5 Design Trends I’m Letting Go
**Disclaimer: Design is 100% subjective. These are merely my opinions, and per my advice in my last blog post – Your home should be a reflection of you. If you love something, you should do it no matter what anyone (even me!) says.
Last week, I shared a bit more of a personal blog post on why I’m quitting design trends and how I plan to tailor my designs moving forward to my clients, rather than being focused on what’s popular right now. If there’s one thing people in the design community love, IT’S TRENDS. There are trend reports, colors of the year, and design professionals who visit trade shows to report back on what’s going to be hot in the coming months. I want my clients’ spaces to be timeless and authentic. A home should be a portrait of who lives there, not a representation of 2019. There are some specific trends that really irk me, so here’s my list of CURRENT TRENDS I AM SO OVER.
(I would also like to point out that all of the images I’m about to include are my own work from towards the beginning of my career. I would never post images of another creative’s work and then bash it. These images show how I have grown over time and what I’ve learned.)
TREND #1: EVERY HOUSE CAN BE A FARMHOUSE … JUST KIDDING.
I like farmhouses as much as the next ‘guy’. In fact, I’m currently designing one for an amazing family who owns a local farm. The home will be built in the middle of 100 acres of farmland. We are focusing on materials that wear well (because – farm life.) and have an aged appearance so it will feel like it’s been there for a long time. The exterior stone has a French farmhouse feel with undulating depth and thick mortar lines. The interior is timber framed with hand-hewn timbers. This home is quite literally a farmhouse.
I’ll admit - I roll my eyes a lot at ‘Joanna Gaines’ interiors. I use that as a verb – not as a proper noun. People have over ‘Joanna’ed’ their homes that are not remotely farmhouses, and this is a great example of what’s wrong with design trends. I had a man call me hoping to hire Fuchsia Design for “the Joanna Gaines experience.” Quite literally the words he used. First of all, Fixer Upper is a tv show. It does not accurately depict the design process, nor does it represent realistic budgets or timelines. Second, if you hire Fuchsia Design, you won’t be getting any experience except the Fuchsia Design Experience, and I have a long list of clients who will attest that it’s top notch. As an interior designer, I refuse to copy and try to replicate an experience that mimics another creative.
Shiplap has a place, and it’s not in your 90’s home. Sliding barn doors are functional in a lot of spaces, but a reclaimed wood one does not belong in your 70’s ranch. And let’s be honest, that metal FARMHOUSE sign you have hanging in the kitchen of your 1960’s bungalow makes absolutely no sense. What’s that saying? “If you love it, set it free?” It’s time to set the farmhouse free, friends. Set it freeeeeeeee.
TREND #2: OCEAN, LAKE, POND - WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE!?
Living in Michigan, most of the homes I design are around 500 miles from the ocean. That being said, it’s not uncommon to see homes with whales, dolphins, seashells, coral, and starfish as décor. If you visit Homegoods in the summertime, there are shelves upon shelves on salt water accessories. We may never be further than 6 miles from a lake in Michigan, but those fresh water lakes and beach homes still don’t warrant hanging a whale on your wall. Nautical décor is fun when used in lakefront homes, but do yourself a favor. Put that Homegoods starfish back on the shelf, and waaaalk away.
TREND #3: RECLAIMED WOOD
Designing in an authentic way is something that I’ve been working on for years. Early in my career, I was still falling into what my style and groove were. So I too fell into the trends trap. I had an entire fireplace in my home covered in reclaimed wood when we first moved in 5 years ago (seen above). Wood can be a wonderful, high-end feature in a home, and you can achieve a variety of looks and coloring from knotty alder to clear cedar to hickory. The trouble with reclaimed wood is that up until a few years ago, it wasn’t being used, and in a few more years, the trend is going to have passed. But unless you’re using reclaimed wood in furniture, most of the applications are far more permanent, meaning your home is going to feel dated in just a few years. You can still have a wood accent wall, but embrace the knots and grain and invest your money in the timelessness of new wood.
TREND #4: WHITE GROUT
Many apologies to past clients who have full showers with white grout. It’s no secret that white interiors have been common in the past couple of years, and I too love the look of a crisp white room. But when it comes to bathrooms, white spaces typically means white grout, and let’s be honest – it’s the worst. When we bought our current home, a number of spaces had recently been retiled using white grout, and it is nothing short of a nightmare to keep looking perfect. Save yourself the hassle, and stick to light gray at the very lightest.
TREND #5: CONCRETE TILE
I love tile. In fact, it’s typically where my design process begins. There are endless possibilities, colors, and patterns you can create even with the most basic tiles. Lately, printed concrete tiles have become increasingly popular drawing inspiration from traditional Spanish and Mexican tiles. They’ve likely taken off because they have an inherent matte quality which is quite popular right now, they feel good to walk on, and it typically has a little bit more grip. I will admit – I love the look of concrete tile. It often comes with bold patterns and colors, which I’m obviously not afraid to use. But here’s the thing: form and function need to both be taken into consideration when investing in your home, and concrete tiles are THE WORST.
**Disclaimer: It’s worth noting that there is a large spectrum of concrete tiles and there are very high-end options that will perform better than that $5/sq ft style you found at Home Depot. There is also encaustic clay tile which can have a similar look to concrete as well as hydraulic cement tile which is sometimes called encaustic tile because it mimics the older, much more costly, encaustic clay. Okay – moving on.
Due to the porous nature, concrete tiles are more prone to stains. According to the New York Times, “Ceramic tile usually has a layer of glaze on top and is impervious after being fired at a high temperature in a kiln. [However] Cement tile is cured at room temperature, not fired, and the colored layer on top, usually about an eighth of an inch thick, is porous” The product should be sealed regularly, and you need to have an installer that’s well-versed in this product. It is also etched by acidic materials. In the kitchen, this can mean tomato sauce or fruit juice. In the bathroom, it means it’s not uncommon for their to be etching around the toilet where the user... missed. Over time, you can expect to see water spots, hairline cracks, and staining. There is a time and place for cement tiles. I recommend only using them for people who love aged architecture and patina. For everyone else, I recommend going with a porcelain or ceramic. There are tons of ‘look alike’ options that will hold up much better over time.
SO - there you have it! 5 trends I’m over that I personally won’t be using again. You do you, and if you love something on my list, carry on, my friend.