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5 Design Trends to Ditch Right Now (and What to Do Instead)

We all fall for design trends. But what happens when we tire of a particular trend?  Here are 5 design trends to ditch right now and a better way to indulge in trends, so you’re not constantly renovating your home. 

My Classic and Timeless POV

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that my point of view (POV) as a designer is that classic and timeless is the best guiding principle of any new build or renovation. Why? 

Because I want to see you liberated from either…

  • living with finishes you are completely over from a long-gone trend, or
  • needing to constantly renovate and update your home because of too-trendy choices

That means taking a critical bird’s eye view of the trend cycles we have been through and the ones we are in at the moment.

This is the only way to see that that grey tile everyone is installing right now is going to be just as dated in a few years as the world of pink beige travertine that everyone replaced at the beginning of the grey trend.

You Can Still Indulge in the Trends

I believe you can have it all. A pretty house that you don’t have to endlessly renovate AND wise indulgence in the trends. Because let’s be honest, we ALL fall for trends. 

The key is to avoid permanently gluing trendy finishes down to any surface, or installing them anywhere they are a big hassle (or expense) to change.

Instead, reserve trendy patterns and colours for decorating, paint, textiles, art, accessories. That way, things are easier to shift out when you’re over it.

In other words:

Don’t install trendy finishes during a renovation or when building new

Do incorporate trends in your decorating choices

5 Dos and Don’ts for Design Trends

So here’s my list of the trends to avoid installing now that we’re at the end of the grey trend (in some areas) and the height of the black and white trend. And I’m also sharing where you SHOULD indulge in the trends.

❌ 1. Don’t Install Black Faucets and Plumbing Fixtures

Lately, it seems that everyone looking for a new faucet chooses the new matte black finish without thinking twice. Why? Because it looks NEW. And that’s the real driver of a trend. It’s the logic that if something simply looks “new” it must be better than the “old look.”

To my eye, black faucets are simply much too harsh for most bathrooms and kitchens. And being so high contrast, they draw the eye immediately. 

Read More: Should I choose a black shower door?

Black plumbing fixtures look bitty and busy, especially surrounded by white. It makes your eye bounce around from the showerhead to the knob to the faucet. 

Finally, they are often too modern-looking for the average transitional home.

One black faucet on your vanity is fine, but make sure you mix metals when you do it (keep reading below). Where I would stay far away from black plumbing fixtures is IN THE SHOWER.

Since faucets and shower hardware are a pretty big deal to install, most people will hire a professional. Since labour adds another cost, I recommend sticking with classic, soft chrome or polished nickel for faucets and plumbing fixtures in a timeless style. And, then you won’t need to worry about replacing when we shift out of the everything-black trend.

Bottom line, don’t install black hardware if you don’t have any black in your flooring, or a black countertop. Scroll back up and notice how all the black is small and bitty so the eye just bounces from one black to the next. In this case, there’s not even a wood stained vanity to help the situation.

Kohler Pinstripe Faucet with Cross Handles

Kohler Pinstripe Faucet with Cross Handles

✔️ Do Mix Metals with Black Hardware

If you love the look of the matte black finish, incorporate it in your cabinet hardware. (BUT DON’T order those 20 packs of 4 inch black pulls and stick them on every cabinet and drawer).

Or, opt for a slim black framed mirror, or again some decorative black lighting. In other words, choose black for things you can change out yourself. Just be sure to use it sparingly and repeat the black just once. Remember, too much black quickly becomes harsh, flat and predictable.

Classic polished nickel faucet with black hardware and accents – Heidi Caillier Designs

Read More: How to Decorate with Black in a Bathroom (and not overdo it)

For a more layered look  – in other words, a less-busy look that avoids too much black – combine your black knobs or mirror with chrome or polished nickel faucets. Did you know that mixing metals is okay?. And repeat the metal finish you chose for the faucet in hardware or lighting too.

black cabinet knob classic and timeless

1″ Black Knob

❌ 2. Don’t Install Grey Wood-Look Floors

Friends, you may have heard me say this before, but it’s still happening in homes everywhere at an alarming pace. So I need to rinse and repeat: grey or taupe wood-look floors have had their moment and are now looking dated.

