Kitchen trends that are falling out of favor

Remodeling a kitchen is something that most of us do infrequently, if at all. I’ve been fortunate enough to have done two full-on remodels, both DIY projects and both wildly different from one another. One house was a 1960s ranch-style home and the other a 1920s Craftsman-style bungalow, so the design choices were influenced by each home’s respective era. Even though I wanted to stay true to the era’s aesthetics, I also wanted each kitchen to have fixtures and style that would be long lasting.

Looking at photos of the first remodel, conducted nearly 20 years ago, I now think that no matter how hard you try, it is all but impossible to design a kitchen that won’t have some features that look outdated after a few years. I would probably be tweaking some elements of that first remodel about now if we hadn’t moved to a different state and had to start all over again. When designing the kitchen I’m in now, I wrestled with choices to keep the look true to the Craftsman style without sacrificing modern conveniences. I tried not to let popular trends be my touchstone, but if I were not trying to capture a particular feel there is no doubt I would have looked to contemporary design for inspiration.

The problem with that approach, as The Kitchn points out, is that design trends come and go, which can result in something that looks great now but won’t hold up after a few years (contractors and kitchen designers view this as feature, not a bug). The trends that are on the way out include having countertop appliances visible, open shelving, kitchens that are open to the dining area, all white cabinets, and two-tone kitchen cabinets. The open shelving trend’s demise has been predicted for a few years, so we’ll see if it is actually going away or not.

I am ambivalent about all of these trends so none of them disappearing will break my heart (although my new kitchen is two-tone with wooden upper cabinets and painted lowers, so that one stings just a little). I am a bit curious as to what the next trends will look like – I envision a lot more wood, pops of color including colorful backsplashes, and even more “smart” appliances that can be controlled or modified by an app on your phone. What are your predictions for kitchen trends?

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  • LeilaD  on  June 13, 2023

    Getting ready to move into a much smaller kitchen, so “countertop appliances visible” are going to have to remain in my kitchen for a while. Where else would I put my Kitchenaid, I ask you? (But also my food processor, blender, crock pot, and ice cream maker, and all the SO’s coffee paraphernalia.) Also, for the last two apartments, figuring out where the table goes has been the issue, so “kitchens open to the dining area” is going to remain a thing. All white cabinets aren’t necessarily a bad thing- it makes it easier to see what I’m doing when time comes to clean up; conversely, I have brown “marble” countertops, and I can never see anything I’ve spilled.

  • EmilyR  on  June 13, 2023

    I am all about aesthetics but so many things are just too curated and lack warmth, which I think is often the case with open shelving. Since I actually use my kitchen and it’s not just a display area, it feels impractical. Another thing I loathe (and currently have) is a marble backsplash. I don’t even fry and use a lot of greasy things and it stains.

  • AGJohnson  on  June 13, 2023

    I would hate not having a kitchen open to the dining area. If you are cooking for a crowd, it is nice to be able to still have a convo with your guests!

  • Indio32  on  June 13, 2023

    Induction hobs.

  • Jane  on  June 13, 2023

    What’s wrong with induction hobs Indio32? I love mine and intend to have one in every kitchen I ever own.

  • lkgrover  on  June 13, 2023

    My stand mixer, blender, and food processor are lined up on one countertop. The tea kettle lives on one of the stovetop’s back burners. I would have much less cabinet space if I had to store all of those things. Also, I like having doors on all my cabinets. I stack the shelves to maximize space but it is not pretty. And with open shelving, I would have to be continuously dusting.

  • Zephyrness  on  June 13, 2023

    We redid our kitchen 9 years ago without looking at any trends at all. It was about how we cook, and what kind of storage we needed. Paint and cabinetry was what made us happy-not what was trendy. I have never liked open shelving-things get dirty. There is some open shelving, in an area that couldn’t take a cabinet. It is used for spices, vinegars, oils-things in small containers that I go thru quickly. I don’t like countertops cluttered, only small things that are used daily get space-electric kettle, coffee grinder. There is large roomy convenient cabinet space for the larger appliances, so they are easy to use and put away. I don’t really like painted cabinetry, and no one is going to make me, just cause it’s in. We have a small house, so it’s an eat in kitchen, but with a kitchen island for seating, I have extra storage and counter space.

