lucysmom3000

What current popular design elements will last?

lucysmom3000
October 2, 2013
Does anyone have any opinions on current design elements that won't date (or won't date tragically)? Lots of people - including me - seem aware that there are certain very popular elements of design right now - granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood flooring, those elevated bowl glass sinks I see over and over in new bathrooms - does anyone have any feelings on what will and won't last (not just of these randomly listed items here, but anything you feel is very of-the-moment). I personally love the current minimalist kitchens, but it's such an extreme look it worries me to think in 25 years that same kitchen might have a flashing "Welcome to 2010" sign over it.

Thoughts? Have any of these concerns made it into your mind if you're renovating?

Ideabooks and photos welcome (for examples of looks you think will last)!

Comments (135)

  • karemore55
    Although, maybe you're from Oregon and auto-correct somehow knew that??
  • centaurita
    Darzy - Please don't doom ORB - It is my favorite finish - I will cry real tears if it becomes rare and expensive!
    Should I start hoarding bronze spray paint?
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  • kadodi
    I wanted to make a comment about granite. I have travelled a lot in the past 30 years... Been to more airports than I care to remember ... and restaurants. In the 90's nearly every public restroom had granite. I've notice lately that all public restrooms have quartz. I can't tell you the last time I saw granite. It's amazing to me since I'm sure a fortune has been spent to update all those bathrooms. And now is quartz overdone???
  • Josie Scaletta
    Honestly, i would guess that common people like me would not know granite from quartz (maybe I would now b/c I had to shop for it), but it was mixed in the granite section of the warehouse and not in its own section like marble. If the guy didn't tell me it was quartz, I'd have no clue.
  • PRO
    Sustainable Dwellings
    Granite, Quartz, re-cycled glass, concrete, Zinc, stainless steel, or pressed cardboard. Who gives a rip??? Get whatever makes you, or your client happy. Most people cannot financially ride the "edge" forever.
  • PRO
    Maguire
    I give a rip! If people want to know my opinion, I'm happy to tell them and help them spend their money. Hate pressed cardboard, it makes a mess when I roll dough on it. ; )
  • Margo
    Geez Sustainable now I got that song by Lady Gaga in my head * I'm on the edge, the edge, the edge...
  • pegonia1
    Margo & Karemore55 - thanks for clarifying and I actually thought there was a poster by the name Orgegonian1....and I did live in Oregon for about 4 years....and I have been called worse!
  • PRO
    it'sALLart
    The sad thing about trends in interiors is that if you are middle-income and can't afford to change everything at the drop of a hat, you are stuck with it for at least 5 - 10 years. Better be careful about what you choose, you won't want to live with that red kitchen forever. Or that bright blue bathroom, either.
  • karemore55
    Margo, I didn't have the song in my head until you said that lol!
  • lucysmom3000
    it'sALLart - I hear you, this is a big part of why I asked this question. If someone thinks my kitchen is fugly or dated that's fine, I am alright with differing tastes, but *I* don't want to walk into my own kitchen and have the 'omg this is SO 2010' feeling in 5 years - I want it to be something I feel little or no desire to change un any major ways once it's done.

    To the person asking about chandeliers in the bathroom, that gets a big yes from me, I love that look, especially if it is the one OTT accent in the room.

    Re: granite countertops - yes, I have definitely been labouring under the impression that they are high maintenance - it seems I'm wrong? I hear so much about them being easily etched or stained, especially by acids, and any kitchen of mine is going to see heavy use. Also, I prefer white/cream granite and had assumed this would make staining a lot easier to do. If I'm wrong, tell me, because I'd be happy to forgo soapstone if I could have a beauriful pale granite instead.

    Was someone asking about backsplashes? This tile is my current favourite (pretty sure it's the super trendy glass tile, tho?):
    Rina Magen · More Info
    - I love it because it appeals to my conservative-by-nature feelings on colour but the iridesence makes it pretty and eye catching, imo.

