These outdated kitchen trends should be left in 2022
The end of the year is a time for reflection, and nowhere else more than when it comes to our homes. It’s an opportunity to take stock of what we’re working with, as well as a time to think about new projects.
If you’re planning a kitchen renovation for 2023, undoubtedly you’ll be seeking out modern kitchen ideas to inspire your own space. When it comes to kitchens, you’re making a big investment, so making sure it’s a space that has longevity is key. It’s all well and good seeking out the kitchen trends that are big news right now, but by the time your kitchen is designed and installed, there’s a risk that those trends could be old news.
The solution might be to keep it timeless, or just make sure you’re ahead of the curve enough that you’ll have a kitchen you’ll love for years to come. Fortunately, kitchen trends are a little slower by nature, but for the uninitiated, it’s hard to know when you’re coming in on the tail-end of a trend that might soon be out of fashion.
To help you get to grips with not only what’s in, but what’s going out, too, we asked designers to tell us what they think the most overplayed kitchen trends are that they’d be happy to leave in 2022.
Hugh is the deputy editor of Livingetc.com, and an experienced homes and interiors journalist. To gauge the mood of what’s going to continue into 2023 with kitchen trends, he asked designers which trends they’re happy to see the back off this year.
7 outdated kitchen trends designers are confining to 2022
1. Basic field tiles
Field tiles get their name because they take up large fields of the view of your space – and going forward, designers have the feeling that keeping these plain and simple might just be a waste of prime real estate in your kitchen.
‘I feel like 2023 will be year where we let go of more basic field tile and will be introducing more dimensional or textured tiles that will add depth to our kitchens,’ says Kristen Pena of K Interiors (opens in new tab).
The kitchen trends we’re noticing seem to echo this idea, with textural tile replacing more classic designs as a way to add depth and dimension to a kitchen, rather than with outlandish cabinetry or countertops.
2. Carrara marble white kitchens
This one’s going to hurt. Carrara marble has been inextricably bound with the most stylish modern kitchens for so long, that it’s become almost a household name for anyone with a passing interest in home design – how many other types of marble can you name, after all?
Its soft grey veining means it’s a popular way to bring subtle texture and pattern, without disrupting a gentle, neutral scheme, but as interior designer Joan Enger of New Jersey-based design studio J. Patryce (opens in new tab) tells us, ‘the stark white kitchen and Carrara marble countertop have had their day.’
That’s not to say marble kitchens aren’t still going to be popular. ‘Stone will play a prominent role with more loud, interesting veiling,’ Kristen Pena adds. ‘Just less of these soft white marbles will be showcased.’
3. Colorful kitchen cabinets
For the longest time, the kitchen was a place for neutrals. It was a way to keep the design timeless, but ultimately bland. This paved the way for the trend for colorful kitchens with bright, exciting cabinetry that felt like a breath of fresh air for this traditionally color-starved room.
However, that novelty has started to wear thin. ‘We’re seeing the color trends go back to neutrals, such as whites, greys and natural tones,’ says Ahmad AbouZanat, interior designer and founder of PROJECT AZ, ‘and that applies to kitchen cabinetry as well.’ However, this doesn’t mean a return to boring spaces, as such, as designers find other ways to add interest. ‘The trend of brightly-colored cabinets is taking a back seat and instead we’ll see more accent hardware against either natural or very dark cabinet fronts,’ Ahmad adds.
4. Dark kitchen appliances
Black appliances in a kitchen have certainly been a trend in recent years. They bring a minimalism with them that streamlines them into simple dark blocks, with screens and buttons hidden until you need to use them, helping to reduce the visual clutter for a minimalist kitchen.
But, for all their qualities, those who have chosen black appliances often find that there are drawbacks, too. ‘The trend of dark appliances is one that I think is short-lived,’ says Ahmad. ‘Darker appliances require a lot more day-to-day maintenance and homeowners are mostly about having their spaces being more practical and easier to use.’
So what should you look at instead? ‘Those classic stainless finishes will always be present and more people are leaning towards investing in appliances that have visible accent hardware and a retro look (think Majestic stoves),’ he adds.
5. That on-trend Viola marble
So this particular interior design trend might have been one of our favorites of 2022, but as interior designer Joan Enger points out, it was ‘just about everywhere.’
‘The trend I saw most in 2022? The use of very dramatic Calacatta Viola,’ Joan says. ‘While I adore this stone, I think it became a copycat moment in design.’
On the plus side, it’s not, currently, a trend that’s easy to replicate outside of sourcing expensive marble, as quartz countertop manufacturers haven’t quite gotten as far as replicating its dark, dramatic marbling as of yet. But, as Joan points out, when a material becomes such a defining trend so quickly, it’s easy for it to fall out of favor just as quickly.
Joan, instead, is turning her attention to more unusual materials to create this wow factor. ‘I’ve welcomed the return of warm nickel and brass tones and am forever on the hunt for unique materials and warmer wood tones,’ the designer says. ‘We are embracing the return of more classic, timeless elements, which will hopefully allow for the “trends” to take a back seat.’
6. Faux finishes
Sometimes the biggest problem with slavishly following trends is that you look to include them somewhere they don’t really belong. The arched doors trend is a perfect case in point for 2022, where arches became one of the most popular motifs in both design and architecture.
However, according to designer Jessica Nelson (opens in new tab), this has lead to ‘arches where they don’t make sense architecturally’. For Jessica, it’s these “faux” finishes that really should be left in 2022, whether that’s arches or effect-Quartz countertops.
7. Pendant trios over islands
As long as the kitchen island has been the layout of choice for the modern kitchen, we’ve seen the classic trio of pendant lights hung above. This kitchen island lighting idea does the job, no doubt – they fill the space and are probably going to be the most budget-friendly approach to lighting this space. However, according to interior designer Ahmad AbouZanat, it might make your kitchen look less modern, too.
‘In modern spaces, replace the multi-pendants hanging over one kitchen island with a more minimalist or linear light over the island. This will have a subtle look yet they’re very functional and distribute light evenly over the countertop space,’ he explains.