Trend Phobias!!!

KelinMDOctober 9, 2013

I have grown concerned that the colors and materials I loved a year ago when I started planning my kitchen are now trite, overused, and trendy. Is carrera marble the harvest gold of the millennia?

It seems every new kitchen I've looked at on houzz or in real life has some variation of the following:
1. white shaker flat panel inset or full overlay cabinets
2. honed dark granite perimitner that "looks like soapstone!"
3. Marble island (or Lyra)
4. Superwhite Quartzite as an alternative to #3
5. Large silver pendant lighting
6. gray
7. glass subway tiles

I'm so discouraged, b/c I like (d) these things and now it is so common that I fear it will date my brand new kitchen. I have stopped going in to my neighbors' new kitchens for fear they think I stole their ideas.

My question is do you plan a kitchen that is neither dated nor trendy? I feel like I've been subliminally influenced by all the stuff I see on Houzz and in magazines. I don't want my kitchen to be a homage to 2013 in 10 years.


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I never could figure out if the best answer for this is to look more or to stopping looking.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 4:31PM
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I'm lucky in that I never like anything trendy. I didn't include one thing from that list in my recent reno. Maybe my house looks dated, but I don't care. My suggestion is to get what you love, and ignore the trends. As long as you love it, you won't care.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Maybe it is a regional, east coast trend? That is all everyone here seems to do! I wish I liked a different look, but it is so pretty!

I've wanted to get a light gray painted cabinetry but everyone gasps in horror when i say that, and they warn me that I will grow tired of it. I have analysis paralysis!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Sorry, but so what? Will your friends really get bent out of shape if you add an element to your kitchen that is similar to theirs? Will they scream, "But, but I thought of it first"? It's highly likely they did not in fact think of it first, but copied it from someone else.

I have #1 on your list and gray in the form of counters. Nobody I know, friends or neighbors, has the type of kitchen you describe, not with all those things. I chose my elements because I liked them at the time. For sure I would do some things differently if I had it to do again, not because I'm hopelessly trendy (and soon to be dated), but because I have a better idea of what would work better for me.

We don't all wear our kitchens to a party and then are mortified to see everyone in the same thing. Our kitchens presumably are part of our homes where, if fortunate, we are able to indulge in those things we like.

If you like the craven white/gray kitchen, join the club.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Well, that is just it, I want my kitchen to be an expression of what I like, and somewhat original, not just boilerplate. I've been planning this for two years, when granite was still the norm. Now all I see going in everywhere is marble.
I know there is not a way to avoid wanting to do it differently in a year or two, but I would like to avoid things that will be quickly dated. In addition to being visually pleasing to me, I want my home to look fresh. I have liked things before (Tuscan gold/reds in the mid-2000s) that have become dated quickly. I tried to take some of those things to a consignment shop and they said said sorry, they were flooded with the old tuscan look. That is what I'm trying to avoid, an over-commitment to a "style." I'd like my kitchen to be a backdrop that will let me change things in and out as my tastes change.

I was sincerely asking for input. No need to get nasty with the craven comment. If you need to be insulting to get your point across then I'd rather not hear your thoughts.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Unfortunately, that's just the way it works. We look at all of the beautiful, professionally decorated kitchens on Houzz and in magazines and that is where we see things we like and draw inspiration from.

I'm in the same boat as you though. I worry that all of the things I am picking out will be dated soon. But honestly, everything gets dated over there is no good answer to this dilemma. If you figure it out...let me know...there's still time for me!

Linelle, what would you do differently?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Go for it! I had the same concerns, but you know what? Who cares? I like what I like. The best part was that my girlfriends who had recently or were concurrently renovating their kitchens were my "yes women" as my husband called them. No surprise since we overlap in our wardrobes as well. :) Sure, we had the same design elements in mind (white cabs, carrera marble, SS appliances) but we all executed them completely differently, from modern with clean lines to cottagey, to my own, which is a mix between old and new in our 1820 home. I got great ideas from them and I think I perhaps helped them along the way as well. The fact of the matter is, everything will look "dated" at some point. I attempted to bring the old in by adding a drainboard in my marble and used open shelving to harken back to the simple farmhouse aesthetic of my home. Trendy? Maybe. What we might consider the beauty of older, "classic" kitchens is their charm, really, but things change and time marches on. Do what you like now. What is that saying? "I regret the things I did not do"? Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:39PM
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People seemed to start drooling over the kitchen you describe in 2003, when the movie "Something's Gotta Give" came out. It was a classic Hamptons look with roots in historical kitchens, not conjured up by the industry. That was 10 years ago. It spoke to many and has "trickled down" to the masses. First, high$$$ Christopher Peacock and House Beautiful and now all over Houzz and BHG.

Is it sort of a "prescription kitchen"? Yes. As you said, they're all starting to look alike. But if you love all the elements, go for it. Even though there may be thousands on Houzz, the reality is that it is still a "dream kitchen." This look is expensive to achieve!

