9 Kitchen Design Trends That Will Disappear in 2020

published Dec 15, 2019
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We don’t want to brag, but you can show us any kitchen and we can guess, within a few years or so, when it was built or renovated (we know … it’s a cool party trick) — because kitchen design, like fashion and other home decor, usually follows trends that come and go. One minute avocado-green refrigerators are cool, and the next they’re incredibly dated. Ditto: linoleum flooring. And same with cane furniture — only that’s come, gone, and recently come back again.

With 2020 approaching, we thought we’d take a look at a few past-their-prime styles that are ready to be retired … at least until the trend inevitably comes back around.

Credit: Amelia Lawrence/Kitchn

1. Marble

Let us clarify — we’re talking about the actual stone, not the look of marble. With its unique striations and coloring, it will forever look good in a kitchen or bathroom. Real marble countertops come with a lot of issues, though. They need to be resealed every few years; can scratch, chip, or stain; and are porous so heat and even certain cleaners be problematic if used incorrectly. The reason for its exit? There are more durable options available — like quartz, butcher block, or even granite. 

2. All-White Kitchens

You can’t really go wrong with a white kitchen, but it’s boring and the design world is over it. Where’s the personality? Instead of all-white kitchens, we’re seeing bold cabinets, wood tones, or, at the very least, texture.

3. Subway Tiles

There’s nothing offensive about subway tiles — it’s just that they’ve been so overdone, redoing your kitchen and including them just feels like overkill. There are many other cool ways to create a backsplash. Why not try a different shape, a handmade tile, or even a slab of stone instead?

4. Industrial-Style Statement Lighting

Heavy, oversized pendant lighting had a moment, but the industrial style has come and gone in favor of something a little lighter and more understated. The new style lets the rest of the kitchen shine and doesn’t obstruct the view in an open-concept room. Tip: Be sure to always pay attention to the scale of your lights compared with your counters, cabinets, or kitchen island. 

Credit: Esteban Cortez

5. Pot Racks

They look gorgeous if you have a collection of copper pots like Martha Stewart. For the rest of us, though, our mismatched, more utilitarian cookware doesn’t need to be displayed. Looks aside, the real problem with pot racks is that they let dust collect all over your cookware. No one wants to evict a family of dust bunnies when they go to use a pot or pan — or worst-case scenario you stop using your cookware because it’s out of reach. Either way, don’t bother hanging one of these in your kitchen. 

6. Stainless Steel Appliances

Now that there’s a wide range of finishes available for your appliances, you can forget stainless steel. Yes, we know it’s considered a classic, but it’s practically impossible to keep clean. With all of the other options there are (including panels that hide appliances altogether), why waste your time and energy trying to keep fingerprints off your stainless steel? Black stainless didn’t even exist 10 years ago, and who knows what else manufacturers will come up with next year!

7. Plaster walls

Yes, they were all over our Instagram these last few years. Do not give in. It’s hard to imagine, but plaster walls will look incredibly dated very soon. Plus, they’re a pain to keep clean and can stain very easily. Not great for a room where things can splash or splatter occasionally.

Credit: Jodie Johnson/Stocksy

8. Barn Doors

Honestly, these were probably on their way out a few years ago — and now it’s official. They’re just too overdone and only really make sense in a very certain type of home.

9. Open-Concept Kitchens

People used to be all about knocking down walls and opening up ALL THE SPACE. Now, we see the error of our ways and we want our walls back. People have gotten tired of looking at piles of dirty dishes while they sit on the couch, or putting their heads on throw pillows that smell like last night’s dinner.

What are the trends that you do NOT want to see in 2020? Discuss in the comments below!