If you haven’t installed them yet, see if you can take them back to the store.

I mean, weathered-wood-grey is drab, like the colour of decay. It can really suck the life out of a space. Besides, of all the finishes in your home, the most difficult one to replace is your floors. Floors are the last place to make trendy choices.

I have seen so many perfectly nice interiors absolutely ruined by grey flooring. The very first thing the next homeowner needs to do is invest in all new flooring before they can even move in. It’s such a waste. 

Read more: What if I don’t like all the grey flooring that’s everywhere?

Definitely don’t buy the stockpiles of grey wood flooring on sale at all the home improvement stores right now. Flooring is not something to get a bargain on just because it’s in a colour at the end of its trend cycle.

Colour matters – and I know you know that because you’re reading this blog. 😘

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✔️ Do Install Natural Wood-Toned Floors and Grey Decorating Accents

I can already hear the comments now: but Maria, I LOVE grey and my grey floors, they are so NEUTRAL.

Well, that’s fine, but I predict that only a very slim minority of you will still be in love with those floors a few years from now. Not to mention, they are becoming a big turn-off for home buyers. 

Instead, stick with simple, natural wood tones like maple, oak and hickory. Choose light to medium neutral brown stain colours and you won’t ever feel the need to replace them. Then it won’t look like they were installed in 2017. And that’s what makes them the timeless choice for wood floors.

And if you love that weathered wood look with grey, indulge in the trend with your furnishings and accents. Grey and weathered woods look best mixed with more natural wood tones anyway. 

A console and come occasional tables are much easier to paint or change out than the entire floor.

❌ 3. Don’t Install Geometric Tiles out of Context

Tile is another hard finish that is not easy to change out. It’s kind of a big dusty job. Ergo, I don’t recommend indulging your thirst for trendy patterns in wall tile.

Did you know that accent tile trends shift as quickly as every 2 years? So that cement tile pattern you loved last year is all but off your radar by the following year?

Read more: A 10 Year Review of Accent Tile Trends

There are gobs of interesting patterned tiles out there these days. New colour palettes, patterns, shapes and textures are constantly being introduced. And it is hard to not be romanced by their bedazzling! 

Tile patterns, more than any other finish, seem to inspire creativity for homeowners. Often the backsplash is the last finish you choose for your kitchen, and it often feels like the best moment to express yourself. And that’s where things go wrong.

But I find that most everyone thinks of the hard finishes (countertops, backsplash, etc.) as the finished look. And they seem to forget about the infinite fun they can have with decorating. I mean, that’s where the real creativity happens, isn’t it?

When you begin to look at your glued-down hard finishes as a BACKDROP for decorating and NOT THE FINAL expression, you get a better sense of why a solid white or cream tile is a prettier canvas for your paint and decorating choices. That’s where your creativity can really shine.

Of all the trendy pattern tiles out there, geometric shape tiles (triangles, isosceles, rhombus) tend to demand the most attention. And because of their pointy or angular look, they really only belong in the most modern of homes – where all the other elements are clean and contemporary.

So while the new up-and-coming tiles are fun in a candy-store kind of way, at the end of the day you are far more likely to get tired quickly of a strong pattern, than if you choose a classic and simple tile.

✔️ Do Install Simple White Tile and Geometric Textiles

Boring now equals timeless later. So if you aren’t committed to changing out your backsplash every few years as the trending pattern changes, choose something plain in white or cream. Treat yourself to your favorite colour or the pattern you are crushing on in your textiles, decor and paint choices instead.

If you really love geometry? Choose a classic hex or picket tile in white or cream so it acts as more of a quiet texture. Herringbone is another really lovely way to add a bit more interest when installing plain white tile. 

An area rug, toss pillows, accent chair, or artwork are all less-permanent ways to incorporate a bolder, trendy pattern in your room. You can enjoy it now and shift it out later without all the dust, expense, and fuss. 

I see so many homeowners go crazy with bold patterned tile glued down to their backsplash, but then choose completely safe and boring decor like grey-on-grey sofas, drapes, and area rugs. 

❌ 4. Don’t Install Geometric Accent Walls

Similarly, I’ve seen a lot of accent walls with little strips of wood glued in geometric patterns.

