There are few things more exciting than remodeling an outdated kitchen. But before heading to Pinterest for ideas and inspo, you might want to think about kitchen design trends that won't be around for much longer. After all, kitchen renovations aren't exactly cheap, so it wouldn't hurt to avoid overdone styles and invest in designs with more longevity.
To get you off on the right foot, we reached out to interior designers to learn about what kitchen design trends are phasing out — and what they're being replaced with.
1. Globe Lights
"Warm frosted globes in kitchen pendants, sconces, [and] chandeliers brought a beautiful softness to previously sterile kitchens," interior designer Jillian R. Wiedenmayer of Studio Den Den tells Hunker. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to shelter in place in 2020, many people have been inspired to bring the outdoors in. As a result, organic lighting fixtures made with natural materials like wood, rattan, and rice paper are becoming popular, says Wiedenmayer. "The return of natural materials [in] the kitchen will be huge this year," she adds.
2. Just One Light Fixture
Simple lighting in the kitchen is also on the way out, says interior designer Cassandra Schinkel, founder of Schinkel House of Design. She suggests layering lighting to highlight certain areas of your kitchen, which will add a lovely ambience to the space. "Always hang pendants over an island, install sconces where possible, and place small table lamps on countertops or shelves for a beautiful glow," Schinkel recommends.
3. All-White Kitchens
"This trend has been huge for the last decade for a bright and fresh look, but all-white kitchens are starting to look dated and sterile," says Schinkel. Henrieta Imrie, interior designer and founder of Imrie Design Studio, agrees. The overall look feels too cold, she notes, especially in combination with standard silver hardware.
"Instead of opting for the purest and brightest white cabinets, go for something that has warmth," suggests Schinkel. "[The] same goes for countertops and the backsplash. Choose materials with warmth and depth [to] add dimension and texture."
4. Matching Metal Finishes
Long gone are the days of matchy-matchy metal fixtures. "[Often], when someone decides on a finish like satin nickel, black, or gold, they think that every element in their kitchen needs to match — including their plumbing finishes, cabinet pulls, and lighting," says Sierra Fallon, interior and technical designer at Rumor Designs. However, the practice of combining different finishes is catching on, as it can actually tie a design together, she says.
5. Open Shelving
Sorry, open shelf fans — but this one is leaving the scene. "Open shelves in place of the upper cabinets made any kitchen feel larger and more airy," notes Imrie. "However, they require decent styling skills, and offer less [opportunities] to hide those mismatched cups," she says, which isn't exactly realistic for most folks.
Needless to say, people have been gravitating toward practical upper cabinets once more. Want the best of both worlds? Try combining cabinets with a few open shelves, suggests Imrie.
6. Stainless Steel Hoods
Big stainless steel hoods are moving out of fashion, interior designer Sharon L. Sherman of Thyme & Place Design tells Hunker. Instead, "Wood hoods are making a big comeback," she says. Metal hoods in colored finishes or alternate metals are also on the rise, Sherman adds, which reflects the growing trend of combining different metals.
Kirsten Nunez is a journalist and author focusing on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, PopSugar, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in Beacon, New York.