High gloss kitchens are making a comeback – but how do you do this once-dated trend in 2024?

Gone are the days of detail-less, handless, contemporary gloss kitchens. In 2024, gloss kitchens are high shine and high energy

red gloss kitchen
(Image credit: Chused & Co / Jeff Holt)

Kitchen trends come and go, with styles coming and going out of fashion at a rate that can be hard to keep up. One minute we're all falling for deep, dark kitchen colors and the next we're fawning over bright white pantries. It's a fickle business, but if there's one thing we know to be true it's this: decorate for you, and you only.

High gloss, contemporary, slab front cabinetry was all the rage not so long ago. But they've taken a dip in popularity over the last few years, making way for more traditional-style kitchen trends. However, in 2024 this seemingly dated kitchen trend is making a comeback. So what do you think? Are gloss kitchens really going to be on trend in 2024?

Today, the trendiest of interior designers and kitchen makers are turning to a high-shine finish to add an old-world charm to more characterful kitchens that pack a punch in the style stakes. So, we asked them for their thoughts. Here's why you should embrace a lovely bit of lacquer in your kitchen this year.

Are High Gloss Kitchens On Trend In 2024?

white gloss kitchen with blue gloss ktichen island and a vintage runner rug

(Image credit: Emily June Designs / Claudia Casbarian / Julie Soefer)

A gloss kitchen isn't a new concept. Futuristic, glossy kitchens first gained popularity back in the '70s with a small resurgence in the 2010s, before we all fell for the matte or semi-sheen kitchen cabinet styles that are so popular today. 

If you're looking to give your kitchen a refresh this year, a gloss finish might be your answer. Designers are enjoying the sheen, and light-bouncing quality it brings to a kitchen. 'I'm drawn to high lacquer kitchens for their elegance, transforming any space into a sophisticated culinary haven,' says Jenna Chused of Brooklyn-based interior design firm Chused & Co.

Richard Davonport, managing director at Davonport, agrees. 'If you are wanting high impact and luxury, a gloss kitchen delivers on both fronts. 2024 is the year that we see trends emerge from the ashes. First came the resurgence of wood kitchen cabinets, and now we’re seeing a growing demand for gloss kitchens.' But is it so much of a shock?

Gloss surfaces have a timeless allure that's hard to replicate. They create a sense of spaciousness, making even the smallest kitchens feel more expansive and inviting. The reflectiveness of a shiny surface will enhance natural light, creating a bright and airy atmosphere, a feature highly valued in modern kitchen design. 

'Gloss kitchens work particularly well in small or north-facing spaces as they reflect light to create a bright, airy room. However, this doesn’t mean that gloss cabinets should only be used under these circumstances. And of course, we can’t forget that gloss brings to cleaning, as they are super easy to wipe down with a damp cloth; making it a low-maintenance option for those with busy schedules or family life,' says Richard.

In 2024, however, we're not talking slab fronts and ultra-modern, super-sleek kitchens. Instead, designers are making way for a more characterful, traditional English kitchen style that has been given a lustrous bold sheen to bring it into the new age.

How To Do A Gloss Kitchen In 2024

black kitchen with gloss finish and marble countertops dramatic pendant light

(Image credit: Chused & Co / Photography Jeff Holt)

The high-gloss kitchen trend feels particularly fresh. As kitchen color trends flip and flop between muted vs bold, this trend for the application and sheen of color is a little more nuanced. Like the trend for stainless steel kitchens, it brings the feeling of a slick space ready for a professional chef, or a professional host. 

What's considered trendy today may be passé tomorrow, we all know that. But for now, we've asked interior designers to find out the most on-trend ways to work with and style a gloss kitchen in 2024, and how to create it in your own home.

1. Paint shaker-style cabinet fronts in a gloss finish

red gloss kitchen with shaker cabinets and a black gloss island

(Image credit: Chused & Co / Photography Jeff Holt)

While typically reserved for minimal, slab front cabinets, using a glossy finish on Shaker kitchen cabinets is the way to go in 2024. It can elevate the entire feeling of a classic kitchen, creating a sleek and polished look that appeals to those seeking a mix of timeless charm with a little contemporary edge. Plus, it's an upgrade that you could easily DIY by painting your existing kitchen cabinets.

Jenna Chused, founder of Chused & Co and designer of the deliciously shiny kitchen doused in red paint seen above, chose to paint the cabinets in a high gloss lacquer. Because of this process, the finish is incredibly durable and easily wipeable so it's a win-win. 

Brass hardware and a plaster range hood with open shelving keep the look and feel of a transitional kitchen, while the marble countertops play to the modern feel that the lacquer brings.

