20 Timeless Kitchens You’ll Love FOREVER!

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

20 Timeless Kitchens – eh?

Nothing like going out on a tree trunk to say that a room which could very well cost you 10s of thousands; if not 100s of thousands of dollars is going to be to your liking for the rest of your life.

After all, tastes change.

Right?

Well, they might, but I think that it depends where one’s taste started out as.

For instance a reader, we’ll call her “Mary,” might have a kitchen that looks something like this.

 

 

Mary’s kitchen looks like this, because that’s how her mother’s kitchen looks.

And, Mary’s mother-in-law’s kitchen, her four aunt’s kitchens, 11 cousins, two sisters, 18 BFFs and Mary’s husband’s three ex-wives’ kitchens.

 

All of them, have THIS kitchen. This is not a timeless kitchens. I would call it the generic late 20th century kitchen.

 

And, since Mary’s been a tad busy taking care of her quintuplets for nearly 18 years; spending most of her free-time gathering sucking-up gifts for 438 teachers for 13 years of five concurrent teachers’ conferences…

Well, she’s barely had time to pick the fluff out of her navel, much less keep up with what’s going on in the outside world of classic kitchen design.

 

And because, their basic expenses have driven her and her loving husband who’s barely ever home, to the brink of bankruptcy, the last thought on her mind is decorating.

 

But, then, one evening, while the quints now, nearly 18, are out doing a drunken five-hour joy-ride on prom night, while waiting up for them, Mary surfs the internet. She stumbles upon, gets sucked into Laurel Bern’s decorating blog.

Before she knows it, she’s so immersed in beauty, that she fails to notice three of the quints sneaking in the back door because they lost their shoes (and one, her dress) at some point.

Then, Mary happens upon an interesting word she’s never heard before.

 

“unkitchen”

 

What the hell is an unkitchen, she wonders?

And then Mary sees something that speaks to her like nothing ever has before, except for the time, she nearly choked on a ring in her mashed potatoes, while her then boyfriend proposed marriage swearing his undying love to her.

 

Mary swooned and sighed over the timeless kitchens of her dreams, as they appeared one after another, after another on Laurel’s blog.

 

So, now, Mary having her mind awakened in a come-to-Jesus-moment, decides to ditch her lame hubby. Apparently, he was not where he was supposed to be on prom night. However, Mary soon met a handsome well-off man who genuinely adores her.   And, since he has no problem paying for five college educations (at five private east coast universities), they get married and are very happy.

 

Fast forward, 15 years later…

 

For an anniversary present Mary’s husband buys her the house of her dreams. But, it has a kitchen that well, looks very much like the one above and that won’t do. Thus, Mary goes back to read all of the posts she had bookmarked for the last 15 years.

 

And, guess what? She loves each of those timeless kitchens the SAME as she did 15 years ago.

 

Only now, she has 22 grandchildren, including 6 sets of twins. So, she’s going to need to build an extra-large pantry.  Click here to see 25 wonderful pantries.

 

Okay, haha! I hope you enjoyed that little story. Tastes CAN and do change. However, the moral of the story is: it depends where someone is starting from. And I don’t like to say that someone has bad taste to start; I prefer to say that they developed and honed it.

 

But, if you look at the masters of interior design who specialize in a timeless look and timeless kitchens, I think you’ll find that what they did 30 years ago is pretty much what they’re doing now.

 

And…

A 128 year-old Furlow Gatewood will be doing the same thing 30 years from now.

 

Furlow Gatewood

Furlow Gatewood’s timeless kitchen (unkitchen) with blue and white Chinoiserie transferware.

It’s not a fancy kitchen, but it’s unpretentiously dramatic and beautiful. That to me, is one way a kitchen can be timeless..

 

Before we look at the rest of the timeless kitchens, we need to first discuss what goes into a timeless kitchen.

 

It’s not enough to just look at a bunch of pretty pics and say, here it is.

But, please know that there is no bible from up high that states THIS and only THIS is a timeless kitchen.

 

That’s because, above all ELSE, a timeless kitchen is personal. So, if you LOVE oak cabinets lining threes sides of your kitchen. That is YOUR timeless kitchen.

 

So, please know, this is only my opinion which you don’t have to agree with. In addition, because of time constraints, this is not the definitive list of timeless kitchens. Frankly, I strive with most kitchens I post, to put up those that I feel are timeless. That is, unless I’m trying to show what I think you shouldn’t do. Like in another favorite post about so-called French kitchens.

However, if you have a kitchen designer who presents to you, a design she’s done 500 times before and it’s the same kitchen that your closest 600 friends have, there’s a very good possibility that it’s not going to be a classic, timeless kitchen.

Now, for those of you who are groaning that you can’t afford new cabinets or to update your dated kitchen, here’s a good post that I think gives some good ideas about how to make it more timeless without spending a fortune.

 

Oh, and this post too about painting stained wooden cabinetry.

 

Hmmm… More timeless doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Isn’t that like saying “more better?” ;]

Well, anyway, if you have a really old kitchen, you’re in luck, IMO

 

For a kitchen to be truly timeless, I feel that there needs to be some element(s) of history.

