Nothing says "I'm willing to settle for less." like halfway tiled backsplash! The backsplash is meant to protect your walls from ALL the messes that can happen in the kitchen, not just HALF of them. Don't render your backsplash useless by only installing half of it, you'll regret it when you're scrubbing tomato sauce off of your wall. Besides, short backsplash is totally tacky. No one thinks that looks good, so don't make this mistake.
Installing only half of your backsplash is literally cutting corners over only two or three more rows of tile, and in most people's opinion, that's just cheap. Ask any real estate professional and they'll say that kitchens and bathrooms are the most important part of any home. So, don't make your home look like a CHEAPSKATE lives there! If you're settling for shotty workmanship in such obvious ways, what else is only half-done?
Nothing makes an already-tacky kitchen look worse than horrible lighting. That harsh glow and sterile feel of fluorescents make your warm and inviting home feel like the operating room at a morgue. Remember this, If you can find it in a morgue, it definitely doesn't belong in your home's kitchen. Fluorescent lighting isn't just ugly, it's also horrible for your eyes, so do yourself a favor and remove them as soon as you possibly can.
Not to mention, you better be careful when replacing those ridiculous bulbs...unless you're in the mood for an explosion! The fact is fluorescents just don't belong in a home - they're terrible! Swap that dusty old office lighting out for a nice and modern fixture that still provides adequate lighting over your work areas. Whatever you do, just don't replace it with those dumb Edison bulbs. Get something nice for once!
Does anyone need to work in the kitchen? Heck, does anyone WANT to work in the kitchen? Back in the day, kitchen desks were the perfect place to store your phone books and day planners. However, along with many other things, this handy-dandy gadget called the smartphone completely replaced those things. Making the kitchen desk a completely useless waste of space. It's time to ditch this tacky time capsule.
And admit it--we all know within just a week that useless kitchen desk is only going to be a place to collect your unopened bills and other clutter. Remove that clutter temptation and replace it with some usable storage or even (god-forbid) some extra counter space! Besides, if 2020 has taught anybody anything it’s that your in-home workspace needs to be far removed from the hustle and bustle of common living spaces.
White appliances look great right out of the box. But give them a year and your shiny white appliances will go from pristine to stained and dingy. Those pearly white appliances have also become the calling card for an outdated and low-end kitchen, and nobody wants that! Just don't even think about replacing them with black appliances, because those are really just as bad. If you’re looking for a sign to replace your dingy appliances, this is it. It’s time for them to retire.
Not only do white appliances show every speck of dirt and grime, but they also are prone to stains and discoloration over time. So next time you're in the market for some new appliances spend a few extra bucks and go for the stainless-steel set. There are even more cost-effective options these days! Just make sure they're a matching set because that’s just as tacky as the old white appliances.
One word: grout. That tile will look amazing until your grout suddenly turns the color of sludge through normal kitchen wear and tear. Also, how in the world do you get that grout cleaned, and cleaned well? You DON’T and that's exactly why tiled countertops are both tacky and completely gross. It’s just not a good look and we wouldn’t even recommend them to our worst enemies.
Besides being totally nasty, tiled countertops also make simple cooking tasks like rolling dough virtually impossible! Over time, those tiles will inevitably start to crack and separate leaving your countertops in shambles. Your friends and family will absolutely comment on the condition of your countertops because we guarantee theirs aren't coming apart at the seams like yours are. It will literally be the topic of the evening every time they come into your kitchen.
Kitchens are super messy places. No matter how neat, organized, or clean you are as a person, that marinara sauce will still end up on your wall. But not just your wall… also your floor, your cabinets, backsplash, and your countertops. Just keep that in mind next time you're going for that sterile-serene look. After one night cooking at home, your kitchen will look like the scene of a homicide.
Unless you plan on hiring 24/7 professional cleaners to keep your all-white kitchen immaculate, save the all-white for hospitals and padded rooms. We know you see it in all the Kardashian’s maddeningly neutral homes, but there's absolutely no way those kitchens have EVER been cooked in. It's just not feasible for "real" people with real lives to maintain this look. And for those that insist on it, just know we all think you’re trying way too hard.