    Other possibly trendy things I unashamedly love:

    - kitchen islands - this is a must have for any kitchen of mine, god, the prep space, THE PREP SPACE.
    - steel framed windows
    - laundry rooms that don't feel like they're part-time body-storage areas (although I've seen too many twee laundry rooms on Houzz so will have to be careful to avoid that)

    I'm really enjoying this discussion, thanks to everyone who has posted. :)
  • Darzy
    centaurlta...don't cry! ORB still has it's place and is perfect in some situations. I noticed ORB was a big deal at one time, people changed to ORB but it didn't work for their current abode's overall design style. Hey..if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :)
  • Darzy
    Totally agree itsALLart! Be careful what you choose if you can't afford to remodel at a whim. The big ticket items purchased is best classic and neutral. Accessories and paint you can afford to go bold and trendy.
  • PRO
    it'sALLart
    Most of my (in-process) new house is going to be modern classic, clean lines and nothing too trendy. But I am going with all lighter woods and whites - for now. ( And white appliances, not stainless. ) The thinking is that I can always paint colors later and re-finish the floors if need be. All the floors in the new house are going to be real wood or real bamboo so that they can be sanded and refinished. If I go with a natural wood cabinet in the kitchen, a light sanding and refinishing can change that too.

    I'm pretty happy with those choices and have been living with this same style for about 20 years now and still like it, regardless of trends. It just happens that this style is returning to vogue now in Europe and will eventually land on US shores - again.

    Another poster said something about ease of cleaning and that is what usually drives my choices. If it's hard to clean, I won't have it. Most modern designs are very clean without a lot of decoration or filigree, therefore easy to clean!
  • PRO
    it'sALLart
    lucysmom3000 - I think your choices are fine... the iridescence isn't that trendy, look at how popular Tiffany glass was back in it's day and it still is commanding high prices today.

    Totally relate about the prep space as well. My island is going to be mobile, not permanent, due to the fact that I have an open plan and want the ability to create a larger or smaller space with the island based on needs of the day. Any time I can make something modular, I'm going that direction because I like options.
  • PRO
    Mary Dancey Interiors
    Centaurita, what is your ceiling height over your tub? If you can stand up and touch the light fixture you can't hang it as it's a hazard. Imagine slipping getting into or out of the tub and reaching for anything that can stabilize you? It may not end well. It's against the building code here in Ontario and may be where you live as well.
  • bschr
    Love this thread and I'm coming in late but I have to say that I'm hoping that the fish bowl shower stalls will start to wain. Not only do they look hard to clean but there is no feeling of privacy while in them. I still like the idea of a shower curtain, that small piece of fabric can change the look of a bathroom more than towels or accessories alone.
  • Margo
    Oh no bschr- Save the fishbowl showers- I love the frameless clear glass showers, so open and clean looking (well, if you keep them clean) I am of the anti-shower curtain persausian. I think there will always be two sides on this ;))
  • bschr
    I get the open and clean look of a frameless shower and I love the look but I guess I'm just shy. I liken them to watching my car through the glass going through the car wash. :-D.
  • qam999
    Let's define "dating". I believe there are two ways that interiors and interior elements can "date":

    Type 1) Strong identification with an era

    Type 2) Strong identification with an era PLUS a quality of revolting the viewer through overfamiliarity, pointlessness, poor choices, low quality, poor application

    Type 1 isn't inherently an issue. When that era is back in style, that authentically dated interior will be the height of chic.

    The one thing that will never date is functionality. Counters that are easy to wipe clean, backsplashes and appliances likewise, floors that sweep or damp mop up quickly, amd generally anything that does its job, reduces workload, and makes living and working in a house more convenient and comfortable. Also, energy savings.

    Anything with an appearance has the possibility of dating. Sadly, even the appearance of hyper-functionality can date. Dating can be reduced by choosing the less-extreme examples, e.g. a calmer granite rather than the violent swirls in powerful colors. But IMO, even among things that will date, some things will date more slowly.

    To avoid dating and that revolting "done to death" look, I suggest we all look for new sources of inspiration OUTSIDE the magazines/Houzz/dept stores/builder choices. I just had an idea: what about a kitchen inspired by rosemaling and pine panelling? Yours will be the only one!

