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14 Outdated Kitchen Trends That Everyone is Ready to See Go

The culinary landscape is constantly changing, as are the kitchen trends that define the style of this heart of the home. Outdated kitchen trends, which were once cutting-edge, now appear dated and passe.

Revitalizing this area of your home is critical because the style of the kitchen frequently defines the style of the entire home. Understanding the “in” and “out” kitchen trends will help you avoid costly mistakes that will quickly date your home.

Outdated Kitchen Trends

As with any design trend, you have to decide which ones to follow and which to pass up. These kitchen trends, while not entirely gone from the current kitchen landscape, are on their way to becoming outdated.

All White Kitchens

All White KitchensAll White Kitchens

White kitchens, which once looked clean and modern, now seem sterile, lacking in personality, and overused. Aside from their appearance, all-white kitchens are difficult to maintain and keep looking spotless, as white cabinets and countertops show every spill, crumb, and scratch.

The growing color trend in kitchens is to use warmer, more textured, and earthy materials such as wood and earth-toned cabinet colors. If you still love white, try a warmer white like ecru or ivory, or even a slightly darker option like a light beige. This will still create a light kitchen look without the harshness of stark white.

Granite Countertops

Granite CountertopsGranite Countertops
Classic Cottages

Granite is a solid, natural stone surface that is virtually indestructible when you use it as a kitchen countertop. Many people still prefer this surface, but the trend of using it in new kitchen designs has faded due to overuse in the 2000s.

Marble and soapstone are still luxurious options for kitchen countertops, though they require some maintenance to stay pristine. Another high-end option that is gaining popularity is natural quartzite.

This material has beautiful veining and color, similar to marble, but is denser. Quartz, a synthetic version of quartzite, is also a popular and cost-effective choice. If you prefer something eclectic or more colorful, opt for mixing your countertop materials using options like wood, terrazzo, and copper.

Traditional-Style Cabinets

Traditional-Style CabinetsTraditional-Style Cabinets
Wolford Building & Remodeling

Traditional-style cabinets, such as those with ornate detailing, raised panels, decorative molding, and detailed hardware, appear too heavy in modern and even rustic kitchen designs. Instead, sleeker and cleaner cabinet styles are the most popular choices for new kitchen designs. In modern and contemporary kitchen styles, flat panel cabinet doors will be most in demand. For traditional and classic kitchen designs, Shaker style cabinets are still popular, though some interior designers are choosing a modified Shaker style.

Subway Tile Everywhere

Subway Tile EverywhereSubway Tile Everywhere
Blackstone Renovations and Remodeling

Subway tile, a classic rectangular tile, has covered countless kitchen backsplashes since the 2000s. While subway tile will always have a timeless appeal, many other tiles are being used for backslash designs. Warmer, more textured tile options have gained popularity since 2020. To create more organic and earthy kitchen styles, interior designers have turned to zellige tiles, handcrafted and colorful subway tiles, and terrazzo tiles.

Small Windows

Small WindowsSmall Windows
Jennifer Grey Color Specialist & Interior Design

The shift from smaller windows over sinks to larger windows reflects a broader trend toward brighter, more open interiors. Designers are exploring new ways to incorporate more natural light into kitchens, which can boost mood and provide a better sense of well-being. Larger windows improve the visual connection between the kitchen and the outdoors while also adding architectural interest.

Open Shelving

Open ShelvingOpen Shelving
Dane Cronin Photography

Open shelving was a popular trend in the 2010s and is still used as a kitchen detail, but many kitchen designers are moving away from full above-counter shelving. Open shelving, while appealing in many kitchens, was always problematic. Open shelves collect dust and grime on dishes and cookware, necessitating more frequent cleaning. They also add to the visual clutter in the kitchen and reduce available storage, as open shelves are used for display rather than practical storage.

More popular options today include pantry-like cabinets and other closed options that provide a cleaner and more streamlined appearance. If you still like the look of shelves, a small corner shelf or a set of display shelves will suffice for your overall kitchen design.

Matte Black Hardware

Matte Black HardwareMatte Black Hardware
Martha O’Hara Interiors

Matte black hardware was used extensively in modern and contemporary design renovations. While matte black hardware can look clean and modern, it lacks texture and warmth for today’s kitchen design. It also does not hold up well to prolonged use over time.

