It's easy to get sucked into some bad design choices when thinking about renovating your kitchen. It's even easier to go a step too far and cave into tacky or overly trendy designs that might be popular at the moment. But, those things are just that — trendy. They're only popular for a time before they fade and you're left with an outdated kitchen. Read on for things to avoid if you want to keep your kitchen modern, functional, and full of style!
Brass Cabinet Handles
Brass handles aren't chic and they're definitely not industrial. They actually look outdated in a kitchen and their color usually makes them stand out more than you might want them to. In addition, they become worn over time and it gets really easy to tell where they've been touched by people and tarnished. It would be much better to just go with something like stainless steel and call it a day.
It's just as durable, probably more so actually, and they don't stick out like a sore thumb. They also don't look as try hard as those brass handles.
A Microwave Above Your Oven
We aren't sure who thought this would be a good idea and started the trend, but above your stove is not a good place for a microwave. It would constantly be pounded by heat, steam, and grease, while you're cooking underneath it. This means you're going to be left cleaning all that stuff up and the heat will eventually wear out some parts of the microwave as time goes by.
It just makes much more sense for there to be some kind of fan above your stove rather than an expensive kitchen appliance that's sure to get dirty and break down.
Time To Ditch The Chevron
Patterns and colors inherently evoke certain emotions, it's just a scientific fact. And chevron patterns are commonly used in warning signs. See where we're going with this one? Ditch the chevron and go with something more timeless and classic, like solid colors. They'll never become untrendy and you won't have to worry about replacing them one day, (unless your kitchen just needs a new coat of paint).
Chevron patterns have also had their heyday and now they just look slightly tacky. You want guests to feel cozy and invited when they enter a space in your home and chevron patterns are like a warning to stay away.
Here's an easy one: fake fruits and other foods. We're not sure how this came to be a thing and while fake fruits might not spoil, this trend is long past its prime. Ditch the fake fruit and just go with some good ole fashioned real food if you want to leave something on your counter. It might spoil quicker, but at least it's genuine and it might even encourage you to eat your fruits and veggies.
Also, you won't have any hungry children accidentally taking a bite out of your real fruits and putting them back in the bowl. The only thing worse than having fake fruit is having fake fruit with bite marks on them.
Don't Save Your Empty Bottles
How do you tell your guests you have a drinking problem without saying that you have a drinking problem? You save and display your empty beer and liquor bottles on a shelf, that's how. This might've been cool when you were younger but now that we're adults there's no need to collect empty bottles. Also, all they ever do is sit on a shelf — usually, one that's high up — and gather dust.
A much better option would be to recycle those glass bottles you've been saving up. That way, you can give back to the environment while still enjoying a drink or two.
Toss The Plastic
We can all remember eating out of our favorite plastic plate when we were children, but there's a reason parents use plastic plates for children and proper plates for adults. Unless you have kids, you probably should have gotten a basic set of white dishes by now. They're not even that expensive. You also won't feel as bad for adding to the plastic pollution plaguing the planet.
No adult wants to be served dinner on a plate with a superhero printed on it. It might be nostalgic, but it also sends the wrong signal, especially if you have someone over for a dinner date.
TV Really Isn't For A Home Kitchen
Your kitchen is where you prepare your meals, where you interact with family and friends, and where everyone sits down to have a conversation. It isn't a bar or living room. So, just keep the television out of it. It can be distracting at best and overwhelming at most. Nobody wants to hear the news in the background while they're trying to have a meaningful conversation, or worse a reality TV show.
It's also just not very practical. If you want an entertainment space, then consider putting a TV outside on a closed-in porch for sports games and gatherings.
Old Food Containers
We get the appeal of old tin containers. The branding can be nice and better than anything you might find today, but they still don't belong in the kitchen. They look a tad tacky no matter what they're being used for and since they don't have a lid, they can't really be used for much. Their colors and patterns also usually clash with whatever theme you've chosen for your kitchen.
If you like to collect old containers, then maybe find another use for them in your garden or hidden away in the pantry. As long as you don't display them on your kitchen counters.
Paper Plates Aren't For Everyday Use
This one is kind of like the plastic plates post but with a caveat. Paper plates are fine for things like picnics or grilling out with friends, but they absolutely should not be used for dinner every night. We're not in college anymore. It also gives off the impression that you don't like doing dishes or simply aren't responsible enough to clean as you should.
They're also not great for the environment so even if you do use them for small get-togethers with close friends, it's better just to use normal dishes and wash them afterward.
Leave Window Valances In The Past
No, not all window valances look tacky or bad, but it can be very hard to find some that don't look modern or updated. As such, you should probably just stay away from them completely. They're also not very practical in this day and age as they need to be washed constantly and can catch on fire since they're made out of fabric. This isn't something you want in your kitchen, where you're cooking with heat.