    (Full disclosure: I just redid my kitchen with white Shaker cabs, engineered HW floors, beveled subway tile backsplash, recessed lighting, an island. and SS appliances.)
  • mmilos
    soberg, your kitchen sounds lovely and classic. :-)
  • bellesum
    My preference is to stick with "boring" neutrals, practical choices like stainless steel in kitchen ( as someone mentioned, commercial kitchens are always SS for a reason), avoid busy patterns unless it's one that resonates with you (eg busy granite patterns) and ultimately choose simplicity, low maintenance, good quality and nice proportions. Even if the interiors become dated eventually, you would still have a functional and pleasant space. For technology related options, choose options which are a little ahead of the times, for example install Cat 6 cables for Internet access when everyone else is installing Cat 5e. Technology moves much faster than interior design trends.
  • centaurita
    karemore55- I thought of only one design element that has been around alot longer than a few years --- fabric lamp shades --- I actually thought the old pleated ones were more interesting than those I see today. Wish the beaded bottoms would have stuck around longer, I still have two in my bedroom, lol. They are not going with me to my new house however!.

    Mary Dancey - I got a hilarious visual about grabbing the chandy all drippy wet =)) when I read your post.
    The ceilings are 10 ft. and I'm pretty sure at 5'8" I could reach it easily, so I will have to plan the placement very carefully! Maybe more to the center of the room rather than directly over the tub.
  • centaurita
    I like the leopard rug idea, Margo. I'll have to see how it goes with our final color selections...
  • centaurita
    bellesum, Aint that the truth! (tech speed)
  • karemore55
    Centaurita, I still have a pleated lampshade stuck in a closet somewhere - if they come back in style, I'll be right on top of it lol! It's really good quality and I hated to get rid of it!
  • Margo
    Well karemore , you did not get rid of it, it is in your closet.) Hey, did you see the tread on front door color? You have a prize coming LOL
  • marbeth13
    Nobody mentioned farm/apron sinks! mb
  • PRO
    Charmean Neithart Interiors
    This is a great question. I recommend time and again a shaker style door detail for cabinets. This door detail never ages in my opinion and always looks classic. It also looks good in a white kitchen, stain grade, or any painted color.
    Woodinville Retreat · More Info

    White Kitchen Cabinets | Shaker Door Style | CliqStudios · More Info
  • qofmiwok
    I am one of those people who is massively sick of granite!!! One of the problems is that it only comes in so many colors, so you see the same thing again and again. I loved baltic brown 10 years ago, but after living with it 10 years and since seeing it in hundreds of other homes, I am just so sick of it I could throw up. In contrast, quartz and other materials like recycled glass, etc come in hundreds of different colors; you can actually get a little individuality with these products, and not look like every other house on the block. (I also happen to love the depth you see in these types of products, where the counter looks 3 dimensional. But that love could change over time and this quality might seem dated.)

    Some of these trends are like a popular song; they play it so much that you get sick of it, but then years later you like it again. I think when something is new, it becomes the "must have", and then we get sick of it and want to rebel and go back to the opposite. Like we get sick of color everywhere and go earth tones. But then we get sick of earth tones and go colors. (I've done this with living room accessories, back and forth and back.)

    Once the fad dies down, I think some things fade away forever, while other things live on, but just used when it really works or people really like it. So it's not like I think granite will completely disappear. I'm just grateful we're finally getting to the point where you can sell a house that has something other than granite.