Change it up a little. A backsplash and lights that are unique to you. Throw in some unfitted elements. Add some intense color somewhere. The look doesn't have to be cookie-cutter. Treat the basic elements as good "bones" and then layer on some personality. I do believe this kitchen CAN the backdrop you speak of, and isn't an over-commitment in the way the over-carved, goopy, 90's Tuscan was.

I don't think the look is anywhere close to being on it's way out.

Once you make your decisions, STOP LOOKING! (-8

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:53PM
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KelinMD: I think Linelle was being the opposite of "insulting" - if you read it again, you will see that she counts herself as one of the 'craven' club and her comment, to me, was humorously self-deprecating.

Everything becomes outdated, sooner or later. Get the kitchen you truly love - yes, it may not look fresh to others in a few years, maybe, but if it makes you happy, it will keep pleasing you visually.

Now, if you were going to sell your house in the next year or two, then you may want to 'go with the flow" so to speak, because most buyers want what's "in" ( I truly blame HGTV).
If, on the other hand, this is a home you plan to live in for many, many years more, then go with your gut and your creative instincts and ideas, regardless of what's happening in other kitchens.
I love Southwestern décor; twenty-plus years ago, I decorated my living room with touches of the Southwest. To this day, my heart gladdens when I come downstairs each morning and see the beautiful ( to me) wallpaper ( which, by the way, is another of those 'trends' , that went away and now seems to be creeping back).

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:57PM
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White kitchens haven't changed all that much in 10 years. Some of us have complained about that while others call it the "one true kitchen." Sometimes I flip through white photos and it's hard to tell the difference between them. But that's a big plus for some people.

The dating comes from small details. Glass tile is a little newer than subways. Calcatta is newer than soapstone or Carrara. Pendants have mushroomed.

The gray trend of the last 5 years grew out of Martha Stewart's kitchen. It's been mixed a bit with the white aesthetic.

I believe in originality. I think a unique vision is the way to go for a house and for a kitchen.

Of course, that's not the easiest thing and it won't be found on commercial look sites like Houzz. Perhaps Pinterest would be a source to consult if you haven't. It's more personal and the search function is respectable. Allison found a lovely gray kitchen that doesn't look like anything else I've seen. I'll link that.

But I believe in looking until you find something you love and that YOU feel good about. Don't give up! If a kitchen is done right it won't look dated very soon. Kitchens are expensive and a PITA to change. Regrets in there are not fun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gray Kitchens

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 6:07PM
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this tickled me. Im going with white cabs- because kitchen has zero natural marble or even granite- too pricey for this neighborhood. lt. grey paint- but changes with the windows (that are across the room) open.White subway tiled backsplash- not color specific or style specific and within the budget. no pendants- ceiling is only 8 ft. And already spent the $$ on led ceiling cans. So is it going to be screaming 2013? Maybe in other areas with a slave like devotion to the trends but not my middle class area.Definately do what you like with the expectation that you can please some people some of the time and please all the people none of the time. but you can satisfy your own dream of what your kitchen is . .

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 6:08PM
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I really think when you look on houzz and even on this website you get a very small segment of the population. I am the only one of my friends to have marble countertops and white cabinets. The look is not cheap and most people put in laminate. You just don't see it much on this board or on houzz. I think this give us a false perception of what is really 'trendy'. Besides, with some natural material like marble that has been used for thousands of years I highly doubt anyone could say it is "out". Go with what your heart is telling you. It is your kitchen. And then once you make your decisions stop looking! That is good advice. We are so bombarded by the vastness of choice that no people before us have ever had that it puts us in analysis paralysis.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Plus if your kitchen works with the style of your house, it won't go out of style quickly.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 6:30PM
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boone, thank you. :) Yes, I was attempting self-deprecating humor. For heavens sakes, I have a white kitchen with dark (gray) counters and a subway tile backsplash. I drank the Kool-Aid. This scheme may be considered trendy, trite, banal, classic or dated by others who are invested in setting style trends. As long as I like my kitchen, I don't really care about anyone else's opinion. I think it's a cute kitchen, fresh and unique among my circle of friends. And it was within a modest budget. Yay!

lcskaisgir, well, I wouldn't go back to golden oak. :) I do miss the warmth of stained wood though, maybe quarter-sawn oak? I would get a lighter counter, quartzite if I could afford it. I like to see where I spill things. The dark gray hides everything. I read that in general it's just easier to see things on a lighter counter. Other little details, nothing major.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Thank you all for the comments! Great input and ideas. And you are all correct, I need to STOP LOOKING. The problem may also be I started too soon. As I look through my houzz idea book I can't believe some of the stuff I liked a year ago! Shanhaimom I think you are totally correct about Something's Gotta Give, but it wasn't on my radar at that time. Rococogurl, Pinterest is a good idea. Thanks for the link!
I live on the water in a 1947 remodeled cottage and am going for a light, casual, airy feel. The cottage feel of the home was ruined by a 1999 renovation where they tried to shoehorn a modern motif with track lighting and walls of mirrors. I'm trying to get back to the spirit of the home and community. I think marble and white look good with a lot of things, for example red accessories at Christmas. My neighborhood is very small, and I just went into the 4th remodeled house with these features and it kind of threw me for a loop. I also made the mistake of reading the GW thread about "trends we hate." It was funny, but made me think. And it is totally true, everything will be dated at some point. I always picture my kids' generation going through the houses that we've renovated and moaning about the stainless steel like we did about linoleum and avocado appliances.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:12PM
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If you analyze it, can you separate whether you like things because they are trends from whether you like something that happens to be a current trend?

