15 Kitchen Trends You Might Regret

1. Open Shelving

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.

2. Speckled Granite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

13. Tiled Countertops

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

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

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.

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