    This thread has also furthered my opinion that $50-$100k kitchen makeovers with $30k custom cabinets is kind of ridiculous. Much better to spend $30k and then re-do it when everything in it has gone out of style :-)
  • Denita
    ^^^Agree with gofmiwok. Well said!
  • Lisa Wandzilak
    Subway tile, marble, wood floors, crown moulding- these are classic and will never go out of style. I don't know who said subway tile is a trend. I just remodeled my kitchen with white Carrara marble slabs, marble subway backsplash, stainless appliances. You know why? Because I'm just like you!!! I like a classic look that never looks trendy or 2010!!! Lol.
  • Lisa Wandzilak
    And I did the cabinets in a shaker cabinet.
  • southernkimbo
    We all like flipping through magazines and drooling over our dream decor... but if I can't live with it, it doesn't work for me. I need decor that is clean and uncluttered with neutral walls and cleanable surfaces. Colors can be changed, furniture too. I have to look at it every day and keep it clean - my only rule is that I absolutely love it. No one else has to appreciate it. Decor should be an ongoing process of filling your house with things and colors you love and letting things go to make room for newness. For me, that's usually seasonal, and I look forward to a few new pieces each season - remembering to equally get rid of the old. Happy New Year!
  • Sally Pascale
    When wondering about what is trendy and what will look good ten years from now...I think that you really have to take into consideration the style of your house. A Victorian is going to have a different look from a contemporary or a mid-century modern or a 1700's colonial. I think that if you like a particular style of house, then you are probably going to like a style that compliments that house. That's not to say that you can't mix things up a bit of course, and when done right, it can look amazing to see antiques in a very modern house and vice versa.

    But I do think that simple white subway tile is always going to look right. LIke an A-line skirt or a navy blazer, it isn't IN style, but then it's never OUT either. Wood floors always look nice, and so does marble, and white painted trim. On the other hand I happen to adore knotty pine, so what do I know?
  • jfasen
    I revamped my kitchen and bath 16 years ago. I used clean simple lines in cabinetry and hardwoods in both cabinetry and flooring. In that time, I have updated the paint colors and changed out the linoleum in the bath for ceramic tile. I got my first place, 47 years ago ( yes I am an old timer, but that equates to a history of successes as well as mistakes). my color is green. always has been and always will be. I have accent pieces that I have had for ever and collect a variety of items that I decorate with. My home is neutral and plain on purpose. I decorate with various hues of my favorite color and my collections. I change up the look depending on the seasons. Some things go to the closet and other things come out. I change it up with the changing trends, by adding in accents that go along with the things I love. Currently I am looking at sunny yellows or coppery rusts. The common work I get when people come to my home is, beautiful. Bottom line, find what you love, don't get to trend, and have a stash of items that can support your changing moods and the changing times.
  • Gretchen Bozarth

    White shaker cabinets, marble counters, hard wood floors, cabinet paneled refrigerator and dish washer, and a few glass fronted cabinets will never go out of style Of course, I do agree, if you are planning on your home being your forever and ever home, use products that appeal to you, and that most importantly make you happy

  • Angie Wilson

    I am late to the thread, but I really appreciated reading all of your comments. We lost a lot of money in the recession, so I have had to downsize and completely change the way I decorate/style my home. It's a real challenge, but here are some random thoughts - some which have been mentioned above. BTW, as you get older this gets a bit easier.

    1) Understand the game- and the newly shortened cycle of what's "in" has gotten a lot shorter with TV and internet sites. It's a money game.

    2) You can enjoy "Flipping Out" or HGTV without thinking you need to buy all the stuff they are selling.

    3) Try to stick with neutrals in your upholstery choices - change things up with pillows and accessories (and you don't need to buy them at high prices). If you are not wealthy, you aren't buying collector's art, etc. - so if you have the time or inclination - switch out colors of accessories as colors change.

    4) While paint is the least expensive way to change any home, it's still a lot of work - especially if you are doing it yourself. I try to stick with a white in most rooms - sadly - the undertones of whites change - it used to be yellow or warm undertone...now it's grey. Well, I refuse to repaint the entire house in a new grey undertone white. I can add some grey accents and even light grey feature walls and keep my same white _ I think it's called Woodrow Wilson Crème? Or Woodrow Wilson Linen?

    5) Find a paint you like for trim and doors and stick with it as you move house to house through the years. We chose Laura Ashley "Milk Sugar" about 25 years ago and have moved many times - they no longer make it, but you can have it matched. It has never failed us.

    6) While I'd love to do black trim or something for a change....I know it is a trend.

    7)I never did buy into the busy glass backsplash thing - stuck with a neutral stone - it looks great. I painted the kitchen cabinets Shoji White - a white with a slighty grey undertone. They look great - if white goes out, I repaint them myself.

