Podcast 288: Eight Kitchen Trends to Avoid

We discuss trends to avoid with your kitchen remodels and what will stand against the test of time.

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Show Transcription:

Eric Worral: (00:00)
Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of RentPrep for Landlords. This is episode #288 and I am your host Eric Worral. And today we are going to be talking about 8 kitchen trends to avoid according to real estate agents. I’ll be honest, there was a couple in here that makes me feel pretty dated myself, but I thought it’d be a helpful one for all you landlords out there who are gobbling up real estate and they’re going about updating the kitchens. We’re going to talk about some of these trends that they’re saying that you should avoid if that is you in that situation. So we’re gonna get to that right after this.

Voice Over: (00:36)
Welcome to the RentPrep for Landlords podcast and now your hosts, Steven White and Eric Worral.

Eric Worral: (00:42)
So today’s featured article news story here comes from Jennifer Billock and it is posted yesterday, which would have been December 2nd as a recording list on apartmenttherapy.com. Again, the title is eight kitchen trends to avoid according to real estate agents. So this was a tough article for me to read because apparently I’m not very trendy, but we’ll go through these one at a time here. And the first one that got me a granite countertops. That’s right. It’s saying that granite wants the gold standard or kitchen countertops is out. Paul Chastain, a Keller Williams real estate agent based in Walnut Creek, California says marble wood and concrete are better options right now. They think that, you know, TV shows are a big influence on that who have pushed those products.

Eric Worral: (01:27)
And I said the various granites that were hot in the early two thousands definitely date a home now. Well, that’s fantastic. You know, cause I did put a granite into my home kitchen when we bought it about a, I don’t know why, it’s probably about three, four years now. So that’s cool. And I do know somebody who does the which were called D concrete countertops, and those you can actually get for a lot cheaper. They just kind of build them like regular concrete. They run rebarb through them and then they can do all sorts of things with patterns and designs to make it look like anything you want. Pretty much. So if there’s somebody in your market who does it, maybe you’ve got a pretty nice rental that deserves something beyond, you know, your standard linoleum countertop. That’s something to look at.

Eric Worral: (02:11)
When I was updating my property, a rental property, I would have been crazy to put, you know, granite countertops or even, you know, concrete and having somebody install them. I can go to Home Depot in the back of the store. A lot of times they got those like laminate and I think I said linoleum earlier, I apologize. Not much sleep these days with a newborn, but there’s a, these laminate countertops in the back. They really look kind of like marble or granite countertops. I was shocked at how cheap they are. You could probably get a, a decent sized kitchen, you know, under 200 bucks for your counters. The only pain in the butt part is they can break easily. Especially where you put the sink in, you know, it gets pretty weak at that point. So you want to make sure they’re secured properly and then you kinda gotta you gotta like iron on these end caps to them cause it’s just like a fiberboard that you would see.

Eric Worral: (03:02)
So they make these end caps that perfectly fit it. And I found the process of ironing Lozan to be a little bit of a pain. And one of them seemed like, I, no matter how much I ironed it on, I couldn’t get it. But luckily it was where the stove was. So it was the stove kinda like pinched it naturally shut. So it kinda was able to seal up a little bit better. But that’s something to think about. Again, go to a Home Depot or Lowe’s, usually at the back of the store. They got, you know, they come in eight, 10, 12-foot pieces all sorts of styles that you can do and they’re so cheap. If you’re looking for just kind of a minor upgrade again, if you’re updating rental properties, sometimes you’re not really worried about trends per se, you know, like, ’cause you’re not really looking at a granite countertop budget unless you’ve got a really nice rental property, which from the sounds of it, most people in our community and audience not running out granite countertop type properties because you’re buying something that’s affordable.

Eric Worral: (03:55)
So take this all with a grain of salt. So that was the first kick to the shin. Granite countertops. Number two, traditional woodgrain cabinets. Stay away from the standard Woodgreen cabinets in both style and size. The realtor says if you asked me that was never really in style. He said also to avoid cherry colored cabinets because they look dated. I, this made me laugh because I have granite countertops in my kitchen and I also have custom cherry cabinets. My father makes cabinets and asked me what I wanted and I said, you know what, let’s go with a dark woods stain cherry. So that’s what I’ve got. So I’m Oh for two so far as far as trends to avoid when it comes to your kitchen. Luckily my wife and I will be staying there for a long time, most likely.

Eric Worral: (04:44)
So not really worried about the resale value anytime soon. But it is funny when you do something like this looks really nice and then somebody else is going to buy it in 30, 40 years and be like, Oh, why did they do that? So avoid the traditional woodgrains. I agree with that though. When you kind of go into a place and it’s kind of got that Maplewood green color, I do feel like you’re like, okay, we’re looking at like mid-nineties, maybe, you know. I agree that that kinda gives it a dated look. So this article for the third trend to avoid, it’s talking about open shelving. So that right now it’s a gamble. Arlene Quirk, a realtor with Keller Williams and Pennsylvania says that it’s absolutely on trend is eclipsing the desire for closed cabinets, but she doesn’t think they’ll have staying power. Many homeowners to see it in the new construction question, how to use it longterm cabinets with doors, hide a multitude of sins. Yeah. You know, I think any trend that’s not really practical it probably doesn’t have staying power. It might look cool. It might, you know, have a few years of shelf life. Hey, maybe or editor could throw in a drum, you know, joke drama in there or something like that.