Do you like things that definitely aren't trendy, or no longer trendy?

To me that's kind of how to sort it out. If you are afraid that you might not like it when it's not the latest thing, maybe you won't.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:34PM
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I tagged all kinds of things on Houzz, and it helped when I worked with my designer. She had me do some editing to help her focus on my needs, and then came up with an awesome plan. We then used Houzz as a wiki for my ideas on configuration and finishes.
Look at this way. It doesn't cost you money to look on the web, even if your decision process is longer. I told my contractor yesterday that I was sort of glad I did this remodel now, because I knew what I wanted. If I had done this 10 years ago, I think I would be posting today on how to fix my golden oak cabinets.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:49PM
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To some extent, the current white kitchen trend of the past 10 years is the same trend that is impacting other industries, and that is a desire for more classic materials and less adornment (with more subtle luxury or just touches of it).

I just put in a mostly white kitchen inset cabinets and dark grey counters highlighted with Carrara marble in the BS. But I went with a cherry island in a mid tone, which bucks against the current walnut and ebony trend, I was motivated a bit to do things a bit differently, for the sake of being different, I will readily admit.

Like you, I fretted about having a me-too kitchen. I was horrified after coming here and seeing posts about Christopher Peacock's very own kitchen, which had almost all of the same elements I had been looking at, right on down to the Saarinen (style) table I was coveting!

That drive to be different drove me bonkers, to be honest. Go with what you like and don't fret too much about it. And, keep looking -- there is no harm in seeing what you might like for your own home. The chances anyone in your neighborhood will end up with something pretty similar are pretty low.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Holly- Kay

Linelle, your kitchen is lovely and I really don't think it will ever look dated. My DM had the most charming kitchen ever and yours is so close to it that I smile every time I have the pleasure of a glimpse at it.

Kelin, I really think if you look closely at the white kitchens you admire so much you will find that though indeed similar in some aspects they are executed differently. I would have loved a white kitchen but I didn't think it fit the bones of my house so I chose wood. Peninsula cabinets are dated but I used them anyway because I wanted the extra storage. I did my kitchen my way and who cares if it looks dated now or in a few years?

I think white kitchens are such a beautiful, classic look that they will always be lovely. I hope you choose to do exactly what you love because in the end you will be in awe of how beautiful and "you" your kitchen is.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:10PM
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I know this style is all over the Internet and magazines, but in real life I don't know a single person who has "it".

If I were going for this look, I think I'd pick one significant thing and change it to keep from being cookie cutter.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:14PM
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I think a lot of the time though, WE get used to seeing these things because that's what we are looking and searching for. My kitchen ticks a lot of your boxes however out of all my friends I probably only have 2 who also have white kitchens. Hope that makes sense!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:45PM
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I think if you listen to the spirit of your house and you create a kitchen that reinforces it or echoes it, whatever you do will not necessarily be timeless, but it wont look trendy.
My house when I purchased it had white inset shaker cabinets, and uba tuba granite (albeit 12x12 granite tile) countertops. I hated it because it felt so very wrong in the space. It also was done terribly, the layout was awful, and the cabinets were falling apart.
Turns out the owner had been in a bidding war for the house next door 2 years before they bought ours- they wanted to live on our street. The house next door is a very traditional, center hall colonial, ours is a contemporary post and beam with soaring loft space. She had 'loved' the black and white kitchen in that house and told the owner she wanted one just like it. She stuck it in my house and it stuck like a sore thumb.
My kitchen has none of the 'trends' you listed, though a few were very serious contenders. I thought about a Cambria Torquay countertop (like Lyra), but when I listened to the house I threw it aside. It needed light, but warm. I thought about large silver pendants, but went with black, because it just felt right.
Maybe everyone wouldnt love my kitchen, but I do. And that's what counts.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:49PM
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I would like to think I like the colors because I like them but the fact that they are also currently trendy is what has me concerned. THis is the long-term house that we hope to stay in for many years (we've moved every five years so far.) @linelle I apologize for misunderstanding your humor, sometimes it is hard to tell the tone in a post.
I do like lots of things that aren't trendy, and am at an age where I am striking the balance between comfort and style. Ceiling fans are a good example, so many things I read on here trash ceiling fans, and apparently they are "out" but I don't care, I love the breeze.
Good advice to change a thing and make it different, my husband just took care of this concern. He saw my vinegar/oj test on the marble and could not even believe I would consider such an impractical countertop. I tend to agree with him and think I'll go with the quartzite!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 9:23PM
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I think the problem with looking extensively at sites like Houzz is that you mostly see what is trendy and prevalent, and the constant exposure to the same or similar elements seeps into one's brain somehow. It's hard after a while to distinguish your own unique "likes."