First of all, the accent wall is most often NOT the best decorating solution for any given room. The look is usually choppy since your eye is drawn to the contrast at its edges and bounds when what really makes a room beautiful and expansive is a sense of enveloping colour without harsh linear boundaries. 

And those geometric wood appliques? In my opinion, they are a misguided substitute for decorating and layering a space. Often it’s an attempt to add interest to walls that are simply TOO WHITE now because that’s everyone’s go-to wall colour these days.

Adding a geometric accent wall to a room is similar to the expectation that your wall colour should do all the heavy lifting. Paint isn’t always magic.

Let’s also get this straight. A geometric accent wall really doesn’t belong in a transitional or traditional home. Sure, it’s creative, I’ll give it that, but I think there are more refined ways to get creative with your decor. 

And a painting a harsh black colour on your geometric accent wall? Double no.

✔️ Do Wrap a Whole Room in a Bold Colour

Want to create a stunning statement in your room? Choose a bold wall colour and don’t stop arbitrarily with one wall. Wrap the whole room in it. Wrapping your whole room in a bold colour means it can be enjoyed from every angle and vantage point.

No one really gets to enjoy the accent wall behind their headboard in the bedroom. It’s more of a “staged” look, but for whom?

Add a trendy colour to all the walls and enjoy! After all, it’s only paint! There’s no need to add a pattern of cheap furring strips. Instead, get some textured lamps, textiles, area rugs, and be sure to include pretty patterns and prints! You’ll have a bold colour on the walls to accesserize your beautiful decor with now!

❌ 5. Don’t Paint your Cottage Exterior Black

The black exterior trend is huge. HUGE. Houses that aren’t going all white are instead going all black (or charcoal). New neighbourhoods are beginning to look like checkerboards. 

When choosing an exterior house colour, white is certainly the easier going choice. Many styles of homes can look just fine in white, even if it looks like everyone else’s house. 

But black? Black is a different statement, full of austerity and drama, and I think it looks best on modern, minimal and Scandinavian exteriors. On anything with more traditional architecture, it becomes gothic and overly heavy. 

A style of house that really doesn’t look its best in black (or charcoal) is a cottage style home or even the modest bungalow. Painting these style of homes black is just a misplaced use of the trend. And it will quickly look wrong and dated. 

Here’s why. A cottage or modest little bungalow should look charming, even a bit eccentric and light-hearted. That means cozy little houses look better painted a lively colour, not a serious or conservative neutral. And definitely not something as striving and grave as black. 

✔️ Do Paint Your Exterior a Deep Jewel Tone

So what should you do if you love the dramatic look of a black home exterior? Choose a rich jewel tone instead.

A wild cottage garden will look much prettier with a deep muted plum or teal as a backdrop than with flat black or charcoal.

There are so many other pretty colour choices. A preppy blue exterior will give a small house fresh life. A green exterior will soften the look and make it blend into a pretty landscape. A deep cranberry or saffron exterior will be so much more inviting and envelope the house with the warmth and character it may not have in its architecture. 

So, are you someone who falls head over heels for trends? Is there a trend you installed that you completely regret? Or, is there a trend that you installed that is completely timeless for you? Tell me more in the comments!

October 21 & 22, 2021 – 8:30 AM – 5:20 PM PST SOLD OUT

October 28 & 29, 2021 0 8:30 AM – 5:20 PM PST each day

If you’d like to learn how to see colour differently and create a Classic & Timeless Home for you or your clients, there’s still spaces left in my last virtual workshop this season! The first 3 events all SOLD OUT. 

Comments from the last workshop:

“I’m so impressed you were able to shift your business model (because of covid I assume) to do all of this online and still be extremely effective. I can tell your team is very good at ensuring this work in an online way. Nice job!” Donna C.

“The new build package you put together for me was invaluable when we built 1.5 years ago. We installed all classic and timeless finishes, and because of that and this course, I feel so much better about the variety of choices for décor, etc. Loved these 2 days with you.” Kristen R.

Don’t delay, Register here.

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I am honoured to be on the board of an amazing organization that exists to encourage and develop leadership, mentoring, education and networking opportunities for professional women in the home and furnishings industries.

