Some design trends come and go while others become classics. Whether you are designing, building a new kitchen or renovating an existing one for your client, it is important to consider the longevity of the design.

Designers are free to be creative but not at the expense of their client’s needs. Keep in mind that kitchens are a big investment. You don’t want your clients coming back to you after a year or two complaining that their kitchen has become passé.

Before you lay your pencil to paper, consider the past design styles that are no longer popular or pleasant to look at. Here is a roundup of outdated kitchen trends and fads that you need to avoid.


1. Eccentric color schemes and appliances

During the 1970s, color schemes that used mustard orange and avocado green were all the rage. Pastel-colored appliances were the must-have items a few decades after that. Whatever year it is, at some point, other unusual color schemes and themes will be in vogue.

There is nothing wrong with integrating colors into the design but you must also keep in mind how the space will look and function after a few years. That candy orange fridge might be trendy now but after a few years, you or your clients might have difficulty looking for appliances that will go well with it.

A much safer option is to go for white, black or stainless steel kitchen appliances. If the space looks or feels too cold or bland with all the black, white and stainless steel components, you can add color and variety through dinnerware, decorations or even plants. These smaller elements are more readily available and cheaper to buy, allowing your client to pick and use different styles.

Going for the basics also means you can have kitchen sinks, taps and mixers, other appliances and accessories using the same colors and finishes. This way, your client will not have difficulty finding complementary components for the space now and in the future.

2. Microwave over the oven

For some time, it was common to find kitchens where the microwave is placed directly above the range or oven. Homeowners believed this was one way to save space.

This arrangement has since become outdated and impractical. Placing the microwave above the oven makes either appliance more difficult to access.

Instead, it would be better to place them along the side or in a nook. By doing so, all the residents can access and use the microwave even when somebody else is using the cooking range.

3. Overly detailed cabinets

The use of intricate details such as woodwork and brass fixtures can turn the kitchen space into a classical art piece. However, it can also make the space look dated.

Be careful about the details you use in a kitchen design. Some materials, patterns and details are associated with specific design periods and styles. To avoid making the kitchen look antiquated, avoid allowing any element to dominate or become the focus of the design.

4. Dark wood

Wood can make a space look warm, cozy and inviting. However, you need to be careful about the type and finish of the wood that you intend to use. Using dark woods such as cherry as the main material for kitchen surfaces can make the space look gloomy, cold and old.

When choosing wood, go for lighter-toned ones. This will give the space a fresh and airier feel.

5. Kitchen desk

For almost a decade, desks were being integrated into the kitchen space. The idea was that since the kitchen is a social space, then other tasks could be accomplished there as well. It had become common to build a mini home office a meter away from kitchen cabinets, the counter or even appliances.

With having a mini office or desk inside the kitchen, any person working there will not have any privacy. From the kitchen, residents and guests alike will see all the piles of paperwork and clutter on the desk. On the other hand, a person working at the desk is exposed to the sights, noises and smells of the kitchen.

Such an arrangement may not eventually work as planned, and can mostly inconvenience the person the work desk was intended for.

There’s no need to be too trendy

There are plenty of kitchen designs and styles out there on the market. When designing or building a kitchen for your client, be prudent in choosing what styles to use as inspiration to avoid following a fad that may not work out as intended.


Yahya Zarka is the Managing Director at Concept Bath Trading RAK FZE in Dubai. Backed with 28 years of experience in catering to the Middle Eastern market, the company supplies water-saving bathroom and kitchen solutions as well as tiles and LED light products, all delivered in high quality and stylish designs.