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40 Tacky Kitchen Decor Mistakes

Short Backsplashes

If you're worried that a full backsplash would look too tacky, you can always try a short one. Granted, it will look just as tacky, but it's much easier to hide. 

It doesn't protect the wall from stains, and it doesn't really stand out that much--you're basically paying for an extra useless row or two of tiles. 

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Fluorescent Lights

Nothing makes an already-tacky kitchen look worse than tacky lighting. The harsh glow, the sci-fi feel--fluorescents are just a mess. If you can find it in a morgue, it doesn't belong in your kitchen. 

 

And you better be careful when replacing them...unless you're in the mood for an explosion! 

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Kitchen Desks

Does anyone need to work in the kitchen? Heck, does anyone WANT to work in the kitchen?

And admit it--we all know within a week it's just going to be covered with bills and other clutter. 

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White Appliances

White appliances look great right out of the box. But give them a year--your appliances will go from pristine to stained and dingy. 

Darker colors hide stains better, which means you can get away with a messier kitchen.

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Tiled Counters

One word: grout. That tile will look amazing until your grout turns the color of sludge through normal kitchen wear and tear. 

It also makes common kitchen things like rolling out dough a real pain. Unless you want your tile pattern imprinted into everything you bake. 

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Excessively White

Kitchens are messy places. No matter how neat, organized, or clean you are as a person, that marinara sauce will still end up on your wall. 

Unless you plan on hiring 24/7 cleaners to keep it immaculate, save the all white for hospitals. 

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Distressed Cabinets

Distressed cabinets give the impression that your home has a history. But when you live in a prefab suburban house that you bought in 2016, that narrative becomes a little harder to push. 

If you really want distressed cabinets, just don't take care of your new ones. In a few years, they should be looking good and run down. 

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Tons of Color

Everyone loves color, but no one loves all the colors in one room. At some point, it becomes an assault on the eyes.

If your kitchen needs a seizure warning, you've gone too far. 

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Industrial Detail

Industrial kitchens are great for commercial purposes. But no one needs stainless steel to heat up a bowl of Easy Mac. 

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And while it can be easier to clean, keeping it shiny and completely smudge-free is a different story. 

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Lace Tablecloths

Lace used to be a status symbol because of how difficult it was to produce by hand. But thanks to modern manufacturing, it's become a status symbol for people who don't understand status symbols. 

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Farmers Market Signs

Unless you actually live on a farm, ditch the farmers market décor. Nothing says tacky like having a sign talking about fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, and milk if the freshest you get is from your local Whole Foods.

 

And who is that sign even for? Who are you trying to impress with it? Your immediate family? They're basically the only ones that will ever see it. 

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Speckled Granite Counters

Ooooh, speckled counters? How unique! I've definitely never seen that in literally every kitchen ever. 

 

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. 

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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. 

 

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. 

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Room Reminders

Nobody needs to be told what the kitchen is for. Hanging the word “EAT” on the wall is an insult to everyone, save children learning to read. 

If you can't bear the thought of a kitchen without words on the walls, you could always invest in a label maker. At least that way they're harder to see. 

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Dated Wooden Cabinets

It seems like each decade came together and picked their favorite type of wood. They cycled through, and then they feel very dated. 

If your cabinets haven’t been updated since 1967, maybe it’s time to save up for some new ones. And this time, get something a little less trendy. It’ll last longer. 

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Wine-Themed Décor

Wine-themed décor is a lot like the beer bottle décor, but most people use it as a way to be sassy.

 

You know the ones we’re talking about; “Drinking wine isn’t a habit, it’s a hobby,” and “I often cook with wine, and sometimes I use it in the food.” These signs aren’t “tee-hee” cute – they’re outlining a problem. 

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Marble Counters

Is your kitchen in a museum? If not, marble is way too sterile looking. Save the marble for your mausoleum. 

Marble is one of those things that cheap people think look fancy. But at the end of the day it's just a rock. 

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Pot Racks

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. 

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...

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Cross Handle Faucets

There's a reason you don't see cross handle faucets much anymore--they're a real pain to use. Anyone who willingly installs them in their kitchen gets what they deserve. 

 

If you want an old-timey kitchen vibe, I say go big or go home--just remove running water from the home entirely. 

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Over-the-Range Microwave

The microwave has no reason to be over the stove! Its proper place is on the curb in the garbage can. 

