6 Features that Make Your Kitchen Look Dated

New Spaces Design-Build
October 1, 2020

We’ve been remodeling kitchens since the early 1980’s, and we’ve seen many different trends over the years. Some trends are long-lasting, others are not. At times, it’s easy to tell which trends will stick around and which will fade away, but that’s not always the case - sometimes kitchen design is a surprise to everyone. These are some of the trends that are definitely out. If your kitchen is still rolling with looks like these, it might just be time to consider an upgrade.

1 - Short Backsplashes

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, short backsplashes were acceptable - but things have changed. A large backsplash adds texture, details, character, and incredible functionality (literally, protecting from splashes).These days, backsplashes make a statement in addition to providing protection against stains and splashes. Many laminate countertops have short backsplashes attached to them, but this isn’t the kind of backsplash we’re referring to when we talk about the modern kind of look. Modern backsplashes can be anything from subway tile to patterned tin. The decision is yours, but the key is to pick something that will be a good fit in your kitchen for years to come. Try not to side with here today, gone tomorrow trends that will make you regret investing in a remodel. It’s a far better investment to choose a backsplash that will look good once a short-lived trend or two fades away.

2 - Uniform Stained Wood Cabinets

Stained wood and rose oak everywhere! The 1980’s and 1990’s were all about the stained wood cabinets. Your home will look quite dated if all your wood is simply stained, without any diversity or contrasts. The honey oak staining trend might have taken a firm hold a couple decades back, but nowadays, the look is far from in style. You might not have to change out all of the trim, cabinets, and other honey oak materials in your home to make it look modern, but you could definitely consider how to make what you have appear more in line with modern kitchen trends. For instance, consider how just a little bit of honey oak can blend in perfectly with other finishes that you could institute throughout your kitchen. While white cabinets and trim are much more timeless, kitchen remodels can be taken up a notch by creating subtle contrasts between natural woods, whites, and colors. One of the biggest trends we’re seeing today is two-toned cabinets that offer a little bit more contrast and visual intrigue. We’re expecting this trend to stick around because it makes sense - as humans, we’re naturally drawn to contrast. Why should our kitchens be any different?

3 - Appliance Garages

Little garages for your toasters, microwaves, or office supplies were quite popular for a while.  Now, not so much. It’s no longer considered fashionable to hide your small appliances away in these kind of storage areas. These days, having a coffee maker or toaster oven out on your countertop isn’t considered to be sloppy. For those small appliances that you do want to hide away, simply using an empty cabinet is a much more modern approach to the dilemma. The flaw that appliance garages had is easy to see in hindsight - in their effort to be minimalistic, they were too much. They were meant to hide what was considered unsightly, but ended up creating something that’s now considered more unsightly than what they aimed to stash away.

4 - Kitchen Desks & Niches

Kitchen desks were NEVER used for their intended purpose. They ended up being the place where you tossed piles of papers or set the groceries when the other countertops were full. Kitchen desks are not a great use of space, and a simple drawer system is much easier. Not only that, but small niches for landline phones were really a big deal - but now most homes rely on cell phones (and prefer to utilize their space better). For these reasons, the kitchen desk has been phased out in newer construction. In some homes, this area has been replaced with detached resource centers, and in other floor plans, it doesn’t exist at all any more. The fact of the matter is that a giant desktop computer doesn’t belong in kitchens any more, and neither does the desk that they used to sit on.

5 - On the Counter Microwaves

Countertop microwaves are rare to find in any modern kitchen. Reason being? Under or over the counter microwaves are more functional, utilize space better, and look much nicer. That said, many older kitchens lack the ability to have a microwave installed alongside the cabinetry in them. Making the switch towards having a microwave like this often requires a remodel.

6 - Colored Appliances

Stainless steel is the king - and that trend will continue for some time because of its simple timelessness. Even the newer trends that are emerging are veering away from the simple black and white options that were once popular. Slate appliances are on the rise along with black stainless steel, but it’s not looking like the more traditional black and white appliances will be coming back into style any time soon. If your kitchen is still sporting the white or black appliance look, it might be time to consider an upgrade. Simply replacing your appliances can go a long way towards making your kitchen look like it belongs in this decade instead of the last.

Dreaming of your own remodel? If you're looking for ways to upgrade your own home, take a peek at some of our other events!  Twice a year, you can attend our Parade of Homes Remodelers showcase, or you can view our upcoming and previous showcases on the New Spaces Showcase Event Page. Aside from our Showcase events, we also host many in person and virtual events.

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