Recently, Elle Decor did a post about 50 interior design trends for 2020 – in or out?
So, I thought it would be interesting to do my own take on these interior design trends. There was a similar post from last August that was also a riff on an Elle Decor article. That one was 40 outdated home trends, but are they all passé?
First of all, what is an interior design trend?
My definition is: An interior design trend is a popular style, theme or product related to home furnishings and decoration. Generally, it is more than likely not going to be something that will be as popular after a relatively short period of time.
However, sometimes, there are interior design and decor elements that I feel are not trends. I believe them to be timeless.
And, remember what Nate Berkus said about trends?
That is a very astute observation. And, I agree completely.
In short, trends are marketing.
Folks who sell home furnishings want you to purchase new items. So, their objective is to make you WANT the latest and greatest.
So, I am going to go over all 50 of these interior design trends 2020.
Before I begin. The article is based on what various interior designers said. Well, they might have said what was published. And, they might not have. I’ve been misquoted in print numerous times. It’s rather annoying. But, what can you do?
My goal isn’t to disparage anyone’s viewpoint either. In fact, one or two of these designers are acquaintances of mine.
You are free to disagree with me, but please as always when I do these types of posts, respectful, responses only. Please avoid saying things like “you have no idea what you’re talking about.”
I’m fully aware of that. lol
Let’s dive into our Interior Design Trends For 2020 – in or out?
If you’d like to follow along on the original article in Elle Decor you may do so here.
Grand Millennial Style – IN
Oh, those poor millennials. Those are you young’uns born between 1981-1996.
Okay, these terms drive me a little nutso. Here’s the reason why. You can ask ten designers what grand millennial style is and you’ll get ten different answers.
However, House Beautiful did an attempt to cover the topic of grand millennial style which you can read here. A quote from the article is:
“I think a ‘grandmillennial’ is really a ‘New Traditionalist’—someone who has an appreciation for the past,” explains Manhattan-based interior designer Ariel Okin, 28. “It’s someone who references the work of legendary designers like Billy Baldwin and Nancy Lancaster and Albert Hadley, who realizes the staying power of good, well-edited design while putting their own fresh spin on it to make it feel updated and unique.”
I like Ariel’s definition.
But, then they’re showing rooms with bubble gum pink walls, ruffles, and needle-point pillows, etc. And that is not Billy Baldwin et al. Therefore, which is it? I’m confused.
But, I do love this wonderful bedroom by interior designer Matthew Bees. If this is grand millennial style then, I say “bring it on!”
2. Grey on Grey or Gray on Gray – OUT
Well, I would like to say that it was never in. Not, the one-note gray on gray as we observed here.
Examples above and below of beautiful gray on gray rooms by John Jacob. Please note that he achieves balance with lots of white in the top photo and the addition of a decent amount of brown, white and black in the photo below.
3. BOLD MONOCHROMATICS – IN
Oh, I hope not. Bold translates to mean bright in chroma. Please review this recent post about monochromatic color schemes. It’s not that a monochromatic color scheme cannot be colorful. Absolutely, yes. But to take ONE neon tone and create an entire room around it, sounds like an Excedrin headache in the making.
The rare exception to this is Miles Redd. Miles can do a bold monochromatic color scheme. But still, it is not for everyone.
4. Pale Monochromatic Color Schemes – OUT
Well, sure, if a monochromatic color scheme is done in a wimpy way without the addition of black and white, gold tones, and small accents of other colors, it can look pretty dreadful.
But please review the monochromatic color scheme post if you have not done so yet to see what I think are beautiful examples of pale monochromatic color schemes. IMO, a well-done pale mono scheme is as classic as it gets. Thank you Suzanne Kasler! She’s the queen!
5. Layering Old and New – IN
Well, yes, beautiful layering of old and new is in. But, it’s not a trend. It’s a timeless look in interior decorating.
One of my favorite designers who excels at beautiful layering in his rooms is James T Farmer.