 

Does that mean that it has to be an old kitchen?

No, it doesn’t.

But, if it’s built in a classic way and there are things IN the kitchen that are old, that’s all that’s needed.

nancy-keyes-kitchen-range-accessories - timeless kitchens
Above and below a perfect example in Nancy Keyes’ kitchen. I think that her vintage accents add so much. Although, it would be spectacular, in any case. For more of this kitchen and Nancy’s lovely home, click here.

Nancy Keyes fabulous timeless kitchen with white chandelier they created themselves

A Timeless kitchen does not scream out KITCHEN!!!

 

What does that mean?

Well, Nancy says that when guests come over, they frequently don’t realize that they are standing in the kitchen. But, timeless kitchens, if large enough, are places for gathering. And, sometimes that can include comfortable chairs or even a sofa as we saw in Ben Pentreath’s charming kitchen that I was lucky enough to get to spend an hour in a year and a half ago.

For more of Ben’s home from my trip to England, click here.

 

Ben Pentreath - Charlie McCormick - old parsonage timeless kitchen yellow walls - cabinet

photo of Ben Pentreath’s kitchen: Laurel Bern

 

And, there is often other beautiful furniture, like this dresser, above, on the right.  Along, with the art and accessories that make this room feel home-y.

 

Along with all of this as discussed many times on this blog, there often are a lack of upper cabinets. That is, the ones that go over counters.

 

However, if upper cabinets, in some timeless kitchens, corbels are used to give a furniture feel to the cabinetry.

Gil Schafer - Timeless kitchens Corbels

Above, one of Gil Schafer’s gorgeous kitchens which shows how he integrates the upper cabinets with the lowers with the use of corbels.

 

However, every time I write about “no uppers,” there’s always at least one reader who interprets “no uppers” as nothing above waist height. But, it depends upon the size of the kitchen, the availability of other storage, like a pantry. And always, floor to ceiling cabinets, I believe are timeless.

 

In a timeless kitchen, the cabinetry is usually painted.

 

Is it always painted?

 

No. But if it’s wood, it’s usually old wood or the entire home is wood. In other words, the wood cabinetry makes sense for the home, it’s in. If ALL of the woodwork is painted, then it makes no sense for all of the kitchen cabinets to be stained.

Here’s a good post that features kitchens with stained wood that look great and are appropriate for the homes they’re a part of.

 

What else goes on in timeless kitchens?

 

Brass is actually timeless. Unlacquered, natural brass. We discussed it here, in terms of bathrooms. But, nickel, chrome and bronze are fine too.

Timeless kitchens mix metals as we can see here.

 

Timeless kitchens also have gorgeous high-end appliances. But either the fridge is out of sight, or is built-in sleekly. Or, if a retro style, it might be separate. But the most outstanding timeless kitchens have stunning ranges.

 

Although, if that’s not in the budget, the sleekest stainless steel range you can afford is a good alternative.

 

However, for those of you who can’t manage that either, if you really want to feel better, please know that I STILL have the cheapest un-timeless crap appliances that died nearly two years ago. (well, except for the dishwasher.)

Why, you ask? We can discuss it later.

 

Okaaaaaaaaay… Fine. We’ll discuss it now.

I think it boils down to this. While, I love my apartment, in reality, I’m not really settled here. Or rather, I don’t WANT to be settled here. And, without going into any details, I am working on changing that. Still, it could take a while and I really do need a new fridge. However, there are only about 3 different choices, all pretty bad, that will fit.

 

Anyway, we were discussing the gorgeous high-end ranges.

 

My favorite are the Lacanche ranges. But, the stainless Smegs are cool and of course, I’m not poopooing a La Cornue or an Aga, in the right kitchen.

 

And nobody is paying me to say that. ;]

But, I imagine they’re most likely paying this lovely woman, Mimi Thorisson. And, if not, they should be!

Gorgeous Mimi Thorisson - timeless kitchens

 

Do y’all know who she is? I’m sure that a good many of you do. She’s made quite a name for herself as a chef, blogger, restaurateur, and author (I understand that her cookbooks are terrific). And as if that’s not enough right there, she’s a wife and mother to EIGHT children and 14 dogs.

Huh?

And she dares to look like that? haha I found an article where she shares her beauty and other secrets for dealing with her amazing life.

 

Mimi and her photographer-husband bought this 15-room antique beauty in the French country-side and then did a number on it. But, in the most authentic way possible. Extraordinary!

 

lacanche-range-at-mimi-thorisson-photo-Matt Hranek

And, actually uncovered some gems like this amazing tile floor. Now, THAT is the unkitchen of all unkitchens! And yeah, there’s her stunning Lacanche range. Does she need one that large.

Yes, she does.

 

Photo by Mimi’s husband, Oddur Thorisson, showing part of the family hard at work at their stations. I’m amazed at how well they’ve hidden the chains. haha.

Those of you with less docile children than these appear to be, will understand perfectly.

