Do you ever feel like there’s a rat race to install the next newest trend in kitchen design? Maybe you inherited a kitchen where the former homeowner installed the trendiest finishes from another decade? Well, you are not alone. Here’s my best advice for taking your dated kitchen from yesterday (whenever that was) to today.
And, I’m also sharing what I discovered about kitchens in other countries while traveling. There’s an interesting difference.
I once received an email with a photo from a couple who had just moved into an apartment with an existing 90s kitchen with black countertops.
How did I know the kitchen was 90s?
The orange stained wood cabinets were a dead giveaway.
This couple went on to say that the wood cabinets were in good condition and their question was, “Can we keep them?”
And truly, this is when ignorance is bliss.
I mean this in the nicest possible way.
If you don’t know that your kitchen is dated, then you can spend your money on other things like:
- giving your apartment a look and a feel (which by the way, is ALWAYS better than just painting dated cabinets)
- saving your money for a dream trip to Italy
- a new car, maybe?
- insert _________ here (the options are endless)
Trying to keep up with your neighbours on updates is expensive.
And in North America (especially in the U.S.) more than anywhere else in the world, you can get your home decor SO. MUCH. CHEAPER. Thus, because it’s less expensive to renovate and decorate, we do it more often. And we get sucked into the newest trends.
Two years ago when Terreeia and I were in Paris, we rented a car for a two day trip to Normandy where we stayed in an old dreamy chateau built in the 1700s.
Learn all about the colour of classic & timeless stone in Module 4 (total 15 modules) of my exterior masterclass here.
The road trip from Paris to Normandy was so beautiful. One experience they offered was a home-cooked dinner in the caretakers cottage, so we bought it.
The cottage was one of the outbuildings that faced this old courtyard (below).
It was totally charming. Here’s a glimpse of the kitchen from where we were sitting at the dining table (below).
Terra cotta tile, yellow beige walls that were lovely with the orange/pink tile, dark wood beams, a pony wall to define the kitchen area, no uppers, some upper shelving, macrame.
How long would you guess that this kitchen has looked like this?
Do you think the couple who live in this cottage are completely obsessed with their next renovation?
In this particular trip, we started in Amsterdam, then Paris, then Normandy, then Terreeia went home while I flew to Finland to join my Mom (who had arrived two weeks early) for a trip through her native country.
Because I was in three different countries in one trip, plus many private homes in Finland as we visited friends and family, it was easier for me to notice a pattern.
In all three places, from the lovely Westin we stayed in at the Finnish airport on our way back home, to all the friends homes we visited during my three week trip, there was one thing that stood out out to me like a neon sign.
The tub/shower faucets (below).
Here in the Westin hotel at the airport in Helsinki, they even installed it with the bidet shower.
They were IDENTICAL. In every single home, hotel, airBNB we stayed in (in all three countries).
The sauna/shower room in Tampere
This makes design much prettier in general.
When there are 200 or more faucets to choose from (like in this country) the chances of selecting one that is the correct style AND colour are a lot slimmer than if they are basically the same.
Just like the perfect, classic and timeless, lantern chandelier. Why do we need one hundred more traditional lantern chandelier designs when the best one is already here?
I wrote this preamble because if you’re feeling discouraged that the trends have changed AGAIN, after you just installed a grey sofa or a grey kitchen for example, hear me when I say:
You are NOT alone.
Kitchens Then and Now
Here’s a brief history of kitchen colour trends and the finishes that accompanied them.
When was your kitchen renovated?
I have written many posts over the years on how to update kitchens from each era starting with the 80s, so all you have to do is find your kitchen and read the links to see which post might help you get started.
Advice for ANY Kitchen Design Project
Hope this helps with your kitchen renovation!
If you’d like my help creating a classic and timeless kitchen, you can purchase that package here.
PS. Please note we do not offer a stand alone single hard finish service. In my experience I find it is almost impossible to properly specify a countertop or tile or hardwood floor without weighing in on all the other items being installed. I would not be doing a good job or being of service, to specify colours or finishes in isolation. Yes eDesign is currently in high demand everywhere, but all that aside, when a client purchases a complete package that covers everything and I can provide a more full service approach, they are much happier with the end result and advice.
PPS. In other news, I’m becoming a celebrity on Tik Tok, haha. Check out my one minute videos here.