It was kind of a blessing for me that once we found our house and chose to remodel before we moved in, we had around 2 months to design a layout and choose finishes. No time to pore over endless blogs. I had no idea GW or Houzz even existed. No time to consult with friends. So my idea of what I wanted my kitchen to look like pretty much came out of my own head. Yes, I looked at some pictures for inspiration, but not enough to get completely saturated with other people's notions of beautiful, elegant, timeless, etc. I just went with my gut. After I placed my orders but before the install, I told my friends and family about my plans. I got some strange looks about my less mainstream choices, but it was too late to second guess or be influenced. It was ultimately pretty freeing, and I am convinced I ended up with a much better kitchen than I would have if I'd immersed myself in the industry-driven photos of Houzz or the prevailing kitchen decor wisdom on blogs and forums. Heck, I designed my whole kitchen around the backsplash tile, when everyone "knows" the backsplash comes last. Sometimes it's helpful not to know these things.

I'm with rococogurl-- I think kitchens should be unique. But it's harder to have your own vision when you keep seeing and hearing the same things.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Agreed on stopping the Houzz obsession. That site took me up and down all the country roads to no end.

My DH said the other day "I've got to get this house done so you can stop looking at things to change!"

I can't afford trends so that leaves me with making dang sure I choose carefully. (hope that turns out to be the case)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:28PM
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You worry sure strikes a chord with me, too.

I may have the longest-uncompleted kitchen reno on the planet.

When I began thinking about my kitchen reno in 1993 I thought I was following my own taste and certainly the ideas I started with were very uncommon then: blue pearl granite, natural maple slab-door with full-overlay and black appliances, including a very commercial-looking 48" double oven range, a black paneled ASKO DW, and a black bottom-freezer fridge. I still have the sample door I ordered from Crown Point, long before they became so popular. (Thankfully, I never bought the stainless sink I had my eye on.)

I'm still cooking on that range and using that fridge, but the reno itself never really got off the ground as Family Life intervened.

Once my family issues had sorted themselves out I tacked back to my reno plans @2001, and looked at the samples of blue pearl and natural maple, slab-front cabs and I realized all the shelter mags seemed to show that and I was already tired of the look.

By the next year I had moved on to my next fave: off-white, inset-door cabs and dark soapstone and a white Belfast sink. I still have the sample door I ordered from Crown Point for that one, too. The Belfast sink was "temporarily" set under my rabbit cage where it served the very usfeul purpose of catching some of the mess a rabbit flings out. Of course my black range and black fridge were still still in use.

Then that vexed set designer for the movie (Something's Got To Give) stole all my ideas and every body wanted the One True Kitchen as it has been dubbed here on GW and almost before I had made my choices sorted out, I realized I was bored with seeing it everywhere.

I was flummoxed about what I wanted for awhile and kind of leaning towards soft grey when that trend seemed to be starting up.

Some days I think I want painted cabs in a cheerful color like pink, or maybe a soft pine-y green. I know I no longer want anything to do with any stone brought from overseas for environmental/ Climate Change reasons.

Meanwhile my black range is nearing its 20 year mark (and still working) as is my fridge, which surprisingly is also still going strong though I suppose newer, more efficient ones exist. The sink has migrated to be under the cage of my most-recent feral cat rescue. And the black-paneled ASKO DW is still on its shipping pallet, still uninstalled, though we did have to partially disassemble it once when a rescued kitten climbed into the back and got stuck. A tornado hit my house in 1998 and the insurance adjuster, seeing the DW on the pallet added an item to the damage settlement to reset it in place, assuming it had been rescued after the storm.

Its pretty silly really to not want a kitchen that's in a popular style, simply because it is popular. I have no issues with dated-ness. (Heck, I live in a 170 year old house that's has no central heat and is not even fully electrified, so obviously being out-moded is not anything that worries me.

But I really don't like my rooms to look anyone else's (and not just the kitchen). Of course anyone familiar with my decor would roll their eyes and say, "Honey, nobody would live in a house like yours in the first place, so nobody else has rooms that look the same."

I just need to pick up the pace, and get my ideas into actuality faster, or I'm going to be stuck in undone-reno-world forever.

I not going to say what I'm thinking of now, because then everybody will want to do that and I'll never get it done.

