewa Builders, to start on your kitchen today! 517-388-6123. 



Article by David Glaeser