Above and below – two beautiful rooms by James T. Farmer
photo @jeffherr on instagram
6. Perfection – OUT
I dunno. I guess it depends what the definition of “perfection” is. They mention something about furniture that has patina and scratches as being cool. Sure. But, that’s not a trend, IMO.
7. Dark Painted Doors – IN
Again, dark painted doors might be on trend right now, but it is not anything new.
8. Standard White Trim and Doors – OUT
Well, that one’s just plain silly. Of course they aren’t “out.” It doesn’t mean that you MUST paint all of your trim and doors white. But, it’s certainly not a mistake to do so. Nor, do I believe it will ever be dated.
9. Use of a Single Print for Drama – IN
Again, this look has been around for decades. But, believe me when I tell you that next year, or the year after, they’ll say it’s “out.” I say, if you have a small space and would like to try it; sure, why not? If it’s not your cup of marshmallow in the snow, then that’s fine too.
10. Industrial Design – OUT
Well, it’s funny, but the loft I stayed at in San Diego is definitely an “industrial design.” And, in an urban setting, I don’t have a problem with that.
I think actually, that the brilliant young designer and artist, William McLure usually lives in industrial-type loft spaces. And, he does an amazing job of blending his young, traditional/contemporary mix the industrial loft spaces.
@william_mclure – photo – @martaxperez on instagram
It’s a little difficult for me to keep track of his homes. He seems to move fairly frequently. And, when he doesn’t move, he redecorates. But, I love everything he does.
via @william_mclure on instagram – photo –@hectormsanchezphoto
11. Landscape Tapestries – IN
Haha. Well, tapestries have been around for about 1,000 years or more.
But, I’ve always loved this look and consider it timeless. This is from a dining room I did 17 years ago.
However, if they’re saying that tapestries are on trend, then hooray!
Exquisite California eclectic room by Giannetti Home featuring a verdure tapestry
12. Traditional Dining Table in the Kitchen – OUT
Not sure. I dunno. The Giannettis are quoted as saying that these have been replaced with lower tables and upholstered chairs that are more conducive to hanging out. That’s reminding me of Starbucks. I wonder how that would work for a family of six where there are four children, all under 8 years of age.
13. Earth Tones – IN
Okay. I didn’t realize they had been out.
14. Cool Tones – OUT
NEVER! However, cool toned rooms do need warmth to balance them out. Please review this post about blue and white rooms to see what I’m talking about.
15. Fun Bathroom Design – IN
I think for a powder room, it has always been in style to do a whimsical or novelty wallpaper. Please check out this post of a powder room we did a few years ago.
16. Open Shelving in the kitchen – OUT
Well, I know that this proclamation is going to make many of you ecstatically happy. I wouldn’t say that open shelving is out for your kitchen. But, I do believe that a lot of overhead cabinetry for medium to large size kitchens is out. However, they didn’t mention that one.
17. Washing a Room in One Paint Color – IN
hmmmm… Well, that too has been around for centuries. But, I do love the look. Here is one of my favorite posts where I feature many rooms with trim, walls and usually the ceiling in one color.
18. Accent Walls – OUT
Well, this definitely goes under the category of “it depends.” I’ve always maintained that an accent wall for the sake of just having one wall a different color is silly. However, if it makes architectural sense, or it’s to hide a TV or behind a bed; in all of those instances, I think an accent wall with paint or wallpaper can be wonderful.
19. Performance Fabrics – IN
Absolutely! And I daresay now and forever more. Please check out this post where I introduced Crypton Home to you. And, you might also enjoy this post about the best upholstery fabrics (and some you should never use.)
20. Granite Countertops – OUT
Haha! Yes, since about 1995. And, I’ve been discussing granite countertops for nearly seven years on this blog! However, not all granite is created equally. I’ve seen some beautiful granites that look more like marble. And, I know that a lot of you have granite. But, I wouldn’t put it in a new kitchen, most likely.