It's much better to simply go with some blinds or get your windows tinted if you want shade. You can always open them to let a little sunlight in and the best part is you won't be stuck washing fabric all the time.
Tumbled Marble Isn't A Great Look
Tumbled marble or marble that's made to look weathered is okay for things like bathrooms, but not so great for kitchens. It just looks dirty and damaged because that's the way it's supposed to look. This rule is especially true for tiles, which can't even be cleaned well using strong chemicals because you don't want to damage the grout between in between. It's just much better to go with something classic like a solid color in this case.
Tumbled marble also looks a bit outdated at this point, much like a similar design item we'll get to in a bit. You wouldn't want scuff marks on your kitchen counters, so why intentionally distress marble?
Lace was first invented around the 16th century and that should tell you all you need to know about it. Let the lace rest in the past and keep things like lace curtains out of the kitchen. They're also really flammable and you don't want delicate fabric hanging above anywhere you cook food or work with heat. Lace is also difficult to clean, which is made worse by the fact that it catches dust pretty easily.
Lace as a design concept is just really outdated and it doesn't belong in a modern kitchen. All it really does is provide decoration, which can be done much more effectively with something useful.
Don't Sand Your Cabinets
Distressed cabinets were all the rage five to ten years ago but today they just look like a trend that's overstayed its welcome. Not only that, but they're also kind of stressful to have around. Did you know that patterns can influence your mood? Well, distressed cabinets just make us anxious. It's fine for a single piece of furniture somewhere else in your home if you do it tastefully but not for your kitchen cabinets.
Think of your cabinets sort of like you would the paint on your walls in the rest of your home. They're kind of like your kitchen's foundation and you don't want your foundation to be a chaotic mess.
Multi-functional kitchens are just a way for contractors to cheap out and agents to upsell a home. There's absolutely no reason anyone needs a desk in their kitchen. We mean, just think about it. Do you really want to be doing work in a place that is loud and usually has a lot going on? We don't think so. Ditch the kitchen desk and use that space for something else more useful.
You could expand your countertop space or even have a liquor cabinet. There are just so many possibilities better suited for your kitchen than a desk that you're never going to use or as an office space.
This is similar to the lace post earlier, but we figured lace doilies deserved their own special spot considering how awful they are. Firstly, they really serve no purpose and if you can think of one then odds are there's already something out there that could do the job much better. Secondly, you don't want your kitchen to look like your grandmother's house, so just keep the recipes and ditch the doilies.
They do nothing but make a space feel more cluttered and "old fashioned". If you need to guard your furniture or countertops then just use a coaster or something.
Old Wooden Cabinets
As far as offenders on this list go, this one isn't that bad but it still must be said. If you haven't updated your kitchen in a decade and it's unpainted then odds are it looks a bit dated. Wood styles go in and out of fashion every decade or so, which means the wood your cabinets are made out of and the stain that was used are probably in need of a fresh coat of paint.
You could also refinish the entire kitchen again but this is expensive and results might vary depending on the type of wood. It's much cheaper and easier to just give those cabinets a fresh coat of paint, in a neutral color of course.
This style of decor is often called vino-themed decor, which literally means relating to wine, especially cheap wine. And that's exactly what this looks like in your kitchen. It's kind of similar to the empty bottles you've been saving up on your shelf. It just makes you seem like a person with a drinking problem who has a glass or two every evening while wasting away on the couch. This is fine, but you don't want everyone to know.
There's also really no reason to have giant letters in any form on your wall, whether that be a sticker or a frame with text, but we'll get more into that soon.
All White Appliances
All white appliances might seem like a good idea in theory but they're extremely hard to keep clean and they look like they're straight out of the 1990s. They also usually look really cheap. Actually, their biggest downside is that they're just so hard to keep clean. Every little spill or speck of dirt is going to show and the stains will only get harder and harder to get off over time.
Give your kitchen an update and opt for stainless steel the next time you're out shopping for a new fridge or stove. It'll look more modern and it'll stay much cleaner.
Yes, we're talking about fluorescent lights here and we would say that the only place they belong is in an office, but they're really not even welcome there. The harsh lighting will make your kitchen and everything in it look unflattering, which is the last thing you want in a space like that. So, do yourself and your kitchen a favor and upgrade the lighting before that next dinner party.
It's really not that expensive to update the lighting in your kitchen, and if you're replacing a fluorescent light then the change is well worth it and it'll work wonders.
Get Rid Of The Linoleum
Linoleum is a heat-resistant material that used to be used for surfaces like tables and tiles. However, it's probably one of the worst-looking materials out there and it just feels downright cheap today. This is especially true if you have linoleum tiles. It basically feels like you're walking on a thin rubber mat someone laid down on top of your concrete slab. Not only that, but they tend to quickly come apart after a little bit of water damage.
