25 Kitchen Trends You Might Regret + Photos

Modern kitchen interior with avocado-colored cabinets

Photo: istockphoto.com

The kitchen is the heart of a home, and any updates you make to this central space can improve the home’s overall appearance and value. Making the wrong design choices for your kitchen, however, can have the opposite effect and make your whole property look dated.

“It is imperative to consider what functionality you want for your kitchen and bathroom,” says Swati Goorha of New York-area Swati Goorha Interior Design.

Goorha, who served as a Best of KBIS judge at the 2024 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in February, advises clients to ask themselves, “What are the non-negotiables in terms of quality and convenience? Trends are typically around aesthetics. I like to tell my clients not to focus on trends and to invest in items they will love for the next 10 years; it can be a yellow La Cornue range or the ox blood cabinets. They should go for it as long as that is what they love,” she says.

If you’re spending the time and money to renovate your kitchen, do so wisely. Opt for kitchen design ideas that stand the test of time, and think twice before integrating elements like these that you might regret later .

1. Open Shelving

Open shelving with many items in kitchen.Open shelving with many items in kitchen.

Photo: containerstore.com

If you’re tired of the clutter after spending so much time at home in recent years, you’re not alone. While stylish if you live in a showroom, open shelves tend to put our messy collections on display. In its place are creative organization solutions that work to keep things streamlined.

These new options are increasingly important with the rise of multi-generational homes where household belongings have multiplied. According to Goorha, however, “We saw a fascinating open shelf that was awarded Best of KBIS. With integrated LED lighting, many functional and aesthetic issues are resolved. And I would do an open functional shelf with lights for a clean, functional, and updated look.”

2. Speckled Granite

Kitchen with speckled granite walls and countertops around stove.Kitchen with speckled granite walls and countertops around stove.

Photo: istockphoto.com

While granite was once a gold standard of kitchen design, its popularity has waned in recent years. Speckled granite, in particular, is out in favor of solid or veined solid surfacing. While natural stone can be appealing, it’s also harder to maintain than alternatives like quartz, which don’t have to be re-sealed regularly.

3. Over-the-Range Microwaves

White kitchen with microwave over stove.White kitchen with microwave over stove.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Saving counter space by installing the microwave over the range has been standard kitchen protocol for years, but that practice is on its way out. As home buyers begin to favor universal design principles, keeping appliances within reach of the entire family becomes ever more important. Consider moving the microwave to under-the-counter nooks and drawers instead.

4. Overhead Pot Racks

Kitchen with wooden cabinets and large overhead pot rack.Kitchen with wooden cabinets and large overhead pot rack.

Photo: homedepot.com

Pot racks certainly had their moment in kitchen design. Hanging a large pot rack over a central kitchen island, however, is no longer your best bet. Pots and pans are now more often stashed neatly in drawers as opposed to living out in the open. If you prefer to keep your pans visible and easily accessible, try hanging a few of your favorites on the backsplash or on an empty wall rather than in a jumble of cookware overhead.

5. Kitchen Desks

View of kitchen and kitchen office.View of kitchen and kitchen office.

Photo: kraftmaid.com

Putting a desk in the kitchen was all the rage for about a decade—after all, most family life does revolve around the kitchen. The problem is that a kitchen desk just ends up stacked with papers and clutter that you don’t want to see. Pass on the desk, and relegate household business to the home office.

6. Antique Hardware

Copper antique hardware on white cabinets.Copper antique hardware on white cabinets.

Photo: amazon.com

Kitchen trend reports claim that this year is all about metal hardware, but all metals aren’t equally appealing. Opt for slim and sleek options over the chunky, distressed cabinet hardware that you might have in your home now. The good news is that swapping out hardware is fairly simple and inexpensive, which makes it easy to modernize your kitchen without making a major financial commitment. Replacing oil-rubbed bronze knobs with matte or satin black, for example, will bring your kitchen into the 21st century.

7. Distressed Cabinets

White kitchen with distressed cabinets.White kitchen with distressed cabinets.

Photo: homedepot.com

Distressed and glazed cabinet finishes are fixtures in many country kitchens. While this style of cabinet rose in popularity over the past decade or so, it’s now falling out of fashion. When choosing finishes for a cabinet replacement or refacing, choose more modern looks, whether they’re natural wood finishes or classic kitchen cabinet paint colors.

8. White Farmhouse Sinks

Large white rustic farmhouse sink in kitchen.Large white rustic farmhouse sink in kitchen.

Photo: istockphoto.com

It once seemed that homeowners would never tire of a white farmhouse sink’s throwback charms, but today’s sinks are new twists on old favorites. Instead of plain white porcelain, consider upgrading to an apron front sink that’s made of an unusual material such as fireclay, stainless steel, copper, or even wood and stone.

