The Midwest is not really known as a mecca of trendy and forward design.
No offense, Midwest. I love you. Kiss kiss.
And I have a similar problem. I’m a Midwesterner through and through. Which means I tend to err toward (what I think is) classic and farmhouse style. If it is hot and hip enough to hit the newsstands, it’s not going to make it in my home.
(And when it comes to clothing, I’m almost almost about 2 years behind a new trend. I’m talking to you, booties and skinny jeans.)
But as we’ve been planning the house, I’ve been spending more time than usual wondering if the decisions I am making have staying power. Because we’ve lived in (and renovated) enough homes to know that design trends come and go.
These decisions often die a slow, hideous death that leaves future owners cursing their name. My favorite example of this is Boozy Susie of Russet Street Reno fame. Some of these things are just bad contractors and the like. But things like paneling and ugly wallpaper and shag carpeting have been cursed by many home owners.
So here are a few things we’re planning to do in the new house – none of which are forward-thinking in terms of design. But while they are all pretty standard in new homes and renovations today, I still find myself wondering if they will be something I hate a few years down the road.
My mother-in-law chose almond bathroom fixtures in her house when they built int he 80s. Because they were IN. And she made me promise her I wouldn’t choose something other than white fixtures because they were the bane of her existence.
What do you think? Will any of these become something that makes a home feel dated in 20 years? (Because while many of you are cool as a cucumber about planning for renovations, homey don’t play that.)
White trimwork and cabinetry
Judging by the number of horrified comments I get on my blog about painting trimwork, I’m going to wager a guess that not everyone loves the idea of painted trim. Which is a shame since it was our house and I really didn’t care what people thought who didn’t live there. (Bam.)
I have loved it in every home we’ve had. We’ll have it in our next house.
I find it to be crisp and easy to clean and touch up. I also think it looks classic and modern. It goes with anything and everything.
But could white trimwork and cabinetry become the equivalent of the 80s honey oak? Because, guys, that stuff was obviously popular at some point. And I’m not interested in stripping trim when I’m 80 years old.
I love myself a good amount of recessed lighting. It’s inexpensive, provides great light, and LED lights use barely anything in terms of electricity. The lights can be dimmable and blend into almost any decor.
But, what if recessed lighting becomes the modern day equivalent of fluorescent lighting in homes?
Because I checked out a book about building a house in the library and the author RECOMMENDED LARGE FLUORESCENT LIGHTS IN THE KITCHEN. These are things I wouldn’t joke about.
Wainscoting and planking
I’m pretty certain that the surge of popularity in board and batten, wainscoting, planking and shiplapping is going to dwindle.
Do I love it? Yes. Are we going to have it? Yes. Do I think it CAN be classic? Yes. (In the case of 19th century homes with board and batten.)
But our parents and grandparents also loved paneling.
And I think shows like “Fixer Upper” (which is one of my favorites) help to boost the popularity even further. And I ask myself if these painstaking wood treatments will become a bit dated in time. And then everyone will be ripping them out.
Oil rubbed bronze hardware
This could very well already be “out” by the standards of the powers that be. But I can’t bring myself to use stainless or chrome or brass.
What’s going to be the next big thing? Because I don’t think it’s going to be ORB. But are ORB knobs going to feel so passé in 2025?
Rustic elements (like beams and boards)
I live in the country and can fully embrace the use of barn boards and beams and other rustic elements. (Heck, we have full barn board walls.)
But I do wonder if this look feels too trendy. Will rustic design go the way of the shag green carpeting in your aunt’s basement? Will it feel as dated as mirrored furniture in the 80s?
I’m not judging any design decisions and I don’t want your hate mail. I believe that you have to make decisions that feel right for you, your family and your home. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to make those decisions. And if you are like me, you want to make choices that you love for a long time!