What will a kitchen look like in 100 years?

Probably not much different than what they looked like 100 years ago. By 1912 the “modern” kitchens of that era featured:

  • A sink
  • A gas burning range
  • Electric lighting
  • An electric refrigerator
  • A pantry
  • Cabinets
  • Counters for food preparation
  • An electric fan (for ventilation)

Technology continues to improve on the efficiency of electric lighting, cooking and refrigeration but the rest of the kitchen components have not changed much.  Probably the most notable similarity between a 1912 kitchen and a 2012 kitchen is the layout.  Every modern kitchen needs a place for:

  • Cold food storage
  • Dry food storage
  • Dishes and cookware storage
  • Food preparation
  • Baking preparation
  • Dish washing
  • Informal dining

If we assume that we will still be storing and preparing food in the same ways as we have done for the last 100 years we can design kitchens today that will still be functional for the next 100 years. It’s really a question of durability. What materials and equipment can we install today that will last 100 years?

Here’s what we think will do the job and what we recommend to our clients when designing their new kitchens:


Solid wood doors and face frames, plywood boxes, high quality hinges and drawer guides and hand applied finish


Solid wood plank tongue and groove flooring, marmoleum, concrete or tile


Standard sizes that can be updated without having to re-make the cabinets


Engineered stone, natural stone, concrete or stainless steel


Stainless steel of heavy gage


Recessed lighting with LED lamps


No VOC latex paint that can be recoated easily

But what about style?

Won’t these materials go out of style before they wear out?  Good questions.  There is certainly a balance point that must be reached with every kitchen design between beauty and function.  Whether style is more important than longevity depends on the customer.  If money is not an issue then anything can be replaced at anytime when it becomes dull and/or tiresome to the user.  Certainly, part of reason for remodeling is to “refresh” the look of the kitchen.  But if the emphasis is on durability (which relates to cost) then here are some ways to revive the look of the 100 Year Kitchen with minimum effort:

  • Replace the cabinet pulls/knobs
  • Change the backsplash material and design
  • Re-paint the walls
  • Use wallpaper instead of paint
  • Replace glass door panels with a new glass pattern (if glass doors are used)
  • Update the faucet
  • Update the appliances
  • Replace the cabinet door and drawer fronts
  • Re-finish the wood floors (if used) and stain them a different color