21. Bold Black and White – IN
Black and white is timeless like in this beautiful classic black and white kitchen. However, the word BOLD has me worried. In addition, I don’t feel that a room should have equal parts black and white. The designer who always gets this balance perfect is Darryl Carter.
via @darrylcarterdesign on istagram
Please check out another favorite post, dedicated to Darryl Carter’s elegant work featuring black and white.
22. Monochromatic Palettes – OUT
Well, #4 said that pale monochromatic palettes are OUT. And, #3 said that dark monochromatic palettes are IN.
Well, not really.
Please see my responses under #3 and #4.
23. Classicism – IN
Oh boy… To me, this is like saying “having a roof on your house is IN.” Frankly, I find it insulting for them to say that classicism is IN. Actually they said that it’s “back” which is even worse.
Fine if classicism is back that I’ll say that the sky is back, too. So bad.
24. Mirrored Furniture – OUT
This one has come up before. I agree. Most of it isn’t very good. However, some of it is lovely.
Like one of my favorite coffee tables from Wisteria which is on sale right now. Only $539! ONE piece of mirrored furniture can add a welcome note of sparkle. This is especially true in a dark room or a windowless room.
25. Real Plants – IN
Always! Here’s a timeless post about houseplants that also clean the air.
26. Faux Plants – OUT
Well… I have no problem with a realistic orchid or topiary. Or, even blooming branches. But, I do recommend keeping them dusted. ;] However, yes, of course, truly plastic looking, clearly fake house plants are always OUT.
27. Furniture with European Inspired Details – IN
I think this might be a trick one. First of all, are we talking contemporary or traditional/classic European furniture? If the latter, ALL of it is inspired by European details. And, that’s not a trend, it’s for always.
28. Mosaic – OUT
Well, I do agree that a mosaic border in kitchens and bathrooms should be considered passé. However, ALL mosaic tiles? That one doesn’t make sense.
29. Quality Bedding – IN
Duh… Here are some of my favorite sources for bed linens
Lots of linen brands are having wonderful sales right now. And, if you’re in the market for beautiful things for your bath, on sale, Serena and Lily has ALL of their bath items on sale. It includes, storage, lighting and even some lovely PJs.
30. Over the Range Microwaves – OUT
Actually, I don’t mind the example they show. However, I would go along with this one. It is preferable to have your microwave in a drawer, or built into a wall cabinet.
31. Rattan and Wicker Furniture – IN
Well, I’ve been using rattan and wicker furniture my entire career. And, Vicente Wolf also loves rattan furniture and has been using it his entire career. But, if the mainstream is accepting it for indoor use, that’s awesome!
32. Subway Tile – OUT
Oh, nooooooo!!! That is like saying brick is out. Or, fireplaces are out. I’m not saying that you HAVE to have subway tile in your kitchen. However, aside from these awesome zellige tiles, there isn’t a whole lot that I think is truly timeless for a backsplash.
Also, please check out some photos from a lovely white kitchen I helped a client with recently. In fact, she decided to put in the zellige tiles after she read the post!
33. Upholstered Walls – IN
That’s pretty cool. Anybody have upholstered walls? I’ve never done them. Wallpaper, yes, dozens of times.
34. Karate Chopped Pillows – OUT
Well, I prefer down and feather for my throw pillows. Or, at least a very high quality down substitute for those of you who want to rip my finger nails off for using down and feather inserts. And, in any case, pillows need to be shaken out and fluffed. I actually beat my pillows together to remove the dust. It’s wonderful exercise! But, I see nothing wrong with a light chop.
Hang on a sec. I’m going to go and check my pillows. I’ll be right back.
Okay, I’m back. And, out of the 10 or so pillows in my living room, maybe two have a barely discernible chop. The rest, I couldn’t be bothered. haha.
I can’t believe we’re even discussing this!!!
35. Biophilic Design – IN
Please forgive me. I’m feeling a little cheeky (what else is new?) And, don’t feel like researching it. I think it has something to do with plants. In the article, I saw an entire wall of plants. That’s cool. Hopefully, they also water themselves.
