10 signs you need a new kitchen in 2024 – and the knowhow you need to update it

The giveaways that reveal a kitchen revamp should be at the top of your to-do list

Kitchen with wooden stools by kitchen island and wooden ceiling
(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

As a new year begins, take a moment to judge whether the signs you need a new kitchen in 2024 are apparent. An objective look at the room could reveal that a kitchen remodel should be top of the agenda this year.

It’s easy to become so accustomed to a room that you overlook its issues, but an impartial assessment will allow any inconveniences, wear and tear, and datedness to stand out. And that’s when the kitchen ideas that will transform it come to the rescue.

But which are the signs that indicate a new kitchen is a must? We asked interior designers and kitchen experts to reveal the giveaways of a room in need of a refresh and this is what they told us.

What are the signs that you need a new kitchen?

Know what to look out for and it can become very clear that it’s time for a kitchen remodel as a number one priority in 2024. These might include problems with kitchen layouts that at best are inconvenient but at worse can create a risk of harm when working with hot pans and sharp knives. Alternatively, kitchen countertops might be damaged or unhygienic, or kitchen cabinets inadequate for storage, for example. 

To decide whether you need a new kitchen, use this list of signs that it’s time for a remodel from interior professionals.

1. Deterioration of fittings

navy kitchen with white countertops

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Even hardwearing kitchen materials and fittings eventually show their age. ‘When surfaces are cracked, it’s time to make things better,’ says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky. The way to ensure new features last? ‘Pick hard materials like quartz or granite for counters,’ Artem suggests. ‘These will last for a long time.’

Pay attention if cabinet doors no longer hang properly either. ‘Invest in well-constructed cabinets with soft-close hinges and consider modern styles like Shaker or flat panel for a timeless look, advises Rassan Grant, director at Norstone USA. And look out, too, for cracked tiles and leaky faucets as signs a new kitchen should be on the agenda, he says.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky boasts extensive global design experience spanning a decade. With a commitment to sustainability and authenticity, Artem, alongside his dedicated team, undertakes projects both in the US and internationally, earning recognition through prestigious design awards. Artem is the founder of Arsight, an esteemed global design firm known for its expertise in residential and commercial interior design.

2. Lifestyle changes

modern rustic kitchen with marble countertops

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan, Photography Julie Soefer)

How we live changes over time, leaving unmet needs. ‘One of the biggest signs that it’s time for a new kitchen is when you notice a lack in functionality,’ says interior designer Hilary Matt on behalf of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove.

‘Kitchens need to be designed in a way that caters to our lifestyle and allows us to be as efficient as possible and, more likely than not, your lifestyle has changed since you last renovated your kitchen. 

‘For example, you may host much more than you used to, with the need of double wall ovens for extra cooking real estate, or you might have gotten into wine collecting and would really enjoy a wine storage unit. Appliances that have specialty uses are a great way to invest in your space and cater it specifically for your needs.’

3. Sagging cabinets

Dark charcoal kitchen cabinets in a luxury kitchen

(Image credit: St Charles New York)

Worse than kitchen cabinet doors that no longer hang correctly are those that sag. ‘If your wall cabinets are sagging and trying to become base cabinets, it’s probably time to remodel,’ says Thomas Borcherding, lead designer and owner of Homestar Design Remodel. 

‘Wall cabinet sagging commonly occurs when the cabinetry is made of medium-density fibreboard (MDF),’ he says. ‘The higher quality option is plywood construction, where sagging is virtually non-existent.’

4. Poor layout

kitchen with white cabinets and vintage rug

(Image credit: Ema Peter)

Battling against a bad layout? It’s a clear sign it’s time for a change. The cooking zone’s design is crucial so the room works well, but also for safety. 

‘The golden triangle (sink, stove, refrigerator) is more like a trapezoid,’ explains Rassan Grant. ‘A poorly organized cooking zone frustrates even the most seasoned chefs.’ For the future? ‘Opt for an efficient layout that prioritizes traffic flow and ease of movement,’ he says.

