5 Kitchen Trends to Avoid in 2023, According to a Pro

published Jul 18, 2023
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Dish and decorations on open wooden shelves in white kitchen
Credit: tataks / Getty Images

In the moment, it’s easy to feel like our kitchen design choices will be amazing forever, especially when we’re seeing them all over the internet. It’s hard to imagine ever not loving those beautiful tiles, or that particular paint color.

I’m nearly finished with a to-the-studs-and-joists renovation of a kitchen that’s about a hundred years old (see it here), and peeling back the layers to find the vintage chartreuse green floral linoleum and the cartoony flower and vase wallpaper was a good reminder that yes, the pink and black glass panels on the Samsung Bespoke fridge I’m so excited to buy will likely make someone giggle one day. 

So, midway through the year, let’s take a look at what kitchen trends are on their way out, according to the pros. I talked with one of my favorite renovator-designers, Loree Beth Harris of Both Minds Design in Nashville, Tennessee, for the inside scoop on what’s overdone or otherwise past its prime as we pass the halfway mark of 2023. 

1. Countertop Appliances

Funny that even while there are more and more cool small appliances available to us now (I seriously heart my Wolf countertop oven!), we’re also in a period of transitioning away from having them on display in favor of cleared countertops, Harris says. 

“I would say that people are being a lot more thoughtful and intentional about keeping the kitchen kind of a clean, peaceful space,” she says. “And then having the chaos behind the curtain, whether that be a scullery or butler’s pantry. A lot of everyday appliances (think: coffee maker, microwave, toaster, blenders) are being tucked away because it does present a lot of clutter in a space that you spend the most time in.”

But what about our showpiece items? I also cherish my KitchenAid stand mixer, a gift from my mother-in-law many years ago. Those are safe from banishment, Harris says. In fact, the design is so pretty, she’s often known to specify them for clients in order to display them on the counter!

2. Open Shelving

Is the eternal debate over open shelving finally, well, over? Maybe. “It goes back to the same mentality of the clutter,” Harris says. “For a lot of people, open shelving just becomes a catch-all for a lot of things — especially if you have kids.” At her house, their kids like to use shelves for their Legos, she shares.

“I think people are just going back to having some beautiful, concealed storage with cabinetry, and maybe putting more into those details and more thought into the millwork, as opposed to having the open shelving.”

And where open shelving does appear, she says, it’s more about pretty ceramics, art, and greenery. 

3. Two-Tone Cabinetry

For years now we’ve been seeing upper and lower cabinets in different colors, or an island in a color that contrasts with the other cabinets. Those days may be waning, Harris warns.

“I feel like a lot of kitchens are going back to just keeping things simple, like using the same stain or the same paint color for all the cabinetry,” says Harris. “I love an all-wood kitchen; I just think it’s beautiful and natural and, of course, you want to bring in elements of contrast and different materials, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be with your cabinet colors.”

4. All-White Kitchens

On the flip side, we’ve all been awash in a white sea of monochromatic white kitchens. “It’s been a long, long run,” Harris says.

But now, she says, “We’re all craving character … people are really just craving some of the original character that was in the homes when they were built. There just weren’t any all-white kitchens that ever existed before people came up with this modern farmhouse trend that’s lingering on for dear life. So we can put that to rest for a while.”

5. Kitchens and Dining Areas Open to the Entire House

While Harris doesn’t see the open-concept floor plan disappearing anytime soon — especially for those living in a studio apartment — having the kitchen and dining room completely open to the rest of the main floor may be giving way to more structure, she says, especially when it comes to the dining room. 

“I am seeing more and more — and I’m very much for — delineated spaces like the dining room,” she says. “I’m very much pro having the dining room kind of separated from the main space. Being able to have those conversations in that smaller space, it just creates a level of intimacy that allows you to connect. There’s a certain ambiance in being able to walk into a room and kind of tuck yourself and sit down at the table and have a meal, as opposed to your dining room being exposed to every other room in the communal space where there’s so much distraction.”

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: 5 Kitchen Trends on Their Way Out This Year, According to an Interior Designer