WITHIT –  The Women’s Leadership Development Networking Non-Profit

As a non-profit organization, WITHIT needs your help to continue growing our objective to recognize, connect, and support women in the industry. To mentor, teach, and encourage those who aspire to grow their leadership, while providing the opportunity for networking and the support needed in our careers.

Please help me support this important cause that I am passionate about and purchase tickets for our annual fundraiser! 

Tickets here!

Related Posts:

Trend Alert: Black Accent Walls

Should I buy a Black Sofa?

Before & After: Tricia’s Black Bedroom Reveal

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  • Penny says:

    Excellent, concise and very well written! A post that I wish every home owner, builder and flipper would read. All the gray LVP flooring replacing carpet in bedrooms I have been seeing in real estate photos is pretty nauseating. All of your examples are perfect. Thank you!

  • Susan says:

    I love my black geometric accent wall in my transitional home. 😜 Cost me $150 and when/if I tire of it I can remove the molding, fill the nail holes and paint. No biggie. If people are actually glueing the molding to their walls that’s going to cause major destruction when removed.

  • Christy says:

    This was a great read! Could you please let me know:

    1.) Are there certain metals that shouldn’t be mixed? For example maybe if they are too close in color? And should the sheen be the same when mixing metals? For example, could you mix polished nickel & brushed nickel, or could you mix polished nickel & chrome? I love the look of polished nickel for maybe a kitchen faucet & island lighting, but not sure what 2nd metal to use in my open concept home for door hardware & drawer pulls.

    2.) What about the trend of removing uppers on the window walls in kitchens – that is also timeless, right? How about doing kitchen tile up to the ceiling on those window walls without uppers, is that timeless?

    3.) What countertop material/color do you feel is timeless in a kitchen, white quartz? So white quartz counters, white subway backsplash & white cabinets is a winning combo?

    Thanks So Much! Love reading your articles.

  • Liz says:

    Great post! I really enjoyed the clearly structured “DON’T do this but DO do this” aspect of it. Just like your post before this on cherry cabinets about don’t use these colors but a fresh blue does work to update their look. Helpful reference and easy to visualize!

    Following up on the bad grey floor trend…since a lot of it is LVP and could be replaced “easier” than real hardwoods, are there particular brand/colors of light or medium toned LVP flooring that you like to hit the mark for timeless floor installation?

  • Amber says:

    Small quibble in an otherwise great post. I agree grey flooring is a terrible idea, but I wouldn’t say “weathered-wood-grey is drab.” Aged teak is classic and beautiful OUTSIDE.

  • Marilee says:

    Gray flooring…. We have been looking at real estate listings lately and every “flip” I have seen has that gray floor. No thanks. Move right past those listings.

  • Karen says:

    One of my favorite tips from your blog is using a light neutral wood floor. We recently stayed in a gorgeous rental that had light flooring and it was so beautiful.

    Can we talk about that ugly green range hood in the Good Housekeeping photo with the tile backsplash? What the heck??

    One of my favorite choices for our home was to paint it a very pretty medium blue, not too light, not too dark. Sherwin Williams Distance with white trim. I have been happy with it for 20 years.

  • Martha says:

    We are looking at moving in the near future. Whenever I view homes with gray flooring I think “nope” and pass on by. If I am already looking at homes at the upper end of my spending budget I certainly don’t want to think about replacing a house full of gray flooring.

  • Holly says:

    Maria, your post was on point! I absolutely love chrome hardware and we are renovating the entire top floor of our house. I painted all the golden oak wood trim and doors the white color of my new shaker kitchen cabinets, were replacing our laminate maple flooring with medium brown oak LVP. The one thing I did not change and have never gotten sick of is the chrome faucets and hardware we installed 9 years ago in our bathrooms and will not be replacing. they still are classic and timeless. My gray, brown and taupe tile master bedroom shower that was done 9 years ago, however, has become my least favorite room in the house and I’ve been back and forth over whether to paint it the SW egret white in the tile or the gray in the tile that would be SW passive or SW Big chill. I realize if I want to update it to “Now” it would probably be SW Egret White. Let me tell you the bathroom has been rough because I let my tile installer brother convince me into putting tumbled marble on my shower seat and nook, and then I went and bought trendy small tiles at a big box store and did two borders with it because we didn’t have enough tile to do everything. I’m having trendy tile regret now and wish I would’ve gone with an all white subway tile shower, nook and seat with a white hex tile shower floor. I don’t have the funds to do it now so maybe in ten years if we’re still living here I will persuade my husband to do it and hopefully will never have to think about it again.