People who have taken the plunge and chose to rock distressed cabinets will insist that it adds “history” to the home. But at the end of the day, if you’re rolling up to the 37th prefab brick home in a neighborhood, those distressed cabinets are completely out of place. We appreciate the desire to add character to those newer homes, but ruining your cabinets is just a bit too far for comfort. Just stick with a nice stain or a timeless paint color for your cabinets.
However, if you REALLY insist on those distressed cabinets, we have a few tips for you. Just don’t take care of your cabinets for a few years and purposefully scrape the finish off of them every now and then and you’ll totally get the “weathered” look. After all that, they should be looking good and run down. This trend is honestly awful, and it should have never gained traction in the first place. We hate to break it to you, but if you purposefully ruined your cabinets to achieve this look, don’t be surprised when no one else loves them like you do.
Tons of Color
We love color! Just not every color in the same room at the same time. Plenty of people out there overcompensate an otherwise drab and boring kitchen with an obnoxious scheme of vibrant colors. This may be one of the worst mistakes you could possibly make in your kitchen because everyone has their own favorite color and chances are your neighbors isn’t the same as yours. Quit overcompensating and stick with a neutral base color with a few (emphasis on few) splashes of color.
But color is how you express your personality right? Wrong. Express your personality with your housemates and friends through meaningful conversations, not overwhelming and tacky color schemes. You may find that your guests are left speechless by your gaudy décor, try expressing yourself then. Cat got your tongue? Thought so. Trade those outrageous colors for something more neutral. For repeat offenders, we recommend agreeable grey and accessible beige.
Industrial kitchens are incredibly useful for restaurants, soup kitchens, and event spaces. However, unless you’re feeding a small army, you probably don’t need an industrial pasta arm in your kitchen or full-blown convection oven. Listen stainless steel is fabulous, but there is absolutely no reason to turn your home’s kitchen into a cold commercial kitchen. The industrial look is best left for urban lofts, not your suburban patio home.
Even if you don’t take the plunge for commercial-grade appliances, small industrial details can really throw off the entire feel of an otherwise homey house! Listen, trying to force an industrial aesthetic can makes it look like you’re just trying too hard. The most important thing in a home’s aesthetic should be its overall cohesion. So, if you’re not at least going to follow through and expose your ductwork and brick over your walls, there’s no point in insisting on industrial.
Lace used to be a status symbol for the wealthy and powerful because of its hand-made quality. However, these days all you can find are cheap knockoffs. Some people will call it a classic, but in reality, it’s just outdated and dusty right along with doilies. Unless you sincerely want your home to look more like a retirement home, ditch the ‘arsenic and old lace.’
Besides, lace in the kitchen sounds like one hell of a health hazard! Who knows what sort of grease, grime, and bacteria is growing on those delicate pieces of fabric? There’s absolutely no way to fully clean them. You can’t wash them with bleach, detergent, or even in hot water! The only place lace belongs in the kitchen is in the trash can. Ditch these health hazards and join us all in the 21st century.
Farmers Market Signs
Unless you actually live on a farm, or even a hippy compound, ditch the farmers market décor. Nothing says “I have no taste” like having a sign in your kitchen talking about fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, and milk. We all know you haven’t been to a Saturday morning farmer market in years, especially not for fresh produce and dairy. The freshest you’ve ever seen is from your local Walmart or Costco. Farm fresh, right?
And who exactly is that sign even for? Are you setting up shop right out of your own “farm to table” kitchen? Seriously, who’s there to be impressed by your farmer's market sign beside your friends and family? Everyone who’s ever seen your kitchen has probably rolled their eyes at those signs and wondered why in the world anyone would bring those tacky signs into their house. We have a recommendation. Donate those signs to your local farmers' market vendors instead.