A layout that has unused corners and wasted space is also a hint that it’s time to remodel. ‘Maximize every inch,’ Rassan says. ‘Built-in cabinets, corner shelves, and pull-out drawers can reclaim lost space and make your kitchen feel larger and more functional.’

5. Golden oak

Kitchen with large kitchen island in foreground

(Image credit: Future / Mary Wadsworth / HÁM interiors)

Style is personal, but a kitchen with golden oak might be one worth refreshing. ‘The presence of golden oak in a kitchen increases the likelihood that you need to remodel exponentially,’ says Thomas Borcherding. 

‘The once iconic but now infamous golden oak color has long been out of style. While there’s nothing wrong with oak, you may wish to opt for a stain that doesn’t carry such a yellow hue with it.’

6. Dim or overbright lighting

Pink and dark blue deVOL kitchen

(Image credit: deVOL)

There’s a ‘just right’ when it comes to kitchen lighting, and if yours isn’t, it’s one of the reasons why you need to remodel. 

‘A kitchen can feel bad if it’s too dark or very bright,’ explains Artem Kropovinsky. ‘Modern kitchens use different types of light like task, general and focused. They often use LED lights to save energy and manage brightness better.’

7. Cracked grout lines

Pink kitchen with hanging copper pans and original wooden beams

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Inspect grout – it could reveal that a new kitchen is a great idea. ‘Something I commonly see prior to remodeling a client’s kitchen is cracked grout lines,’ says Thomas Borcherding. 

‘Cracked grout lines are indications of subfloor and kitchen tile shifting, whether it be from foundation settlement or deflection in the plywood. In order to prevent this problem, future tile installations should utilize what’s known as an uncoupling membrane. An uncoupling membrane provides relief between two hard surfaces, allowing energy to transfer without the formation of cracks.’

8. Tired appliances

kitchen with stainless steel fridge freezer

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Previous generations of appliances were energy-hungry compared to the latest designs, so a kitchen that’s still relying on them is one in need of a revamp. 

‘Broken old machines not only raise energy costs, they will also affect how well the kitchen functions,’ says Artem Kropovinsky. ‘Choose the best kitchen appliances - energy-saving, smart devices in 2024 to make things work better and cause less harm to the environment.’

9. Wrong cabinet to content ratio

Larder incorporated into a bespoke fitted ktichen

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

Effective kitchen storage is crucial to the room, so take an objective look at how it’s working. ‘Filled or empty cupboards show a difference with current storage needs,’ says Artem Kropovinsky. 

A new kitchen is a chance to match the space available to requirements when planning cabinetry for the new room. Consider versatile options for a remodeled room, too. ‘Prepare your kitchen for the future by adding storage options that can change, such as shelves or drawers you can move,’ suggests Artem

10. Lack of induction cooktop

Induction cooktops in a kitchen

(Image credit: GettyImages)

There’s one appliance that’s a must-have for the room, according to Steve Pallrand, founder of Home Front Build and CarbonShack. ‘If your kitchen does not have an electric induction cooktop, it is definitely time for an update in 2024,’ he says. 

‘Induction cooktops are the present and the future. They are not only a precise and versatile cooking machine, the Tesla of cooking, but they eliminate indoor air pollution.’


How do I know if my kitchen is outdated?

There are some kitchen looks whose moment is long past. Honey oak cabinets and floral wallpaper are one outdated kitchen trend. ‘Embrace sleek, handleless cabinets in muted tones or natural wood textures. 2024 trends lean towards minimalism and warm, inviting spaces,’ advises Rassan Grant, director at Norstone USA. And you might want to wave goodbye to avocado appliances and harvest gold hardware, he says. ‘It’s time to ditch the throwback appliances and swap for sleek stainless steel or statement black matte finishes,’ he adds.

A new kitchen is a major investment, so be sure to invest time in planning and designing a kitchen to ensure it meets all your demands for style and functionality. Check out the full range of kitchen styles, too: traditional, transitional, Scandi, farmhouse, or others might suit you and your home. And take inspiration from the experts’ kitchen styling tips to get a pro-level finish. 

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.