Edward has never been a neutral person and thinks “that home should have personality and style and intensity and beauty kind of thing.” He adds, “Gray walls, black fixtures, all that stuff. White kitchens. Awful, I hate them.” In Samantha’s opinion, there’s nothing like a kitchen update to strip the space of its character: “You get mismatched linoleum floors, and white countertops that stain really easily.” A mess, she calls it, while also acknowledging that it’s typically rentals that fall victim to this problem. Similarly, Alli Gelles of Cakes4sport acknowledges that “you’re always kind of at mercy of whatever space you’re moving into.” Still, she has a serious bone to pick with gray kitchens specifically. “I feel like there was a big charcoal movement,” she says. “It’s this weird obsession in the design world where people don’t want it to be all-white, so now it’s gray. It also feels really manufactured in a way. It’s like, that’s the formula to be different almost, but then what happens is we just end up back in the same spot.”
Some of us may have already forgotten about the Kardashian family’s glass jars on the counter stacked with cookies, but Jonah has not, and he thinks it “still has a lot of clout,” despite personally being very against it. Jen’s own “personal hell” is the “psycho levels of Container Store, clear storage, labeled, matching everything” that she refers to as “very Pinterest” and “very nightmarish.” It’s not only so much plastic and labeling, but she also points out that from a cooking perspective “is just totally impractical because people buy different kinds of pasta, and then you have 10 different pastas with different cooking instructions and you don’t know what any of them are.”
Both deeply ick’d by trendy containers, Jonah and Jen agree on what makes the best at home Tupperware solution: chefs’ deli containers. As Jen further explains, you can “get them when you get miso soup at the Japanese restaurant and then keep them,” then “forever stack them and forever reuse them.” Jonah will “die on this hill till the end of time” and makes a strong case that it’s “highly functional to be able to see what’s inside, use at any temperature, pour at any angle, and then clean in the dishwasher.”
In recent years, retro-looking appliances from brands like Smeg and Big Chill have steadily been making their way into the most updated kitchens. But Aimee is calling for a total fridge rebrand, on the grounds that people are trying too hard, and colored fridge designs are “so horrible” in general. Alli would never shell out the cash for a stylized appliance, especially one as permanent as a fridge or stove. Edward laughs thinking about a pink AGA stove, once again asking the perfect question to humble us all: “What are you going to do? You’re going to make mac and cheese on that?” He says people need to pump the brakes a bit, adding that they should not even think about going to get that new pink Samsung fridge.
Aimee is a fan of classic wood cutting boards that will last forever, and she said she’s over “those speckled cutting boards—every time I go into a store, I’m like, Not another one. They’re at every shoppy shop.” Tara isn’t a fan of ceramic cookware that feels 3D-printed. “I want to support young people in businesses, but sometimes I’m like, This is not craftsmanship.” When asked for his opinion on ceramic pans, Jonah answered without hesitation. “I mean, it’s a no for me—an on-the-record no from me,” he says. “People need to buy cast-iron pans; the older the better.”
From Alli’s perspective, the kitchen should not be a place for “weird magic tricks,” so she questions the trend of hiding refrigerators, dishwashers, or any other major appliances behind closed cabinet doors. In her opinion, a kitchen serves such a clear purpose and function of being a place to prep and cook food.“It’s like, ‘Where’s the fridge? Where’s the dishwasher?’ And it’s like, ‘No, no, we don’t show those here.’ That is very weird to me; you expect there to be a fridge.” Jen is fed up with “drawers without handles that you have to press on to open” because “they’re just awful to use, they pop back out. Sometimes you end up with dueling corner drawers.” As she so perfectly sums it up, “Kitchen trends feel like a way to lie about what a kitchen is.”