Speckled Granite Counters
Ooooh, speckled counters? How unique! I've definitely NEVER seen that in literally every kitchen ever. But something does seem familiar, doesn't it? Oh, that's right, those builder-grade granite tops have been featured in every low-budget condominium and apartment building across the country! But it’s still granite, right? Yeah, it’s granite but seriously why spring for the cheapest granite known to man? It’s honestly like an apology for not having granite in the first place.
This is a kitchen trend that's so old it's completed a few cycles of popularity. But it's time to take it out of the kitchen and bury it in the backyard. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Get yourself something nice, like quartz. I know it seems like only a few years ago you were tearing out your Formica and replacing them for that cheap granite, but in reality, it’s been over 20 years. So unless you can fit into your jeans from the year 2000, replace those old countertops.
If your home requires labeling each room to know the purposes of each one, you may have bigger problems than tacky décor to worry about. Nobody really needs to be told what the kitchen is for. Hanging the word “EAT” on the wall is an insult to everyone, well except children learning to read. Maybe you’re a person who takes things literally or needs reminders to do basic human functions. If so, maybe spring for a smart home device to remind you of basic tasks.
If you can’t bear the thought of a kitchen without words on the walls, you could always invest in a handy label maker. At least that way they’re harder to see. Remove those unnecessary signs from your walls and spare your loved ones from the obnoxious bombardment of commands. EAT, EAT, EAT! It’s like there’s a perpetual hotdog eating contest being hosted in your kitchen. Gross!
Dated Wooden Cabinets
For whatever reason, every decade’s kitchen décor starter pack comes along with its own type of wood. First, it was oak, and then, it was cherry (p.s. White painted cabinets are next.) these trends become extremely dated once these trends cycle through. Leaving you with a kitchen in desperate need of a remodel. The only good thing about these dated wooden cabinets is that they’re solid and can definitely be painted or re-stained for a sprucing up. No pun intended.
If these old souls are left unattended, they’ll be telling all your friends and family your dirty little secret. That you couldn’t care less about refinishing your cabinets to bring a little life back to your kitchen. Don’t let your cabinets spill the beans on the age of your kitchen, just give them what they want. A fresh coat of paint. Your kitchen will thank you!
You may think that wine-themed décor is making a statement. A “sassy” statement! But we’ve got news: all it’s doing is making you look like a lush who tries too hard. Not to mention, all that wine décor is seriously tacky. Having so much alcohol at hand may seriously raise some eyebrows when you have visitors over at your house. You don’t want to be sending the wrong message with your décor!
Listen, we’d all love to live out some whimsical life in the vineyards, but the fact is that most of us don’t live that kind of life! There’s absolutely no harm in romanticizing your life a little, but maybe don’t live your life in a complete daydream. Maybe it’s all that wine you have to drink in order to pull off that tacky wine-themed décor.
Is your kitchen the extended wing of the Smithsonian? If not, that museum-grade marble probably doesn’t belong in your home! Marble was once an iconic stone that signaled one’s status. Nowadays, the all-marble look is something everyone aspires for even if they must settle for faux marble. Do you know what happens to something exclusive goes mainstream? It turns cheap.
As it turns out, marble is one of those things that cheap people think look really fancy. But at the end of the day, it’s just a dumb piece of rock. Go for something custom, something no one else has seen. Do you want exclusivity? Then you absolutely don’t want marble.
Are you the Barefoot Contessa? Are you whipping up a dish in your summer Tuscan villa? No? Then leave the pots in your cabinets like the rest of us schmucks. Those clanky pots and pans absolutely clutter your entire kitchen. Not to mention, those pots aren't doing anything but collecting dust up there.
People with pot racks think they give the impression of "I'm an experienced cook", but strangely enough, you always seem to find them in kitchens that look like they've barely been touched. If you're flexing your cookware collection by displaying them in plain sight, just know it's not working at all.
Cross Handle Faucets
There's a perfectly good reason you don't see cross-handle faucets much anymore--they're a real pain to use. Literally, anyone who willingly installs them in their kitchen gets what they deserve. An eternity of cumbersome faucet usage. These are extremely tacky and extremely useless. No amount of novelty can compensate for their insufferable usage.