36. Temporary Furnishings (They are calling it temporary void shopping) – OUT
Well, if you are able to donate to charity or give to a child or friend to re-use. OR even sell it. I have no problem with temporary furnishings. However, yes, if you get it and then just throw it out, that’s horrible.
37. Multi-Functional Spaces – IN
Sure, why not? But, I didn’t realize that they were out before.
38. Formal Separation of Spaces – OUT
Disagree completely. And, especially with an old house. What should be OUT is gutting an old house and making it an open concept space. yuck!
39. Fire Bowls – IN
Not sure the difference between a fire bowl and a fire pit. But fine. I like them.
40. Resin Fire Coffee Tables – OUT
The thing they are showing looks more like a fire flower box.
41. Terrazzo Flooring – IN
haha. I remember we were just discussing this a few months ago in this post. Because another designer said that terrazzo flooring was out. And, then it was also mentioned in this post which included terrazzo floors. Funny, in those two instances, they are saying that terrazzo floors are out.
42. Concrete Flooring – OUT
Well, it’s certainly a contemporary look. I had a wonderful client who did a poured concrete floor in her mudroom, children’s homework room and her home office. It was part of a huge renovation. And, they put in radiant heating. It was incredibly cool in this contemporary home in Pound Ridge. One of my bestest clients ever. She went to great lengths to help victims of Hurricane Sandy back in 2012.
Above is a very cool one that was the signature look of the great architect, Michael Graves. It’s from this post about kitchen floors that aren’t tacky.
However, it’s quite expensive and it’s certainly not a look that’s for everyone. But, I wouldn’t say that it’s OUT.
43. Faux Marble – IN
Hmmmm… It depends. Certainly some of the quartz faux marbles are super terrific. And, some, not so much. Here’s a post from a few years ago which features many beautiful alternatives to marble for countertops
44. Real Marble – OUT
Oh, paleeeeeeese. How can they say that? Sure. I fully understand the etching issue with marble. One, some people don’t mind that. It goes along with where they said that patina is IN. :] But, we already discussed in this post a brand that has developed a process whereby real marble no longer etches.
45. Neotenic Furniture and Accessories – IN
I am not familiar with this term. But, I saw Elle Decor’s image. Sorry, I’m not a fan. It’s fine if others like it, however.
46. Arches – OUT
Depends. I would 100% go along with this in terms of most furniture. However, arched doorways and windows ARE classical, if done correctly. But, usually in older homes. Above is a good example of when arches are appropriate.
If you want to see some gagworthy arches, this should keep you happy for a while.
47. Classic Interiors – IN
# 23. We’ve already established classicism is IN. So, this one’s redundant, times two. That’s good because I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little tired. haha! No worries. Only three more to go!
48. All White Kitchens – OUT
Please see #32 and also this post about the “the end of the boring white kitchen”(not)
But, frankly, I’m so freaking tired of this argument. And, I’m trying very hard not to be crabby. After all, in the scheme of things, this is not really important. But, I’m still tired of hearing this.
Exquisite white on white kitchen by Suzanne Kasler on instagram
I just want to add that my friend Kevin Isbell wrote the quote. I was on a tour with him a few years ago. He’s very talented and a lot of fun to hang around. So, I thought I’d saunter over to Kevin Isbell’s beautiful instagram feed
And lookee what I found not too far down the page.
Gorgeous white kitchen designed by @KevinIsbell on instagram – photo @david_a_land for @coastal_living
I’m not saying that Kevin didn’t say what he said, but they can twist your words and take them out of context. In any case, it is my conclusion that white kitchens are timeless. And, therefore, an interior design trend 2020 that is here to stay!
49. Furniture with Round Edges – IN
Well, it’s a trend that’s been here before from the last century. It’ll be on the OUT list very soon. I’m quite positive.
50. Metal Frames Furniture – OUT
They are showing a metal bed. I don’t know. There are those ubiquitous metal framed coffee tables. I’ve been tired of them for a long time. But, certainly, in the right situation, they’re fine.
Hey, like the one in the industrial loft I stayed at last week.