Eric Worral: (05:53)
Thanks, Luka. But I think the open shelving concept. Yeah. Like just from a practicality standpoint it’s I don’t want to sit there and arrange all my plates so they look perfect on the wall kind of thing. I know if I look at it, especially in my coffee mugs, that that’s kind of a mess that I like to hide. So w you know, that’s I guess to each their own on that one though. The next point here, I think we’re on 0.4 is closed off kitchens at saying, which, I don’t know, this is not really a trend to avoid. I don’t know. 100 people are like actively like closing off kitchens, like, Oh, this kitchens too open. I need to close it off, you know but it is worth discussing because right now probably the biggest trend of any is open space, right.

Eric Worral: (06:38)
Everyone talks about looking at the open space in here and natural light and those kinds of things. But it is saying that they do believe that open floor plans are going to continue into the future, which is kind of weird. I don’t know, in the end, maybe in the past that wasn’t an option. Like they were worried about, you know, the walls coming in or something. But it does seem kind of weird that everything was so closed off in the past, but that might aligned up better with, you know, the dad comes home, you don’t talk to him, you get him a beer or something, kind of days of old or something like that. I don’t know. I’m picturing, you know maybe like an old King of the Hill or something like that. And you don’t want the distractions and be able to see your family and interact with them.

Eric Worral: (07:20)
I don’t know. Who knows? But all right, so I got one, I don’t have open shelving and I also don’t have a closed-off kitchen so I’m not completely dated. But then I come right back to earth. And this next one, dark paint and wood, you’re gonna accomplish that flow from kitchen to the rest of the house with light paint and wood colors. So I thought this makes a good point. I said that there is a move to darker paint and wood colors, which I mentioned earlier. I did like a really dark cherry stain, a mix between an espresso stain and something else. I don’t remember off the top of my head. I like it. I think it looks nice but it says he had to be careful cause a good color is a function of space, size, and light. You need a large kitchen or lots of light to get away with dark colors.

Eric Worral: (08:01)
Dark spaces are still the attractor value. So that’s a good point because, in my kitchen, I’m not a lot of natural light coming directly in the kitchen. It kind of comes from the adjacent room because it is opened. But that’s probably something to consider and I’m sure you’ve heard that before. I know I have. The smaller the space, the lighter the color where if you have a small space and you paint the walls dark, it’s just going to make that space seem even smaller. If you have a really small space, just a little pro tip here, put mirrors on every wall and then you know, the rooms infinite in size and you can really, you could probably list it, you know, when you go to sell for, you know, 50,000 square feet because of all the mirrors on the walls.

Eric Worral: (08:40)
Just something to consider. I don’t know if you want to, you know, do it, but if you do, try that out, let me know how it goes. Next tip here, DIY, backsplashes and cabinets. All right, so I failed this one really good. It says, we know it saves money and allows for endless creative expression. But kitchen DIY says there are no go that includes everything from backsplashes to painted cabinets. Just don’t do it. I don’t know. I love the generalities that are online or in opinion pieces, right. Where it’s just like a don’t do it. I’m like, I personally did my own backsplash and I think it turned out fantastic. I really like it. Every time I look at it, I go, I really like how that backsplash turned out. And I’ve done a couple before, so maybe I worked out some of the rookie mistakes, but I’m like, I mentioned to my father built the kitchen cabinets that I have from he act shopped down trees.

Eric Worral: (09:33)
He built his own dehumidifier. He played down the wood, everything. So the cabinets in my house are from trees that were on the property that I grew up on. So I kinda got an emotional attachment to them, but I think they look nice, but there are aspects of them, I suppose, that are not ideal. So another buyer might come in and be like, why are these doors so thick and heavy or you know, it just doesn’t feel like other kitchens. But I’m planning that when I sell someday that you know, you get that kind of like want to be different buyers deal and they’re like, Oh my gosh, these cabinets are so unique. But who knows? But yeah it’s saying don’t do DIY. Right? So that is probably not going to go over well with a lot of people in this audience who do the DIY.

Eric Worral: (10:20)
If it’s a rental property. I think a lot of people you got to do DIY unless you’ve hit that critical mass where you’ve got enough properties under your belt and you can afford to get a crew in there and do things. If it’s your first, second, third, fourth, fifth property, like there’s a good chance you’re, you know, you’re in there swinging hammers and doing your thing. You know, watch a YouTube video or make sure you’re doing things the best you can live with the fact that it may not be perfect cause it’s not what you do for a living. And then you know, move on and go to the next I did the backsplash and my rental property and sold the property. Two months later they raved about the kitchen. They thought it looked great. I really looked at the backsplash and I thought it looked amateurish.