  • Ann says:

    Hi Maria. For the past ten years I have had an all white kitchen, marble or white counter, and pretty wood floors. We are moving and the housing market, as you probably know, is crazy. I was actually able get a builder spec home that met almost all of our needs. Sadly it has grey tile flooring in the entire house with grey countertops too. The showers even have grey wood look tiles. Everyone who sees it thinks it’s so pretty, but not me. This won’t be our forever home and it wouldn’t make sense for me to go through the expense of redoing a brand new home that a lot of people would be happy to have. The grey trend is very much alive in my part of the country. I can’t wait over a year for a new build and rentals are even hard to find. Pretty much all real estate listings in my area have grey interiors. So I’m grateful that I found a good floor plan in a nice neighborhood during this housing boom. I know this is “first world problems” but it’s so sad not to love a brand new home.

    For the first time, I am completely uninspired to decorate! I’ve always loved warm wood tones and creams. We haven’t moved in yet, when I walk in it feels like I’m in a storm cloud. This is really going to test my decorating skills. I know that grey looks good with lots of bright color, but I feel happiest with more muted earthy tones. I’ve seen some of your past articles on decorating with grey and they are helpful. I know there is others in my shoes that aren’t able to change their existing hard finishes. Could you please write another article to offer more advice? I would appreciate it so much!

    • Ryan says:

      Love this comment – I have often thought about my complaints as “first world problems” too.
      I suppose grey finishes are better than pink beige, but it must be hard to spend money on something you don’t love.
      Happy decorating and congratulations on your new home!

      • Lorena says:

        I have pink beige floors that came with the house but I would rather have those than gray floors. Way more decorating options with what I have.

      • Lorena says:

        Give me pink beige anytime. I hate gray. My floors are pink beige and I had decorated now so they are barely noticeable, and way much brighter than gray.

    • DeniseGK says:

      I’m late to this post, but I hope you will check back one day Ann and see this. What you need is lots of large rugs or maybe bound carpet. Get yourself out of the house and go look at rugs and carpeting in person. You can cover up those floors with a muted color you like that will still go with the rest of the house and cheer you. But you need to get out there and look and feel in person – that is what is going to help you feel like doing it. Window shopping online will not help the feeling you have and may leave you also feeling overwhelmed at the scope of the problem and the solution. I find it very hard to decorate (all the time, unfortunately!) and looking at stuff in person rather than eyeing things online has helped me so much. I was able to jump into the somewhat scary world of rugs and carpet (it’s so expensive to me!) and I’m sure you can do it too!

  • Stacy says:

    In this housing market, a house with rustic LVP floors shouldn’t deter anyone. LVP is the easiest floor to replace, and it’s not super expensive. It’s either floated or glued, and either way, it’s an easy removal and new installation. Or just use a lot of rugs. That’s the boat I found myself in. The house I was able to buy in a rough market has those rustic LVP floors downstairs. You hardly see any of it because I have rugs in every room. I ignore it for now as I focus instead on replacing the hideous dark gray laminate kitchen cabinets and tan/peach speckled granite countertops. Once I have my new light wood cabinets and better granite countertops, I won’t even notice the floor because it will all work together better. I had engineered hardwood in pretty beat-up condition in my prior house in a medium but orange tone, and I couldn’t afford to remove those because that is very expensive (around $2-3 per sq ft just for removal). I ignored them, too, and hid most of it with rugs. Funny thing was that everyone else liked that wood, just like everyone likes the floors I have now.

    Sometimes you just have to work with what you have for a while! The fact that my house didn’t have a fireplace bothered me more than the flooring. But I solved that problem, too, by buying an electric fireplace. It looks real enough, and I can turn it on all year long.