Well, here’s my conclusion regarding the interior design trends 2020:
please pin to pinterest for reference
These posts wherever they appear are purely for entertainment purposes. My goal is to call BS when I see it. And, point out what I think are classic design elements which will hopefully stand the test of time.
Now, that might not be for everyone. But, I think it’s a great place to start.
PS: Please check out the newly updated hot sales. Lots of terrific new things to see this weekend.
I loved the first picture with the landscape tapestry and how the light green walls add color and look good with the white accents. My parents are wanting to repaint their home to bring in a bit more light and color into their living space. I’ll have to show them this picture to give them some inspiration for when they find an interior painting service.
I am so glad the sky is back! 😉 and to hear that Classicism is, too. 🙂 I enjoy your sense of humor. On a serious note: I recently went to a retail design store that was going out of business and bought- of all things- a tapestry! I never thought I’d be buying a tapestry 20 years after the Old World casual elegance era passed. But this one is a tall one to go above the robins egg blue chest in the guest bedroom and it’s of an Italian landscape. So, it’s great to hear that Tapestries are timeless (depending on the quality and design).
I only got to #21 – will finish reading later.
Great post, Laurel! One thing I have never understood…when and where was subway tile used that it is so “timeless”? I never saw it in a house until HGTV started putting it into almost every kitchen a few years ago. Prior to that, the only place I had ever seen subway tile was in the 1950’s-era bathroom in my high school—not the mental association to cause me to pine after it for my own kitchen backsplash! I will say that almost everyone I have ever known has lived in a post-World War II house (oh, how boring they can be), so maybe that is why I’ve never seen it.
Actually, it is in my building in the bathrooms that have never been redone from 1927. And, the old tile is gorgeous. Each one is slightly different from the other in color. There’s a photo of it somewhere on the blog. I realize that’s not very helpful. Sorry.
I have upholstered walls in a super expensive faux suede and guess what… its awful. We are going to rip out the 1990s Ralph Lauren train wreck. Our house was owned by a super nice deisgner previously and its the only room that I dont quite understand the thought process. Wish me luck.
Yes, good luck, Ryan!
Neotenic seems to mean “childish and cartoon-like”. Not okay unless you’re actually a child.
Please do blog post about timeless bathroom tile options! Carrara Basketweave or calacatta basketweave… does it mean that we should paint walls in blue grey and cream accordingly? What is timeless marble (hi budget) and not marble (lol budget) options for bathrooms you find timeless? Too many questions and love your blog.
I’m in the same club. Against all trendy advice and especially my “design advisor” at the stone showroom, I selected… granite. I was “supposed to” select the quartz she (and my contractor) directed me to. It felt utterly dead & plasticky w/ a repetitive pattern. To everyone’s horror, our grand new kitchen ended up with a mottled granite. The slab I chose of good olde Colonial Cream has random inclusions of translucent crystal, ruby-red minerals, gingery doodles, and splotty black patches. No one could believe I’d want that. But how can natural stone be “out”? I cringe every day that i read I did the “wrong” thing in my lovely kitchen yet every day I kiss the darn countertop for being so doggone cool-looking! I’ve already told my kids that when I’m gone & they have to sell the place, just rip out the counters and put in whatever is trending. I don’t care. This natural rock is vibrant, resilient, joyful and enchanting–to me. And it’s a true workhorse of a work surface. Fake white marbly stuff, or shiny black, or gray and white swirls, or soft, gravestone-like marble–I saw all of it–would have been my worst nightmare. I guess I’m too old too care what others think!
It just goes to show that it’s never one-size fits all. And, definitely, there are some gorgeous granite stones out there!
Do you have any idea what the pillow fabric is in the first picture of James T. Farmer’s, that you posted ? I could lose myself for hours in his Instagram postings. Love his comfortable, and gorgeous style.
Thanks for posting this useful article
Heads up laurel, I tried to click the pin from pinterest and it gave me an error page saying I didn’t have access to preview content.
This was the pin
sorry, I’ve got it now. I deleted that pin and repinned a new one. I have no idea why that happened.
