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by - Monday, September 20, 2010

Jenny at My Favourite And My Best blog wrote a few entertaining (controversial?) posts last week about design trends she hates. Have you read them? The comments are hilarious - and so true!

I admit it, I'm guilty of some of these so-called design offenses (garland bunting? check. ceramic garden stools? check. gallery walls, chalkboards, and vinyl decals? check, check, and double check). While I don't think that these were bad design choices, I do agree that I am over some of these trends - and I fault all the design blogs out there for that! Blogs expose you to so many ideas but sometimes, one of those ideas catches on and you start seeing it everywhere. That can cause you to fall in love with the idea, but just as quickly learn to hate it.

Have you ever wondered if you bought something, or replicated an idea, or sought out a trend just because you had seen it so many times and it was ingrained in your brain as a design must-have? Would you have felt the same way about that object if you had just arbitrarily stumbled upon it?

Here's a few things I could do without:
- white ceramic animals
- ugly furniture that is still just as ugly even if you repaint it
- tea towels as decoration
- ikat fabric
- sisal rugs (so impractical - and itchy!)
- painted feature walls
- too much of one thing (like an all mid-century modern living room or all shabby chic bedroom)
- chandeliers with barrel shades

And some things I still can't get enough of:
- thrift and antique finds
- DIY anything
- white kitchens
- vintage looking bathrooms
- letterpress
- banquettes, window seats, and benches
- reproduction lighting
- little details - trim, wainscotting, nailhead trim, tufting

And since I don't like posts without pictures, here's a look that I don't think I'll be replicating any time soon... waaaaay too many coordinated florals for my taste!

Showtime House 2010

Tell me... what's on your love/hate list?

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  1. I agree with all of yours and a lot of hers.

    I cannot stand all the "Keep Calm and Carry On" crap around. That, and the "For Like Ever" poster. There's so much cute art around--Etsy, 20x200, so on and so forth, although I'm not a fan of the weird giant-headed Blythe people that seem popular in Etsy art. I do think that a lot of the problem is that everyone's looking at so many design blogs every day. In real life you wouldn't be visiting fifty homes a day specifically to critique the decor. It's information overload.

    Going through her first post: I'm over giant arrangements of random framed stuff too. Giant arrangements of family pictures are fine. I think sunburst mirrors have been around for sixty years or so, so they can stay, but they are a little too popular right now. I have no feelings on bar carts; I haven't really seen many of them. Subway art--that just exploded really fast, didn't it? I see Halloween subway art now, it's just weird. Garlands--my son has one in his room. He had a Batman themed birthday party, for which I made a Batman garland. His room is also Batman themed so how could I not hang it in there? I don't think I'd have one in a main living space, though. No feelings on the word rad as I don't know that I've ever seen it used in a blog post.

    Second post is massive, so I won't go through it all. I basically agree with her (I see I'm not alone in my "Keep Calm and Carry On" pet peeve) except for chalkboard paint. Although I wouldn't do it to a whole wall.

    I try not to follow trends--I really hate having things that anyone else has. This is why it takes me years to decorate a room. The good thing is that since it takes me so long to get stuff done, if I did pick something trendy to go in there (that I wouldn't like over the long term) by the time I actually get around to doing something with it it's way out of style.

  2. My RULE OF THUMB...

    Unless "You're" the One who has "started" THE TREND / FAD, stay away from Them. As their Names suggest, they're TEMPORARY! Stick to THE CLASSICS or PERIOD STYLES. They last "forever" FOR a Reason.

    Always keep your BASIC Items SIMPLE. Clean lines, solid colours, GOOD workmanship, aesthetic! Those are The CLASSICS. "TRENDS" should be confined to whatever FLASHY *THROW* PILLOW or an ART PIECE that won't kill you to toss after a month or two!

    Oh, and BTW, MID-CENTURY MODERN is only COOL up until JFK. And the 70s and 80s totally Bite! Been there, have lived through THAT!