9. Faux Finishes

Cream colored kitchen with faux brick wall finish.Cream colored kitchen with faux brick wall finish.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Faux finishes in the kitchen are now on the wane. Today, simplicity reigns supreme. If you’re updating your kitchen, ditch complicated treatments and go for fresh paint in bold or neutral tones. For a pop of fun, choose a peel-and-stick wallpaper for an accent wall.

10. Appliance Garages

Appliance garage holding coffee machine.Appliance garage holding coffee machine.

Photo: kraftmaid.com

It is nice to keep your small appliances stowed out of sight, but at the expense of the space an appliance garage requires? The trend of large cabinet drawers and big pantries is here to stay, and there is plenty of room in there for your toaster and Keurig.

11. Tiny Backsplashes

Large kitchen with tiny shiny backsplash.Large kitchen with tiny shiny backsplash.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Minimal backsplashes are out, and there are good, practical reasons this is the case: Spills and splatters don’t necessarily have good aim. A ceramic tile or glass backsplash that stretches from counter to cabinets is much easier to keep clean, and looks more modern and seamless. Even better, avoid grout altogether with a stylish slab backsplash.

12. Skipping Window Treatments

Kitchen grid window without curtains, with black metal window frames, in a mostly white, contemporary kitchen.Kitchen grid window without curtains, with black metal window frames, in a mostly white, contemporary kitchen.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Keeping windows open and unfettered by shades or curtains has been a trend for several years, emulating the urban style of loft living. But the tradeoffs for this chic style is a complete lack of privacy, and contending daily with the glare of unfiltered sun. Luckily, this lofty trend is easy to fix.

“At least in the South, where I am, window treatments are still an integral piece of a kitchen design for us,” says Elizabeth Scruggs, general contractor and principal designer at Superior Construction and Design, LLC, in Lebanon, Tenn. Scruggs says window coverings are “not typically for privacy, but to add color, texture, and softness into the design.” Skip the valences and opt for simple, minimalist window treatments like semi-sheer shades and white shutters that will keep your windows looking fresh while adding functionality.

13. Tiled Countertops

Checkered white and blue kitchen tile countertop in a circa 1990s kitchen.Checkered white and blue kitchen tile countertop in a circa 1990s kitchen.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Tile countertops were big in the ‘70s and ‘80s and made a comeback recently in more minimalist designs. Though they are less expensive than granite and other solid natural countertop surfaces, tiled countertops are a maintenance headache. It’s hard enough to clean grout on a vertical surface in a shower. But on a horizontal surface where the grout lines get full of crumbs? Forget it.

14. Bright Appliances

Kitchen with matching orange and gold stove and cabinets.Kitchen with matching orange and gold stove and cabinets.

Photo: hartandcoappliances.com

There’s been a recent pop of color in appliances to break up the sea of stainless that’s reigned supreme for years. Just beware that a trend is a trend, and will eventually (sometimes sooner than later) fade. “While all the bold color and pattern that was shown [at the annual Kitchen & Bath Show in Las Vegas] in appliances is fun and makes for great photography, the practicality of it may prove to be something that homeowners may not select for longevity,” Scruggs states. Remember avocado and goldenrod?

15. Open-Plan Kitchens

Family with two young children enjoying in a large, open plan kitchen. Mom is at kitchen island and dad is at table with laptop.Family with two young children enjoying in a large, open plan kitchen. Mom is at kitchen island and dad is at table with laptop.

Photo: istockphoto.com

This one may be up for debate, but there’s reason to believe that the pandemic has caused us to reconsider an open floor plan in favor of more walls and privacy. With plenty of time spent at home in recent years, an increase in noise and clutter has more homeowners craving privacy and more contained work areas, which might include the kitchen table or island. Consider opting for the best of both worlds with a modernized pass-through window with seating.

16. All-White Decor

Woman preparing colorful vegetables in an almost all-white kitchen with a black sink.Woman preparing colorful vegetables in an almost all-white kitchen with a black sink.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Minimalist kitchens don’t have to be entirely white kitchens. In fact, white kitchens come with their fair share of maintenance challenges. “I had a client who cooked with many spices and sauces and got swayed into doing the white cabinets with white Carrara marble backsplash countertops,” Goorha says. Although this client was strict about keeping the kitchen clean, her marble counters were stained with wine and etched with use. “Though the kitchen was only 5 years old, it looked pretty dated because of the wear and tear from the use of a large family,” says Goorha.