  • Sheree L says:

    This is one of my favorite blog posts that you’ve done, Maria! So full of great advice. As Penny mentioned, I wish every homeowner, builder, and flipper would read this! I have many hard finishes in the home we purchased that I would love to replace (home built in the Tuscan trend), but it would cost a fortune. So I do the best I can in decorating, and that helps! I’ve learned a lot from you! Thanks for your great content and for the pics which illustrate your points so well.

  • Karin says:

    Thank you for so generously helping us all!!! And offering the alternative in such a real and objective way (not just trying to sell us something). I’m not a designer, nor am I remodeling, but I’m always sharing your info with others. Including my daughter (advice from you may be better received haha).

  • Julie S says:

    “When you begin to look at your glued-down hard finishes as a BACKDROP for decorating and NOT THE FINAL expression, you get a better sense of why a solid white or cream tile is a prettier canvas for your paint and decorating choices.” <— this is pure gold!! The distillation of so much of what you're teaching. I wish every decorating enthusiast knew and understood that.

  • Diane says:

    Several comments from me..

    I just did a refurb (not a reDO) of my Georgian style townhome bathrooms..They were truly beyond horrible & neglected because.. well, “life.”

    I kept what I liked & changed the rest.
    My original counters were fine, according to my contractor. My decades old, heavy chrome fixtures are way better than anything out there today.
    Kept heavy brass knobs, bought in the ‘90s for our family home and brought with me.
    Paint, beadboard and flooring ..voila! No more shame, not terribly costly & doesn’t look neglected. It’ll be gutted when I sell, anyway.
    Mixed metal is fine with me.
    (And with David Yurman!😉)

    Now..My son & fam lost everything in Hurr Harvey. Knowing the were rebuilding to sell, all choices were trendy..gray, accent tile backsplash, “gold” fixtures etc.
    They tired of it all quickly but it did sell.

    Having finally bought a lovely permanent home in this crazy, competitive Houston market,(they looked at many & barely got it) ) they’re stuck for now with a LOT of gray flooring..they hate it but will work around it since ..2 small kiddos, 2 labs and a pool will make them do for now.

    Trends annoy the heck out of me..I’ve seen them come, go, return & go again!
    Stay true to whatever pleases your eye.
    You won’t be sorry!

  • Brooke says:

    Another lovely post sure to inspire conversations. Question please. Is a wall with vertical molding or board and batten in the same category as a geometric wall if it is on just one wall? Thank you!

    • Amber says:

      I think those styles are more classic than what Maria is referring to, but they wouldn’t have originally been installed on only one wall, so I’d put it in the same category as an accent wall (which she also doesn’t recommend).

  • Joanna says:

    Is geometric tile on a bathroom or laundry room floor a no-no as well? I’m picking out flooring as we speak.

  • Leslye says:

    Thank you for saving us from ourselves!

  • Carla says:

    Great post! I don’t usually go for trends as I tend to get sick of them REALLY fast. That being said, we installed 24X12″ tile in the main foyer, hallway and kitchen when we moved in 10 years ago and I hate it. Didn’t think it would look so outdated in 2021 but I wanted something to match with my marble mosaic backsplash. Love reading all of your blog posts, Maria! Thank you!

  • Kay says:

    Great post!

    In 2005 we redid our main bathroom, down to the studs. I found an inspiration photo of silvery gray small square tile with white and actually found the right color hiding amongst the sea of brown and beige in the tile store. I designed the bathroom myself, with a large walk-in shower that is tiled in gray with a white hex tile floor and scattered gray tile flowers. The bathroom floor is the same. The counter is gray tile with white borders and gray edging—borders and edging carried throughout. Paint is Ralph Lauren Garden White, with the barest pink tinge, and moldings are white.

    I couldn’t stand the gray trend when it arrived. Some gray is nice—a lot is horrid, really depressing. Our bathroom is very pretty, not depressing, and our guests have always loved it. I’m certainly not going to redo it. Sixteen years later, I still enjoy it, every day. IMO, a judicious use of almost any color, done right, can be lovely and timeless. But key is making sure there is plenty of white, or cream, to prevent the color from overwhelming the space.