The only suggestion I can make is stop looking at pictures here, never go to Houzz, turn off the HGTV and don't leaf through another kitchen style book. Avert your eyes, as if from girlie mags, when you spot the latest Kitchen Trends magazine in the supermarket rack. Then make your kitchen as you see it in your mind and refuse to see it in any other way.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:36PM
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I hope I am not too far afield with this, but this is MY house, and neither the trends or the style of house dictate my decorating.
Since I have never had enough money to decorate my whole house at once, sometimes my taste actually changes from room to room, think 3 baths and a kitchen (the money eaters) !
So I decorate the way I want and feel at the time. Anyone that comes to my home to judge better pass on by!
My home is for DH, me, and my friends and my friends don't judge!

So decorate for you or the thousands of people who will never see your home. Makes the choices a little easier does't it?


    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:04PM
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Redx2... Knotty pine here

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:18PM
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I think your question may be, do you like these things because you really like them, or because they are what is IN right now?

So, would you have liked these things 5 or 10 years ago, or thought they were trite, or ugly, or too retro that they looked were associated with tattered spaces in your memory? I have an opinion that sometimes we think we like things because they are IN, but deep down we don't really like them like them. And some things we always like.

So if you like something because it is IN, then make sure you use it in a way that is easy to modify.

Example is that it would be easier to change out a crystal pendant light in 5 years than a trendy backsplash. It would be easier to paint the walls a different color in 5 years (and your walls will likely need repainting by then) than paint the cabinets a different color. A rustic canister set can easily be replaced by a contemporary one more easily than a rustic sink can be changed to a contemporary one.

So if you always have liked, for example, subway tile, then that is a good choice. If you like it because it is in, but think you might not love it in 5 years, then maybe it is not the best choice and you should add that retro geometry with wall art or a light fixture or textiles like table linens or window shades.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:26PM
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I think you need to relax. I cannot believe you are worried about going to your neighbors' kitchens. Look, EVERYTHING becomes dated. Even if you pick the most timeless kitchen in the universe, all your appliances will begin to look dated in just a few years. Appliances are like computers and cell phones these days because there are so many updates and innovations. Heck, my 3-year-old TV is out of date already (it's not a "smart" TV). So just shrug your shoulders.

You will be better served to be more concerned with your kitchen's LAYOUT AND FUNCTION than fretting over that list you made in your OP. I can't tell you how many kitchens we've seen here, or in magazines, or Houzz that cost a fortune, look fabulous, but are a nightmare to work in due to dumb layout.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:13AM
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That is what I'm trying to avoid, an over-commitment to a "style." I'd like my kitchen to be a backdrop that will let me change things in and out as my tastes change.

A cabinet style that is fitting with the age and architecture of the house: ornate Italianate kitchens in tract ranch houses tend to age poorly. IKEA modern in a colonial cottage looks wierd. MCM slab front in an MCM house usually stays looking good for decades, as does inset cabinets in a old townhouse.

Materials that are in keeping with the rest of the house's materials.

Colors that can blend well with lots of other colors so you cna paint walls and bring in accessories ... avoid backsplashes that POP, dramatic countertop marerials and the like.

Think meek and unassuming and durable.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:24AM
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I don't know whether this is really a question of other people "judging" the original poster's choices.

From what I have seen most posts are not really about what other people think so much as what the person who lives there thinks and what they are worried they might be thinking in the future. People are often their own worst critics.

There is a fair amount of defensiveness there when people say that they don't care what other people think about their design choices...but I really wonder about that because if you didn't care, it wouldn't be a point of discussion, and probably wouldn't be spending time on a design forum finding out what other people like or what they are doing design-wise, you would be watching TV or something.

I really think the question here is about self-doubt, and to some extent concerns about fickleness, and being overly influenced by trends rather than sitting back and figuring out what you like because you like it no matter what. That seems to be easy for some people and very hard for others.

I also think that people who do what they like because they like often get pegged as liking "dated" things. There isn't too many win-win situations here.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:45AM
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I haven't remodeled a kitchen before, but if I were to do it, I probably wouldn't do anything in the list above. These colors and materials are pretty in pictures, but when I think about it for a moment, it's just not my cup of tea.

For example, the white-painted cabinets are very tempting, almost fairytale-like. But do I really want them in my house? Probably not. I would want white-washed solid maple cabinets instead, because I like light-colored solid wood, and DH hates to hide beautiful wood grain under layers and layers of paint.

I spent my fair share of time on Houzz, looking for ideas for our next house. I kept looking and looking, to the point my brain and eyes hurt. In the end, I feel like we should just do whatever we like. As long as the result looks pleasing to our eyes, it doesn't matter if it's trendy or not.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Thanks so much for this thread! We're getting ready to break ground on a new home and this thread was just what I needed to stop obsessing on kitchen finishes. (Ok, perhaps stop obsessing as much...)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 11:49AM
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Holly- Kay

HGTV just gives me a headache these days. I never saw it until we were vacationing with DD and family. Then because I had just finished renovating my kitchen I started watching on a fairly regular basis.

I swear if I hear open concept once more I am going to scream. I also find it disheartening to hear all the snarky comments about a po's taste.