-Mimi Thorisson_house-15jul16-Greg-Funnell_b

A wonderful dresser in Mimi Thorisson’s kitchen, beautifully styled.

 

If you aren’t already, please follow Mimi Thorisson’s exquisite instagram feed.

Timeless kitchens have natural stone and especially marble.

 

one kings lane_kim bachmann_KITCHEN Lighting - chinoiserie brass chandelier

via one kings Lane – Adore this kitchen by Kim Bachmann

Now, remember this post where we discussed marble and faux marble countertops?

 

It’s one of my favorites.

 

But, there’s something I’ve been dying to share with you about marble countertops.

 

I had heard about two years ago that “they,” but I didn’t know who, was working on developing a way so that marble would not etch or stain.

And, I recently discovered that “they” did it.

Now, here’s the cool thing. Remember nearly three years ago when I went to Italy and got to go see Antolini, one of the foremost sources of natural stone. You can read about it here.

 

Well, Antolini is the “they” who created something called Azerocare.

 

And, actually, it has been around for about two years, but I didn’t know that. With all of the crap people send me, why they didn’t send me anything about that, I can’t say.

Antolini’s website has a film that you are obliged to watch, so I’m sending you here for a good explanation of what it does.

Very important. You cannot apply azerocare to already installed stone. And, it’s only through Antolini and its sellers. I imagine that it’s costly, but for those who wish their marble to remain pristine, it might be just the thing.

Does anyone have any experience with it and can vouch one way or the other?

(Note: March 28, 2019) – total coincidence; I just read a fabulous review of Azerocare by kitchen designer Heather Hungeling. You can access her terrific blog post here which also includes ways to avoid getting ripped off!

 

Timeless kitchens frequently have instead of an island, a beautiful old table.

 

timeless kitchens-Gil Schafer

Another beauty by Gil Schafer

Studio Peregalli - Timeless Kitchen - encaustic cement floor - antique table #unkitchenOh man! Yes, please! I’ll take two of these. One for now and one for later, just in case. Studio Peregalli – Yes, that’s an encaustic cement floor

 

Timeless kitchen - Parisian apartment- encaustic cement floor @abkasha on instagram - Betsy kasha

Above and below Parisian apartment- encaustic cement floor @abkasha on instagram – Betsy kasha, A Paris realtor. Heaven! Remember Laurel’s dream Parisian apartment?

And yes, another Lacanche!

 

Timeless kitchen - Natasha Habermann - Smeg range - Farrow and Ball Purbeck Stone paint color

Above and below, the beautiful and timeless kitchen belonging to Natasha Habermann.

Her range is a smeg. And the color on the cabinetry is Farrow and Ball Purbeck Stone

Natasha Habermann - timeless kitchen - North Salem - Gustavian cabinet - fireplaceLove the Gustavian cabinet!

 

This is a little interesting true story to share with you.

 

I first became aware of Natasha last summer when both of us were nominated for an Amara award in the same category. I was POSITIVE that Natasha was going to walk away with the top prize. Absolutely no doubt. And, I should not have been in that category in any case, but that’s another story.

As, it turned out, she wasn’t even a finalist, which just goes to show… Well, I guess I better keep my hand shut. haha. I still think she should’ve won.

But, what’s also funny, is that I used to live only three miles from Natasha (as the crow flies) in northern Westchester County.

She’s a very talented, young interior designer. I love her work, immensely. AND her charming home in North Salem, NY. Definitely “another one to follow” on instagram.  Her photos are fabulous. So, please check her out and follow, if you’re not already.

 

Now, I see some of you looking very nervous and I don’t think it’s about following Natasha Habermann.

 

Are you saying that we have to rip out our kitchen islands, Laurel?

 

Oh, sorry. Gosh, no worries!

I am seeing a lot of tables, but I think that islands or counter-height work tables like Nancy Keyes  have are absolutely fine and still very much a part of timeless kitchen design.

 

Mark Maresca Kitchen - antique work table
For instance, this stunner by Mark Maresca has set instagram (follow Mark here) and pinterest on fire with shares and repins. I love this antique work table. (and all the rest too!) I think it adds much in the way of warmth and charm to this timeless kitchen.

 

Timeless Kitchen by Giannetti Home - black absolute granite
Another beauty by Brooke and Steve Giannetti.

What about door styles, Laurel?

 

Oh yes! Thank you for reminding me!

Well, there can be a mix of styles.

 

southern living antique kitchen cabinets cremone bolts- photo Laurey W Glenn

southern living antique kitchen cabinets cremone bolts- photo Laurey W Glenn

 

For instance, I’ve long admired these antique glass doors for this built-in china cabinet.

Mostly for the regular doors, I prefer either a shaker style, or one with a simple bead.

 

deVOL-kitchens no backsplash-WilmingtonSquare-055Is the dark paint timeless on another DeVOL favorite? Sure. Why not? It’s a look that’s been around since the 1700s. I would say it qualifies.

bistro_kok_skonahem

 

And my preference is for an inset cabinet as shown above, if possible.

