Kitchen Design Timeline: Popular Kitchen Models Then and Now


Most of the time, residential homeowners stick to current popular trends and designs for kitchen renovation and remodelling. However, there is no reason not to check on previous models and plans as inspiration to create something fresh and new.

So if you’re interested in checking out kitchen designs that were popular in the past, let us all take a nice trip down memory lane to see what elements you can incorporate in your home today.

The 1970s

It was around this time that retro kitchens were pretty famous across the globe, which is why you’ll see lots of designs with vibrant colours and patterned floors. Colourful accessories and shiny appliances were also trendy around this time, so you’ll notice that there are many elements and combinations present in kitchen plans in this era.

Furthermore, the roots of contemporary kitchen designs were first introduced around this period, as the importance of work triangles and island bars started to gain recognition. Aside from this, the introduction of vinyl-coated wallpapers happened around this time, which led most individuals to cover their kitchen walls with wallpapers instead of painting them traditionally.

The 1980s

Kitchens in the 1980s can be described as bright and light, which is not that different from designs that we all see today. Around this decade, pantries became rather famous due to the need for extra storage space at home. This idea then resulted in the luxurious butler pantries that you can see in modern homes.

In this era, unique designs such as U-shaped kitchens became a trend as well. Ultimately, this paved the way for adopting this style in small kitchens to maximise space nowadays.

The 1990s

Kitchen layouts in the 1990s are somewhat similar to the ones we see these days. Around this period, contemporary interior design is slowly taking root, as most homeowners are adopting the use of oak cabinets and island bars.

It is also the decade when people are starting to take the minimalist approach of less is more, so you’ll notice that kitchen renovation and remodelling schemes focus more on achieving a clean and natural look.

The 2000s

It was around this era that technological advancements had influenced changes in kitchen interior designs and decorations. In this decade, people have become more open in choosing dramatic and dark shades for kitchens.

Aside from that, the inclusion of marble and metal in kitchen designs has become a trend. Thus, most people opted for marble counters and metallic appliances contrasting with dark colours for bespoke kitchens. Nonetheless, some homeowners still adopt contemporary elements as many settle for light and airy kitchen designs.


It is no secret that kitchen interior design has gone a long way, and previous decorations are pretty different from the modern kitchens that we know today. However, this does not mean that you have to confine and hold yourself to the standards and elements of present-day kitchen designs alone. Remember that the fun of having a rich history is that you have plenty of options to decorate and style your kitchen the way you want to. So if you’re going to have one that stands out, it would be an excellent idea to mix and match distinct styling combinations from different periods.

Look Cabinets is a local service provider that specialises in bathroom and kitchen renovations. From designing to manufacturing, we can take care of all your remodelling needs. View our kitchen showroom in Sunshine Coast today, and let us discuss how you can make your dream kitchen a reality!