HGTV would take one look at my decorating style and call it hopelessly dated. I love good aged brass, crystal, sterling silver. I am not into transitional, modern, or contemporary though I appreciate seeing any of those styles when they are well done.

When DH and I had dinner out the restaurant had hanging lights all done with a drum style lampshade. I told him they are all the rage but I hated them even when I was a little girl. Give me a beautiful scalloped edge bell shaped lampshade any day! With that being said I don't dislike them so heartily anymore because I have seen them used quite beautifully in many settings.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 11:53AM
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In one respect it does. Breaking loose from the current look requires either a bohemian sort of freedom or real money. The best way to know if a material is going to become a design cliche identifying a kitchen's date is if it's easily available at a price your socioeconomic level can afford.

If you can find gray offered as a ready-made cabinet finish today, instead of having to either give up after a long search or have cabinets custom made, it's going to be out of style tomorrow.

Practically literally tomorrow. As you've noticed, the cycle's sped up dramatically compared to even a generation ago. And not accidentally. This is causing a real, serious need to cut loose from this design obsolescence mentality. This forum should help people learn to use and discard the forces trying to keep us all hooked up to milking machines.

Using means harnessing current styles -- when they truly suit us. The current heavily marketed materials, what're in style at any one point in time, are typically very widely available, available in a pleasing range of choices, and available at better prices than could be found at any other time. They're also often very seductively fine, and beautiful. Our grandmothers never had these choices.

Kelin, as others have suggested, I'd try to make long-term choices strictly based on long-term preferences, and only with those preferences in mind see which of the excellent materials available would work with that vision. If you've loved gray since you were in middle school, get gray cabinets and practice smiling at those who'd assume you'd made a mistake. Fell in love only during the past handful of years when gray was reborn as an irresistible vamp? Paint your exposed drywall gray and have fun shopping among a couple dozen different gray teapots currently available to carry your look farther.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 12:23PM
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Clap - clap - clap. Best post ever Rosie !

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 7:37PM
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I have looked at Houzz, but I've also checked out a boatload of books from the library. Like Houzz, I've had a strong "ick" response to most of what I've seen. Most of it seems too difficult to maintain, too impractical, etc. I haven't jumped on the white kitchen bandwagon because I've had white cupboards, white doors, etc., and it seems like they're either dirty or I'm cleaning them. I've tried to do a lot of brainstorming instead - what would we like in our new house? What kind of lights, etc. Some of what we're doing would probably not be in Houzz or any designer book, but it's "us", and because it's unique, it probably won't be trendy.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 7:53PM
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I didnt read most of the replies but Im building essentially what you described and I think its great. I dont care what others do, I will have the kitchen I want. I think this style is laid back, not over the top and classy. While there are trends that come and go, I think this will kind of be timeless as it is simple and somewhat traditional.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:23PM
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I didnt read most of the replies but Im building essentially what you described and I think its great. I dont care what others do, I will have the kitchen I want. I think this style is laid back, not over the top and classy. While there are trends that come and go, I think this will kind of be timeless as it is simple and somewhat traditional.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:24PM
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The only time I wouldn't get what I wanted is if I were getting the house ready for sale...then you want to appeal to the masses. Otherwise, go with your know what inherently appeals to you and what doesn't. Try considering and imagining different looks and materials...I.e..could you plunk down $ for espresso cabinets, Typhoon Bordeaux granite, and a travertine BS? How about natural maple cabs, light gray Silestone , and tumbled marble BS? If your answer is "no way, not in my kitchen! " you are close to your answer.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:58PM
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My problem has always been actually figuring out what makes an inspiration picture work. I'll say: I like x, but think I want y in a lighter color.... which of course ends up in a different design. Due to a series of similar decisions, I ended up with a way too white kitchen.

Here's what I wanted (among others!):

But I couldn't get there, because I had a cherry island. I thought about repainting and then decided to work with what I had. A bold tile did the trick for me.

Learning how to use Photoshop was a huge help. With the choices you've described, a fun backsplash from Heath tile or Fireclay might be a great solution. Best of luck, oldbat2be

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:20PM
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In 1987 my newly renovated kitchen in my previous house was white cabinets, white/grey marble 12x12 bs, grey corian counters and a terra cotta tile floor. I still love that kitchen and if I were still in that house, I wouldn't change a thing. 17 years later I still dream in it.
I thought of duplicating it in this new house kitchen reno, but DH wanted maple. Now I am totally untrendy with maple slabs, green marble counters, green glass subways and a cherry wood floor. I love this too.
So get what you love. Don't worry. Make it your own with the details. And have fun.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 11:16PM
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I started saving pics over 5 years ago, pre-Pinterest, pre-Houzz (at least I hadn't heard of either of them). When we started our remodel 5 years later, I looked at all of my inspiration pictures and aside from a few detail changes about glass-front cabinets and island size, I still liked the I loved a white OTK-style then and I love it now. I don't give a rat's patoot if it's trendy. One thing I have learned at GW is that there is really no such thing as timeless. If there were, there would be no Pinterest nor Houzz. No countless decor blogs. No GW. No interior decorators or decor magazines. I tried to pick pretty neutral major elements so that I could change it up a little, but I don't expect that it will look fresh 10 or 20 years from now.