 

devol kitchens forest green cabinets marble and a shelf with artDeVOL says that they have been making this style door for 35 years.

 

I believe this is the kitchen of Greg Irvine. He’s quite an interesting guy. Please check out more of his home here and a brief, charming video where he shares some of his collections, art and philosophy.

I realize that the one above is going to be a little too funky for many of you. But it is a type of classic timeless kitchen that embraces what was original to the home and then the owner has added his wonderful collections. But, notice the swanky fridge and that sliver of a professional range, it looks like. If they had appliances like mine, it wouldn’t work at all.

 

southern living antique kitchen cabinets cremone bolts- photo Laurey W GlennAnother kitchen I’ve featured with a La Cornue range. Photo: Francesco-Lagnese-southern-living

 

Rob Kelly beautiful white vintage style kitchen

Rob Kelly beautiful white vintage style timeless kitchen

 

Dan Carithers via Cote De Texas - charming beautifully styled white kitchen with transferware

And, finishing off with this small charming kitchen by Dan Carithers

 

You might also enjoy these posts featuring many classic and timeless kitchens.

 

12 of the Hottest Kitchen Trends, Awful or Wonderful?

Common Mistakes Folks Make With Their Small Kitchens

Breathtakingly Beautiful Classic Kitchens that are not White

Can You Get Away With a Partial Kitchen Makeover?

 

xo,

PS: Please check out the newly updated hot sales!

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Gayle Schneider - April 5, 2019 - 2:58 PM

    “It’s now the kitchen we hadn’t even realized that we’ve always wanted.” That’s it, isn’t it, in a nutshell. Loved this response.ReplyCancel

  • Gayle Schneider - April 5, 2019 - 2:53 PM

    This post nails the feel of the timeless kitchen vibe, personal as it is to each, in a delightful way. I t truly is about how one experiences a kitchen, especially when it doesn’t feel like just the kitchen.A couple of the kitchen in your post inspired me as I was trying to create my “timeless” kitchen 4 years ago. We built our home & detached carriage house style garage office first on 18 acres of farmland, seeking to create the experience of buildings that have been raised over time. As part of that “over time” plan, we’re now building a barn in the same fashion, looking like someone has come back over time to turn it into a gathering venue. As I was looking for a couple particular ideas for the barn, I came across this blog post & realized, timeless truly continues to draw with its own special appeal. Thanks for the confirmation of this particular style. Maybe I’ll be able to include a link to our kitchen here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/286330488794012224/ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 5, 2019 - 4:38 PM

      Oh my stars! Is that your kitchen Gayle? It’s absolutely stunning! Thank you so much for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - April 1, 2019 - 5:01 PM

    I’m noticing very little use of tile backsplash in these images as well!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 2, 2019 - 1:57 PM

      Hi Amy,

      Yes, that’s true. Or, there’s some sort of a backsplash for the range. But a lot of the English kitchens only have about a 3 inch lip. I rather like that. The great thing is that you can get that out of the countertop and it’s a huge cost savings. I also love what Nancy Keyes did with the painted wood backsplash and what she did behind her range. I forgot what it is, but she explains in one of the earlier posts that features her kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth - April 1, 2019 - 11:00 AM

    Ah, that is the true meaning of settled – the people and sense of connection. I wish you all the best on that venture. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • GL - March 31, 2019 - 10:23 AM

    I’m late replying to you, Laurel, about why I’d never have a range cooker. Mostly it’s because I’m so happy with what I’ve got: at one end of the business part of the kitchen is a white-painted brick column with drawers for tins and so on below, and an oven and a half above, which both open sideways and not downwards. Next along is the worktop, with enough space for the huge pastry board when it comes out, and an induction hob let into the said worktop. Then more I’d much rather have a separate oven at a good height, plus an independent hob, than the combination. Both these appliances are Gaggenau, now nearly 40 years old, and I can’t imagine finding anything better! One question: the front of an Aga gets warm if not hot; do Lacanche and La Cornue do the same, or do the oven doors stay cold when on at full power?
    The other reason is that there’s no gas here, and anyway I have nasty memories of an ancient gas oven (not mine) which exploded in my face. I lost eyebrows and hair, and for a terrifying moment thought my contact lenses had melted on to my eyes. They hadn’t, but it did rather put me off gas, even though I lived with it for another 10 years — but then we didn’t have an oven at all!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 31, 2019 - 11:02 AM

      Thank you for the explanation Gilly. Unfortunately, I don’t have any real-life experience with either a Lacanche or a La Cornue. Hopefully, one day soon! I do know about the Aga, because a client had one and hated it. But, I believe that she went with the ubiquitous Wolf range.ReplyCancel

  • Heather Hungeling - March 30, 2019 - 8:41 PM

    Love that space…very restful. I always think that having a large, working pantry/butler’s pantry provides one with a lot more design options in the kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • susie - March 30, 2019 - 5:47 PM

    it’s U-shaped and has a window over the sink looking out over the woods and part of the counter you can look over out into the living area so it works out.ReplyCancel

  • Heather Hungeling - March 29, 2019 - 4:53 PM

    Thank you Laurel! That’s so kind of you. By the way, I love your idea of the “unkitchen.” I wish people would thin out the amount of stuff they want to put in their kitchen so I can stop stacking wall cabinets to the sky. I remember 15-20 years ago, everyone loved the idea of some of the cabinetry looking “unfitted” or freestanding. I miss those days. They were fun. I follow a lot of British kitchen companies because I think they do a great job of creating a bespoke, furniture-style feeling in their kitchens, while still addressing modern needs.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 29, 2019 - 7:15 PM

      Hi again, Heather.