And this is def not something you want to be your first DIY home project. Or you might just find your microwave has merged with the stove below it. 

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Multiple Chandeliers

One chandelier in your kitchen? I'll keep my comments to myself. But two?? I'm staging an intervention. 

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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. 

Why do they need to be decorative in the first place? They're jars--is it so wrong to just use them for what they were intended? 

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Tuscan Kitchens

Tuscan kitchens makes it feel like you’re trying to turn your kitchen into a wine cellar. 

And while Tuscany is definitely an idyllic place, something tells me that not every Tuscan kitchen looks cooking show fabulous. 

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Uncomfortable Dining Chairs

Dinner is a great place to relax with family and friends. However, it’s difficult to do that when you’re sitting on your grandmother’s creaky, wooden, straight-backed chairs. 

Buy some more modern, comfortable dining chairs and enjoy your night--or invest in a chiropractor. 

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Open Shelving

Open shelving doesn’t work because it’ll end up stacked like toddler Jenga.

 

Not to mention, dust will settle on everything, so keeping the entire thing clean will be absolutely miserable.

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Linoleum Flooring

Unless you're ready to cook like it's 1963, just say no to linoleum. 

Sure, it's cheaper than actual tile. But, unsurprisingly, that also means that it looks cheaper. 

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Ferns Everywhere

Ferns are great and all, but they become a lot less beautiful when they’re covered in gunk. Grease gets everywhere when you cook, and if the plants are too close to the stove, it’s a fire hazard.

At least the kitchen was pretty before it went down in a blaze!

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Fake Fruit

Nothing says “I have my stuff together” like a bowl of fruit – real fruit. Fake fruit is like fake plants – obviously artificial. Those little rubber grapes look like crap when they’re coated in dust, so opt for real fruit.

Those little rubber grapes look like crap when they’re coated in dust, so opt for real fruit. Or no fruit! There is no kitchen police to harrass you...unless you're using plastic. 

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Open Concepts

Open concept houses, particularly with the kitchen, look great on Pinterest, but do you know what people don’t do in those kitchens? Cook. 

The fishy smell you get when you make salmon should stay in the kitchen, not aerate the entire house.

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Doilies

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.

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. 

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Window Valances

Something about window valances dates a home. They look out of place and force you to add modern flairs to draw your eye away from it. Just go with floor-length or pooled drapes. You also get the added bonus of actually closing the curtains. 

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Beer Collection

We get it! You have a drinking problem. But there's no need to let friends, neighbors, and visitors onto that dirty little secret. 

Booze is only decor to college students and those who wish they still were. 

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Plastic Dishware

Plastic dishware is great when you're a poor college student. And it's even acceptable when you're a 20-something with no one to invite over for dinner. 

But if you're in your 30s (or, God forbid, 40s) and still using plastic dishes, you're clearly not living your best life. 

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Chevron

Just...leave chevron out of the kitchen. And the living room. And the bedroom. And the bathroom. And the universe. 

But seriously, please heed this PSA: just say no to Chevron and report any Chevron miscreants to your local authorities. 

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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? 

Although I suppose if you're hankering for a midnight snack, a neon refrigerator would probably be easier to see in the dark. 

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"French Country"

The French Country style aims for authenticity but misses the mark. If we're in the countryside, where's the cow manure?

A ceramic chicken and some distressed wood aren't going to cut it if you want the authentic farm experience. At the very least, you need a drain in the floor for slaughtering pigs. 

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Brass Handles

For a long time, brass hardware was everywhere. Now, it feels outdated and over-used.

Swap out those drawer handles for some nickel ones. They’re not too expensive, and the subtle switch will make your kitchen feel like new!

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Barn Doors

Barn doors are a great choice for people who have always yearned for the luxurious lifestyle of a pig. 

And don't get us started on having to slide those things open and close. It rarely goes smoothly. 

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Travertine Tile

Yeah, it’s durable, but it looks incredibly dated. Plus, it’s used in all those cookie-cutter homes from the mid-2000s.

No one wants their home to feel like that. It’s just time to move on. 

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Ignoring the Rest of the Home

Why should the kitchen have all the tacky fun? Throw a ceramic chicken in the bathroom! Hang a pot rack over your bed!

For better or worse, your home is going to look nicer if it's uniformly tacky--but preferably uniformly beautiful! 

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