My “favorite” was the so-called “perfect” room, which was far from perfect. Dinky fireplace under three framed huge things on the wall, and the lucite coffee table was yards away. I was fantasizing reading what your take on that room would be. But thanks for mentioning McMansion Hell, which I had forgotten about. I went on the site and found their hilarious gingerbread house competition. Wowza, great fun with gingerbread mcmansions!
Ginny, your home sounds cozy and lovely!! If you love it you can’t go wrong!! Enjoy!!
Great list and wonderful commentary as usual. You know what I want to come back in? Wall to wall carpet. I have 4000 feet of wood floors and I am so tired of the maintenance. The only way I cope with it is with a robo vac running twice a day. I’m over 50 and I want a soft padded surface under my feet. A warm surface. My bedroom seems so visually cold even with area rugs and lots of textured furnishing and textiles. I want a lovely seamless area with no border in every bedroom. My husband transfers for his work every few years so I can’t do a non-trend flooring; we will sell in a couple of years most likely. Am I the only person who misses a cozy carpet without wood to clean?
Since it’s my home and i spend more time here than anyone it only has to suit me! I love old things and i have things in my home I have had for way longer than the 19 years i have owned it. I love white kitchens and always have. Not a fan of granite and never really was but give me old etched even chipped or repaired marble and i am in heaven. My couch is very old, i bought it old and I love it better than any new one i ever owned. My house is full of my companionable clutter and fills me with joy each day. I live my the design (or lack of) theory that if you fill your home with things and people you love you will be happy there and i am! Thanks for letting me ramble on!
They didn’t even mention Fringe! Like on sofas…
Where my Grandmother’s Chihuahua used to lie in wait to nip our ankles,as kids 😾
But really, I’m seeing fringe everywhere, how did they miss that??
I have done a handful of upholstered walls for clients. Fabric on walls can be amazing!
And since there is a layer of batting underneath, they can hugely affect the acoustics of a room, too. I’d post some photos but don’t think I can here. Laurel, would you like me to send some? Maybe a blog post on upholstered walls? Way cool! Medieval tapestries covering walls, historic French damask walls, grass cloth wallpaper is really “fabric”, UV treatment, on and on….
Dear Laurel, What’s IN are your comments, What’s OUT are strict rules. I am in my 60’s and a 2 time “c” survivor and if I can’t do what I want in my home and be comfortable, then when will I? When we downsized 2 yrs ago I used a ton of white and that really made our condo light and bright!! My sofa’s are white slip covers and easily tossed in the wash. Love it!! Then I went back to my favorite Navy and periwinkle. I am so happy with it. My grands can feel welcome and Know that nothing is too precious ( my sons begged me to put away a few items just for a year or so) I did to make them and the wives feel better. Life is short! Do what is right for you (and of course if Laurel approves). Thank you a million times over for your blog. You keep it real and I love it!! You are honest and the best, Keep taking care of yourself and giving us the most enjoyable blog I have ever read! hugs!! Pattiann
Oh hey, as someone who’s in the middle of a kitchen renovation that’s obscenely expensive, I’m dismayed to read white kitchens are “out.” Oh well! I’ve even got a couple open shelving spaces. Also out! (In my defense, it’s a long, narrow galley kitchen in a high-rise — I gotta do every visual trick in the book to make this space look bigger.) Can barn doors be out? I think those are hideous. Every time I see them on HGTV I groan. Maybe there’s a blog post — 10 Things Laurel Thinks Should Be Out in 2020.
Those few inches really do help particularly with the heavier/larger pans and trays.
I recently gutted my kitchen and put in beautiful custom inset white cabinets (NOT shaker style which should be OUT) and a “leathered” granite. I already have marble in two bathrooms and definitely didn’t want to ever put it in a kitchen or anywhere again. I can’t seem to bring myself to like quartz as it looks very fake to me. Reviews also had complaints about scratching. I might put it in a bathroom in a solid color not the fake veins. I have a friend who put in wood counters and hates the care of them. I really didn’t want wood counters because I put in wood kitchen floors. So…. I put in a leathered granite with white in it to go with my cabinets. It’s a very pretty granite and beautiful leathered. Granite is going to be easy to maintain and is going to look great even in ten years! I agree that a lot of granite is ugly, but there are some pretty ones. I looked at quartzite, but couldn’t really find one I loved and it’s a little too pricey for me for this house. So, whatever about granite….I love mine.