      I love the British kitchens too and have included them in several posts.

      One of my regrets when I went to England in the fall of 2017, and took a pic of this splendid space designed by George Saumarez Smith – Keep scrolling… Behind the wall ovens, is a doorway to the quite decent sized pantry that’s about 7 x 14. I forgot to go back and take a pic.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - March 29, 2019 - 1:30 PM

    This is one of my favorite posts Laurel! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Heather Hungeling - March 29, 2019 - 9:52 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    I’ve been a fan of your successful blog for about two years, so imagine my delight when I noticed that you linked to my recent review on Azerocare marble! I was tickled pink! Thank you very much for sharing my blog post. Like you, I am bewildered by why this amazing product is not better advertised! Frankly, I have never been thrilled with the quartz look-a-likes, and I’m excited to have a better option for folks that would normally be scared of having marble in their kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Ani Yessaillian - March 28, 2019 - 8:27 AM

    Yes. Newport, RI. Waiting for you to visit!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth - March 27, 2019 - 9:24 PM

    So happy for you that you are looking for a more satisfactory nest, Laurel. But selfishly, I was looking forward to the future redo of your tiny kitchen so I could better understand what to do with my own.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:20 PM

      Hi Ruth,

      I’m not actually looking for a new place to live. However, I have been working on getting out more; meeting new people. Where that will take me, I don’t know. But, I need to find out.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - March 27, 2019 - 8:16 PM

    What a wonderful post!
    I am so over the all white kitchen.
    A kitchen with color and character is so much more personal and meaningful. Many Europeans literally take their entire kitchen, including cabinets, with them when they move, Which is why they are willing to install personal favorites. So, if you want a French, Tuscan, Scandinavian, or English look, do not be afraid of color!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:07 PM

      Thank you Gail. That’s true. Many homes in Europe do not automatically come with a kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Red - March 27, 2019 - 7:49 PM

    Excellent idea on the galley post. Mostly too late for me since we bought small house with tiny windowless galley kitchen AND the wonder of a laundry area taking up part of rare kitchen space, complete with bi-fold doors that block pantry door and garage door when open. Ecstatic & Excited to deal with these blessings. But DH kindly explained that the pretty property and the detached workshop with its own cabinetry and carport completely made up for any issues making beef bourguignon and finding a place to put coffee cups.

    RedReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:06 PM

      Well, nothing’s perfect. And even when it is, something always comes along to muck it up.ReplyCancel

  • Red - March 27, 2019 - 7:41 PM

    Note on wording: Not saying I don’t enjoy All your posts. But some are TRULY good…ReplyCancel

  • Red - March 27, 2019 - 7:35 PM

    Many of your posts are truly good. Most make me smile. Often your photos are stunning. But this one. All the Bells. All the Whistles. And no, though I’ve been reading blogs and posting for 15+ years even in early days of “Decorating” on GardenWeb (now Hou_z) I’ve never caught Mimi Thorisson. Wonderful.

    RedReplyCancel

  • Ani - March 27, 2019 - 6:57 PM

    So much that I love about this post!!!

    For starters, love that none of these kitchens are huge. The table instead of an island feels so homey and real. Oh, the white french stove….total LOVE.

    While I’m years away from renovating my Newport kitchen, you gave me so many great ideas to dream about while I save up for it.

    Thank you Laurel!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 9:57 PM

      Thanks so much Ani! I’m wondering if that’s Newport, RI. I love that town!ReplyCancel

  • Lara - March 27, 2019 - 5:27 PM

    You are so darn hilarious Laurel. 🙂 This post is gorgeous! I’ve wanted to thank you for your beautiful blog posts and the inspiration you’ve shared about unkitchens in the past. I grew up in a century old farmhouse that only had one upper cabinet, so to me, unkitchens immediately felt like home. I was quite surprised that my husband felt like that too. So thankful that I found your blog in time, because you saved our biscuits when we DIY remodeled the kitchen in our current home – a 1960’s fixer upper ranch. It’s now the kitchen we hadn’t even realized that we’ve always wanted.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 9:56 PM

      That sounds so cool Lara! And it’s always a good thing when spouses are of like minds, decor-wise. Or, at least if one doesn’t care and just goes along with whatever.ReplyCancel

  • Wilma L LONGMAN - March 27, 2019 - 5:02 PM

    Can a kitchen with an island cooktop instead of a range be considered timeless? There is so much more prep area on an island, and drawers storing cookware and utensils under a cooktop are so convenient. Functionality is definitely a component of timelessness, and I like the look of a dramatic island hood over a sleek cooktop, but perhaps I’m just devoid of all taste.:)) What’s your opinion?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 9:55 PM

