Vanessa Francis, Interior Decorator

Guest Blogger

Vanessa Francis, Interior Decorator

Vanessa Francis is the founder and principal of Vanessa Francis Design, and the stylish lady behind the popular blog, Decor Happy.

5 Reasons Why this Ten-Year-Old Kitchen is Still Current

Posted by Vanessa Francis, Interior Decorator Tuesday, December 17, 2013 3:24 PM EDT


I love designing kitchens. Sometimes clients hire me to be involved from start to finish, and oftentimes it’s to help with choosing finishes. It’s the finishes that can make or break your design. And you want to get it right if you are investing tens of thousands of dollars.


Picture of cover kitchen from a real estate listing.


Clients don’t generally say “Create a kitchen that will look great in 30 years.” As a designer, that’s something I believe in and will encourage a client to think about.

Design by Jerome Buttrick


A good way to put finishes to the test is to check out a design from ten years ago. I happen to be a décor magazine hoarder, so I’ve plenty to flip through in search of a good example.

This is a cover of Kitchen and Bath Ideas from 2004. This small kitchen was probably renovated at least a year before it was published, so we’re looking at it at least 10 years later.

Has it stood the test of time? I say yes. And here’s why:

  1. White or off-white shaker style cabinetry never goes out of style.
  2. Black quartz or honed granite counters without a busy pattern are the perfect complement to the white cabinetry. White, off-white and grey counters are also good choices.
  3. Subway tiles (whether glass, ceramic or marble) are a classic shape for a backsplash.
  4. A faucet that bridges the gap between traditional and modern works in any space.
  5. Open shelving helps to break up the monotony of upper cabinets and brings a lighter feel to a kitchen. I think these homeowners were trendsetters as open shelving has grown in popularity the last few years.

Just today, I received an email from a client asking my opinion on a particular quartz pattern that was very busy and would be difficult to work with. To these types of emails, I politely say “I think we can do better.” After all, I don’t want them contacting me in a few years to redo their kitchen….

Here are a few more photos of the kitchen from a real estate listing for this Pacific Heights home:




Topics: Kitchen, Design, Timeless, Ideas, Small Spaces, Glass Subway Tiles, Backsplash, Countertop, Shaker Cabinets, White, Black Granite, Coffered Ceiling

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