These 13 Kitchen Remodel Trends Are Actually Ruining Your Home

Illustration: Julia Abbonizio/Getty Images

Kitchens get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to renovation projects, and deservedly so: They’re consistently ranked the most popular room to renovate by companies like Houzz and Fixr simply because they’re one of the most used rooms in the home.

That said, not all kitchen remodel projects are warranted. There are plenty of trendy new features that revel in vanity rather than adding functionality. So when does an add-on cross the line from beautiful into impractical? Ahead, design pros share over-the-top kitchen remodel trends (and a few downright silly ones) that are causing more destruction than sophistication.

1. Pot fillers

Perhaps pot fillers are a feature you’d add to your dream kitchen; plenty of celebs flaunt them in their home tours. But Gabriela Narvaez, general contractor and founder of Guild Properties, reasons that these above-the-stove faucets don’t add the much-needed functionality you think they do.

“Unless you’re regularly cooking Thanksgiving-level meals every weekend, or you’re renovating a commercial kitchen, I think pot fillers are yet another expensive kitchen trend that won’t save you more than a couple seconds of your time,” she explains. “And remember, you still need to dump that water…in a nearby sink!”

2. High-gloss cabinets

While they may look stunning as morning sunlight streams in, high-gloss cabinets can create more trouble than they’re worth. “They show every fingerprint and splash of grease,” insists Kiva Brent, a Pittsburgh-based interior stylist. “You’ll never be able to quickly cook anything again because you’ve got at least 15 minutes worth of cabinet cleanup each time.”

3. Double islands

Cozy interiors mastermind Nancy Meyers garnered a lot of attention a few years back when she revealed photos of her kitchen with not one but two islands. It’s a risk some kitchen remodelers are willing to take, but Bethany Adams of Bethany Adams Interiors finds them to be completely nonsensical. “The amount of extra footwork it would take to figure-eight around two islands in the course of cooking—or even serving—would be ludicrous,” she says. “In terms of entertaining, if your kitchen is large enough to encompass two islands, surely you have a decently sized dining room in which to feed these starving hordes who are flocking to your two islands.”

According to Adams, there is one scenario where double islands might make sense: If you run a cooking school or daycare out of your home, which she says “is unlikely if you can afford a kitchen large enough to fit two massive islands.”

4. Extending your cabinets to the ceiling

Before you get upset about ceiling-height cabinets being unwise, read carefully. Brent acknowledges this is a controversial take, but it comes with a caveat. “If you have standard height ceilings, I 100% support this,” she says. “If you have taller ceilings, shifting your cabinets up is simply impractical. You’ll have to get on a ladder to access your pantry goods, which will likely end up in food waste because you literally and figuratively lose sight of what you have.”

5. Integrated appliances

There is certainly beauty in installing built-in appliances into your kitchen. But custom installations aren’t for the faint of heart, say Jordan Slocum and Barry Bordelon, the restoration team better known as the Brownstone Boys.

“Hidden or integrated appliances can be super visually pleasing, but come with a unique set of issues,” they say. “Because they’re custom, you may have a harder time repairing or replacing these appliances. Also, whenever you decide it's time to move or renovate, you’ll have to redo your appliances as well.”

6. Natural stone counters

Attractive countertops are a key component of an eye-catching kitchen. But why select materials that come with a side of headaches? Natural stone counters, like white marble and porous limestone, need to be treated with a high-quality sealer or else they’ll etch and stain. Brent reasons that etches will often happen no matter how carefully you maintain them.

“[White marble] will only look pristine on day one, so if you are concerned about stains that could come with time, go with a more reliable option such as marble-looking quartz, which provides the same look but is stain-resistant and easier on the pocketbook,” says Gena Kirk, vice president of corporate studio at KB Home, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders.

Think about how many people will be using your kitchen on a daily basis before opting for marble. “If you aren’t willing to reseal your counters or prevent spills from red wine and lemon juice, marble or other natural stones may not be right for your kitchen,” says Sarah Latham of Latham Interiors.

7. Open shelving

Open shelving is everywhere, yet so is dust. While they look lovely when they’re styled well, Kirk argues open shelves require copious maintenance, get very dusty, and always have to look photo-ready—something you don’t have to worry about with closed cabinets.

“There are kitchens with open shelves beneath [the counter], with no cabinet doors and your organized serveware on public display,” says Antares Yee, founder and creative director of design studio Sun at Six. “The obvious issue is dripping water, flying sauces, and dribbling grease. But the real kicker is to display the innards of every last drawer openly and see that it’s meticulously organized and clean. It makes you ask: Are these people robots?”

8. All new everything

As you sit down with a contractor to plot out your revamped kitchen, you might be tempted to spring for new cabinets, counters, appliances, floors, paint, and more. Chicago-based designer Corey Lohmann suggests taking a step back and maintaining some of your kitchen’s original features. Wiping out a perfectly nice (and practical) feature might be the most impractical move of all. “Sometimes it’s totally OK to keep features that are true to the original design of the home or have some character,” she says.

9. Low-back stools

If the island is the heart of the kitchen, the island’s seating is its soul. Counter stools should be comfortable places to dine, socialize, and linger—not rigid blocks to teeter on. Brent rejects sculptural low-back or no-back counter stools. “They are uncomfortable, so you aren’t as inclined to actually sit at the island and eat,” she says. Consider perusing the barstools that AD100 architects and designers love.

10. Double ovens

Only highly specific living situations necessitate owning two ovens. “Honestly, these are only useful a few times a year, unless you own a catering company or have a big family,” say the Brownstone Boys. “Otherwise, they just take up valuable kitchen real estate! You are better off asking a friend to bring the baked sweet potatoes than having two ovens all year round.”

11. Arranging art and cookbooks near the stove

You’ve likely seen oil paintings, art ledges, and cookbook displays in newly remodeled kitchens on Instagram. While beautiful to look at, designers have concerns.

“I immediately thought of this picture,” says Mary Flo Ouellette, cofounder of Squarehouse Studios in Somerville, Massachusetts, of fashion designer Christian Siriano’s kitchen. “It’s almost as if they couldn’t finish the hood for the photoshoot and stuck a painting up there. If this is a trend, it’s bizarre, not practical, and dangerous.”

The art runs the risk of setting fire, yes, but it’s also in a perfect spot to be ruined by splattering grease. “Your books and art will get covered in grime, but it does make for a great photograph,” adds Brent.

12. Hanging pot racks

Suspending pots and pans from hooks on the ceiling isn’t exactly a new kitchen design trend. But it is one that the Brownstone Boys warn against. “While these do feel very French-countryside-chic, we find that hanging pots above a workspace in the kitchen means two things: dust and grease,” they say. “If you love your copper pots, displaying them on a pot rack might not be best for their longevity.”

13. Built-in dog bowls

Maybe you’ve noticed those fancy built-in dog bowls making the rounds on TikTok and Instagram, complete with spigots for dispensing water. Narvaez has reservations about them, as you might expect. “I love dogs, and I’m personally a dog mom, but I believe that allocating a section in your kitchen solely for your pet’s feeding station might not be the best use of your precious cabinet or kitchen island space,” she says.

In terms of installing faucets with them? It’s incredibly expensive to run another water line and add a new plumbing fixture, she notes. Plus, most vanity add-ons can’t be tacked on to the end of a renovation project. Narvaez explains that new plumbing lines, for example, need to be incorporated into the initial renovation plans or else you’ll be ripping up parts of your kitchen later. That, and they often don’t add value to your home. A new homebuyer very well may prefer an actual kitchen drawer instead of a custom-built dog bowl cabinet.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest