Simple architectural details. You may see legs on islands, feet or furniture-style toekicks, crown molding and even a paneled hood, but these details are often restrained in a classic kitchen rather than being over the top and ornate.
Cutting-edge appliances. There’s been a technology race in almost every industry since we put a man on the moon, from spaceships to cars to appliances. Engineers are looking for better performance, lighter materials, durability and advanced features. Gone are the pink ovens of the 1950s and the avocado or harvest-gold appliances of the 1970s. Now it’s all about sleek, stylish and high-functioning electronics in the world of appliances: built-in coffee makers, high-performance hoods, induction cooktops and more.
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Organic materials. Surfaces with a connection to the earth feel most at home in Asian-style kitchens. Consider woods, subdued stone or even butcher block. More contemporary materials, such as concrete or glass, have a place here as well, but be sure to balance them with natural ones so that the kitchen doesn’t feel cold or harsh.
Classic kitchens are timeless and flexible. This comes with other givens, such as neutral color palettes and simple, unfussy details. Sure, a classic kitchen can be deemed too safe for the individualist and too ornate for the purist, but for me it’s like jeans and a white t-shirt: add a beaded necklace and heels or tennis shoes and black blazer and you can make the look your own. (And so can the next homeowner if you’re concerned about resale value.)
Classic flooring. Although wood floors in a farmhouse kitchen are always on point, they aren’t your only option — black and white tile and checkered linoleum also feel true to the style. If you do choose wood, you can either leave it natural or paint it, both of which are appropriate.