Avoid These Expensive Decor Trends That Won’t Last6 min read
“Good design doesn’t date,” the late architect Harry Seidler is believed to have said. Chic couture icon Coco Chanel said, “Fashion changes, but style endures” Both of these quotes, however, were uttered well before Instagram was born, forever changing the way we discover and shop for home decor.
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In the age of social media, trends move faster and more aggressively than ever before. Influencers are constantly churning out new content to flaunt the latest fads, and celebrities who might have once only shared glimpses into their homes via glossy magazine spreads can now invite the public in for a peek anytime by way of their smartphones.
A study from Deloitte found that 40% of consumers shopping for furniture, home furnishings, and home improvement turn to social media for inspiration. And don’t forget the home renovation and makeover reality shows to which an entire network (HGTV) is devoted. In all, it can be overwhelming, and naturally, not every trend that pops up on “Property Brothers” or “Million Dollar Decorator” has staying power. Indeed, many designs do date and don’t endure.
Here’s a look at 11 home decor crazes that interior designers, trend experts and real estate insiders think are on their way out.
Last updated: Dec. 29, 2020
“Open shelving in kitchens looks great in photos, but there is a reason cabinets have doors and that is to protect the contents from getting dusty and dirty from airborne cooking grime and residue,” said Julie Maigret, an interior designer. “If you want to dress up your kitchen, add small accessories to the countertops and keep your dishes where nature intended them: safe and clean behind closed doors.”
Joe Flanagan, founder of 90s Fashion World, adds that by splurging on open shelving, you’re essentially “buying a chore” and “depending on what you put there it might also go to waste over time due to light and dust.”
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“As much as I adore warm accents, gold faucets and hardware in kitchens and bathrooms will soon become passé,” said Maigret. “When it comes to pricey embellishments, consider the long game: If it comes time to put your house on the market, you’ll be glad you chose classic fixtures that are palatable to a wider audience.”
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The All Grey Theme
“I think the ‘all grey’ theme is going to go out of style fairly soon,” said Pavel Khaykin, a real estate investor and realtor with Pavel Buys Houses. “We’ve seen many homes over the past several years using grey flooring, grey wall paint, grey cabinets — the trend is just about done and is so oversaturated and does not appeal to all buyer demographics. We’re already seeing local hardware stores gearing away from this color. I feel that more natural, rustic wood tone patterns and colors will become more prominent while greys will be fading away (especially from new construction builds).”
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Raised Basin Sinks
“While visually interesting, raised basin sinks are not practical and can be hard to use, especially if you have children,” said Stephanie Purcell, interior designer and owner of Redesigned Classics. “They also require special hardware that is not always readily available. I find that after the year we have had, people are wanting easier and more user friendly options.”
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Exposed Bulb and Edison Lighting
“This trend had a moment, and everyone loved the unique look; however, unless you’re committed to the minimalist industrial aesthetic, you’ll grow tired of this,” warned Daniel Javor, CEO of Next Luxury. “As time goes on, your lights will look outdated. To make matters worse, these unique lights were sold at a premium due to the trending demand. A perfect alternative is minimalist lighting that’s more affordable, achieves a clean aesthetic, and has a strong, timeless appeal.”
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“The rose gold trend is everywhere from your iPhone to your door handles,” said Lisa Seeger, design trend expert at N-Hance™ Wood Refinishing. “It’s saturated the market and is no longer special – bright and shiny comes and goes. Stick to quality basics.”
Phuong Mai, an interior designer and founder, La Chouetta, thinks that along with rose gold soft pinks and blush tones are also on their way out, adding: “The use of these tones will certainly decline gradually and be replaced with bolder, darker tones.”
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“It was cute when it began but if someone is looking to design for resale in the future steer clear of overtly farmhouse [looks] unless they’re on a farm,” said Maria Martin, ASID, interior designer, founder, Design Appy.
Sarah Nelson, lead designer, Spacejoy is also not feeling the farmhouse aesthetic — zooming in on the tiredness of shiplap walls. “I almost hate saying this, because I do appreciate the element, but I can’t help but feel that shiplap will become the new wood paneling,” Nelson said. “Farmhouse has only been trendy for a few years so I think it’ll really start to look dated once people tire of the trend.”
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“One of the biggest and most expensive design mistakes I see customers making is picking tile that is too trendy for their kitchen and baths,” said Irah Price, designer at Spacejoy. “These rooms can make or break home sales in the future and not to mention cost thousands of dollars to fix if you change your mind. My recommendation is to keep it classic: simple and timeless tiles are a no-brainer.”
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“We love, love, love this trend [of boucle upholstery], but the impracticalities of a giant piece of hard-to-clean white furniture are just glaring,” said Eve Epstein, editor-in-chief/VP of content, Hunker. “Unless you live an incredibly gentle lifestyle devoid of children, pets and normal people, it’s sure to end in disappointment.”
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“That huge, knobbly, vintage hutch with hand-painted floral accents may seem like a great idea right now, but once it gets old, it’ll feel really old,” said Epstein of the cottagecore craze. “Not to mention tough to match with future purchases.”
Rather than making major investments to enjoy the hugely popular cottagecore trend, Epstein recommends implementing small, easily reversible changes. For instance, you might consider a cottagecore style table linen instead of overhauling your dining room with heavy, rustic pieces and vintage china.
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“Decor splurges like crazy expensive landscaping that uses up tons of precious water and other resources to maintain [will] definitely look outdated, and is on the way out,” Christiane Lemieux, an interior designer. “Likewise, homes with huge footprints or anything similar that seems ‘wasteful’ are most certainly on the decline. That also means what we’d term ‘disposable’ furnishings is getting very outdated, and by that I mean furniture that is not meant to last, regardless of the price tag.”
Lemieux suggests that fast fashion as it manifest in the home decor space will also diminish in popularity, as folks deepen their interest in heirloom furniture and well-crafted pieces that stand the test of time.
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