Eric Worral: (10:59)
So I guess the beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. But I keep that in mind. All right. You got any more on here? I’m kind of losing tree. Oh yes, yes. Ornate. Anything I said is a simple and cheap. What is it? Cheek are in plain styles are back. That means avoid anything that doesn’t have clean lines or can come across as ornate. Integrate, pull our handle pulls decorative wood, oddly shaped islands in style cabinet and draw in a drawer. Fronts. I think that kinda goes without saying that anytime you do anything or Nate, it’s going to have a lower livelihood for it to be kind of in trend. Right? if you do something that’s, you know, really outside of the norm, it’s very unlikely that somebody’s gonna look at it in five, 10 years and think that it’s, you know, trendy.

Eric Worral: (11:48)
But I guess that’s kind of up to your perception of what ordinate actually means. And then the last point here is talking about mismatch styles. Porter says that if the kitchen doesn’t match the rest of the house, it’s a deal-breaker. So skip the shabby chic chick chic. I don’t know why I keep trying to say chick, it’s chic. Oh boy, I need to get some more sleep people. I’ll tell you, holding a newborn at 3:45 AM this morning did not help my reading comprehension, but enough excuses aside. It says that a, that’s a deal-breaker. So it says mismatched flea market style if the rest of your home skews mid-century modern. So I got to say, I feel this one pretty good too, but maybe you’ve had this experience like I’ve had the issue that I’m running into is you have these certain rooms and I call them scabs.

Eric Worral: (12:39)
The reason I call these room scabs are it’s just like picking a scab and like you pick at it and you, you maybe you just wanted that little piece of that SCAD that was kind of already flaking off. And then as you’re picking at it, you’re like, I got, I could just keep picking any, pick the whole thing. Well, I, there are certain rooms in your house sometimes where you’re like, well, I love to change the trim on the floor there, but if I update that, then it’s not going to match those windows and their trim. And then it, at least in my case, the room that actually connects with the kitchen, I had these, like, they’re not gorgeous, right? They’re old. They’re probably 30 years old easily, but they’re these big windows that show the whole backyard. So I’m guessing if I got it professionally installed, I’d be looking like $10,000 just to replace these windows to be honest.

Eric Worral: (13:27)
So it’s not on my short to-do list here. But I’ve thought that I don’t like in this room the way that the trim is old, but I’m like if I redid the trim and had to redo the windows and if I redid the windows, like I don’t think it would actually go with the paint color like in here and the lights and you kind of start picking at the scab and before you know it, you’ve got to redo the whole room. So I definitely have two rooms in my house right now. I come to mind that kind of have mismatched dials from the rest of the house because I’m like afraid to pick the scab so to speak. So I’m sure you can relate to that because if I am jealous of people who like buy a house and just like hammer it, right?

Eric Worral: (14:10)
They just get it. So it’s like as close to perfect as possible and you walk through and you’re like, wow, this is like meticulously well done. Cause I feel like mine’s always got the little things where I’m like, yeah, but I don’t feel like updating those windows just yet. So you’re kind of dealing with that stuff. But there is something to be said for the hedonic treadmill. Maybe I’m going to screw this up cause I’m doing this from memory, but I had a friend for this to me. And basically the idea of the hedonic treadmill is that like you get on this treadmill and you buy something and you get that little dopamine rush because you bought something new and then it kind of goes away and then you buy another thing and you buy another thing and you buy another thing kind of thing.

Eric Worral: (14:47)
And from doing that you’re always just kind of chasing the next thing that you’re going to buy. You’re on this treadmill of, you know, just purchasing. Well, I feel like sometimes, you know, that can be a good thing. Right. And if you’re doing it in terms of your home, I’m getting that little bit of dopamine every three to six months when I do a new project because I’m slowly fixing it up and making it ours. And if I just did it all right away, it would just be done. And I wouldn’t, you know, get that little bump, you know? And this is my long-winded way of, you know, letting my beautiful wife know that I’m doing this for us. I’m doing this for us. I don’t, you know, I don’t want to just take it all right away and, you know, not have these little, you know, wins along the line in the future.

Eric Worral: (15:35)
And really it’s very courteous of me to do that. I feel like that’s really just shows how sweet I am as a person. So that’s what I’ve got to say about that. So all sarcasm aside, hopefully, you guys were not as offended by today’s topic as I was because I found out that I am going to be very dated very soon, but so is life, right? Things happen. You move on. All right guys. Speaking of moving on, that’s the end of today’s podcast. Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving last week, depending on when you’re listening to this, who knows? It could be the middle of summer, but I’ve got some holidays coming up and they’re going to be getting busy being on the road, whatnot, and a safe travels as you’re working through this festive time of year. All right, guys. Have a great week and take care.