Comeback Kitchen: 3 Old-Is-New Trends

Posted on Jul 26 2016 - 10:35am by Suzanne De Vita

What goes around…

Kitchen design’s trending more behind the times than ahead of the curve, with once-dated features like colored appliances and tile countertops resurfacing in new, of-the-moment styles.

One of the comeback kids is the enclosed kitchen, reimagined as a flex-space that opens today, closes tomorrow.

kitchen door


Why closed-off? For those of us who’d rather keep meals and messes behind closed doors, an open layout is less than ideal. Appliance noise, too, can be difficult to suppress—an issue in homes where offices or other quiet spaces are adjacent to the kitchen.

Related: Are Outdoor Kitchens on the Outs?

Brass accents are also falling back into favor. The garish, gleaming gold fixtures of yesteryear have reemerged with a dull, soft finish, in everything from satiny faucets to antique-looking lighting.

Why the change of heart? Like copper, brass is a timeless metal—the new, understated patina, less polished than its predecessor, contrasts glossy modern surfaces like stainless steel, playing into the mixed-metals movement while maintaining its classic appeal.

If walls could talk, they’d say wallpaper’s back, too—imparting a retro vibe on an accent wall, mimicking a natural surface as a backsplash, or offering a hint of sheen in open-faced cabinetry.



The reason? Personalization. The décor in our homes is deeply connected to our inner selves—and with the concept of home more broadly defined than ever, claiming a space is important. Wallpaper, now infinite in color, pattern and texture, is one way to make that statement.

These three trends are proof that if we wait long enough, everything comes full circle.  What was out—a separated floor plan, brass finishes and wallpaper—is now in.

What’s making a comeback in your kitchen?

6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Cheryl SG Rush July 27, 2016 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Excellent. Even though the open idea concept can be ideal in some instances, I have always believed that a kitchen as an enclosed room offers more perks for a family. It is all about evaluating your lifestyle. Since we are in a more health conscious society, removing the kitchen will allow families with children to not be constantly bombarded by the presence of food. This instills the habit that the kitchen is a place for family to gather for meals, and not a revolving door for food.

  2. Sally Gilcrease July 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    I was wondering how long it would take for the “open concept kitchen” to go out of favor! Who wants to walk in a house and immediately see a dirty kitchen! Company coming – do they really appreciate all the noise and mess emitting from the kitchen – surrounded by clanging pots and pans, dirty dishes, dog bowls, etc? No place for a private conversation, quiet time away from the hustle and bustle. All of my buyers over 45 (definitely over 50) want a formal dining room and some way to separate the kitchen from company entertaining areas – the old fashioned living room.

  3. Carole July 27, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    My kitchen features soapstone counter tops with subway tiles and wood floors. I love it. It’s a closed kitchen only because there was not enough room to open it up.

  4. Karen July 31, 2016 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Having a kitchen removed from the living room and family room is a sure way to miss out on hours and hours .make that.years and years with your family. I hate, HATE being closed off from everyone, it makes cooking a real drudgery. Having the FR open and next to the kitchen would be great. Having a kitchen big enough for lots of helpers would be nice.

  5. Adoor Properties August 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    This is a fascinating topic. White cabinets and appliances and wood floors are making a strong comeback as well. Take a look at all the new tile options for kitchens and baths that are based on woodgrain and wood-look. They are very popular here in Florida, and we are seeing them installed not only in kitchens and baths, but in living spaces as well. Everything old is new again!

  6. Mark Thompson August 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    I personally a fan of the open kitchen just like Karen. Although I am male, I am the cook of the house. My time is limited enough with the family as it is, so being in a closed kitchen by myself is not something I would look forward to each day. With our open kitchen, I do get the interaction with the family, and sometimes get a little help too. 🙂

    Two things I am not a huge fan of….at least not yet is the wallpaper and brass coming back. I think I would feel too much like I was back in the 50’s. But who knows maybe it will grow on me.

    Thanks for the great article to generate some good conversations.

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