If you like your linoleum's pattern then odds are that you can find a similar pattern in actual tile, or better yet, just opt for hardwood floors. They can easily be refinished and will last a lifetime.
More Than One Pattern
When you're deciding on a general style to remodel your kitchen you usually want to stay away from using a pattern. They can quickly become outdated or even tacky. However, using more than one pattern in your kitchen is definitely something you want to stay away from no matter what. It can make your kitchen look like a confusing mess and just adds to any clutter that is already there.
It's usually a much better option to just go with a couple of solid colors that match instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and come up with your own set of patterns that fit together.
Don't Overdo The Chandeliers
Unless you live in a giant mansion, odds are you only need at most one chandelier to light your kitchen. And even if you do live in a mansion, you probably still only need one larger chandelier. They're already going to add a lot of glam to just about any kitchen so you want to keep your use of them to a minimum. This is truer the smaller your kitchen is.
In addition, they're just really hard to clean. Unless you're taking them down to clean regularly or dusting them constantly, they can be a bit of a hassle compared to other options.
Let's be honest, unless you're a professional cook with a professional-grade kitchen, there's really no need for you to hang your pots and pans. They can make a space feel more cluttered than it actually is and if your food isn't to the same standard as a professional cook, they can make your design choice look pretentious. It's best to store those pots and pans in the cabinet where they belong.
This is all without mentioning any grease or stains that might be clinging to your pots, which can make them unsavory when displayed right there for anyone to see when they walk into your kitchen.
Lose The Weird Chairs
It might seem like a good idea to mix and match your dining room chairs, and there's really nothing wrong with it if everything is a similar style that's comfortable. However, if the chairs are a bit too quirky or uncomfortable, they really just become decoration pieces. No guest wants to have dinner while sitting in uncomfortable chairs. This is even worse if all of the chairs are vastly different and everyone is sitting at different eye levels.
So, you generally want your chairs to match and if they don't, at least make sure they're a similar color and style. It's kind of as if you were matching clothes.
Match Your Paint
We've already covered different patterns, now we'll talk about different color paints. Basically, the same thing applies. Don't use nine different paint colors in your kitchen. It looks tacky and cluttered and odds are whoever lives in your home after you are going to want to change things around. We've also discussed how colors and patterns can affect the way people feel and the same thing applies here. We don't want to make guests have anxiety.
You generally want to stick with a couple of colors and make sure that those colors are neutral. If you do this, your look will be timeless and you might never have to remodel again.
These might look cute in that home decor magazine, but there's really no reason for them. Room signs just take up space and make people wonder why they're being told they're in a kitchen when they can clearly see the sink and stove right in front of them. We get it, they kind of make you feel like you're in an industrial restaurant or a farmhouse, but the truth is you're probably not.
So, ditch the room signs and either put something more useful there or just leave some blank wall space. It'll draw people's eyes to more impressive parts of your kitchen.
Tuscan Style Kitchens
Yes, this is the one that's been shoved in just about every McMansion built over the last 10 years. Tuscan-style kitchens are exactly what they sound like: kitchens modeled off those in Tuscany. However, odds are you're probably not in Tuscany. So, stick with something a bit closer to home and get rid of the faux Tuscan style completely. They're just as tacky as the McMansions that they're so often thrown in.
They're also way overpriced. For the cost it would probably take to build or remodel in a Tuscan style, you could probably get something much nicer and more durable.
We're not really sure what the point of short backsplashes is other than to just save money. It's not like the spot above the short backsplash is never going to get dirty or need cleaning. If you're going to get a backsplash you might as well get an actual backsplash and ditch the concept of one that looks halfway done altogether. It'll look better and it'll also increase your home's value.
The last thing you want in your house is something that makes it look like you or someone else cut corners when remodeling or building, which is what a short backsplash makes it look like.
Industrial kitchens might seem tempting; they are after all somewhat modern looking. However, they're also a bit pretentious. Unless you're constantly having 20 people over for dinner or feeding the entire neighborhood there's no need for large appliances and enough stainless steel to build a small ship. On top of all that, industrial-style chairs are usually pretty uncomfortable and the last thing you want in your kitchen is something that follows form over function.
So, ditch the hanging pots, steel barstools, and island that looks like it came out of an industrial factory and go with something a bit more inviting.
Too Many Ferns
Don't get us wrong, a plant or two in the kitchen can be nice. It can liven up a space and add to the warmth, but too many and you risk looking like a crazy cat lady, but with plants. Don't overdo it with the ferns and keep most of them in the garden or on the porch where they belong. There are plenty of other options out there that do the same.
Also, they can just sit there gathering dust and any falling leaves are going to make it seem more like you are outside than actually in a kitchen, which nobody wants.
