Last week I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about home design and, in particular, home trends. We’ve all lived through various designs trends- Harvest Gold appliances, orange shag carpet, hunter green laminate countertops, brass everything, etc. If you recall, Flip 2 was a showcase of retro trends that, in its prime, was a high-end home.
And while there’s nothing wrong with trends, I think it’s important to realize what they are. Temporary design trends. You can’t go Lowe’s and buy a Harvest Gold stove anymore. Flooring stores don’t stock orange shag carpet. Why? Because they’ve gone out of style.
So if they’re temporary and will go out of style, why do people use them? I have even used design trends in home.
A few things to consider when choosing a design trend:
- How difficult and expensive will it be to change this when it’s out of style?
- Can you live with the design even when it’s long gone from the current trend?
- Are you okay with your house looking like everyone else’s?
Currently, thanks to Fixer Upper and HGTV, shiplap is all the rage. On almost every episode of Fixer Upper, you can spot rooms [or entire houses] full of shiplap. Typically, the shiplap they use is pristine white shiplap.
The shiplap is effect is beautiful and adds some contrast to boring drywall. But as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, you can bet that the shiplap trend will die off. What will Joanna Gaines do then?!
Another classic design trend that, once again, thanks to Chip & Jo, has made its presence known in home trends is subway tile. Not only is this a design feature people like, people are actually paying MORE for houses that have subway tile! So, since they’re paying more, of course I put subway tile in the Flip 4 house!
One of the unexpected designs that have popped up is the usage of barn doors. Gone are the days of pocket door trends (which I still love), and now are the days of visible industrial hardware and sliding doors– new, old, vintage, or unique. Again, people are paying MORE for houses with barn doors, so I’ve incorporated one in Flip 3 and Flip 4.
Knowing all of these designs will phase out eventually, should you add them to your home? As a Realtor and a house flipper, here’s my opinion to that question.
- Less is more.
Don’t flood your house with every trend on the market. Should all of your walls be shiplap? No! An entire bathroom, kitchen, backsplash all have subway tile? No.
When you incorporate trends to the excess, you’re just asking for your house to date faster than it should! Consider an accent wall like I did in the master bathroom in Flip 4!
- Make it easily changeable
For example, when the maroon & hunter green trend was on fire in the 1990s like gray is today, consider using accents for the trends. Pillows, linens, accent wall, or even artwork are all great ways of incorporating trends in a temporary manor….because trends are temporary.
- How long do you plan to live at your house?
One of the perks that I have in using trends (sparingly!) is that I don’t live in the houses. I’m wanting to capitalize on the trends to drive up the sellability and value in a home, so, like the shiplap walls and subway tile, I use them to meet that goal. If I was living in the house for a long time, I might reconsider my design choices. Again, trends are temporary and if you don’t plan on living in the home temporarily, keep that in mind as you decide on trends.
- Is it in every big chain department store? That’s a sign it’s a trend.
Personally, I don’t regularly shop stores like Kirkland’s or even TJ Maxx. But, occasionally, I’ll snatch up a little treasure. But my rule of thumb is to never buy artwork or decorations from stores like that because they’re a dime a dozen. Who wants their house to be a dime a dozen? Invest in local artists, create something yourself, upcycle previous trend finds into something more modern. Even if you’re not a huge DIY person, shop small and shop local to find unique and adorable accents for your home.
This post isn’t to say that trends are terrible. I love the look of subway tiles and barn doors and shiplap….but people loved Harvest Gold refrigerators and hunter green faux marble countertops too. My point is that they fade…and they fade fast. I frequently walk into houses that are a complete time warp because of the excessive amount of trends used in a house. A house can be classic and transition with the times….the level of difficulty in that transition is based on the number of trends and their permanence.
So, tell me…what are your thoughts on the current trends? As a Realtor, I’ve learned everyone has an opinion about them…and usually a very strong opinion!