20 Kitchen Trends You Might Regret

Starting a gut renovation, or just giving your kitchen a little facelift? To keep your space from looking dated, think twice before integrating these renovation and decor trends.

By Kristen Mosier and Jennifer Noonan | Updated Mar 15, 2022 10:55 AM

Open Shelving

kitchen trend avoid open shelving

If you’re tired of the clutter you've amassed after spending so much time at home these past couple of years, you’re not alone. Though they look stylish if you live in a showroom, open shelves put our messy collections and accumulations on display. Instead, opt for creative organization solutions that keep your stuff streamlined. These new options are increasingly important with the rise of multi-generational homes where household belongings have multiplied.


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Speckled Granite

kitchen trend avoid speckled granite

While granite was once a gold standard of kitchen design, its popularity is waning. 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 engineered stone countertops like quartz. Quartz doesn't have to be resealed regularly, either. 

RELATED: What's the Difference? Granite vs. Quartz


Over-the-Range Microwave

Over the Range Microwaves

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

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Overhead Pot Racks

Overhead Pot Racks

Pot racks certainly had their moment in kitchen design. Placing 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 or more easily accessible, try hanging a few of your favorites on the backsplash or on an empty wall versus in a jumble of cookware overhead.


Kitchen Desk

Kitchen Desk

Putting a desk in the kitchen was all the rage for about a decade, because 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.

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Distressed Cabinets

Distressed Cabinets

Distressed and glazed cabinet finishes are a fixture in many country kitchens. While this style of cabinet rose in popularity over the last decade, it's now falling out of fashion. When choosing finishes for a cabinet replacement or refacing, choose more modern looks, whether crisp paint colors or clean wood tones.

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White Farmhouse Sinks

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.

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Faux Finishes

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.

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Appliance Garages

Appliance Garages

It is nice to keep your small appliances off the countertop. 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.

RELATED: 15 Smart Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities

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Tiny Backsplashes

Tiny Backsplashes

Skinny backsplashes are out of style, we are happy to report. A ceramic tile or glass backsplash that stretches from counter to cabinets is much easier to keep clean, and is more likely to catch spills and splatters. What's even better than a sizable tiled backsplash? A stylish slab that'll allow you to sidestep grout cleaning altogether.


Skipping Window Treatments

Skipping Window Treatments

Keeping windows open and unfettered by shades or curtains, which emulates urban loft-style living, has been a trend for several years. The tradeoff for this chic style is a complete lack of privacy and contending daily with the glare of unfiltered sun. The good news is that it's easy to change your mind about this decor decision: Skip curtains and valences and opt for simple, minimalist window treatments like semi-sheer cellular shades, which look fresh and will give you a respite from the sunlight.


Tiled Countertops

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 crumbs get stuck in the grout lines? Forget it.

RELATED: How to Remove Tile

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Bright Appliances

Bright Appliances

There’s been a recent bright 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. Remember avocado and goldenrod?

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Open-Plan Kitchens

kitchen trend avoid open plan

The pandemic has caused many homeowners to eschew open floor plans 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 may include the kitchen table or island. If you're updating your kitchen and want the best of both worlds, consider installing a modernized pass-through window with seating.

RELATED: 15 Fresh Takes on the Eat-in Kitchen


Formal Dining Areas

kitchen trend avoid formal dining room

Comfort is the name of the game now, for every room of the home—including the kitchen. These days, no one wants to eat at a formal, uncomfortable dining table, which is why homeowners are ditching formal dining areas in favor of cozy breakfast nooks. Consider replacing sharp edges and starkness with banquettes in soothing colors.


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