Signs That Your Kitchen Is Outdated

Your kitchen could likely use updating when you notice:

  1. An old-timey look and feel
  2. Cramped or damaged cabinets
  3. A poorly designed layout
  4. Dated or worn-out countertops and appliances
  5. Short backsplashes

We’ll walk you through each sign of an outdated kitchen.


Need help updating your dated kitchen cabinets? Contact us online or call 480-641-9611. One of our cabinet experts will come to your home for a same-day, no-obligation quote to remodel your kitchen cabinets.


Old-timey look and feel

Sometimes, a kitchen just feels old when you walk into it.

Design elements that make a kitchen feel old can include:

    • Oak raised-panel cabinets were popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but are less frequently installed in kitchens today. That said, oak cabinets are starting to make a comeback in different styles of kitchen cabinets—particularly flat or recessed panel designs.
    • Dark, speckled granite countertops were trendy in the 1990s—often paired with oak cabinets—but can be so bold that they limit what colors you can have in your kitchen. Countertop colors that are popular today tend to be more monochromatic, giving you a wider range of options for the color scheme you want in your kitchen.
    • Dim or yellowed lighting can make a kitchen feel smaller than it actually is. Modern kitchens have plenty of soft white or natural lighting. If you’re completely remodeling your kitchen, consider adding more windows or a skylight to bring in more natural lighting. A cost-effective way to brighten your kitchen is to install under- or above-cabinet lighting.

If it’s been several decades since you’ve updated your kitchen, your cabinets may start showing signs of damage.

Cramped or damaged cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets are likely due for a remodel if they:

  • Don’t hold everything you need them to. If you find yourself cramming dinnerware into cabinets or throwing pots on top of the cabinets, you could benefit from remodeling the cabinets to add more space.
  • Show signs of structural damage. If your kitchen cabinets have started warping, feel soft or spongy to the touch, or have peeling or bubbling finish, they likely have structural damage and will soon need to be replaced. Learn more about when you should replace kitchen cabinets in our blog.

If your cabinets are in good shape and just need a new finish or panels, consider either a:

  • Cabinet refinishing: This involves stripping the existing finish from the cabinet boxes, doors, and drawer fronts, sanding them to prepare them for the new finish, and applying the new finish you choose.
  • Cabinet refacing: Includes everything in a refinishing, except you also get brand new doors and drawer fronts. This gives you the opportunity to update the cabinet panels with a more modern style. Plus, at Cabinet Coatings, we give you solid hardwood doors and drawer fronts so your upgrade lasts that much longer.

If your cabinets have a poorly designed layout, you may want to think about a remodel.

Poorly designed layout

Is your kitchen frustrating to work in? That could be because it wasn’t designed well.

A well-designed kitchen layout should:

  • Focus on functionality. Yes, you want your kitchen to look great but it should first and foremost be functional. This often means focusing on the little things that make a kitchen easy to use—like having plenty of cabinets for pots and pans or including outlets in all the right places.
  • Have enough storage and counter space. A good kitchen layout should be able to adequately house everything you need to. We know some kitchens can be quite small, but should still have enough space for the necessary cooking ware and small appliances—it just may take a little creative organization.

Learn more about elements of good kitchen cabinets in our blog, “How To Choose Kitchen Cabinets.”

If you’re updating the layout of your kitchen, that’s a great time to update worn-out or dated countertops and appliances.

Dated or worn-out countertops and appliances

Countertops and appliances are two of the first things you notice when walking into a kitchen—second only to cabinets.

So, if you have old-fashioned appliances or countertops, it will age the ambiance of your entire kitchen, even if you’ve made other recent upgrades.

When updating appliances and countertops, make sure to:

  • Favor functionality over design. Certain granite countertop finishes may look great, but can be much harder to clean than polished granite or quartz countertops. And if you enjoy cooking a lot, the benefits of a gas range will suit you better than the sleek look of an electric one.
  • Choose the same color for appliances. While the mixed material look works in some contexts, combining a black refrigerator, white microwave, and stainless steel stove isn’t a good look.
  • Coordinate appliances and fixtures. Make sure your appliance finishes work well with the plumbing and lighting fixtures in your kitchen. This is one case where the mixed-metal look can be a good design choice.

Short backsplashes

A popular design choice in old kitchens was to extend the countertop material up a few inches on the wall to act as a backsplash.

Most modern kitchens have backsplashes that go from the countertop to the base of the upper cabinets. These extended backsplashes not only make a kitchen look more modern, but also better protect your walls from food and water damage.

For more ideas on updating your kitchen with a backsplash, visit our blog, “How To Modernize Your Kitchen.”

Want to update your kitchen cabinets? Call Cabinet Coatings today.

Schedule an appointment online or call us at 480-641-9611. Our finishing pros will discuss what you want, then give you a free in-home or virtual consultation for making your kitchen cabinets look new again.

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co-owner
Chuck Derouen

For 20 plus years chuck has been helping homeowners make decisions on how to bring new life into their kitchens. Most homeowners know what they want but don’t know how to communicate it. When chuck does the in-home consultation he draws from the client and uses his expertise to help them bring their imagination to life (achieve the look they imagine.) Chuck dubs himself a “professional mind maker upper.”

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