Kitchen Fads that are better left forgotten

Kitchen Fads that are Better Left Forgotten

The kitchen has undergone drastic change over the past few decades, with numerous fads taking centre stage over the years. As one of the most expensive rooms in the house, and with fads coming and going constantly, it is much wiser to stick to classic kitchens that won’t age or go out of trend quickly. When making such a large investment, you need to ensure you’ll get your money’s worth by designing a kitchen that will stand the test of time and won’t become outdated before you’ve even had a chance to settle in. This is especially true if you think you might sell/move out sometime in the future – in this case, you need to think about how you’ll get the highest return on your investment and appeal to the most people.

While there are certain parts of the kitchen that are okay to play around with like lighting fixtures, smaller kitchen appliances and furniture – things that can easily be changed as trends come and go – if you try and get trendy with your flooring, kitchen worktops, kitchen cabinets or larger appliances, you are going to pay for it when this particular style fades. If you’re looking for inspiration on timeless and elegant styles, take a look at our stunning kitchen designs.

We’ve had a look at kitchen styles and fads over the past 5 decades, and the styles that were once all the rage, that are now better left forgotten…These should serve as a warning that fashionable trends often do not age well!



In the 1950s, pastels were right on trend, with kitchen cabinets and walls painted colours like mint green, pale yellow, pink and baby blue.

Linoleum was the number one choice for flooring, with bright, intricate patterns taking centre stage –  this was the decade that saw the infamous retro linoleum checkerboard flooring (what we now call the American Diner style).

Colourful Formica kitchen counters were all the rage, alongside floral or multi-coloured wallpaper.



During this decade, texture was in; and in a big way, with the popcorn ceiling taking centre stage.

Kitchens were still dominated by colour with the infamous ‘Harvest Gold’ and ‘Avocado Green’ extending to kitchen units, kitchen counters and large appliances. Mustard yellows, oranges, reds, and greens all combined to create some truly scary colour combinations.

Alongside this, bold prints dominated the kitchen –  vinyl wall paper covered fridges and backsplashes, while psychedelic patterned tiles, wallpaper, and vinyl flooring were in fashion.



The 1970s saw a continuation of 60s colours – If things weren’t orange, brown, or olive green, they weren’t worth having.

The decade also saw a growing popularity of dark wooden kitchen cabinets and wall panelling. Dark wood was also in the furniture, with wooden dining chairs often placed around a small kitchen table.

Wallpaper and linoleum floors were also still fashionable, with geometric or floral patterns spreading due to the disco culture of the ‘70s.


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Thankfully, this decade saw kitchens relax on the colour front with black and gold dominating.

As the work culture of the ‘80s was incredibly strong, the idea of the ‘eat in office’ came into being. Kitchens were suddenly host to bulky desks loaded with work, phones and the new computer – cluttered kitchens were becoming a reality.

The ‘80s also saw an increase in the popularity of tile countertops – one trend we can be very sure should not be repeated again – while less expensive, maintenance is a nightmare (something you’ll know if you’ve ever tried to clean grout out of a horizontal surface).



The ‘90s saw a rise in home technology, growing from the ‘80s. More and more kitchens include desk cabinets for work and computers – wasting space and creating clutter.

Thankfully, after the garishness of the previous two decades, style took an extreme turn toward simplicity. However, this was often taken to far, leaving some kitchens looking boring and lifeless –  light oak kitchen cabinets, white tile floors, and white appliances left kitchens lacking personality.

Since the turn of the century, kitchens have been fairly consistent – while various smaller fads have come and gone, with many of the lessons of previous decades learned, simplicity seems to have remained popular with more relaxed, neutral kitchen designs dominating.

If you’re looking for an expert opinion and advice on how to avoid temporary trends and design a kitchen that will stand the test of time and remain classy and appealing over decades to come, get in touch with Optiplan Kitchens. With a range of kitchen showrooms across the UK, come in for a free consultation to see how you can avoid kitchen designs built on fad, choosing from our range of stunning traditional and contemporary kitchen designs and beautiful kitchen worktops .

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