By Style





By Style





Shop All
ABI Interiors

Free Shipping on all orders over $1,000 NZD

60-Day Returns

How To Design a Timeless Kitchen

ABI Interiors

As the heart of the home, it’s crucial to design a kitchen that stands the test of time. This means perfectly balancing functionality and beauty to create a stylish, timeless space that also reflects your unique style and personality. Kitchen renovations are an arduous and expensive undertaking, so it’s important to invest time and money into getting it right.

From selecting materials to maximising your layout, we’ll explore the timeless kitchen ideas that will help you design a space that seamlessly blends form and function and remains current for years to come.

Neutral Palette

ABI Interiors

One of the most dependable timeless kitchen colour schemes, neutrals are a mainstay for a reason. Using neutral colours in your kitchen design can help create a versatile and visually appealing space that also offers practical benefits. Colours like white, beige, grey, or soft, earthy tones don't go out of style quickly, meaning your kitchen won't look outdated in a few years. 

They also provide a balanced backdrop, allowing you to easily change the look and feel of your kitchen by adding accents such as colourful appliances, vibrant artwork, or unique fixtures. This flexibility is particularly useful if your tastes change frequently.

Light, neutral shades can also make spaces feel larger, brighter, and more open as they help reflect the light. They can also tie together different elements in your kitchen, such as cabinets, benchtops, flooring, and backsplashes, creating a unified look that feels polished and well-planned.

Functional Layout

ABI Interiors

It’s impossible to create a kitchen that will age gracefully if the layout isn’t functional or suited to your household’s needs. Start by thinking about how you’ll use the space — for example, an open-plan layout with a generous island bench is an entertainer’s dream.

Whichever layout you decide on, make sure you nail the ‘kitchen triangle’ — the space between the sink, stove, and fridge. These three elements should be laid out to loosely form a triangle, allowing you to perform day-to-day tasks easily. Get this right, and the rest will follow.

Natural Materials

ABI Interiors

Materials play a large part in ensuring a kitchen remains current. Durable, natural elements like stone, wood, marble, quartz, and metal will help to add depth and character to your space — without dating it. Whether it's reclaimed wood for rustic charm or pure oak for a modern timeless kitchen, wooden cabinetry effortlessly lends itself to any scheme.

When it comes to selecting a material for your benchtop, engineered stone, solid surface, and granite are some of our favourites in terms of durability, price, and the variety of textures and shades available. Polished concrete is another up-and-coming finish of choice among those seeking a contemporary kitchen with a subtle industrial feel. 

Although beautiful and timeless, keep in mind that white marble is more prone to staining and surfaces like laminate and wood are more likely to date due to their susceptibility to wear and tear.

High-Quality Tapware, Fixtures, and Fittings

ABI Interiors

While the upfront cost of high-quality tapware, sinks, and fixtures may be higher, the long-term benefits in terms of durability, functionality, aesthetics, and satisfaction make them a worthwhile investment. Good quality tapware, sinks, and fixtures will stand the test of time as they’re less likely to chip, scratch, or wear with age — they’re also more likely to have a decent warranty to back them up.

Both solid brass and stainless steel taps are known for their strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion, rust, and staining. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, stainless steel is also non-porous, which means it doesn't harbour bacteria or other pathogens — making it a hygienic choice for the kitchen. Both materials offer distinct advantages, so it's essential to consider factors such as durability, aesthetics, and maintenance when making your decision.

When it comes to choosing a finish for your tapware and sink, stainless steel, chrome, and brushed nickel are classic, versatile choices that complement various kitchen styles and interior themes. If you prefer a warmer finish to stand out against a neutral colour scheme, brushed brass evokes elegance and sophistication, complementing both traditional and transitional design styles.

Despite their contemporary appeal, matte black and brushed gunmetal have gained popularity in recent years and are considered timeless finishes that can add a dramatic contrast to kitchen fixtures. They pair well with light and dark colour schemes and provide a striking focal point in the kitchen.

It’s important to consider your personal style, existing kitchen decor, and long-term design goals to ensure your chosen finish will remain relevant for years to come. For additional peace of mind and flexibility, ABI Interiors’ Infinity Technology allows you to interchange between different tapware styles, finishes, and functions after construction.

Multifunctional Island

ABI Interiors

Kitchen islands have evolved into a design must-have. You can play with scale and shape to suit your layout and household needs, but their central location is ideal for catering to the needs of a busy, modern home. 

Islands that serve as both storage and an informal seating area are ideal — allowing you to prepare food while still being able to socialise with family and friends. They’re a space-efficient way to organise everything in dedicated zones and improve the flow of traffic around the kitchen. Islands also make great space dividers between the kitchen and adjacent dining or living areas while still maintaining that open-plan feel.

Simple Cabinetry and Backsplash

ABI Interiors

Simple cabinetry and a timeless kitchen backsplash will serve as a neutral backdrop, allowing you to experiment with other design elements such as countertops, flooring, and accessories. This versatility enables you to easily update or refresh your kitchen's look without having to replace major components.

Choose kitchen cabinetry that won’t date, such as a contemporary flat-front style or shaker cabinets, a modern trend rooted in centuries of design history. You can choose classic timber or metal pulls or go hardware-free for a modern look. Steer clear of overly ornate or elaborate design elements that may quickly go out of style if longevity is your desire. Instead, opt for clean lines, simple shapes, and minimal decorative accents to create a timeless, understated look that will outlast trends.

If you're daunted by having to choose a 'forever colour' for your cabinetry, painted finishes will offer a versatile solution — giving you the ability to refresh your aesthetic and adapt to changing tastes and trends. Additionally, a paintable island or accent piece like a freestanding pantry in a bold shade can inject personality into the kitchen while maintaining a timeless overall aesthetic.

Choose your backsplash wisely, as it’s one of the first features that catches your eye upon entering the kitchen. It is best to avoid an overly bold ‘feature’ tile in favour of a neutral tile or, even better, the same stone you’ve used for your benchtop. The principle is that the smaller the tile, the more grout lines you have, which ultimately increases how busy the design looks. Large tiles can help trick the eye and make a room appear bigger and less cluttered.

Smart Lighting

ABI Interiors

A lighting scheme that layers ambient and task lighting is essential in designing a sophisticated, streamlined kitchen. Start by assessing the natural light let in by windows and doorways and go from there. Ambient lighting gently illuminates a room as a base layer, while task lighting highlights specific zones like islands, countertops, and storage shelves. 

Consider installing LED strip lights or puck lights underneath cabinets to illuminate countertops and workspace areas. This not only improves visibility when you’re preparing food but also adds an ambient touch to your kitchen.

By following these guidelines and prioritising timeless kitchen ideas over fleeting trends, you can create a kitchen that remains stylish, functional, and inviting for many years to come.


For more inspiration on long-lasting home design, read our blogs:

The 7 Principles of Interior Design

6 Ways to Maximise Space Under Your Kitchen Sink

Small Laundry Room Ideas to Save Space

Chat Survey
How would you rate your chat experience?

Very Satisfied


Would you like to provide additional feedback

Thank you for your feedback