If you want an old-timey kitchen vibe, I say go big or go home--just remove running water from the home entirely. Better yet, install an outhouse for that "rustic" feel. You may find that hundreds of years of improvements in faucet design may have its perks after spending some time with these tacky handles.
One chandelier in your kitchen? I'll keep my comments to myself. But two?? I'm staging an intervention. Cramming more than one ornate piece of lighting makes your space look more like a lighting showroom - cluttered, bright, and overbearing. Why not just install one grand light fixture rather than two?
Chandeliers are already an iffy design choice, but two chandeliers in a kitchen? That's iffier than a two-for-one gas station sushi combo! Besides, who wants to be the person that gets to dust those bad boys anyways? Sorry guys and gals, this just isn't the look for anyone's kitchen, EVER!
The time of doilies is over. If you want a placemat, go with something modern. The modernity won’t make your kitchen look so dated your great grandmother would feel right at home. Doilies are not only hideous, but they’re also toxic bacteria traps. They're ugly, they're gross, and they should never be used in the kitchen.
And while we're at it--you may as well toss that fine china at the same time as the doilies. Those two tend to go together. You know, for team time and such! Both are antiquated pieces of the past that serve no one in the modern-day world. Ditch them.
We get it! You have a drinking problem. But there's no need to let friends, neighbors, and visitors onto that dirty little secret. Seriously, lining the walls and shelves in your kitchen with beer cans and paraphernalia is obnoxious and should only be left in frat houses.
Booze is only decor to college students and those who wish they still were. So, let go of those golden years and all those empty beer cans. Your kitchen isn’t the spring break destination for a drinking contest. And FYI, liking beer isn't an entire personality. Get a new look and maybe even a life.
Around the year 2008, everyone became obsessed with transforming their regular old kitchen into something straight out of an 1800s era Italian villa. There’s one thing that has and always will be true – Nothing beats the real thing. If you’re that fascinated by little Italy, pack your bags and move there!
Don’t be some poser, if you really want to live out your days in a Tuscan aesthetic chase your dreams! Eat, pray, love girl! Just don’t try to put lipstick on your turd of a 1980s ranch-style. Leave the Tuscan aesthetic to the people who originated the style! Tuscan in Tennessee is nothing but TACKY!
Uncomfortable Dining Chairs
Dinner at home is a fabulous time to relax with friends and family over a good meal. However, it’s difficult to enjoy that home cooking while you’re sitting on your grandmother’s hand-me-down straight-backed chairs. You must be tacking a tip from hostile architecture with those torture chairs. Who wants their guests to be uncomfortable?
Buy some more modern, comfortable dining chairs – or at least flip the bill for your guests' next chiropractor appointment. Nothing says, “Please get the heck out of my house!” like forcing your guests to sit in a horrible chair. Seriously, switch them out. Your guests will definitely thank you.
Imagine walking in your friend’s kitchen and they suddenly start screaming, “LOOK AT MY STUFF! LOOK! LOOK AT IT NOW!” We’re not going to tell you how to feel, but we definitely would find ourselves a little confused and overwhelmed. Not to mention, a little judgmental over their mismatched collection of china.
Open shelving is obnoxious – very obnoxious. Also, who’s dusting every individual cup and plate every week? (Yes, you’re actually supposed to dust weekly, not yearly.) Open shelving literally doesn’t solve anything besides letting your friends and family know that you are either freakishly organized or a total slob. It’s probably best to just keep that cookware covered.
Seriously? The fact that we’re still having to cover this is completely ridiculous. Linoleum isn’t just tacky, it’s offensively tacky. What was once a “luxury” flooring option is now something people actively avoid when buying homes these days. If you’re still living with linoleum, ask your therapist why you like punishing yourself so much.
Sure, it’s cheaper than actual tile, and it was probably also already there when you bought the home, but why would you settle for this? We swear to Joanna Gaines herself, your life would improve ten times over if you removed that tired sheet of plastic on your floors. Have you actually gotten down there to look at the shape of that vinyl? You’re probably growing penicillin on there.