Thanks to all of the lessons learned here, I rarely read such articles anymore, since trends are incredibly subjective, one simply cannot decorate based on these lists. Unless you have a fortune to spend following trends, its hardly practical or realistic. I’ve learned to purchase items I truly love and to decorate based off of the resources and classical inspiration amply provided here. Thanks Laurel!
I’ve never liked subway tile (too much like a subway!), open kitchen shelves (cheap-looking), or mirrored furniture (also cheap-looking), so I’m pleased to read they’re gone! Thanks for this list. It makes my day!
A wonderful Sunday morning read. I checked out the Elle article first, as you suggested and found that your responses were similar to mine, but so much cheekier. Actually, I think I have learned a lot from you, so my responses are more likely the result of ‘Laurel’s distance learning program.’ I feel so much more confident in my leanings and less swayed by what seems to be readily available in the stores. Thanks for your fun and light-hearted blog!
I always feel like I have to apologize and seek ablution from the design gods after reading a list such as this. First of all, I have to admit that my kitchen has granite and an overhead microwave and also cabinetry overhead. While I may or may not like it, it came with the house when I purchased it, was brand new and I couldn’t then or now afford to gut the house nor would I want to add granite – taken from the earth!!!! – to a landfill! That said, I studied architecture at Washington University and was a garden designer for years and have to give a shout-out to the garden designers and architects of the design world who typically do not engage in these types of trendy lists, but instead try to draw from centuries of knowledge of form, function, geography, etc. to reformulate beautiful structures and gardens. I totally agree that most of these trends are for people who don’t know history of design, or maybe even have the courage of their own style convictions so rely on someone else to tell them how to dress their homes. Sad. Be true to your own sense of what feels right for your own home! That way, you will add and subtract in an ongoing, organic way for the rest of your life.
Great post. I’m pleased to have recognized your work—table in hall, tapestry, green/white walls, white decorative glass cabinet. Thinking “That looks like Laurel.” Then I read it’s your work. Love it as usual. Are the walls pale avocado? White is cotton ball? I’m using that for my dining room.
My only frustration is that the photos of your work don’t show enough of the room. I’d love to see the rest of the room with the pink sofa.
Glad to learn about back problems and sink surround. I dislike farm sinks but may reconsider.
I love the color gray. I love white kitchens. Perfection is definitely OUT (as in the “perfect phone call” and anyone associated with the “perfect phone call”)
I so appreciate your emphasis on “classic”. I hear your “voice” when I am trying to make choices for our house. The one place I am stumped is in choosing flooring. We live in Arizona and I want the entire home to have basically one type of flooring except for carpet in the bedroom. We have wood toned kitchen so wood floors are just “too much”. I am trying to find a “classic” look in tile…any suggestions? Or what to stay away from? I don’t want trendy! Haha
This comment was meant to answer Biodynamic Barb, but it didn’t go in the right place.
Yes! I only recently figured out that the stupid surround of a regular sink KILLS my back. I need to be closer so I can wrangle heavy pots with my arms closer to my body instead of holding them at arms length and straining my back. I desperately want a farm sink for that reason.
Upholstered Walls – Have seen them twice. My former in-laws had silky upholstered aubergine-colored walls in their living room, and upholstered walls in a guest bath. They were rich and it was done in the mansion they built. Also saw upholstered walls in the bath of a small model home and that was particularly beautiful.
I can’t say whether they’re trendy or not; but, if you’re short, they’re MUCH more comfortable to work at because you’re closer to the water. I’m short, and I stupidly installed a sink with a 4″ surround. I WISH I had put in a farm sink like my sister’s.