    In my perfect world, the kitchen would be a separate room with a pass thru window. Much easier to keep the dogs out! There will be no smart apps. I am on electronic devices enough without that.

    Your kitchen should look the way you like it and flow the way you cook. Rather like clothing, find what makes your heart sing and stick with it. If you like those 2 tone cabinets, then that is what you should have, always.

  • ellabee  on  June 13, 2023

    @Jane: I believe Indio32 is predicting induction hobs as a kitchen trend. Probably so. Right now in Chicago the electric company is offering $100 rebate, making the single burner units effectively free. I got one years ago for safer & more precise heat for a stovetop pressure cooker than our iffy gas burners, and wouldn’t be without it. Full induction cooktops/stoves are still expensive enough that $100 isn’t a big incentive, but every little bit helps and there are now federal tax deductions for them. Also more and more places will have electric-only hookups, and induction’s way more efficient than radiant electric burners.

    • Jane  on  June 14, 2023

      I thought because the post title is “Kitchen trends that are falling out of favor” that Indio32 was predicting the demise of induction. She will have to clarify for us!

  • gamulholland  on  June 13, 2023

    I’m with you in doing it your own way — for example, we took the wall down between our tiny, isolated kitchen and our substantial dining room six years ago— best decision ever. We can supervise the kids doing homework at the dining room table, or chat with the guests. We have a teapot and a toaster out because we use them multiple times a day (I’m Irish, what can I say?). And we put in new cabinets that match the (remaining) old cabinets (we couldn’t afford to redo the whole thing) which were lovely but not trendy, and still like them. You do you. 🙂

  • FuzzyChef  on  June 14, 2023

    Given the limits that everyone millennial and younger deals with, think space efficiency.

  • sayeater  on  June 15, 2023

    I didn’t realize appliances on the counter was a trend LOL. I’ve always felt bad about having so many on my counters, but not bad enough to lug them in and out of cabinets every time I want to use them!

  • SSteve  on  June 16, 2023

    When my wife and I bought our charmless 60s house in the woods 23 years ago we tore the kitchen down to the studs and started over. The previous cabinets were 1/4″ plywood painted dark brown with baby blue floral contact paper on the doors. The floor was fake red brick linoleum.

    We put in natural wood cabinets with raised-panel doors, granite countertops, tile backsplashes, and a large garden window behind the sink looking out onto the hill behind our house. Black appliances, not stainless, and light wood-looking Pergo floor. I guess we did a good job avoiding trends because it still looks as fresh and functional as the day it was finished. I’m thankful for that.

  • Sandford  on  June 17, 2023

    When I remodelled my kitchen a few years ago the deal breaker was a cantilevered shelf for my food processor. I can get it in and out of the cupboard without lifting it. I am still so pleased with it.

  • dorits  on  June 20, 2023

    @jane: While the post title is “Kitchen trends that are falling out of favor” I believe Indio32 was answering he last paragraph which says “What are your predictions for kitchen trends?”

    I recently got an induction cooktop to replace my 20 year old gas model. It’s fabulous and I do think induction is the future.

  • jhergt  on  June 28, 2023

    “Trends” to retain surely must include glass splash backs behind the sink and cooktop! Mine is SOooooo easy to keep clean, the colour was easily matched with that of our walls…and I have no no grungy grout to deal with between tiles (absolute bliss). Two other life-changers…the induction cooktop…as noted by many already in this thread…and NO CUPBOARDS underneath benches. I replaced ALL of the under bench cupboards with drawers and have never looked back. I’m getting too old to be scrambling around on my hands and knees searching for ‘that thing’ that always seems to have made its way to the back of a dark cupboard. Now I simply pull out the draw and find whatever I need instantly. Life is grand 🙂

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