Tumbled Marble Backsplashes
The one good thing about tumbled marble is this: it already looks dirty, so you never have to worry about cleaning it. Even if you wanted to clean it, you couldn’t use good disinfectants on the tile because it’s so fragile. One wrong move and the finish is flaking off.
But yeah, unless you're into that filthy kitchen vibe, I don't know why you would want to introduce this color scheme into your home. You’re just asking for a mess. Let’s just say this, if I knew your kitchen had tumbled marble, I wouldn’t eat your food at the potluck.
Here a fern, there a fern, everywhere a fern, fern! Ferns are great and all, but what those southern grannies don’t tell you is that they shed, EVERYWHERE! Unless you have the time to play Susy Homemaker, these little dried-up leaves are going to be in every nook and cranny of your house.
Anyone who’s ever spent any amount of time in the kitchen knows grease gets everywhere. After a few months in your kitchen, those ferns go from houseplant to homemade pyrotechnics. That grease-covered kindling will go up in flames if they ever get too close to a candle or stove.
Listen, we’re here to tell you that literally no one has a handle on their daily fruit and vegetable intake. So, don’t feel like you need fake fruit to fake out your friends into thinking you’re getting your vitamins and antioxidants. You’re not fooling anyone. Besides, by day two of sitting on your counter, those faux fruits will be covered in grease and grime.
Instead of turning your countertops into a house of wax, take a multivitamin. Or better yet, eat some REAL fruit. Maybe once your body gets used to eating like a human being, you can actually justify a real bowl of fruit on your counter. Signaling that you really have your life together.
All those TV shows and Instagram personalities will swear by an open concept kitchen, but do you know what all those people have in common? They’ve never cooked a day in their lives. Keeping the mess down in your kitchen is a daily challenge. Now imagine that, spread to your living room as well.
What happens when you’re roasting up some brussels sprouts or tilapia? Your whole house is going to stink, that’s what! It’s best to keep the cooking in the kitchen. Otherwise, you just look like you’re a Rachel Ray wannabe and nobody wants that. Let's leave the kitchen in the kitchen.
Nothing says cheap builder-grade kitchen quite like an over-the-range microwave. This is how you know a builder cut corners while building a house. The only thing that should be over a range is a vent hood. You may think turning on the microwave fan is doing something for you, but it’s definitely not.
If your microwave is over your stovetop, go look at the plastic and parts on the underside. They’re sure to be warped or melted. In fact, over time, this heat damage could cause a malfunction or even ruin your microwave. Have your microwave built into your cabinets. It’s just the right thing to do.
Window treatments have always been a crucial part of any home, but trends have changed a LOT over the years. Choosing the wrong things can seriously date your home. The wrong choice in every circumstance is those dusty window valances. They're very dated and make any room look dark and dusty.
Unless you own a Victorian home, those ornate window treatments are seriously going to look out of place. Furthermore, the worst place for these large drooping pieces of fabric is the greasy kitchen! Consider that piece of fabric looming near an open flame a bad omen. Hope you have a fire extinguisher handy!
Plastic dishware exists somewhere in between a Dixie paper plate and a $20 box set of dishes. Plastic is great if you’re living in a college dorm surviving off of ramen noodles and hotdogs alone. And it’s even a little acceptable when you’re a lonely 20-something with no one to invite over for dinner.
However, if you’ve landed that first job or you’re somewhere over 25 and still using plastic dishware, you may be a failure to launch. No offense, but it’s totally time to face the music and grow up. Adulting is hard, but it’s not that hard. Hopefully a little harder than plastic.
Is it 2008? Are you a 14-year-old girl? No? Then for the love of all things holy, just...leave chevron out of the kitchen. And the living room. And the bedroom. And the bathroom. And the universe. It's been overdone, overused, and it's nothing more than OVERBEARING. Besides, no one really liked it to begin with anyways.