  • Dianne says:

    Maria I built my first and last home on a shoestring in 2015. I stumbled onto your blog and devoured it! It’s very classic whites, subway tiles, counters, cabinets, shiplap ceilings, light wood floors. I’m forever grateful that you kept me away from ‘busy’ patterns! My only regret I have are the light gray walls. I’m now painting the rooms white, one room at a time. Thank you!!!

  • Fran W. says:

    Such great advice, Maria! And spot on, as always.

  • Jeannie says:

    I’m sorry, but I l simply LOVE my black faucet and (subtle) encaustic tile backsplash in my newly remodelled white kitchen!

    If I tire of it down the road it’s a small investment to have it replaced. Until then it doesn’t look like every other run of the mill kitchen renovation, and it makes me happy. To me there is value in that too

  • Carol C. says:

    Loved this post and was congratulating myself on having avoided falling into any of these ditches, thanks to following your blog advice–until I got to the one about geometric accent walls. We designed and created one in the master bedroom of our MCM house, which we’ve renovated to be on the contemporary side. Oh well. Can’t win’em all…and we do love the wall for now! Curious: What makes that wall trendy and a wall-papered accent wall not?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Well you have to do construction to take it down I guess? I have rarely seen one that I think is well done but I’m sure yours is 🙂 Maria

  • Cathy Vogel says:

    Fantastic post!!

  • SueC254 says:

    I’m in Sydney, Australia and people are still putting down grey LVP flooring; encaustic tiles; and going mad for black tapware, black windows and putting up grey curtains to go with their grey walls, grey sofas and grey floors!! I’m on a few DIY facebook groups and people keep posting a picture of their room and asking opinions of what flooring to choose etc. and do not understand context, colour schemes and especially undertones. They are also still making the common errors of choosing several patterns in hard finishes in bathrooms and kitchens!! I too loved the encaustic tiles but they’re everywhere now and have lost their appeal for me and they would not have worked in my home anyway.
    My cousin did a smart thing years ago just by intuition and tiled her bathroom entirely in plain white tiles. It was against the trends at the time but now she’s so glad she did it! It’s hard but worth it to ride out the trends and just be patient.

  • Nichelle says:

    Hi Maria. Love your blog! I wholeheartedly agree on the grey wood flooring points. We refinished the white oak floors in our first home (built in 1947) to their natural colour with a clear finish and I loved them -so classic! I’m a bit nervous because our new build will have concrete floors (radiant in-floor heat with passive solar, so we want the floors bare to act as a thermal battery). Is there any way I can still get my classic and timeless white kitchen on these grey floors without it looking too disjointed or stark?

  • NB says:

    I love white washed floors, the scandinavian feel of light woods and lots of light. My walls have been white, moss green, and now deep teal and plum. If you use colors you love I think trends are less important. I so agree we are all influenced by trends because they are new but finding what you love seems to be the answer for me.

  • Jaclyn says:

    I very much agree with this list. Especially when it comes to tile. I am currently trying to figure out how to work my decor around the bathroom backsplash tiles that were installed by the former homeowners about 10 years ago. They very representative of the tile trends of the lates ‘00s early ‘10s and they look so dated it’s making me crazy. Nothing goes with them. I don’t want to rip them out because of cost, mess, and the fact that there is nothing physically wrong with them. So they are staying for now, despite how much I detest them.

  • Sharon JJ says:

    I love this post. We’re second owners of a beautiful house in coastal Nova Scotia, and when we did a lot of work on the house a few years ago, we went with classics we love: natural oak floors, Benjamin Moore Oxford White walls, white tile backsplash, matte black Vermont granite countertops, soft white marble island counter and polished chrome faucets and pulls. The slipcovers and curtains are unbleached cotton and the furniture is mostly natural wood, black-stained wood or soft-white painted wood. I was told by a few people I had “boring taste.” But we have big, open rooms and high ceilings, with rooms that flow into each other. We add and play with colour with art, textiles, dishes and other changeable and moveable things. Five years later, I still love our house and am not at all bored by the decision we made to stay with classics for the expensive stuff.

  • Lorena says:

    I say go as bold as you want with wall color, that is easily changeable.

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