Three Decorating Trends You Need To Be Warned About

Before I begin today’s post. I do recommend that you not eat or drink anything while reading. (a few sips of plain water is okay) In addition, please note that I cannot be held responsible for cases of vertigo or any other deleterious effects that may come from your visit here. Thank you ~ Laurel

As an interior designer, this blog is a great outlet to release frustration about some of the decorating trends that are foist upon us. We see them in magazines, on pinterest boards, etc.

They are new, seductive and surely are immensely cool?

Right? In some cases, YES! This new trend might not even be new. But sometimes it’s either in the wrong place, grotesquely overdone or just plain weird.

Sometimes, it’s not a big deal, meaning not a costly thing. Like these poofs, for instance.


Someone apparently goofed while knitting a cable-knit sweater for their pet elephant and decided to wrap it on the outside of a big ball. And voila. A giant pin cushion. All I can see is digging out peanut butter or cat puke from those little crevasses. No biggie. Into the dumpster it goes.

But Some of Today’s Hottest Decorating Trends are going to cost more than 59.95 at Target.

I’ll start you in gently. This first one is a bit subtle but I find it irritating.

Hospital Track Drapes

One of the newest and increasingly common decorating trends is drapes hung right from the ceiling, or else right at the juncture of the wall and the ceiling. Yes, on a “hospital track.” Something like this.


The idea being that the drapes are hung as high as possible to create as much ceiling height as possible.

  • First of all, unless the drape is meant to be a room divider and the track is in the middle of the room, it looks dumb, IMO. The drapes look like they’re just stuck up there and usually look sloppy and weird. With a rod, the return is usually about 3.5″ (where the drape is turned back to touch the wall) and  We can’t do this with a hospital track. Therefore, the look is cheap and unfinished and we can’t have that!
  • If the ceiling is already quite high, then what is the point?


The example above isn’t so bad, but another issue is that sometimes the difference between the top of the window and the ceiling is so great that it looks REALLY weird.

More about that, in a sec.


This is a very cool room done by the darling Vern Yip. Sorry Vern. However, while I LOVE the drapes, that cavernous space between the top of the window and ceiling is really bugging me. What do you guys think? I wish he would’ve dealt with it differently.


More of the same.

So, what should it be? There is a lot of logic in this business. I agree that hanging drapes very high up is a good thing, but first, let’s use a rod, okay?


Carolyn Caroll

That’s better!


Victoria Hagan did it right by splitting the difference. The drapes are still plenty high.

If one wants to hang their drapes up very high and the architecture/windows aren’t cooperating, is there a solution?

Yes! There are a few things you can do.


This requires a highly skilled installer and a good discussion regarding brackets. However, the idea is to hang an outside mount Roman Shade to fill in the space above the window and then hang the rod over that. Here, Phoebe Howard used a matchstick shade, but it could also be a fabric Roman Shade.


Another idea and it was very difficult to find an image to show you what I mean, but the idea is to create a transom above the window– a faux transom. This can be done simply with picture frame moulding as you see above the door.

Hutch_In_Kitchen_faux-transomThistlewood Farms

This is a similar idea, with the moulding above the window built up to be a panel. In this case, there’s  a decorative crown, but if planning on using drapes, I would leave that off since it won’t be seen, anyway. It can also be nice to paint the panel a slightly deeper color to give it some additional visual interest. It all depends on the style of the room, the fabrics, etc.


Here is what you never should do. The drapes always go above the transom!

And while I have you here…


Please, for the love of God, these truncated drapery rods are NOT drapery rods!

It looks like you got the wrong size and now you can’t close the drapes! Even if the drapes are stationary, they should not look stationary. Really a shame too, this is a very lovely living room, but they also goofed in that there should be a third panel on the left and the middle panel should be fudged over to the right a bit to give the entire window/door area balance. Oh and no flood length, drapery please! Drapes should either touch the floor or be a hair’s breath above the floor.

Psycho Geometric Patterns

A parent actually did this to their child.


Someone needs to call Child Protective Services!


Oh dear. Norman Bates?


Remember about 10-15 years ago (it’s okay if you don’t) how charmed we were by Miles Redd’s fabulous eclectic bedroom in Domino Mag? I have to say that I wasn’t a big fan of the rug. I mean, I do get it. The graphic nature made a strong counterpoint to all of the delicate Chinoiserie wallpaper and ruffled silk drapery.

It was at that time, when I began seeing Chevron patterns—EVERYWHERE. And the bolder and more obnoxious, the better. Everyone was oohing and aahhing over how horrendous cool they are. The pity is, the Chevron pattern is very beautiful–when done right.


sucky-chevron-tileI did not write the caption. That came with the photo. Sure. They’re cool unless you have to live here. I don’t get it. It costs a LOT of money to do this. With all of the wonderful options, why this? I would be very happy if someone would explain this to me.

BTW, people sometimes confuse chevron with herringbone. Here’s the difference



Barnum and Bailey living room and what disturbs me the most is how horribly the wall clashes with the sofa.


One of Tory Burch’s 15 living rooms. My mom always called this look a “marshmallow in the snow.”


I totally get the expression, “A prisoner in his own home.”

Please be careful with your patterns.

Weird Bathtubs


Remember when bathtubs looked like this? Beautifully built into the bathroom with an elegant marble surround? Classic. Right? (original source unknown)

Or this beauty.


And, BTW, that is an excellent use of a hospital track for the shower curtain. Beautiful!


Then, one day, I noticed that people starting putting boats in their bathrooms. Ugly porcelain boats, with no place to even put a bar of soap. Seriously?


A smaller boat with a fire extinguisher. Sweet.


This one actually has some merit, I think. If the person dies while taking a bath, all they’ll have to do is drain the water, dig a hole and they’ll be good to go.

yes, sick. :]


This one is a fancier porcelain tub modeled on the coffin below.


 Hey, I’m just reporting what I see!

Three Decorating Trends You Need To Be Warned About


the pin it button is there, but you may not see it, but if you click on the image, it will take you to your pinterest page.

Rudolph-Ernst-The Harem BathRudolph Ernst (1854-1932) “The Harem Bath”

There’s a lot more to come! I have a lot more bloopers and decorating trends you probably would be wise to avoid. Or at least think very seriously about before you dive in.

Happy Sunday!



Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

New Edition, November 2022! Get The Indispensable Guide For 100s of Home Furnishings And Interior Design Sources That Everyone Is Raving About

laurels-rolodex-final-book-cover-master 9th edition 22-23

laurel home archives


Do You Need Help With Your Paint Colors? Get The Mega Laurel Home Paint and Palette Collections. To Find Out More – Click The Image Below

Amazon ad

please click below to check out my favorite decorating & design books

Laurel Bern's Favorite Interior Design and Decorating Books

Click the Image Below To Get Your Samplize Peel & Stick Samples – Made with 100% Real Paint!!

Subscribe To The Laurel Home Blog And You Will Receive A FREE Guide Where I Share How To Get Your Paint Colors Right, The First Time.