Rather than sticking with a single type of hardware, such as matte black, mixing metals is one of the most popular ongoing trends. Because of its warm undertones, polished nickel complements warm metals such as brass and gold particularly well. Select one primary metal color and then accent with another. Experts recommend using a single finish, such as polished or satin, for both metal colors.

Too Much Gray

Too Much GrayToo Much Gray
Merit Flooring, Kitchen and Bath

A monochromatic gray kitchen can work well in modern or industrial design, but the trend is towards more organic, warm, and nuanced color palettes. Gray still works well in some contexts. If you still love the look of gray, use a warm gray paint color and mix it with other earthy tones. Warm gray colors still look current when paired with warm metal colors like gold or brass. Steer away from using too much gray in your kitchen and cool gray colors with blue and purple undertones.

Standard Light Fixtures

Standard Light FixturesStandard Light Fixtures
Executive Cabinetry

When constructing a home, most builders use standard grade lighting fixtures. Many of these light options may be unoffensive, but they do nothing to elevate the kitchen design. Statement lighting does not require a significant financial investment, but it yields an immediate return. Decorative lighting over your island and eat-in kitchen can create focal points, instantly personalizing your kitchen style. Beyond just aesthetics, modern light fixtures have more functionality: choose smart light fixtures where you can control the timing, ambience, and mood.

Ultra-Modern Kitchen Designs

Ultra-Modern Kitchen DesignsUltra-Modern Kitchen Designs
Keitaro Yoshioka Photography

Ultra-modern kitchen designs, which were popular in the 2000s, are being phased out in favor of warmer, more organic designs. If you are designing a new kitchen, avoid ultra-modern design elements such as glossy and reflective surfaces, lacquered cabinets, sharp edges, and cool colors. Instead, combine earthy tones and warm textures with flat panel cabinets, warm metal colors, organic shapes, and mixed materials such as natural stone and wood countertops.

Handle-Free Doors and Cabinets

Handle-Free Doors and CabinetsHandle-Free Doors and Cabinets
B Interior

Kitchen designers are abandoning handle-free doors in favor of textured design trends with mixed materials and a cozier aesthetic. Everyone loves the jewel-like sparkle of hardware against doors and cabinets and is looking for new ways to use it. Plus, it is just more convenient and fool-proof to grab a handle or knob to open the door rather than rely on a push-door system that might deteriorate over time.

Decorative Vent Hoods

Decorative Vent HoodsDecorative Vent Hoods
RemodeLdc by Courthouse Design/Build

The popularity of overly decorative or large vent hoods is waning, giving way to more understated and minimalist designs. Although vent hoods are a popular kitchen focal point, designers are taking a more balanced approach.

They are seeking to harmonize rather than overwhelm the rest of the kitchen design with the choice of vent hood. The most popular kitchen designs today include a vent hood that is either hidden in the cabinetry or has a clean, straight appearance. These edited vent hoods offer greater design flexibility and versatility if you decide to switch kitchen styles in the future.

Farmhouse Kitchen Styling and Decor

Farmhouse Kitchen Styling and DecorFarmhouse Kitchen Styling and Decor
All American Renovations

Reclaimed wood, vintage-inspired decor, and graphic signs were all popular farmhouse kitchen decor elements in the early 2000s. This design trend lasted far beyond its expiration date. The current kitchen trend is toward creating authentic and comfortable kitchens. While many people associate this feeling with farmhouse style, the majority of farmhouse kitchen decor lacks authenticity and feels overused.

Instead, choose warm, textured decor with an interesting backstory, such as a painting or textile wall art. As an alternative, choose personally meaningful décor to add coziness and warmth to your kitchen.

Highly Decorative Backsplashes

Highly Decorative BacksplashesHighly Decorative Backsplashes
Rachel Reider Interiors

Backsplashes can date a kitchen more quickly than almost any element besides the cabinets, so choosing a decorative backsplash means committing to a very particular style. Although there are still many beautiful kitchens with statement backsplashes, they tend to age faster than more understated options.

The secret to having a kitchen design that endures over time is to go with a less decorative option because styles in the kitchen change so quickly. Say goodbye to backsplashes with overly trendy colors, glass mosaics, and intricate designs. Instead, choose wood paneling, artisan tile, or backsplash slabs to complement your countertops.

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