      Hi Wilma,

      Absolutely, definitely, you can have your cooktop in the island. And, I agree that functionality is a huge component of timelessness!ReplyCancel

  • carole tiep - March 27, 2019 - 2:33 PM

    Laurel, you’ve done it again, given us a series of beautiful rooms, kitchens this time. All were a pleasure to look at, and imagine living with such beauty, until my dream included cleaning these beautiful spaces. Some of the kitchens were wildly impractical unless your cooking is limited to simmer and sauté. The idea of keeping a wall of collectables & artwork clean is something I for one can’t manage. There were however great moments in most of the kitchens; I was especially taken with the walls in the kitchen of the gorgeous Mimi Thorisson. I had to smile to see the chef posed peeling an apple over a worktable that hovered around her knees. Nancy Keyes’ kitchen was my favorite, a blend of a practical workspace beautifully done. I was fortunate to have a generous space to create my un-kitchen with a wall of cabinets with shaker doors, and no uppers; ideas for which I thank you. I try to never miss one of your blogs, There is so much to learn.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 9:53 PM

      Hi Carole,

      I fully understand that having a lot of stuff out is not for everyone. Your kitchen sounds wonderful and I’m so glad that it has been helpful. I’ve learned a lot too!ReplyCancel

  • Janet Lorusso - March 27, 2019 - 12:11 PM

    Another beautiful post, Laurel! I love looking at gorgeous timeless kitchens and these are spectacular examples. I’m noticing that almost all of them either have furniture bases on the cabinets or feet rather than just a toekick – it’s a nice detail that makes a big difference in the look. The first kitchen I had included that horrid rubber cove molding on the toekick…now THAT definitely falls into the category of ‘what were they thinking?’!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 12:41 PM

      Thanks so much Janet! I do like a furniture base. I used to always favor the one with a curve, but I would do it sparingly. I also like just the plain straight one like in Natasha’s kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Lily - March 27, 2019 - 11:12 AM

    These are so gorgeous. You’ve changed my life with this unkitchen business (and your humor). I was afraid I was going to be drowning in cabinets forever. I’m going to experiment with leaving most of the upper doors off until I can reno and build a full height pantry. Unkitchen is really the cure to everything clostrophobic about galleys. I finally settled on dark teal for my base cabinets and a lovely warm pastel yellow for the walls and uppers. I have a long month of scraping popcorn and sniffing paint fumes ahead of me.

    I wanted to share a find. D. Lawless Hardware has great stuff (including some unfinished brass and antique bits) at great prices. I’m going to slap copper eggs and cups on my teal cabinets and call it a day. And I’m going to use one of those salvaged cast iron coat hooks to hang my apron and towels. Because omg.

    Shall I dare add a rule? A timeless kitchen is one that makes functional sense–like generations of cooks have ironed out all the kinks. Use and layout are everything. Mine is hard to use because the cooking space is interrupted (and only one counter section is longer than 15 inches). E.g. the dishwasher is in the middle of the room, so I have to walk around it to put things away. It’s a drag. When I can reno, I’m going to move it to the entrance end of the kitchen and put the microwave and all beverage-related items on shelves above it. Then someone can make coffee without getting underfoot. I’m going to do the beverage cabinet now though for sure. Anyways. When you plan a reno, think about how you actually use the space and where you want to put things and go from there. It changes everything.

    Post idea: I’ve scoured the internet and found lots of great galley designs. They’re hard to find so a post might be helpful. Galley kitchens can be efficient and fun and they’re great at containing mess and noise. But there are challenges. Lighting especially because they’re so long and the scale of multiple fixtures but can be tricky.

    I also love how Ben Pentreath’s kitchen sofa looks just a little threadbare and slouchy. It looks well-loved. Like he used to lay on it while his grandmother made cookies and now it’s in his kitchen. <3

    I apologize for the book.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 11:29 AM

      Thanks so much Lily for the great comment and hardware source. All the best for your renovation!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Pyeatt - March 27, 2019 - 10:24 AM

    BEAUTIFUL post Laurel!!! And SO helpful! As are all your posts. Your blog is the only one I continue to read RELIGIOUSLY!!! Thanks for your hard work!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 11:19 AM

      Thank you so much Kimberly. I very much appreciate the support and your kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - March 27, 2019 - 10:17 AM

    Laurel, Don’t look for any kitchen of mine among the classics, because I vastly prefer an electric range, which apparently is against the classic-kitchen laws. I have used both, and for the past many years gas burners, but the more I use them, the more I miss the electric ones.