Three things struck me. First, going down the list, is the one that I am most thrilled to see go and that is #10, Industrial Design. Why, you say? It’s because almost EVERY restaurant, store and office around me has been stripped down and undecorated. These are now cold, hard, ugly and unwelcoming places that give me the shivers. I hate them.Who wants to eat, work or sleep in a factory? Not me!! Give me ambiance, please! Next, is #38 Formal Separation of Spaces, I am so with you on this Laurel, decimating old homes by tearing down walls makes me nauseous. And lastly, the one that thrills me the most to see return is #49 Furniture with Round Edges!! I had been on the hunt for a new sofa with a rolled arm or curved back and OMG did you know there is no such animal for sale, at reasonable prices, in stores or on websites!!! I ended up buying a vintage Kittinger Chippendale which I adore!
ELIZABETH K – If there was a like button, I would like / love your comment!
These type of articles make me sad. I understand it’s all about selling. But with so much stuff ending up in landfills, how do folks in marketing sleep at night?
I personally think the only things that should be “in” is the re-use of older furniture & anything that makes you happy.
In the grand scheme of things, this is minor, but I need to know! My question is “are farm sinks a trend that I should avoid or a timeless style that I can consider?” We are gutting the kitchen in our 40 year old condo and starting over soon.
Your faithful reader way out here in Oregon.
Another tip for pillows or cushions filled with down… Pop them in the dryer (yes a club chair back cushion can fit in the dryer) air fluff for 10 minutes…. voila! A big fluffy cushion!!
Another excellent article by the ever informative and entertaining, Laurel Bern! I, too, will karate chop my pillows until the cows come home!! xo
Egad, I have hated granite since I first thought someone threw up on the kitchen counter and left it. And splain to me how can marble be out?? And I love the rooms you have done so much.
Yuck. I can’t even with that article. It sounds like someone who has no knowledge of the history of design or architecture, or they were born yesterday and are really enthusiastic to discover “classicism”.
The nice thing about any “trends “ articles is that they round up lots of random ideas for you. You can zoom along thinking either “oh yes finally someone else is saying that !” Or “oh, that’s just wrong “ or “hmm, hadn’t thought of that, worth a try.”
And if you’re me, reading Laurel’s lively and SMART blog every Sunday before dawn because you’re a terrible sleeper, and marveling at how much knowledge Laurel slides in among the jokes, you end up looking around your cozy bedroom and thinking, “All things considered, I am pretty happy with what I have.” Then you go off for your coffee already woken up and inspired by all these gorgeous houses.
And the wry jokes about these not-very- earth shattering trends.
Laurel, I enjoy all your articles, but I especially enjoyed your take on what’s in and out. I recently heard someone arguing about ceiling fans… that they are soooo 80’s and are absolutely out!!! I have ceiling fans that are beautiful IMO. Am I fooling myself???? Have ceiling fans been out for decades???? Am I the laughing stock of all who enter my home?????
Always look forward to these Sunday morning posts Laurel. Thank you and keep them coning.
I’m actually beginning to tire of the quartz countertops that are so popular in our area right now. Just saw a beautiful renovated home that had a stunning gray granite – it looked beautiful. Also,the gray walls – for selling real estate, they look fantastic in pictures – just make everything look crisp.
My aunt has the most gorgeous upholstered pale yellow silk walls in her dining room. She had it done at least 20 years ago. It makes for the most warm and intimate dinner party when the chandelier is dimmed and candles are lit!
The leathered finish is pretty great, too.
Poor granite gets a bad rap. I agree that the stereotypical speckled granite is out, but what I think of as the soapstone dopplegangers (Black Mist, Jet Mist, Virginia Mist, Negresco, Via Lactea, Vermont Black, etc.) are gorgeous. The good news for those who are wiling to consider them is that they’re priced like a material that’s out rather than one that’s in.
I had forgotten that we did Absolute black granite for a couple of jobs. And yes, when it’s honed, it looks a lot like soapstone, but a dark charcoal shade.