The 12 Best (and Worst) Kitchen Trends from Every Decade
So, you’ve heard Newstalgia—a design trend that takes vintage furnishings and modernizes it with luxurious finishes and top-of-the-line tech—is predicted to be everywhere in kitchen design for 2022. But that doesn’t really tell us which bygone trends are worth resurfacing. Sure, we can all agree that avocado cabinets from the ‘70s should be left in the past. But when it comes to kitschy patterns from the ‘60s or shabby chic furnishings from the ‘90s, things tend to get a bit murky. Not to mention that planning a kitchen remodel is hard enough; you don’t want to shell out all that cash, only to have something that feels dated and tacky a couple years from now.
Luckily, we’re here to clear up any confusion. Read on for a roundup of the 12 best and worst kitchen trends from 1950 to 2010.
BEST: SMEG APPLIANCES
Because where would we be without our Smeg electric kettles? Hats off to Vittorio Bertazzoni, who founded the company in 1948.
WORST: CANDY COLORS AND CABINETTES
You see that sliding, glass door cabinet above? It’s actually called a cabinette—and, as if that wasn’t bad enough, it was often paired with candy-colored accents in shades of green, red, blue, pink and yellow.
WORST: PLAID-PATTERNED WALLPAPER
Of course, not all of the ‘60s prints were keepers. Recognize this kitchen? We know you do, Mad Men fans. And we can’t say we were disappointed to see Don trade the plaid walls above for a chic, sunken living room in season five.
BEST: CANE, WICKER AND RATTAN ACCENTS
Fact: This year’s trends are all about resurfacing organic, natural materials from the ‘70s. Oh, how we love you, organic modern interiors.
WORST: AVOCADO GREEN EVERYTHING
Need we say more?
BEST: GREENERY AND HANGING PLANTERS
Another boho, boomer staple that Gen Z can’t seem to get enough of. Look to your elders, people.
WORST: WOOD, WOOD AND MORE WOOD
OK, maybe we spoke too soon. For the life of us, we cannot understand why ‘80s kitchens were swarming with cherry wood and Chippendale everything. We can almost hear the termites plotting their attack in the photo above.
BEST: SHABBY CHIC FURNISHINGS
Yet another iconic television set. We’re not sure if Friends sparked the onset of antique, cottagecore-style furnishings, or if the show just contributed to it. Either way, we are *here* for this look (seriously, does it get any sweeter than this)?
WORST: GLASS BLOCK BACKSPLASHES
Suddenly, our subway tile doesn’t seem so bad. Also, is it just us, or is it some kind of rule that everyone over the age of 65 has a glass block wall somewhere in their homes?
Best: MODERN FARMHOUSE
You can just bury those antique brass fixtures with us when we die (because we’re never letting go of them).
WORST: TUSCAN OPULENCE
There’s a time and place for terracotta (read: this backsplash trend is actually timeless), but it shouldn’t take over the entire kitchen. And also, why did we go so overboard with the cornices, wine bottle decor and pairing dark wood with yellow? Tuscan style is beautiful, but everything in moderation, people.