    Not all kitchens are squarish and so have the dilemma of putting an island or table in the middle. (Or even doing the unthinkable and leave the middle empty.) Several of the houses I have lived in had rectangular kitchens with eat-in or breakfast areas at one end. This way, people can be sitting or working at anything in the breakfast area without disturbing the kitchen or vice-versa. On the other hand, the breakfast area can become an extension of the kitchen, a place to put down bowls or roll piecrusts. This is a guaranteed timeless kitchen–I remember our great-grandmother coming over to make home-made strudel, stretching the dough so thin you could read through it.
    –JimReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 11:19 AM

      Hi Jim,

      My old home that I lived in for 22 years had electric and it didn’t bother me. It wasn’t possible to have gas in our townhouse. Actually, my favorite shape kitchen is wide enough to have the range or sink, if there’s a window at the far end, but it’s really a slightly wider galley kitchen. It could also be a small, square kitchen. But, I like the eating area at the far end, too. So, then that configuration wouldn’t work. Let’s just say that when I see photos of it, I like it. haha.ReplyCancel

  • Christine Irizarry - March 27, 2019 - 10:07 AM

    Getting ready to gut my kitchen and this article couldn’t
    Be more timely.

    I also love the look of inset doors and drawers but am opting for white Shaker style cabinets w/bead in a full overlay instead. My husband is the chef of the house and is the proverbial bull in a china shop. All of our cookware is heavy copper, cast iron, etc. and the cabinetry will be damaged the first day. Apparently the openings are wider and any damage would be concealed by the door/drawer. At least that’s the hope, LOL.

    I would love to have a large counter height table as an island but need a second sink and the only place to put it is in an island which would also house a drawer microwave and recycling bins. Wanted a beautiful wood top for the island but again, hubby would probably destroy it in short order so have opted for white quartzite instead. The island looks more like a bar and it will be painted Newburyport Blue (one shade darker than Van Deusen Blue).

    One long wall will be anchored by floor to ceiling pantries on either end with a twelve foot section in the middle for range top and floating wood shelves. Also installing floating wood shelves over the main sink. My biggest indecision is what to do about the backsplashes. I can envision an old world encaustic tile on the range wall but am hesitant. It has been around a long time but is such a personal design choice and am afraid it will hurt resale down the road. Will probably do matte white 3×6 subway tiles on the other walls.

    I chose a brushed oil rubbed bronze for cabinet hardware that appears to have hints of coppery highlights. But I’ll probably do something completely different on the island since it is truly a stand alone in color and countertop. All of the faucets will be stainless steel which really holds up. My current 20 year old faucet and pot filler are stainless and look new despite the years of use. Flooring is red oak stained in English Chestnut. I feel that my lighting choices are really going to be the jewelry in this kitchen.

    Using Bevolo’s Cucina pendants over the island but haven’t decided what is going over the shelves in the range and sink areas. So very happy to have found this website. It has guided me and also reinforced me to trust my instincts. Many of the paint colors I have used over the years appear in your paint palette collection. Never knew I had an “eye” until meeting you! LOL. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 11:14 AM

      Thanks so much Christine! And your kitchen sounds like it’s going to be beautiful! You hi-light the many decisions that one faces and how each one can affect the others and yet, they all need to get along nicely.ReplyCancel

  • susie - March 27, 2019 - 9:48 AM

    unfortunately my kitchen cabinets in my condo are the same shade as “generic late 20th century.” Since I can’t afford to change them, I’m trying to give my kitchen area that 1030s-1940s look by adding lots of ivory-color and jadeite-color accessories. I have a collection of vintage mixing bowls in those colors so the kitchen area has turned out quite nice.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:39 AM

      Hi Susie,

      That sounds great and I imagine that it’s not a super large kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Pat - March 27, 2019 - 9:19 AM

    Dear Laurel
    Please keep us posted with your search for a refrigerator that fits. I live in a house that was built in 1890 and am having a hard time finding a quality refrigerator that will fit.
    By the way, thank you for the tip on BM Cotton Balls paint. I just painted my kitchen walls and trim with it and it looks great with my white appliances. Love the glow it giives the whole room!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:37 AM

      Hi Pat,

      It’s difficult, because I have to make a final decision about what I’m going to do here. And, that requires me focusing on it. haha. In the meantime, if it REALLY dies like the dishwasher and nuker did, I’ll be forced to get something and fast.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - March 27, 2019 - 8:24 AM

    Just in time! We are finishing our home building project of over three years and strangely, the kitchen came last. With seven kids, living in a makeshift kitchen, I’m ready! I finally, after years of Laurel Bern brainwashing, got my finish carpentry husband to fully understand what our home needs to love it forever. I even got to paint the dining room “rolling hills!” It’s amazing. Now I’m getting my un- kitchen! And boy have I been getting looks from family and friends during the process. But as it has progressed, people have started asking me about you! I’m so glad I found you part way through this nightmare that is finally becoming a dream. That was really corny but it is a miracle that I found this blog when I did.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:35 AM

      Hi Laura,

      I’m from Indiana, so you know, I’m quite fond of corn in all of its forms. Thank you so much for this lovely note!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - March 27, 2019 - 8:19 AM

    Ok, I barely started this and was cracking up because I could be a Mary-Lite! You’re a life changer and now I’m addicted to your blog and your photos that are so beautiful (or not!). Add to that your wonderful sense of humor and I am so excited when I see your blog in my inbox. Keep up the good work.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:32 AM