'Used judiciously, gloss paint can really lift an interior as the finish reflects light and adds depth and interest to any color scheme,' says Merlin Wright, design director of Plain English Design. 'Gloss for us has never gone out of style but we are using it more, these days as as the technology of water-based gloss has improved dramatically in recent years. In the past, gloss paint was oil-based which made it difficult and time-consuming to apply as it required a completely dust-free environment and had a long drying time.'

2. Try a gloss finish on your walls or ceiling

yellow kitchen with glossy ceiling and stain glass windows with chrome accessories

(Image credit: Hollie Bowden / Genevieve Lutkin)

If you're not feeling particularly sold on the idea of gloss cabinetry, the way to strike a balance with this trend is a combination of finishes. 'The use of high gloss on cabinetry has really come to the fore, being used for statement schemes to highlight accent pieces,' says Joa Studholme,  Farrow & Ball's color curator. 'Balancing ultra-matt with full gloss is a gorgeous, albeit unexpected, way to give spaces a modern, polished feel.' 

Applying a gloss finish to walls or ceilings and keeping your cabinets flat can create a striking effect, while still amplifying light and adding depth to the room just in a more subtle way. It's a daring yet simple way to infuse a space with a touch of glamour.

'We often use gloss in combination with other finishes, as wall-to-wall gloss could be a bit much in some spaces,' says Merlin. 'A typical approach might be to paint a tall cupboard in gloss against a run of floor cupboards in eggshell, either in a contrasting color or a gloss version of the same one,' he suggests. 'Gloss also works as a very minimal, wipeable splash-back when used in blocks behind sinks and hobs as an alternative to stone, steel, or tiles.' In high-traffic areas or rooms prone to moisture, such as the sink or cooker, a gloss finish is more wipeable and durable than matte paint.

3. Pair with high-shine appliances like stainless steel

small black gloss kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a plaster cooker hood

(Image credit: Victoria Holly Interiors / Photography Lauren Engel)

When working with a high-shine finish, you don't want your look to be dulled down by boring appliances. So, our best advice is to turn to stainless steel for your range cooker, dishwasher, freestanding fridge, and even sink. Yes, sink.

Stainless steel offers a timeless elegance that complements the sleekness of gloss finishes, for an industrial-meets-professional look. Additionally, the reflective nature of stainless steel enhances the luminosity of gloss surfaces. If you're wondering what colors work best with stainless steel appliances, the answer is basically: all of them. Lending itself to dark, moody palettes as well as a neutral scheme, a silver-hued cooker is going to look at home in just about any kitchen style.

Stainless steel appliances, however, can be notorious for showing fingerprints and smudges, which can detract from the pristine appearance of glossy surfaces. So be sure to follow our guide on how to clean stainless steel appliances.

4. Choose a freestanding island or pantry and lacquer it

gloss red kitchen island with marble countertop with a gloss pink pantry cupboard sitting behind

(Image credit: Plain English Design)

For an alternative to gloss cabinetry that isn't wall-related, try lacquering freestanding kitchen islands or pantries imbuing them with a luxurious sheen. This will elevate their presence in the kitchen, particularly in contrast to flat walls and matte cabinets.

Using a combination of finishes helps to bring out architectural details and allows you to play with color, without overwhelming the entire kitchen. 'It’s all down to mixing textures and introducing interesting details,' explains Tiffany Duggan, founder of Studio Duggan. 'If the color palette is quite tonal, mixing rough with smooth or matt with glossy finishes is a great way to add interest,' she suggests.

Lacquering allows you to customize freestanding furniture with a pop of color – like in the kitchen above, designed by Plain English that features a glossy deep red island and a dusty pink high-shine pantry. It's a simple use of paint that can breathe new life into existing pieces or serve as a statement-making addition to a kitchen redesign.

'For us, it all depends on the overall interior scheme and if more traditional in style of kitchen,' says Tom Rutt of TR Studios. 'We feel gloss suits a more contemporary kitchen style, however, there is always a place for gloss paint and we often add it to the interiors of cupboards for a pop of surprise where you might not expect it!'

A gloss kitchen won't be for everyone, and ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and how well a style resonates with you. While high-shine might be making waves in kitchen design at the moment, trends are always evolving so that's why we've shown you plenty of ways to create your own take on the trend – whether you're looking to jump all in or create subtle nods to the sheen. 

Charlotte Olby
Content Editor

Charlotte is content editor at Homes and Gardens, having joined the team the week before Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she found herself working at many women's glossy magazines including: Grazia, Stylist and Hello and most recently working as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with Charlotte's passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome