From open floor plans to fast furniture, designers say these outdated trends should be left in the past.
Home décor trends are constantly evolving. With styles coming and going, it can be challenging to keep up with what's in and what's on its way out. While some design styles will always remain timeless (like vintage furniture and marble finishes), what’s trendy now may not remain all the rage for very long.
Of course, engaging in the latest trends can be fun, and the word "outdated" can be subjective depending on your personal taste. If there’s a décor trend on this list that brings you joy in your own home, then by all means, flaunt it. And remember, trends work in cycles—what's outdated now will likely be all the rage again, given some time.
However, if you’re ready for a living room décor update, bedroom refresh, or just want to revitalize your kitchen, we spoke with interior designers about outdated home décor trends you may want to leave in the past.
Mid-Century Modern Design
Clean lines, functional pieces, and bold accents will always have a place in design, but a full commitment to the sleek, geometric look is on its way out. Now, blending is the way to go. "Mix high-quality, designer mid-century pieces with contemporary collectible pieces from designers like Nada Debs or Dirk van der Kooij for a look that is studied but eclectic," says Bethany Adams, principal of Bethany Adams Interiors.
Open Floor Plans
Adams believes that open floor plans lost their luster in the peak of the pandemic world. "Remember when we all wanted to be able to be together all of the time?" says Adams. "Me neither. Working and learning from home has left many families longing for the days of yore when you could cook a meal or read a book in blissful solitude. As a result, open floor plans are out, and walls and doors are in. Luckily, most historic homes are built in this exact way, so there is plenty of fabulous housing in stock to meet your need for a little alone time."
Neutral spaces are quickly becoming a phenomena of the past as designers are opting for more earthy textures, bold patterns, and bright accent colors. "In a world of continued unpredictability, clients yearn for spaces that feel warm and lived in," says Ashley Macuga, principal designer at Collected Interiors. "Rooms drenched in stark shades of white can feel cold if not layered with texture, and feel less practical for the average family. Plus, color and pattern add welcomed energy to a room, inviting families and guests to cozy up and stay awhile.”
Many furniture buyers are skipping mass-produced pieces and opting for sustainable alternatives such as upcycling, thrifting, and DIY. While fast furniture will probably always exist as an option for people unable or unwilling to shop for high-end items, there is an upward trend towards second-hand vintage pieces, like those from 1stDibs or Chairish, and repurposing old pieces. "This means that with a good eye, some elbow grease, and a few tools, the upcycling trend is set to stay," says Matt Podesta, co-founder and creative director of Huckleberry Home.
Accent walls rose to popularity when the modern farmhouse style was trending. According to Avery Cox, principal designer and founder of Avery Cox Design, the accent wall concept was a simple way to add texture or color to a space without fully committing. As designers move towards bolder styles, accent walls are becoming a thing of the past. "Don't shy away from adding wallpaper to an entire room or painting all walls and ceiling the same color," says Cox. "This gives the room an intentional sense of depth that an accent wall doesn't achieve."
Sharp edges are out, and curves are in. From bean-shaped sofas to rounded countertops, people are opting for softer features. The curves can make a space feel more fluid, blending each area together to create more cohesiveness.
Matching Furniture Sets
While designers take a more mix-and-match approach to styling a space, matching furniture sets are no longer needed. Even retailers have slowly started to phase them out of their digital catalogs. Caren Rideau of Kitchen Design Group says, “Mixing in some unique vintage or antique pieces with current fabrics” can make the design more visually interesting.
At the beginning of the 2000s, you could find granite everywhere, from bathrooms to kitchens. However, while granite countertops can feel like more of a neutral and timeless choice, the coarse-grained rock is taking a back seat to natural quartzite counters, according to Rideau. Rideau also suggests incorporating matching splashes in order to bring the room together.
Recessed Can Lighting
Recessed can lights are typically installed in a ceiling as a minimalist option for overhead lighting. Yet, designers are moving away from this practical element and going with decorative lights or sconces, according to Rideau, making the lighting a focal point of its own. Plus, sconces can be incorporated seamlessly with any design style, from contemporary to modern.
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