      Hi Sharon,

      I think a lot of us, have some Mary in us, in varying degrees. Thank you so much for your kind words and support. Much appreciated!ReplyCancel

  • Tinamarie - March 27, 2019 - 8:02 AM

    Hello and thank you for the lovely unkitchens. I think I might have a bit of an unkitchen, I just need some Accessories. I’m terrible at accessorizing, but I would love to place some old looking paintings sitting on the counter and leaning against the walls. Or just some neat unkitchen stuff, that doesn’t look like junk. Now see there is my issue, I cannot accessorize without making it look cluttered so my end result is nothing. Perhaps a post and a widget on some nice items to help us (me) shop for these hard to buy items!!
    Forever your student
    TinamarieReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:31 AM

      Hi Tina,

      I love artwork in the kitchen! And, I love everything Nancy Keyes has done, too. Please check out the kitchen of this instagrammer, Jennifer (@Faithmd) – I meant to show her kitchen too, but forgot. And then of course, is Maura Endres’ gorgeous kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Davis - March 27, 2019 - 7:55 AM

    Hi Laurel, Fun (lovely) post! I believe source of kitchen with teapot collection: The Design Files (Australia)-Greg Irvine, South MelbourneReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:17 AM

      Hi Susan.

      Yes! I think that you’re right! I’ve featured Greg on the blog before, too. And there’s a link to a brief video of him talking. I’ll go make the change. Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia s. Giroux - March 27, 2019 - 7:43 AM

    Good morning, thank you for sharing the beautiful photographs. My house was built in the early 60’s and still had the original oak/ orangey cabinets when I moved in the house 2007. We painted a creamy white and used brushed brass hardware and it made a huge difference. I thought the result was pretty and soft…..but the first question relatives and friends had was “when are you getting new cabinets”? I love my kitchen even more after seeing the unkitchens. I may even have room for a settee:-) Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:16 AM

      Good for you Cynthia! In my practice, I did many more kitchen “botox/facelifts” than ripping everything out jobs. And, every time it made such a difference. Americans are very set in our ways, as a whole.ReplyCancel

  • Amy M. - March 27, 2019 - 7:19 AM

    I am onboard with all of this. I love the “unkitchen.” Just one question – where does the microwave go? Seriously.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:13 AM

      Hi Amy,

      These days, most are getting drawer microwaves. I’ve never had one, but I hear that they are wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • Diane Rasmussen - March 27, 2019 - 7:18 AM

    When we built our home twenty three years ago all the homes were being built with oak cabinets, trim and doors. I have always loved old homes and white cabinets in the kitchen and wide white moldings. My builder had to mill the trim himself as it wasn’t yet being sold. It cost us more but was so worth it. I went with white shaker cabinets in the kitchen and brass pulls ordered from an antique hardware company. My kitchen is timeless and I still love it. We will be selling our home in another year and these choices will be reflected in the resale of our home.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:12 AM

      I’m with you Diane. I think it stems back to the fond memories I have of my grandparent’s apartment in Chicago. It is a classic building built in the 20s. (I looked it up a couple of years ago. It’s still there!) The kitchen was small, but all white and incredibly charming.ReplyCancel

  • Roxanne - March 27, 2019 - 6:54 AM

    I’m in the hospital reading this at the crack of dawn and trying not to laugh because I just had 14” of colon removed (doing splendidly well!). All your beautiful images have given me something lovely to dream about.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 10:09 AM

      Hi Roxanne,

      Here’s wishing you the speediest of recoveries! xoxoReplyCancel

  • GL - March 27, 2019 - 3:59 AM

    Just one thing, Laurel, it’s Lacanche — all one word, because that’s where they’re made, in Burgundy.
    And you’ll all find me bizarre (aka completely bonkers), but it’s like an Aga: I wouldn’t have one if you paid me, and not just because I’d need a new house!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 9:57 AM

      Oh, I’ll go and change it right now. Thank you for correcting my mistake. I’m curious why you wouldn’t have one. It’s not like it’s supposed to do a good job of cooking and baking, is it? ;]ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - March 27, 2019 - 2:40 AM

    Oh Laurel, why oh why were you not in my life 17 years ago? I needed you, I didn’t know I needed you, but I did!
    You have made my life, ok home, more beautiful and oh so much more interesting with your knowledge. Through you I discovered other sites and blogs and have finally found my “style.” Now if I hadn’t put all those damn upper cabinets…..ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 27, 2019 - 9:55 AM

      Hi Carolyn,

      Most people do put them in. (upper cabinets over counters) At least in this country. Old habits are difficult to break. I have them too, but they are only on one side and there’s no choice because where there should be a pantry, or a closet at least, there’s an old dumb water that’s boxed in. We’re not allowed to remove them. They should remove them because there was a horrible fire a block away from me which traveled down the old dumbwaiters! Fortunately, nobody got killed!

      Thank you so much for your kind words!ReplyCancel

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