Let's face it - kitchens are expensive to renovate, so getting the design right is important. After all, you don't want to remodel your room only to find that you've created a layout including the exact outdated kitchen trends to avoid.
Knowing which kitchen trends have longevity and which looks are just a flash in the pan is a good place to start. As well as creating a stylish setup, having a classic decor increases the long-term value of a home and makes it more appealing to buyers - great if moving house is on your mood board in 2024.
To help you make the right call, we reached out to industry experts to find out the kitchen schemes that will sizzle or fashions that will fizzle out over the next year.
Outdated kitchen trends to avoid
Achieving a kitchen that has style and substance is a tough balancing act. Weighing up your options with both of these points in mind will ensure that you'll love your kitchen layout now and in the future.
1. Handleless doors
When it comes to modern kitchen ideas, handleless cupboards are a popular choice. Inspired by Italian interiors, the clean lines and architectural aesthetic had us at hello, but we’ve since noticed some things we’d like to say ciao to.
Firstly, while fixture-free fronts look fashionable, they’re not as functional as we’d hoped. They can be hard to grip, so they’re often difficult for older family members or little ones to use. Secondly, it’s all too easy for crumbs and grime to build on the metal profiles, which makes cleaning more challenging.
Our solution: stick to handles. Slimline designs on a simple, slab door offer the same contemporary look. This idea is also more ergonomic and hygienic. Perfecto.
2. Orange oak units
Like everyone else, we used to be obsessed with orange oak cupboards because of their natural appearance and warmth. Now, they look outdated and are hard to match to other features.
'You're limited with the furniture you can integrate into these kitchens because the wood needs to match the cabinets for a harmonious feel,' explains Ruth Lavender, design expert at Benchmarx.
If you want to stick to timber-effect decor, opt for natural oak or sandstone units, as they have a more neutral look that's easier to style.
No money for a makeover? A lick of paint is a budget-friendly way to give your units a fresh lease of life. Just make sure you thoroughly clean the cupboards to remove dirt before priming and painting.
3. Cabinet skirting boards
We won't skirt around the issue - the skirting boards for the bottom of your kitchen cupboards need to go. Once a practical way to hide unsightly cabinet legs, these panels have become more of a hindrance than a help over time.
'Whether from mops and vacuums, or pets and toddlers, skirting boards are constantly being kicked, scratched, and dented,' says William Durrant, owner of Herringbone Kitchens. 'It's annoying, looks messy, and it’s hard to fix without replacing the entire piece.'
Instead, opt for solid units that go to the floor. As well as giving a clean finish, there's less chance of knocks and bumps, so your kitchen will look newer for longer.
4. Open-plan layouts
Open-plan kitchen ideas were once loved for creating one, spacious zone where the whole family could hang out. However, now that we’re using our homes for working, exercising, and hosting, privacy has become more of a priority.
So, what’s the answer? Broken plan layouts. 'These kitchens retain the roomy feel of an open-plan scheme, but use freestanding furniture, sliding doors, and shelving to create distinct areas for cooking, working, and entertaining,' says Ruth.
'If you’re still unsure how to plan this look, book a free design consultation or use our handy visualiser on our website, and we’ll bring your ideas to life.'
5. Granite worktops
We'll admit it - granite was our go-to choice for kitchen worktop ideas, thanks to its natural look and hard-wearing qualities. However, as each piece is unique, creating a cohesive finish is harder.
Plus, there are just not as many colour options as we'd like, so it's difficult to find a design that suits every decor.
Our counter suggestion: quartz. It has a similar stone appearance and durability, but offers better consistency in tone and pattern. This material is also stain and scratch-resistant, making cleaning a breeze for those on the go.
6. Matt black hardware
Everyone's been bonkers for black hardware over the last few years, and it's easy to see why. Equal parts edgy and sophisticated, dark fixings, like handles, taps, and hinges, made it easy to elevate our interiors quickly and cheaply.
The trouble is that black is an intense tone that can overpower a space if not done right. Also, with daily wear and tear, this colour tends to fade over time, giving a subdued rather than sultry finish.
Gunmetal or brushed-nickel fixtures are great alternatives, as they have the same deep hue and a more subtle appearance. These shades also have staying power, ensuring your scheme looks good year in, and year out.
7. Matching appliances
There's nothing that we love more than matching appliances. Coordinating kettles and toasters in fun colours is a great way to add a pop of colour to a kitchen, but what happens when one item in a set needs replacing?
'Although having uniform and colourful appliances has become a popular trend, it's worth considering the longevity of these items as they'll need replacing after a couple of years,' says Ruth.
Consider adding long-lasting devices, like an instant boiling water tap or integrated appliance instead.
'These features will require more planning than standalone alternatives, however, they'll truly take your layout to the next level,' adds Ruth. 'They'll also keep surfaces uncluttered, making this one of my favourite small kitchen ideas.'
8. Plinth lights
It's lights out for plinth lighting. Once a cool way to add glow to a kitchen, kickboard lights have fallen out of favour with design experts as trends move towards layered and task-orientated styles.
William agrees and says homeowners are switching off from these once-adored illuminations. 'Although plinth lighting looks lovely at certain times of the day, it's not practical for everyday tasks, like food prep or cleaning.'
Spotlights and wall-hanging lights are trendier kitchen lighting ideas that create a modern look and make it easier to see what you're doing, day or night.
What are the kitchen trends for 2024?
Multifunctional features and flexible designs are the top kitchen trends for 2024. The kitchen has evolved into a room catering to many activities, including cooking, working, and relaxing. So, it makes sense that many of us are looking for spaces that serve several purposes.
'The trends coming through for 2024 embody this shift, as homeowners look to create kitchens that fulfil a wide range of needs,' says Ruth.
'The running theme through all of the trends we're seeing is the notion of people wanting their kitchen to work for them and their family – whether as a place to entertain, work, or create calm.'
What is the latest style for kitchens?
Comfort, cosiness, and character are key themes for interiors this year, so warm colours and statement features will be the latest style for kitchens.
'Earthy colours, like deep plum, are shades to watch out for in 2024,' explains William. 'They pack a punch and can be combined with pastels for a striking yet soothing scheme.'
Meanwhile, natural materials, like stone and timber, will continue to be go-to choices for adding visual interest and unique textures to a space for that all-important intimate feel.
Did any of these outdated ideas on our list surprise you?
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Alisha Solanki is a freelance writer obsessed with all things interiors. Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Coventry University in 2016, she started her career in the editorial team at Howdens, where she fell in love with writing about interiors. Having recently bought her first new-build home, Alisha is currently furnishing it with a mix of modern and Indian-inspired pieces that reflect her rich heritage.
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