Smart Design With Suzette – Classic Design

Classic kitchen with a wow factor. Courtesy photo

Smart Design With Suzette – Classic Design

Los Alamos

I’ve written about how to get started in a kitchen remodel, how to create a budget and touched on schematic design. Next, learn what’s timeless, classic so your remodel won’t look dated in five years.

Classic with a hint of AWESOME

When renovating, it’s easy to overlook the details when there are so many decisions to be made. If you want a classic look with a “wow factor” – it’s definitely in the details.

The choice of backsplash, countertop, sink, soft-close hinges and good lighting need to be carefully made to create a classic space that is also a showstopper.

Shaker cabinets in different finishes. Courtesy photo

Fixtures and finishes
Through saving photos of kitchens you love, you’ve found your style. It could be contemporary, traditional, modern, cottage, rustic farmhouse or somewhere in between. All styles can be classic and beautiful.

Now you need to make your final selection of finishes and fixtures. This usually includes: 

  • Cabinetry: construction type (framed or unframed), door style, finish and color.

I tend to recommend an unframed cabinet (more space inside the drawers and interior cabinets).

A classic door is a shaker style. Bottom line: White is the most marketable color. You’ll always find it atop the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual survey of most popular kitchen colors. It simply doesn’t go out of style. 

  • Countertop: Classic choices are solid surface – quartz and granite top the list.
  • Appliances – 83 percent of the population choose stainless steel. 72 percent prefer cooking with gas.
  • Faucet and sink – 63 percent choose an 8”-10” deep stainless steel sink – a single bowl sink is preferred by most people. A gooseneck faucet is a classic choice.
  • Light fixtures – under-cabinet lighting is great for task lighting as well as recessed lights in the ceiling. Pendants lights are a must over a breakfast bar or island. Pendants are also a good way to let your style come through in a classic kitchen.
  • Flooring – Wood, natural stone, tile and cork top the list. Choose one that fits your lifestyle.
  • Backsplash – this will make or break your kitchen. Choose wisely. Classic backsplash are subway tiles that come in a variety of colors and materials – from ceramic (farmhouse/cottage style), to glass (contemporary), to marble (traditional).
  • Decorative hardware – the finish should match the rest of your home’s fixtures. Your style can come through in the design. The hardware can be like an accessory to an outfit. It is the jewel in the room.

Farmhouse kitchen from Fixer Upper TV Series. Courtesy photo

Visualize with a mood board

Collect samples of the materials and colors you plan on using to create a ‘mood’ board. Keep it in a prominent place where you can see it every day to make sure you are happy with the materials and colors you have chosen. This allows you to weed out any “spur of the moment” design choices.

No regrets 

When you renovate, do it with a certain amount of chutzpah. A high-quality job in a classic style can never go wrong. If you invest in quality finishes now, you won’t regret it. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching a space be transformed by good design decisions and great workmanship.

“Good design doesn’t date. Bad design does.” – Paul Rand

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website

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