11 home design trends we can't stand anymore
Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | December 9, 2015
Design trends come and go, but some have been sticking around for a while. Somebody has to say it, so here goes: some home designs really need to disappear. Here are some of the most overdone home trends that have us rolling our eyes.
All white everything
Sure, it would be nice to live on a fluffy cloud. But here in the real world, those white sofas are blinding, the matching furniture is boring and those pristine floors don't stand a chance against the dirt and dust of life. Come back down to earth with pops of color -- a navy floor rug, a few striped pillows and unique patterned curtains are a great start.
Seeing the word "EAT" spelled out in the kitchen and the word "BATH" spelled out in the bathroom seems like overkill. Large letter signage is only a good idea if you are trying to get attention from a mile away; that's why we have neon. Replace those big letters with something more personal. Just not with…
Granted, this works very well as a small kitchen accent or a child's wall. Beyond that, the schoolhouse look that once invoked nostalgia now just feels old and weary, and thinking about cleaning up all that chalk is cringe-worthy. Take a note from the local diner and opt for classy butcher paper on a hanging roll to keep your notes.
Speaking of the kitchen, there are few things more out-of-date than marble countertops. Yes, they are beautiful, classic, and so rich that they almost smell like cold, hard cash. But that's why everyone -- absolutely everyone -- has the exact same look. Step out of that tired old design box with something surprising and new, like a sleek concrete countertop.
If you want your kitchen to look like a restaurant, this is the way to do it. But eventually all that stainless steel will leave you feeling cold, as if you were standing in an operating theater instead of a home. Get back to something more comfortable with black appliances. If it's stainless steel countertops you are recovering from, go with something fun, like glass with pops of color embedded inside.
A carefully placed mirror can work wonders in a very small home. Even homes with plenty of room can benefit from a big mirror here and there. But when there are dozens of mirrors, it feels more like watching Alice in Wonderland after one too many glasses of wine. Keep the house sane with a single handsome mirror in the right place -- no more than one per room.
This is the new eggshell white. It screams 'this house is devoid of imagination.' In fact, this is the most common color used by those who swoop in to flip a house and never live a single day under its roof -- they use grey to create a blank slate for the next owner. Get out from under that rain cloud with eye-popping accent walls.
Who doesn't love to build something and proudly show it off? That's one of the biggest draws of the DIY craze, and it is powerful indeed. One handmade item here or there showcases your creativity; a whole house full of them negates creativity and instead suggests that somebody jumped on the DIY bandwagon. Break out of that tired trend by investing in something sleek, shiny, and unique, but not homemade.
TV over the fireplace
The television is for viewing your favorite shows. The fireplace is for a relaxing, simple, and even romantic night by the fire. Putting the two together diminishes both of them. Tuck that television away behind a handsome armoire and let the fireplace shine the way it was intended.
This type of home decor is just fine if you actually live way back in the woods. But antlers on the wall and lamps detailing moose on the range can look silly anywhere else. As with all things, moderation is key. Pare down the cabin goodies to one or two in each room, and make sure they accent something else; perhaps hang those antlers over the fireplace (where your television used to be!).
There is always something to be said for making the most of what you've got, and there are few things in life that are as appealing and welcoming as a beaten-up farmhouse table. But the rustic look works as a piece here or there, not as an entire house full of it. Use wise, strategic placement of that cherished table or chair to make them stand out.
Now that you've read the list, don't be offended -- be inspired! Now is the time to shut down those old design trends and create something gorgeous, unique and entirely you.