But seriously, please listen to this desperate PSA: just say no to Chevron and report any Chevron miscreants to your local authorities. This pattern must be stopped along with the perpetrators responsible for subjecting our eyes to this terribly tacky trend. Leave it in the past and never speak of it again.
Weird Fridge Colors
Nothing says, "I have no impulse control" like a turquoise refrigerator. Seriously, who sits down and makes a conscientious decision for a color like that? Furthermore, who in the world forks over the money for one of these things? We would seriously rather forgo the fridge altogether than have this monstrosity in the kitchen.
Although I suppose if you're hankering for a midnight snack, a neon refrigerator would probably be easier to find in the dark. Maybe people choose that hideous color as an appetite suppressant! People are always desperate to lose weight. Probably even desperate enough to break down and buy an ugly colored refrigerator.
The “French Country” style aims for authenticity but misses the mark, majorly! If we’re in the French countryside, where are the cows? The Chickens and the smell of fresh manure in the morning? Unless your house has a name that beings with “Chateau” a Tuscan kitchen is just out of place.
These are just as bad as those tacky Tuscan-themed kitchens! Go ahead and cram your kitchen full of ceramic chickens, distressed wood, and French blue china. Go ahead and plant the herbs in your window seal too! Just know that your quaint French retreat is going to look more like bumpkins and bare feet. Gross.
Back in the day (like way back in the day) brass was the perfect durable metal for kitchen handles. Brass has fallen out of trend, regained its following, and lost it all again. We’ve spent years trying to purge the world of these dated cabinet pulls and hardware. It’s time to put them out of their misery.
Swap out those dingy drawer handles for some nice champagne gold ones or even just brushed nickel. They’re not even that expensive, and you can replace them yourself too! The subtle switch will help transform your tacky dated kitchen into one that’s a little more bearable. Well, as long as you haven’t broken any other rules on this list.
What’s the big idea? Were you raised in a barn? Why in the world would anyone install barn doors in their kitchen? Barn doors are meant to keep all those tasty farm animals in the barn. So, unless your bacon and hamburger are growing legs and running amuck, you probably don’t need these cumbersome doors.
Don’t even think about sliding those doors open smoothly, it just isn’t going to happen. Seriously, those doors slide about as rough as a budget airplane ride during a thunderstorm! It rarely goes smoothly, so don’t get your hopes up. The only time barn doors are the best choice is when someone lives the luxurious lifestyle of a pig.
Mason Jar Decor
Mason jar owners fall into two camps: canners and obnoxious trend chasers. If you've got them in your kitchen but don't also have a pressure cooker and a working knowledge of botulism prevention, you're probably in the second group. Trying to pull of these mason jar trends in the kitchen is like wearing a band t-shirt without knowing more than two of their best songs.
Why do the mason jars need to be decorative in the first place? They're jars--is it so wrong to just use them for what they were intended? Reduce, reuse, and recycle is great. However, cluttering your kitchen with cheap jars is nothing short of ridiculous. Ditch the jars, unless you're going to can your own pickles.
Travertine? More like travesty. This tumbled stone-look tile was all the rage during the 2000s. However, like all trendy things that come and go, these tiles need to retire to the dumpster. Sure, it’s durable, but it looks incredibly dated these days. Plus, it’s used in all those cookie-cutter homes from the mid-2007.
If you’re still trying to make this tile work, just know you’re acting like all those people still swearing by their linoleum from the ’80s. Listen, it’s just time to give up the ghost. Bite the bullet and replace the tile. It’s that simple. Your friends and family will think so much more of you!
Ignoring the Rest of the Home
Why should the kitchen have all the tacky fun? Throw a ceramic chicken in the bathroom for kicks and giggles! You could even hang a pot rack over your bed, for easy access when cooking breakfast in the morning. Doesn’t that sound like so much fun? No? Didn’t think so.
For better or worse, your home is what it is. A tacky kitchen can still out like a sore thumb, but a perfect kitchen in a less than perfect house can be just as wrong. Your home is probably better off looking uniformly tacky. However, it’d be so much better if it was uniformly beautiful!