4 Kitchen Cabinet Trends on Their Way Out in 2024

published Jan 20, 2024
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There’s always a feeling when it comes to starting a new year — a feeling of starting fresh and looking at things with new eyes. For some reason, 2024 feels especially so, and I don’t think that’s just me.

I’ve been devouring the gorgeous book Uncommon Kitchens by Sophie Donelson; it leapt out at me because the stove on the cover is the bright red Bertazzoni I cherished at my old house, but it was the premise of looking at kitchen design in a new way that compelled me to order it. In the first few pages, Donelson addresses the adherence to stainless steel appliances and white and neutral kitchens that have washed over all of our feeds since the flip frenzy of the 2000s. We’re nearing a golden era of kitchen design, she says, where we give more weight to how we feel in our kitchens than how some imaginary future buyer will view it. 

It was great timing to come across this book while working on this article, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of our experts shared takes that echoed sentiments from Donelson and her book. I’ve designed a good number of kitchens, including the one where I’m sitting right now, and have often leaned toward some pretty individualistic design choices, even when that bucked “trends” (purple walls, that bright red stove, black cabinets — don’t worry, not all in the same kitchen). So, it’s really encouraging to see glimmers of a future where all of our kitchens don’t look like an AI-generated composite of trending images on Pinterest (no shade, of course). With that, here are the cabinet trends that our kitchen and interior design experts predict are out for 2024. 

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1. Trends themselves are over

“My first thought is that the trend to avoid is trends themselves,” says Isabella Patrick, principal at Isabella Patrick Interiors, Inc. in New York City. 

Trend is such a loaded word,” she says. “Some ‘trends’ are timeless, like carrara marble or navy blue cabinets. Both of these items have ‘trended’ at one or two or more points in time. But in my opinion, they are forever classics. This is where hiring a designer with a unique point of view is imperative in creating the home or space that reflects who YOU are, trends or no trends. (Whatever ‘trend’ means, anyway!).”

Patrick suggests asking yourself, when you’re making a cabinet design (or any design) decision: “Would you love it even if it wasn’t a trend? Will you love it in five years?” If you’re unsure, this is where she recommends working with a good designer who “will know when and how and where to use the proper materials, when and how and where to suggest something a little wild or unexpected, and will know how to pull it all together to create a space that transcends any label other than ‘this space is so you.’”

Credit: John Keeble / Getty Images

2. All built-in everywhere all the time is behind us

“One cabinet trend that we will see less of in 2024 is cabinetry that is all built-in to the room,” says Kerri Pilchik of Kerri Pilchik Design in Ridgewood, New Jersey.  

Take kitchen islands, for example, she says. They “will look more like freestanding pieces of furniture, and less heavy and bulky. Think tall, airy legs or farmhouse tables in lieu of a built-in island.”

As I sit at just such a table in my own new kitchen, I admit I was happy to hear that. For me, it was a personal preference, so I wondered why the professional felt this way. “I think we are moving away from all built-in kitchens as people want them to look more like living rooms and less like utility rooms,” Pilchik says. “The Brits also have had a lot of influence lately on kitchens, and they almost never install all built-in cabinetry.”

(If you, too, have binged — and drooled over — For the Love of Kitchens with the U.K.-based deVOL, then you 100% get it. I shamelessly stole inspiration for my own kitchen from the deVOL creative director’s own home!)

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3. Hyper-modern kitchens are giving way to cozy

“One noticeable trend I’ve been seeing is clients leaning away from hyper-modern kitchens (i.e., clean, slab-front cabinet fronts),” says Elaine Thompson, an NYC & Charleston, South Carolina-based interior designer and the principal behind Pistachio Designs. “Even a slimmer shaker-style front (like my team used in this recent project) is preferred to add a bit of character and charm versus anything too stark.” And why, exactly, are experts eschewing the ultra-modern spaces? 

“I’m definitely finding that clients are ready to lean into the ‘coziness’ that a less modern kitchen can bring — a bit more of that lived-in feel,” Thompson says. (Because, after all, as I’m reminded again and again in Uncommon Kitchens, our kitchens ought to be rooms first, and kitchens second.) 

Credit: Joe Hendrickson/Getty Images

4. Navy and forest green cabinet colors are staying behind

Although Patrick said navy is “timeless,” not every designer agrees. The specific hues of navy and forest green have “been on the way out for a few years now, but we’ve finally crossed the threshold of saturation, aka boring,” says Heather DiSabella, principal of D.C.-based Heather DiSabella Interior Design.

So, what is on tap when it comes to kitchen cabinet colors? “I want to see more plum, deep red, and even marigold tone cabinets in kitchens,” she says. “Warm tones bring a deep richness that can be paired with neutrals to soften the color palette. These tones have something to say — a story to tell, so to speak. Navy and green cabinets tend to feel safer, more crowd-pleasing, which ultimately feels generic. Adding color to your cabinets gives your kitchen a more unique, bespoke look.”

Mother-daughter team Sharon Falcher and Sherica Maynard of Interior Design by S&S in Atlanta agree on blue’s departure. “Navy has been a trend for the past couple of years as the deep cozy kitchen contrast go-to color without going as dramatic as black,” Falcher says. “Clients are now more willing to go for it when it comes to contrast and commit to a shade in the black family for cabinet color.

“Going for it” — I couldn’t have said it better myself. I love it, and think that should be the new trend to replace them all.