  3. Silk plants (ivy) creeping across the top of wall cabinets in the kitchen. I always want to ask if Rapunzel lives here? *nasty*

  4. MFAMB posts were absolutely hilarious! I too, have been an offender of a trend or two. But it doesn't bother me that much...if you love it, do it.. its your house.

  5. As I was reading both lists here, I kept nodding my head. I remember seeing my first barrel shade chandelier on TV years ago, wondering why anyone would do such a thing. Chalkboard paint is good on a chalkboard ... nowhere else.

    The main fault with all of this is feeling like one must decorate to a 'theme'. Roosters, Mid-Century, Country, Shabby ... whatever else. Buy what you love, ignore the trends (no matter what they are) and your home will be a reflection of your personality ... not a replica of the latest design-blogger-idea-du-jour.

    'Distressing' is just that ... distressing. Patina is earned not created, and burlap is for feed sacks, not furniture.

    Love your blog so far. I'm off to see some more!

  6. it's funny - i saw a keep calm carry on poster a few years ago when i first started blogging and reading blogs - i saw it one place and really liked it. so i bought it. now i see it everywhere and it seems to be one of the most hated "trends"... but all of my friends who don't blog think it is unique and always comment on it when they visit my house. sometimes i think it is good to step away from blogland for a little while to get a fresh look on things.

    there are certainly things that have been listed that i wouldn't put in my own home - wall decals, matching sets of furniture, themed anything...

    it would be difficult to put together a house (or room, or outfit even) that is fully unique. i guess that you just need to make sure that you love each item that you pick, and that you are putting things together in a way that is personal to you.

  7. Jessica - I agree with you about the posters! There is so much more fun original artwork out there.

    Auntie Shan - can't believe you were gutsy enough to say mid-century modern isn't cool, lol! The 70's and 80's did bite, style wise. Let's hope shag rugs and avocado-coloured appliances don't come back in vogue.

    Jenni - and what is up with that space between the kitchen cabinet and the ceiling? Whoever thought that waste of space would be useful or attractive?

    Designwali - totally agree!

    Hartwood Roses - "Patina is earned, not created" - so true. Why can't we just wait for something to age gracefully instead of trying to fake it and get instant gratification?

    Katie - you're right about blogland. Sometimes trendy or not depends on who's opinion you're asking.

  8. LOVE:
    • Mismatched pillows, throws and eclectic mix on a couch
    • Imperfections in old homes & furniture
    • Interesting stair risers
    • Neutral homes with an unexpected pop of color (for example, I saw an interior door painted neon green in an otherwise super sophisticated room)

    STILL LOVE (even though it's trendy):
    • Chalkboard
    • Cowhide and sheepskin
    • Antlers
    • My retro KitchenAid mixer
    • Vintage cameras
    • Paper Lanterns

    I really can't think of much to go on my hate list. Probably vinyl decals and overly clustered photos (even though I'm guilty of this).

  9. Oh my gosh, I'm reading through her comments and DYING! They are cracking me up!

    I'm with you on the white ceramic animals, tea towels (yeck!) and chandeliers with barrel shades. I'm also pretty over the whole Keep Calm and Carry On prints. And silk flowers. And basically just "themes" in decorating.

    Fun post!

  10. I am more sick of design terminology than trends.
    Number 1 is POP of COLOUR
    Why must everything be a ‘space’ – can’t it just be a room?
    Why ‘paint out’ – can you ‘paint in’? Just say paint!
    Same with ‘change out’ – why not ‘change in’? Too many prepositions!