Try using earth tones and natural materials as an alternative. If you have your mind set on white cabinets, forego all-white finishes and opt for touches of light wood and eye-catching hardware. Pick bold paint colors for kitchen island cabinets or walls, or elevate an accent wall with artwork or wallpaper for more visual interest.

17. Formal Dining Rooms

Formal dining room area with large, ornately carved furniture.Formal dining room area with large, ornately carved furniture.

Photo: build.com

One kitchen trend that extends to other rooms of the home is a desire for more comfort. Homeowners are skipping formal dining areas in favor of cozy kitchen breakfast nooks. Sharp edges and starkness are being replaced with throw pillows, and soothing objects and colors.

18. Patterned, Colorful Backsplashes

Colorful patterned kitchen backsplash with shades of aqua and black.Colorful patterned kitchen backsplash with shades of aqua and black.

Photo: wayfair.com

Save colorful patterns and murals for your artwork. On a backsplash, a busy design is a commitment that can limit other decor choices. (Besides, bold patterns are more likely to look dated after a couple of years.) Instead, choose neutral colors and play with shapes and stacking patterns.

19. Frosted Glass Pendants

Frosted glass pendant lights in a kitchen with teal-gray cabinetry and a marble backsplash.Frosted glass pendant lights in a kitchen with teal-gray cabinetry and a marble backsplash.

Photo: wayfair.com

Good lighting is essential to kitchen design. Pendant lights are a terrific choice for cooking and eating zones because they can add style to your space, and provide task lighting. For a classic kitchen, forego frosted glass options and choose the latest clear glass designs to bring light and openness to the room. To avoid the glare, try a solid matte shade.

20. Word Art

White kitchen with White kitchen with

Photo: amazon .com

It’s time to ditch the “Family” sign hanging above the kitchen sink. As homeowners seek to infuse more personality into their spaces, paintings and other fine art are finally finding their ways into the kitchen. Toss the once-popular inspirational quotes or word signs, and upgrade your walls with real artwork that speaks to you.

21. Modern Farmhouse Design

Kitchen with an island, natural pine-look wood cabinet, and white pendant lighting.Kitchen with an island, natural pine-look wood cabinet, and white pendant lighting.

Photo: rtacabinetstore.com

While the rustic charm and Insta-worthy vibes of the modern farmhouse kitchen trend stole the show in home design a few years back, many homeowners are starting to feel a tinge of regret. While we’re aware it once brought warmth and coziness, it also screamed “trendy.” Now savvy homeowners are blending modern farmhouse elements with more timeless styles for a look that stands the test of time. Think sleek countertops paired with rustic accents.

22. Gaps Between Cabinetry and the Ceiling

White and lilac kitchen with large open area above the top cabinets.White and lilac kitchen with large open area above the top cabinets.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Those gaps between the top of your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling used to be all the rage, the idea being that they give your kitchen an open and airy vibe. But here’s the thing: They’re dust magnets, and they’re a trend that has quickly gone out of style. Opting for cabinets that reach all the way up the ceiling not only adds extra storage space but gives your kitchen a seamless, timeless feel.

23. Tuscan Style

Tuscan style kitchen with tile backsplash and floor.Tuscan style kitchen with tile backsplash and floor.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Once the epitome of warmth and charm with its dark browns and terra-cotta tiles, the Tuscan-style kitchen has officially gone out of style, according to designers. “We have torn out many Tuscan-style kitchens over the years. Anytime a trend is really hot, you also know it will have the shortest lifespan,” says Nar Bustamante, president and principal designer of Nar Design Group. So, before you commit to transforming your kitchen into a Tuscan villa, think twice.

24. Themed Kitchens

Large kitchen with bird themed wallpaper.Large kitchen with bird themed wallpaper.

Photo: untamedcreatures.com

“I would say that the biggest danger in design is a themed kitchen…..Barbie Kitchen,” Bustamante, who was also one of this year’s Best of KBIS judges, says. “One would be highly likely to tire from that,” he adds. Plus, it would be hard to sell that home. While themed kitchens may seem like a fun idea at first, many homeowners eventually find themselves regretting their decision. Trends change fast and what once felt quirky and unique can quickly become outdated and tacky. Committing to a specific theme can limit your decorating flexibility and make future updates a bit tricky.

25. Gimmicky Gear

Woman standing near refrigerator with smart screen.Woman standing near refrigerator with smart screen.

Photo: istockphoto.com

We get it, modern technology is cool. And while it seems fun at first, decking out your kitchen with the latest gadgets and gizmos may not be the best option. “Anything that is gimmicky, lights up with colors, beeps, or designed just for ‘wow’ factor will not last long,” Bustamante explains. Sometimes, less is really more.


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