All home decor cycles through trends. Some are fun, but short-lived, some we HOPE will be short-lived, and some are trends that turn into new classics! Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but when you aren’t sure if a trend will be dated down the road, what should you do?
The short answer? If it’s easy or inexpensive to change, or has a short life span anyway, AND (and this is important) you actually LIKE it, trendy is fine. I’m not advocating that you buy a bunch of cheap crap and replace it all every few years – that’s just irresponsible, both financially and environmentally. But using a few ‘on trend’ things to keep your look current is absolutely fine!
So, in no particular order, here are some broad categories and the answer to the burning question…TO TREND or NOT TO TREND?
Small pieces of furniture?
Sure! Longhaired furniture was recently having a moment, so if your heart’s desire is a stool that looks like a bad toupee, more power to you. Sometimes there’s no accounting for taste.
Patterns, textures, and colors go in and out of fashion – think bold chevron stripes, or the ubiquitous ikat and suzani patterns in of-the-moment colors. Pillows are a great way to indulge in a trendy fabric you might not want to live with long term. The divorce will be so much less messy and expensive than if you had married acres of trendy custom drapery – you may even part amicably and send them on to a new home elsewhere. But buy good down fillers for your pillows (THIS post tells you how to choose the right size) – they’ll last forever and you’ll only have to change the cover when you want new pillows or the next fabric crush hits.
Sure, but beware of ‘themed rooms’. It’s easy to go overboard with this…remember Tuscan kitchens filled with ceramic roosters and olive motifs? The current craze for farmhouse chic with galvanized tin and chicken wire and signs instructing you where to E.A.T. (like your family didn’t know?) is really most effective if you have actual chickens strolling around nearby. A little goes a long way.
Um, no. Not unless you have a LOT of money hidden under your mattress. Tile is forever and really messy to change. If you are planning to sell your house before it goes out of style and make it someone else’s problem, then okay, I guess.
A few of the many, many classic options available:
Heck no. Not only is this really expensive to change, the process is inconvenient too, as flooring is one of the largest surface areas in your home. That multicolored, distressed wood-look tile that was perfect for your cottage shabby chic phase and seemed like a great idea at the time is going to be a bear to replace. You can almost never go wrong with hardwood, and real hardwood can be sanded and refinished multiple times – if you are in the northeast, it is a classic – we loooove our hardwood floors here.
…meh – it depends. Most appliances die in about 10 or 15 years anyway these days, so as long as it’s not a $50,000 appliance.…and in that case, it’s probably unique enough to be less of a trend and more of a feature. I mean, it’s not likely to show up in a knock-off version at Home Depot when they finally get the memo it’s popular. (This, by the way, is the surest way to know that the life cycle of the trend is coming to an end…buyer beware if it’s on clearance).
Trendy countertop/surfacing materials?
See tile…only usually more expensive and maybe less messy.
Trendy bathroom fixtures?
Remember harvest gold? Toilets and even sinks are relatively easy to change, but showers and tubs are VERY expensive to undo. Choose wisely. I believe this is supposed to be a bathtub, or a relic from a theme park ride - hard to tell. The description was in Italian, except for the word Ameba. It looks like a large garlic clove…or something…words fail.
Sure – again, easy to change. Except for shower faucets. Those are more challenging because they have to match up with the guts inside the wall and many of the hidden parts are not only brand-specific, but sometimes even specific to a line within that brand. For this reason, I generally recommend classic faucets for the bathroom unless you WANT to remodel it every 10 or 15 years. I mean, showering at the gym everyday for a couple of months was fun, wasn’t it? See THIS post for more tips on smart bathroom choices.
Sure -- it’s easy to change and in the scheme of things, not the most expensive. You DO have to keep the same sizes, though, so the holes will line up…unless you are also repainting and can fill the old holes.
Is wallpaper ever NOT trendy? Well, okay SOMETIMES it’s not -- grasscloth, toile, etc. being good examples. But remember wallpaper borders? And cutesy country florals? And if you’ve ever scraped off layers of paper that started with hearts and ducks, journeyed through pop art colored flowers, and ended with pictures of vintage coffee mills like an archeological dig, you wouldn’t even be asking this question. Either choose something really classic or try one of the new removable temporary papers to get your wallpaper fix. Unless, of course, you have a masochistic streak…
Here are a few of the many temporary peel and stick wallpapers now available. I love the glam of the black and gold for a sophisticated powder room, the metallic dots or constellations for kids rooms, and the cheeky flamingo paper for a nod to the Pantone color of the year, living coral!
Trendy light fixtures?
Knock yourself out! A brave homeowner, savvy handyman, or an electrician can easily change those when you get tired of them. Lighting styles are one of the most obvious things that date a house though, so DO be prepared to change them. For an even easier lighting fix, limit your trendiness to lamps and lampshades.
For major upholstery pieces, if you stick to high quality, they will last a lifetime and be supremely comfortable. I always advocate for quality furnishings. But buy classic profiles. Anything with an extreme shape or weird details will look dated in short order and if it was an expensive piece, you’ll be living with it long after it goes out of style.
ummm….is it just me or does this look a bit unstable? Just say NO to the levitating sofa.
well, I suppose an industrial dolly couch would be convenient when you want to get rid of your guests…just roll them out to the dumpster.
Remember these gems from RH? You get to pay twice as much for a half upholstered chair!
Sure, IF you are buying ready-made – they are easy to change as styles and fabrics go in and out of fashion. The more expensive and custom they are, the more classic they should be, but if we’re talking off-the-rack Disney princess curtains for your five-year-old’s bedroom, then go for it…but really, it’s never to early to teach your kids good taste. For more on curtain do’s and don’t’s, see THIS, THIS, and THIS post.
Why not? If you want to cover your life in chalkboard paint, go for it. It’s relatively easy to change when you decide that encouraging your children to scribble on the walls and furniture was maybe a habit you didn’t want to instill after all. Painting walls or furnishings can be an inexpensive way to totally breathe new life into a room. For the record, I think colors should be chosen for the house and YOUR personal taste not because they are on Every. Single. HGTV episode. For tips on choosing the right paint see THIS and THIS post.
No matter WHAT the current trend is, you should surround yourself with things you love and that ‘spark joy’ -- whether it be color, texture, or pattern. THIS great post by my friend Lora Frost at Dahlias and Granite talks about ways to discover what those things are.
To create a home that you love to live in, it needs to reflect you!
*Please note that this page contains affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase, I might make a small commission at no extra charge to you