Easy Ways to Update Classic Kitchen Design with Of-the-Moment Kitchen Trends

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When you invest in a kitchen renovation, you might be inclined to lean in the direction of a classic kitchen design look in the hopes that you’ll enjoy it for quite a few years (or decades!). 

But that doesn’t mean you have to leave of-the-moment kitchen trends behind. We love to ground our kitchen designs in classic elements, keeping the appliances, cabinets, tile, and countertops timeless, while bringing in trendy accents that are easy to change. Your investment should be in the pieces that will last and, as the years pass, you can change out the more surface-level items like paint, hardware, and fabric. 

So, don’t flip by that daring light fixture because you’re not sure how you’ll feel about it in five years. Bring on that wild color that seems so very 2020. Spring for the brass pulls. You love it now. You can change it later. And, to drive the point home, let’s walk through several recent projects that find that perfect balance between classic kitchen design and subtle dips into attention-grabbing trends.

Project One: White & Navy Kitchen with Brass Hardware & Industrial Light Fixtures

A white kitchen is always a go-to but this one brings in a current favorite color of kitchen designers: navy. This on-trend shade of blue contrasts beautifully with the crisp white cabinets and is a perfect complement to similarly trendy brass hardware (think about a navy blazer with brass buttons — it’s a quintessential color combination)

However, this Westlake kitchen doesn’t overdo the navy. Instead, we used it only on the island and allowed the emphasis to remain on the kitchen’s traditional white roots. We used an updated white subway tile set in a herringbone pattern to add a fresh look to the backsplash. Then, we added an industrial foil in the light fixtures to an otherwise sleek, yet homey, design.

westlake kitchen - classic kitchen design - kitchen trends

westlake kitchen - classic kitchen design - kitchen trends

Project Two: Hardwood Floors & Shaker Cabinets with Updated Brass Hardware & a Bold Accent

This Westlake kitchen renovation applied a similar approach with timeless white Shaker cabinets, functional butcher block, and simple subway tile, however it goes bright, textural and bold in their on-trend accents. We used a deep turquoise on the kitchen island, pantry and built-in subzero fridge. It’s low stakes because we can always paint it back white in a few years — or go with the client’s next favorite color! The rest of the cabinetry will never go out of style. 

Then, we added modern boho-inspired accents like the bamboo shades, the vintage runner, and the rattan bistro chairs. These easy-to-change accents bring in warmth and give it a fresh, trendy feel that won’t feel dated because it’s built on classic elements.

westlake kitchen - classic kitchen design - kitchen trends

Project Three: Subway Tile with a Mid-Century Inspired Green

Sometimes the best way to go classic is to look to the past. This Portland kitchen feels incredibly modern and bright, yet this rich green is a nod to the 1950s and mid-century design. By balancing colorful cabinets with white upper cabinetry and accents of warm wood, they feel both trendy and timeless. Plus, this open shelving feels quintessentially now — but can be updated continuously with on-trend decor or changed out completely with an easy weekend project down the line.

portland kitchen - green kitchen cabinets - classic kitchen design - kitchen trends

Project Four: Pinterest-Worthy Open Shelving & Industrial-Inspired, Modern Design

We love that this Studio City kitchen combines so many daring, yet classic, kitchen design elements. It’s one of those that will age gracefully, with few updates needed, however it feels on-trend in any given moment.

The white cabinets are, of course, timeless. We’ve seen them again and again in this post. But, the black hardware gives them a sleek, modern look. The industrial floor will never go out of style yet also feels bold and trendy. A warm wood island is a traditional choice but that same wood feels Pinterest-worthy and of-the-moment in the open shelving above the bar. This kitchen combines so many base elements that guarantee it will last for years without ever wandering into “dated” territory.

studio kitchen - classic kitchen design - kitchen trends

studio kitchen - classic kitchen design - kitchen trends

Project Five: A Classic Farmhouse Sink & Shaker Cabinets with a Bright Accent Color

You may recall this family-friendly Hidden Hills kitchen renovation from our post earlier this month. It’s one of our favorites for demonstrating how easy-to-swap-out accents can make traditional design feel modern and updated. We used some of the oldest kitchen design elements in the book. 

From the farmhouse sink to the Shaker cabinets to the cabinet hardware and the faucet, this kitchen is timeless. But, with a simple coat of soft mineral paint both in the cabinets and on the island, as well as a bold floral on the window treatment, we brought in a color that made the entire space feel bright and alive. These are low investment changes that can be swapped out easily as tastes and trends evolve but the basics will always remain the same.

hidden hills kitchen - classic kitchen design - kitchen trends

hidden hills kitchen - classic kitchen design - kitchen trends

Updating Classic Kitchen Design as Kitchen Trends Evolve

We know that home design and kitchen trends will come and go. But we always work to make sure the foundational elements of your design are timeless. Trends are easy to incorporate through surface-level accents like paint, fabric, and hardware and you can easily make changes a few years down the road when you fall in love with a new accent color or the latest light fixture.