    8) Wood floor color - that's tricky - especially if you can't afford real wood to be restained every 5 years. Choose what you like and then switch things up with area rugs - and hunt for these at Tuesday Morning, etc. -you do not have to pay 500 for a sisal rug.

    9) We have one Oriental rug we hang on a wall - it's multi colored and we've been able to make it work in every house. We got it in Durham, NC - which is where we got a lot of our furniture, rugs, etc. - lucky I have family there - you will pay a fraction of what you will pay for for rugs and furniture there - especially in resale shops. Sadly, I have found resale shops where in live now (Dallas) to be hugely overpriced.

    10) Our bathrooms have white square tile - it looks great - who cares if it's not subway. Keep it clean. Floors are an offwhite tile - bought a great product called polyblend grout renew for 10 dollars - totally fixed the brown grout. (found this on a site livelovediy). Great site.

    11) I agree with whoever above said - watch out for the Thomas Edison style lights or really, any of this post industrial or mid century modern trend. I do have a bit of that in my home now - but I do it sparingly. Accent tables, accent pieces. Be eclectic, in other words.

    12)I'm a big fan of IKEA and IKEA hacks - but not of their couches, etc. as they are too low for the average American house.

    13) It is not as cheap as "they" say, but changing out hardware can really help a kitchen, bath, or dresser. We have my husband's childhood dresser made of real wood - I've painted that thing many colors over the years and changed out the pulls twice.

    14) I agree with whoever said it depends where you live - West coast style is fun, but it is often trendy and changes a lot. East coast style is more conservative. I live in Dallas now, so I try to maintain something that trends more towards classics.

    15) I've found beautiful cotton/linen looking drapes at Ikea (extra tall) over the years. No, they are not lined - but they look like I planned it that way. Right now they are mostly white or slightly off white or grey. Warning - do not wash these or if you do, wash by hand or on gentle and iron them yourself (yuk). I dried a pair of gold tone ones I had back in the 90s? and they shrink unevenly at the bottom.

    16) Read books by Alexandra Stoddard - especially ones written in the last 15 or so years. She helped me see that I did not need to follow trends and that I could let my own style evolve. I wouldn't even do my home the way she does hers - but that is not the point - - she encourages you to find your own style.

    17) For all you younger folks - this is the most important thing I have learned - do not buy anything on credit for your home. Save and then buy it. Even if it's "12 months no interest." - the delay in saving for whatever you want (and I emphasize want - not need) will in the end give you much more satisfaction. Our culture wants you to spend every dime on your house, your car, your clothes, your gadgets, your hair, your botox, etc. - I am not immune to these impulses - but at a certain point (this is not for the wealthy) - it became clearly that the hours I was working to have all this stuff was only causing me more stress. If you wake up to this idea early on, you'll save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars in furniture, art, junk - that often ends up in your donate pile or your garage...you don't need it; you never did. Have a cup of tea and slow down and stop trying to live like someone on the Upper East side of NYC or Beverly Hills - or Highland Park here in Dallas. Nothing wrong with these lifestyles if you can afford them - most Americans can't and I don't see a lot of upward mobility happening in this country for a long, long time. This is, of course, all written from an American perspective. I've lived all over this country due to job changes - east coast, west coast, mid west, south. All our buying supposedly saves the economy - but I'm not so sure it's worth it in terms of what we've lost in our collective sanity. Stay out of debt -you may have to finance your first couple of cars - fine -pay cash for your cars as soon as you can. Buy used. Buy a home that you can maintain on one income...one of you may get sick. I did not need to mean this as a manifesto against decorating - I've enjoyed my homes tremendously through the years...but I also overspent during boom times - and I just wish someone would have warned me that boom times don't last - you can have a lovely home without spending a fortune! If anyone reads this - thanks for listening:) I did not spell/grammar check - forgive errors.:)

  • centaurita
    @ Angie Wilson
    Very nice post! I enjoyed your perspective.
  • Angie Wilson

    You are kind - I think it was a rant of an older lunatic:) ha! Thanks for saying something nice about it:)

  • kiturah

    One inch tile backsplashes! I find them ugly and annoying. Granite countertops.