Accept trends as a fact and go with what you love, especially if you are not planning to sell in the near future (even then, who knows if the buyer would like the same trends as you?). Looking at the common themes from all that I saved and pinned and idea-booked - I now have the kitchen that I wanted the whole time.

Funny story: I bought the island fixture I didn't even realize I had picked out earlier and priced from a lighting shop. I came across the quote sheet when I was filing away all the remodel paperwork. That's when I knew I made the right decision and haven't had a moment's pause since.

At some point you gotta fish or cut bait. I plan to move on to the half-dozen other projects our house needs. By the time all those are done, maybe it will be time to refresh the kitchen again. Or move into assisted living.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:33PM
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I know what you mean, but I think if you keep some traditional elements then you will be happy with it for years to come. I find with things around my house, I am happiest with the things that are more subdued, so if you can keep the major elements as simple and subdued as possible and save the more dramatic elements for accents, I think you will be able to at least switch those out when you are sick of them - if that makes any sense. Good luck. It is my biggest fear too! I keep wondering if I will regret getting granite counters at this stage of the game...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 3:32PM
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I think lazygardens is on to a good point - if you follow the house's style, you're much less likely to have a dated kitchen. It will just look "right".

I personally hate white kitchens, but if I ever won the lotto and was able to get a big victorian, I'd put in a white kitchen with soapstone.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 4:27PM
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Sixtyohno--in 1988 we built our first home on a budget. I had linoleum floors, white Corian, and gray cabinets. Everyone else was doing oak. I thought I was being original.

Gray and mauve were all the rage. Arghhh. What was I thinking?

OP...No matter what you do, it will be dated in a few just consider my mantra "Anything permanent has to be neutral". Oh yeah, that house also had a big pink bathtub in the master bathroom ;-)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 5:38PM
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Wow, oldbat2be -- you were spot on with that tile. It just makes the whole kitchen! I'm afraid of patterns (not sure why...was it the ugly plaid Catholic school uniform skirt I had to wear as a child? Or that bizarre 1970's polyester prints?) and never would have chosen that bold tile...but I'd have a boring kitchen, wouldn't I? Rock on, it looks great.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Some of you have mention past trends "90"s goopy tuscan" I laughed out loud at my screen. That is exactly the kitchen that makes me cringe. My mother (who currently has a mcm style home) is planning a very large remodel and will be creating that ornate, over the top carved tuscan look that she has been in love with... since the 90's! She loves it so much, I find it gawdy and unnecessary... but it is not my kitchen.

I on the other hand just completed a 2013 trendy white, high-low Ikea kitchen. Carrara, gray, white, ss..all of those things included. I love the look,. Trendy or not, it was the perfect fit for my dark dreary kitchen. The space is such a breath of fresh air. Will I repeat the look in a future home? probably not. But for now, I love the trend and I love my kitchen.

Stick to your guns, or find something else that you are equally in love with. Trends change, and so do our own personal tastes. It will all eventually be passe.. to the masses, and to you as well.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 8:37AM
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for one, don't pay attention to trends. As for white cabinets, that is not a "trend" either. White cabinets have always been on the option list probably for more than 100 years. It's classic.

Buy what you like, and buy something classic. If you feel you may have to replace before you move and may not have the money to do so, stick with timeless decor that will never go out of style.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Great thread! I know I am very influenced by Houzz et cetera but I agree with the post that said Houzz and Pinterest are only showing us a small sample of what is "on trend." In my area, no one has these white/gray kitchens. Some of the newer builds are heading that way but it's still very "new" here. I told our cabinet guy about the soapstone and marble trend and he was surprised!

My grandmother had a white kitchen. My sister had a white kitchen and so I had one too (albeit with gold hardware) but I kept it because I loved the openness and crispness that it provided. I kept it through the dark wood phase and I kept it through the french creamy glaze phase. Voila, I've kept it so long that it's back again. Hooray!

I do think the greige/gray trend will at some point fall out of favor. But that is easy enough to fix - change the hardware, paint the walls... If your cabs and counters are "classic," I don't see how you can end up a victim of 2013.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:41PM
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I think the grey/greige/beige reality will stay until new houses change. All the open plans make it almost impossible to do any other colors than neutrals. You can't carry a colorful kitchen plan through the rest of the (visible) house unless you are a very skilled and talented designer. That's a reality that will be around a long time.
On the other hand, when I moved into this Cape Cod house in the 70's, it had glass mosaic tile (pink) on the main bathroom counter. The Master Bath had (green) glass tile on the floor. A friend, with a colonial dating back decades, had gorgeous cobalt blue 12x12 glass tiles on the walls of her bathroom. The point I'm making is that beautiful materials have been around a long time, and if you choose beautiful things that you like now, you will still like and admire your choices, and the trends in the future will be important only for those who are renovating at that time. Of course, so much depends upon money. If you are on a strict budget, keep it simple, buy as much quality as you can and, for sure, avoid trends.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:42PM
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I live in an area where there are a lot of big fancy homes near us. I have lots of friends with these big fancy homes, many with newer / remodeled kitchens.