Sliding doors, or barn doors as they're often called, are inspired by those found on some farms. They're different from pocket doors in that they don't actually slide into a wall but along the outside of it. However, most houses aren't situated on a farm, which makes these doors look really out of place in most homes. It's the same principle as the Tuscan-style kitchens we looked at earlier. Only do as the Romans when in Rome.
Having barn doors in your kitchen only makes it look like you wished you were off on a farm somewhere raising cattle or sowing crops. Just go with a regular door for all your pantry needs.
This one is similar to the tumbled marble, only its travertine. However, the principle complaint here remains the same. They just look dirty and they make your kitchen look like it's straight out of the 2000s. While we love that era, it doesn't mean your kitchen has to take design cues from it. These types of tiles are also pretty good at soaking up water, meaning bacteria can more easily hide in them.
They also really remind us of the tiles you might see at a beach resort and you don't want your kitchen to look like that unless you actually live in a beach house.
Too Many Appliances
No, we're not saying you shouldn't own too many appliances. All we're saying is they don't belong on your counters 24/7. It makes everything look more cluttered and if you're like us, then you're probably not using all of those appliances enough to justify keeping them out. It doesn't take long to put them away after you wash dishes or finish cleaning the kitchen.
It's fine if you want to leave one or two out, but try not to pack and store as much as you can. This is especially true if the appliances don't necessarily match.
This one probably goes without saying but figurines don't belong in the kitchen. They really don't belong anywhere but especially not in the kitchen. They're pretty much the equivalent of garden gnomes. They just sit there and don't really do anything but make your space look tacky. If someone gave you one and you don't want to be rude, you can just keep it in the cabinet and pull it out anytime they come over to visit.
Otherwise, just get rid of them immediately. Imagine how nice that space will look when it's clean and uncluttered without a figurine of a small chef or cat or bird.
Using Mason Jars As Decorations
This one is sure to ruffle some feathers, but mason jars don't belong in your kitchen as decorations. With that said, there's absolutely nothing wrong with using them for their intended purpose, which is to can food. They even make good cups. However, that doesn't mean you need to go using them for everything from storing flour to hanging lights. They just make your kitchen look tacky when everywhere you look there's a mason jar being used for a different purpose.
So, keep those jars for canning and get rid of the ones that are just sitting there holding flowers, and most importantly, don't use them in your light fixture.
Okay, we know. With all of the countertop surfaces, we're telling you to stay away from you might be wondering what kind of countertop you should be looking at. They're out there, we promise. However, speckled granite is not one of them. It's outdated and worst of all they look dirty and tend to hide stains. This means that you're likely to miss a spot when cleaning and nobody wants that.
If you happen to have fake speckled granite then that's even worse. Not only is it outdated, but it's also not as durable and it also looks pretty fake if you look at it for more than two seconds.
Actually, while we're on the topic, just stay far, far away from tiled countertops as well. They make your kitchen look like a bathroom and that's the last thing you want this part of your home to remind people of. There are plenty of options out there that look much better and also do a better job of keeping your kitchen clean. The grout between the tiles is not the best for cleaning.
It can become easily worn away and provides refuge for bacteria if you don't scrub really hard, which in turn harms the grout. So, go with granite or hardwood instead.
Let's be honest. Nobody really likes having open shelves. The stuff on them gets dusty quickly and it's hard to properly clean unless you take everything down and clean it by hand after dusting. In addition, they usually don't hold anything of importance. There's no real need to display all of that stuff you own on a shelf so everyone can see it. It's the same principle as storing away all of your appliances.
If you do happen to have open shelves taking up a lot of space, then consider just adding more cabinets. You can never have enough cabinet space and you won't have to wash every time you're getting ready to prepare a meal.
Produce Or Farm Signs
This is where the descriptive sign and barn door posts meet. Farm-style signs are a little bit of both and as such, they have the same drawbacks. You're not running a farmer's market or milking cows out back so why would you put a farm-style sign in your kitchen? It might seem like a nice addition now, but it's likely just a trend and you're probably going to find yourself replacing it when you remodel your kitchen.
Again, just leave that space empty. An uncluttered space is a clean space. If you want you can put seasonal decor or something similar where that farm sign used to hang.
Brightly Colored Fridges
Remember when we said you probably shouldn't get all-white kitchen appliances earlier? Well, you shouldn't get brightly colored fridges either. If the color palette of your kitchen isn't exactly right then it's just going to look off. Even if it is right, then it's really just going to draw too much attention to a singular spot in your kitchen and your fridge is usually not where you want the attention to go.
Just stick with the stainless steel and leave the retro-inspired fridges for people that like to be "edgy". Of course, the same goes for other large appliances like stoves and microwaves.