9 Kitchen Design Trends to Leave Behind in 2023, According to Interior Designers

published Dec 30, 2023
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White Kitchen
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New year, new you, so they say. Well, I say that the current you is great, so don’t buy it. Kitchens, on the other hand, may benefit from an update. So what’s on the horizon for kitchen design trends, and what’s getting left behind in the new year? To find out which kitchen trends we can safely part ways with (and get a peek at what’s coming next year), we checked in with some top interior designers and kitchen experts. Here’s what they spilled. 

Credit: Joe Hendrickson / Getty Images

1. Picture-Perfect Kitchens

Are you tired of trying to make your kitchen look like the seen-one-seen-them-all, picture-perfect kitchens online? You don’t have to! “Instead of feeling like we need the same perfect showcase kitchen we see on Instagram or a home renovation TV show, the zeitgeist is moving into an era of personal, idiosyncratic design,” says Eva Jorgensen, an artist, designer, author, and travel expert. “When we create a kitchen that fits our own authentic needs, tastes, backgrounds, budgets, etc., the result ends up being so much more interesting and original.”

Eva bucked then-current trends a few years ago when it was time to replace some damaged butcher block counters. She opted for stainless steel on a hunch because “the price was right and I had a feeling it could turn out looking great. And it did! The stainless steel gives a bit of a mid-century and industrial vibe, which creates a nice tension with the more country-feeling blue and white tiles and wooden open shelves.” 

The moral of the story: “If you choose something because you love it and it works for you, even if it comes in and out of style over the years, you’ll keep loving it because it’s so true to you.”

Rotem Eylor, CEO of Republic Floor, seconded this idea of you being you in your kitchen. “The desire for kitchens with more personality will lead to more maximalist designs,” he says. “So kitchen layouts will start to lean away from simple looks and more towards looks with personalized expressions.” 

Credit: Joe Hendrickson / Getty Images

2. High-Contrast Kitchens

Remember when everybody painted their upper and lower cabinets different colors? Well, it’s time to forget it. Grab a brush, because a trend that is definitely on the way out is high-contrast kitchens, says designer Sarah Tract of Sarah Tract Interiors. “I expect this trend to evolve in 2024 to kitchens having a more cohesive color palette. Even if the kitchen is all one color, it should be continuous with the stone and hardware to create a monotone look.”

Ashley Stark, co-founder of Ashley Stark Home and creative director of STARK, agreed. “Colorful kitchens had a moment in 2023, but I love a neutral kitchen space with subtle variations of creams and grays. Benjamin Moore’s ‘Decorator’s White’ is one of my favorite hues for kitchens. It adds both brightness and calm to a space, allowing for other fixtures, appliances, and décor to make a statement.”  

Credit: John Keeble / Getty Images

3. All-White Kitchens

Not everyone believes white is a timeless selection for kitchens. “White kitchens are losing their popularity in households,” Rotem says. “Homeowners are now seeking livelier color palettes to show more personality within living spaces.” 

“The biggest trend leaving is the all-encompassing white kitchen,” McGarity says. “Color is coming back in a strong way. Clients are either choosing cabinets that are a rich dark wood tone again (think: walnut or mahogany, but not cherry wood tones of the ‘90s and early 2000s), or they’re painting walls a saturated color to contrast with lighter cabinetry. A lot of wood cabinets have been painted over in the last few years so homeowners will be finding ways to reinvent this look again by painting the walls.”

Credit: 10'000 Hours / Getty Images

4. Sprawling Lighting

Is it even a kitchen without a honking big island light or other massive fixture? Maybe not for long! “Over the last year, we found that many designers and homeowners with low kitchen ceilings have opted for either sprawling, multi-arm semi-flush mounts to provide the ambiance of a chandelier or petite, decorative spotlights for more task-oriented lighting,” says Sarah Speck, director of product strategy for Hudson Valley Lighting Group

Looking ahead, she says, designers will find new and exciting ways to use mini flush mounts in kitchens. “Gone are the days of trying to make your ugly recessed lighting recede into the background. Today, people are celebrating their petite ceiling and wall-mounted lighting by sourcing those with simple yet attractive designs in beautiful finishes and placing them in artful, yet practical, arrangements.”   

Credit: John Keeble / Getty Images

5. Single-Finish Metals

Honestly, choosing fixtures is so overwhelming I just skipped out entirely on cabinet hardware in my new kitchen. Luckily, McGarity provides some guidance. 

“Hardware is also pivoting,” she says. “Over the last few decades we’ve seen brass become dated and stainless or chrome surge. And now brass is on-trend again. Other finishes such as champagne gold will fall out of favor in 2024. There is a lot more freedom to mix metals. It’s very common to see multiple metal finishes in a kitchen now. This will continue.”

Credit: Lourdes Balduque / Getty Images

6. Pantries

Pantries are essential in a kitchen, no? Well, maybe actually just … no. “In 2024, I anticipate people moving away from a large kitchen pantry,” says interior designer Hilary Matt of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. In its place? She says people are opting for a secondary back kitchen, built-out butler’s pantry, or wet bar.

“While a simple kitchen pantry was once a popular trend, people are looking to create larger spaces that better serve their lifestyle needs,” Matt says. “These back rooms will be fully functional with everything from additional refrigeration and warming drawers to built-in coffee systems, wine storage, and dishwashers. Not only do these spaces add greater convenience when it comes to storage and preparation, but they also provide a great opportunity to have a bit more fun when it comes to design decisions.”

File this one under TBD, as not everyone is convinced. “In luxury homes there is a big movement to have one kitchen for show and an additional kitchen for prep and making messes,” says Laura B. McGarity, certified interior designer and design manager at ID&A. “This leads to a very spread-out work area. The same can be said for a pantry that is large enough to park a car. While seemingly desirable, this wreaks havoc on efficiency if you actually cook in your kitchen. I predict this trend will fade away after clients experience how the space functions.”

Other Things on Their Way Out in 2024

  • Farmhouse kitchens are now “basic,” says Rotem. “Again, homeowners are starting to incorporate personality within kitchens.” 
  • “With the improvements to induction cooktops, I think the focal point of kitchen hoods will become less dominant in kitchen design,” says McGarity. “Induction is here to stay and as clients move away from gas, this will influence the dominant feature in kitchen design.” 
  • “Darker tones will fade,” says Rotem. “Modern kitchens with matte finishes and sleek looks are not as desired as they once were; instead splashes of color are being brought back.”