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC

    Angie, you are a wise woman!

    My take on all this is to buy classic, quality items. As Angie says, save up until you can buy a high quality item you really love, don't make rash decisions, and plan out your rooms very thoughtfully. This way you don't spend unnecessarily, and you will love your home for many years to come.

  • teamaltese
    Things are considered trendy, out of trend, dated, BASED ON OTHERS OPINIONS! If you love a look, YOU love it, and need validation from no one else. If it looks good to you now, chances are it will look good to you in the future. If you find yourself being swayed by others opinions, try keeping a gratitude journal, listing all the things you're grateful for, and include reasons why you picked the style you did. You will gain confidence in your choices. Those who say "oh, how trendy!" Or "dear, your kitchen looks old and dated" will not have power over you. Nor will the shelter mags, HGTV, or Houzz.
  • vweingarten
    I had a lot of brass light fixtures in my house for many years, many of which I had personally chosen and liked.
    Suddenly I was informed that they were 'dated' ! The big thing was oiled bronze, black or brushed nickel. Well, I decided to ignore the new and stay with the old. Now, a few years later, I am back in style! Brass is back.
    We are about to completely renovate a bathroom. We are using white fixtures, floors and tile. The color accents will be from window treatments and towels etc. I like white appliances, which I have in my kitchen.
    I have never understood calling a product ' stain' less, when it is always needing to have smudges removed!
    As far as subway tile....I avoid it ever since I worked at a large state
    institution where it was ubiquitous, on every wall. Ugh!
    I liked hand painted tiles like Delft , but sadly that has largely disappeared.
  • chachawoman
    Is travertine tile on floors out. Thinking about replacing floors in kitchen, family room and dining room.
  • baileysr
    My guess is that "open concept" will soon go out of style. They are wildly popular and everyone wants an open concept design. But it sure seems like there are a lot of people struggling with furnishing, decorating, and living in open concept spaces. That tells me this is a fad that will pass.
  • qofmiwok

    baileysr I have a hard time believing that, as it's not some type of design fad, it's a fundamental change in how most people live, which is to say more informally. It's kind of like saying pantries are a fad... they are simply too perfect in function to go out of style, and really the surprise is that we forgot about them for a while.

    What I think will happen is we will get better at having flexible spaces and/or a combination of open spaces and closed spaces. For example, an open LR/DR/Kitchen, with a closed door den, office, or tv room (basically a room or two that everyone could use differently depending on their needs, with doors that could be open or closed at will.)

    It's funny to me that people think of open plan as new, when going back all the way to the 70's, most houses were open in a sense. But then they had the worst combination. Sound-wise they were open, with the living room, family room and kitchen all open to each other, which I always found dumb. If you have living room and a family room, don't you want them isolated from each other? But flow-wise, they were broken up so they weren't social and they didn't feel spacious.

    And there will always be some people who prefer a very closed plan, but I believe they will be the minority.

  • baileysr
    Qofmiwok, if "open" was really reflecting how people live, then I don't think we would have so many people struggling to furnish, decorate, and live in open concept spaces. Living in the space would come naturally because its form is following its function. I think you are right that we might gravitate to a hybrid open design, where rooms flow from one to another but are not just a wide open space, and some rooms where noise or privacy are an issue will be traditionally "closed" (if that's the right way to say the opposite of open???).
  • karemore55

    Interesting that this thread itself is not a trend, but keeps enduring......what a great read and a bit of nostalgia, as many of us that were commenting back in 2013 are no longer on Houzz. To any of you who are still around - I send a hello and a big wave!

  • sharlowm
    freestanding bathtubs are all the rage right now...while I think it's a nice look I wonder if that won't be something that dates a bathroom 10 years out. design trends are like clothing trends, if you wait long enough the look comes back. I wore 70s styles in the 70s and can't believe I'm seeing peasant blouses, high waisted bell bottoms jeans etc in urban outfitters and mainstream stores right now. it's all cool again!

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