7 Dated Kitchen Trends That Make Your Home Look Old-Fashioned

Posh Pennies
by Posh Pennies

Today, we're talking about dated kitchens and the trends dating them. Builders and architects loved to put weird angles in homes back in the day. Let's look at the angles, among other strange elements, that can make your kitchen look dated.

Angled island in the kitchen

1. Angled islands

No element was safe from this obsession, and the kitchen island was no exception. In the good old days, they couldn't fathom having linear, perfectly rectangular islands.

At least one corner of the island had to be angled if you wanted that open-concept kitchen. There were a lot of variations of the weirdly angled island. Sometimes, they were a little shy and just snipped off the tips of the corners.

Angled kitchen island

Sometimes, they were triangular islands, and sometimes, the whole island itself would be diagonal, creating even more of a dynamic layout.

Of course, structural elements such as columns or load-bearing walls occasionally influenced the placement of said weird angles. But a lot of the time, I think people just like the novelty of having bizarre, diagonal elements in their kitchens.

Double height counter example 1

2. Double height counters

Another dead giveaway that your kitchen is a relic from the turn of the century is double height counters. This trend was big in the 90s and persisted well into the 2000s when having a standalone center island or peninsula with two different level countertops seemed like the pinnacle of kitchen design.

It was thought that two different heights would create distinct areas where people sitting at the bar could hang out in the kitchen but not be directly involved in the main cooking activities.

Double height counter example 2

So, the food prep area was segregated from the other people that were in the vicinity.

Part of the appeal of this arrangement was that you could also hide the mess on your counter from your guests while cooking and entertaining. I know there are still many people who like the dual-height counter, but I think they generally make a kitchen look smaller and feel much more boxed in. I prefer the newer tendency to have islands and peninsulas on one level with the rest of the kitchen's work surfaces.

I think it's more functional and streamlined, and encourages a more sociable atmosphere.

Double basin kitchen sinks

3. Double basin kitchen sinks

There was a time and a place for double basin sinks, and in my opinion, that time has passed. One of the primary purposes of double bowl sinks was to streamline dishwashing by hand. So you'd have one basin with soapy water for washing the dirty dishes and the other basin which you'd use for rinsing.

With the advent of the dishwasher, we no longer have this need. The only things I ever need to wash by hand are the large things that don't fit in the dishwasher, and you know what doesn't make washing large things easy? A double basin sink.

Double basin sink

The other argument favoring the double basin sink is that you can better separate foods or tools at risk of contaminating other foods. So, you have the possibility of segregating different types of activities to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.

Again, with the boxed-in segregation of kitchen-y tasks. Why complicate matters with unnecessary duplication?

Glass tile backsplash example 1

4. Glass tile backsplashes

I'm specifically referring to the thin, rectangular glass tiles, which were often staggered and came in very highly contrasting colors, like, for example, dark brown paired with lighter tans and beiges or black, gray, and white, or various shades of blue. The repetitive pattern can overwhelm a kitchen space and create a sense of visual fatigue.

Glass tile backsplash example 2

A backsplash like this doesn't give your eye anywhere to rest. This type of tile also lacks design versatility, making it less flexible when adapting to changing design trends.

Busy backsplash paired with busy countertop

5. Busy backsplashes paired with busy countertops

Mixing patterns can look amazing. I am not against it, but pairing dark, super-busy granite patterns with tiny, multicolored tiles was too much.

Granite patterns with multicolored tiles

If you've got this combination in your kitchen and agree that it looks dated but you're not sure how to deal with it, consider replacing one of the busy patterns with something more neutral and toned down so that there isn't this constant competition going on.

The least expensive way to do this is to use tile paint on the backsplash. I'm not sure how well peel-and-stick tiles would work on top of other tiles. Some say it works; some say it doesn't. I've never done it, so I don't know, but that's also something that you could try.

As for the counters, I know some would say to use contact paper. I don't think this generally looks very good, but if you can pull it off, that could be a solution for you.

Tuscan-themed kitchen

6. The Tuscan-themed kitchen

This style was all the rage 20-odd years ago. North American Tuscan-themed kitchens comprised lots of heavy, ornate wooden cabinetry, an abundance of unnecessary arches, corbels, crown molding, fancy countertop edges, wrought iron accents, and oil-rubbed bronze hardware.

The decor often involved roosters, paintings, and wine. When you take the individual elements of the North American version of the Tuscan kitchen, they're not all that different from an authentic country kitchen you'd find in Tuscany.

The key difference is that all the materials used in the North American version were new, whereas the materials you'd find in a villa in Tuscany would be several hundreds of years old.

Tuscan-style kitchen

All these new materials combined all at once was like Tuscany on steroids. I would suggest we leave the rustic Tuscan kitchens in Tuscany and never speak of this trend again.

Overhead pot racks

7. Overhead pot racks

I can appreciate the thinking behind the overhead pot rack. You've got everything right there and ready to go while you work your culinary magic.

Cluttered overhead pots and pans

But I think it can look cluttered, and I'd rather have pendant lights over my island.

Realistically, this look only really works if your pots and pans always look impeccable. If the bottoms of your pots and pans are crusty and discolored, the look doesn't work well. It was another one of those unrealistic trends that looked nice but were not functional for most people,

Dated kitchen trends

Let me know in the comments what is one thing you always notice in dated kitchens that makes it look dated. What have you done to upgrade your kitchen? Share your projects in the comments.

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2 of 106 comments
  • MARIE Given Given MARIE Given Given on Feb 15, 2024
    Most of your ideas are great, but like others have said here, not everyone can make all these changes just to be "trendy" unless you're about to sell your home..then most of these changes are important. We need to evaluate what you've said and decide for ourselves what we want to /or can change based on our budgets. Then be sure to call a good decorator or designer to be sure that, with their contacts and creativity it is done with quality products and done properly. Marie GivenPanache` Interiors, Woodstock GA.
  • Margaret Margaret on Feb 16, 2024
    IMO, another issue with pot racks is that the pots will accumulate dust, and if they're over the stove, they'll probably get greasy also.