I can count 1 friend who has a kitchen that is like described by the OP (and it's beautiful). All of the rest are medium or dark cabinets, medium or dark granite, black or white appliances, medium toned tile or wood floors, medium toned BS, no ceiling moulidng or trim, limited natural light, and layouts that are not function, not made for people who actually cook. (I will never understand builders who make bad kitchen layouts; I can't believe it costs one more penny to create a functional layout in the same space with the same materials, And these are expensive homes). But I digress....

...I'm remodeling my kitchen right now and it will be a lot like the OP describes. I love that look.

Even though you might be afraid it's "cookie cutter," I'm thinking maybe that's beause it's so much in the magazines and on Houzz. It's not really so much in real people's homes, so don't worry. Do what you love and what you can afford. I spend SO much time in my kitchen, I want it to be pretty, according to my definition of pretty.

Now, there is a lot of turnover happening in our town and people are selling like crazy. They are just painting and doing staging and selling fast. So the medium/dark look is still dominant. It will have to be up to the new owners if they want to change that.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:36PM
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My house is going to be my forever home, and my philosophy on whether something will be trendy or look dated is to intentionally make it look dated. I've been working diligently for the past five years trying to make my new house look 100 years old, so I'm bucking the modern trends, by picking out materials that look dated... on purpose. It's been loads of fun!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:45PM
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I think a lot of the elements described in OP are classic elements or slight variations to some of the classic elements. didn't know that was a 'style' until recently. My older house had original subway tile with original wood flooring in every room, claws foot tub, etc. What OP describes would fit right into my house without skipping a beat.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:22AM
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If your kitchen is not trendy today, give it some time as it will likely be back in fashion some time down the road. We painted our stained maple cabinets back in 1985 and it appears that look is back in style. We'll see where that trend goes in another few years.

I myself like the look of natural wood. :-)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:40AM
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I totally agree that there is no way to not be dated without risking a bland design. I have pulled the trigger and bought the following: white shaker cabinets on perimeter, square raised panels on island. Island is "Gray Matters" paint. Settled on a lovely stone called Sea Pearl with lots of grays, light blues and faint green. The only unknowns are now backsplash and flooring. I am drawn to the large b/w tiles set on the diagonal. Again with the trends but I think that is a classic look. Any ideas on a backsplash? Subway tile…the glass is appealing to me, I want to be careful to let my counters be the "star" as they say.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:32AM
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My kitchen is 6 years going on 10 years soon. I think she's aged quite nicely. The trick is not to pick what's trendy...just pick what you like.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 6:16PM
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For those unsure if your current plan for finishes is really what you like, it might help to try an exercise to put you in touch with what you *do* like and need.

In your mind, enter the future kitchen and start doing the things you would normally do there. What do you want to be feeling and seeing around you as you work? Let yourself imagine you could have any materials you want. What would they be?

From where would you like to get access to your basic tools? How do you want to move when getting them clean?

Take yourself in your mind through all the stages of what you and your household do in the kitchen. Would other materials or styles make you more comfortable, or more energized? That's what's important in what should be one of the hardest-working spaces in your place.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 10:05PM
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I love the kitchen described and I am going to go with something similar but with added touches of my own taste. I love this forum as I have learned so much from it and I find the people on here have much better taste than the general population since we are all Kitchen Obsessed! :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Someone stated it well earlier - it's hard to go wrong if you stick to the actual style and period of the house. Things like a clean, modern kitchen in a MCM for example or (gasp) an ornate kitchen in a house with tuscan architecture. If done well I think either would age much better than if they were reversed.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:30AM
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In the late '80s, my mom remodeled the kitchen in the modest, typical Old Florida home I grew up in. She used marble tile floors, marble countertops and backsplash, white cabinets and white appliances. Her hardware was silver and she used a soft pink for the walls. It was very pretty, but not very practical. But it made her happy and she loved that kitchen! Were she alive today, she would have gotten a kick out of the One True Kitchen and declared herself a trendsetter!

I say do what you love! So what if so and so down the street has this or that in her kitchen, you probably have shoes, clothes and handbags in common also, who cares!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:47PM
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I have *none* of the supposed trends, but not because they're a trend/not a trend, but because I chose what *i* personally like, not a KD, interior designer, or magazine article. We all need to put aside what hype is going on in the 'real world' and concentrate on what is going on in 'our' world. There, I said it, and feel soooooo much better. ;)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:38AM
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