  11. oh no.
    but at my defense...some of these I have been doing for a very long time...i had a chalkboard over 10 years ago...grey paint...also 10 years ago.
    it is definitely time for a shake up however and i too am sick of myself.
    I knew we were in trouble when I saw restoration hardware do both the dressform and the subway art.
    as long as people surround themselves with things they love I just don't see how you can go wrong.
    i still love domino
    i don't like shabby chic
    i love the big mirror
    i don't like karate chopped pillows

    and i wear my wellies:)

  12. I have two "Keep Calm" posters, in the original mail tube sitting in my closet, waiting for the perfect place in my under renovation house. I love them, not because they are a trend, but because I love them. And there's nothing wrong with trends, in small, inexpensive and easily removable options. Gotta have some fun. I'd never ever ever buy a trendy couch, or do my kitchen in the IT colour. Those are reserved for classic design only, to serve over time and be enjoyed 20 years down the road. I still like my posters, though :)

  13. Hahaha....My husband and I laughed about those posts for hours.

    I am not over gallery walls yet, but the Keep Calm things....I was never really into. However, I have wanted one for a while that says, "Keep Calm and Fuck Off" Pardon my language.

  14. Sarah2:47 PM

    That was a funny post/comments! What am I over? Mostly, I'm over something when it's done too much in one house. For example,

    1. The Distressed/Shabby Chic furniture and accesories in every room of the house.

    2. Word art all over the house. What's wrong with art without words? I actually never got the "Keep Calm" posters. So, I'm not over it, just don't get it.

    3. Wainscotting/Board and Batten/excess trim in every single room of the house!

    4. I'm so over white painted everything in the house.

    5. Painting every single stick of wood furniture (except the floors, and even somethimes then!). What is wrong with seeing wood tones???

    5. The holidays are coming so, I'm sure we'll see more color themed christmas trees and coorindating decorations around the house. You know, like all yellow or all purple tree/mantle/door/every single room holiday decorations. They just seeem so void of personality to me; like they bought the store displays. I'm sure that's just my opinion tho.

    6. Ditto on the "pops of color". My IRL friends use this and it makes me cringe.

    I'm guilty of:
    1. Wainscotting in both bathrooms
    2. Gallery wall (of family pics down the steps)
    3. Etsy art-I just love it!
    4. Kid art-what can I say, it's cheap and I love it!
    5. I have painted 2 peices of furniture in my house (one white and one blue)

  15. I can't get into the distressed look, but to each his/her own.

    But the thing that probably chaps me the most are perfect interiors designed for and lived in by space aliens rather than living, breathing, sometimes-sloppy human beings. I want to see homes inhabited by real people - people who don't always go to bed with a sparkling kitchen or just-fluffed sofa pillows. As much as I might like for them to, my cotton balls & Q-Tips don't live in apothecary jars.

    As a frequently frustrated Dad of a 4 yr old, I don't want to see pristine rooms with delicate little knick-knacks strewn artfully around - I want to see rooms that are kid-friendly or at least kid-survivable. (I make the assumption in our home that anything under an invisible horizontal line that lives at 4' off the floor is not mine and is therefore suspect to random pre-schooler carnage.)

    I guess I'm late to the party because I still really like wall quotes and other vinyl word art, but I've certainly noticed that some bloggers go a bit far with this. Within my circle of friends, wall quotes are totally unknown, so we're hoping to be trendsetters with a simple addition to our breakfast nook.

  16. By the time I have time to catch onto a's here and gone, so I don't quite worry about decor trends. I do what works for me and what's really within my budget. My house is a constant work in progress and once I get to the bottom of the to do list, I think I'll be gone!

  17. I'm also over trying to be too matchy-matchy. Yup, my house came pre-adorned with shiny brass door hinges and hardware throughout. The baths have brushed nickel cabinet hardware. Two of the ceiling fans are an antique brass.

    A couple of our friends just cringe over the mish-mash of different accent metals, but I'm content to let it ride and tackle the stuff that's more meaningful.

  18. I totally agree Rob. It's more important to enjoy your house and be content. I designed and built my own home and had to pull out elements that were too costly (and there were lots of them!) It was either have a big mortgage and be trendy or go with what I could afford. Some of my home's accent metals don't match either (oh well...)

  19. I had such a laugh reading everyone's comments. It's all true though depending on how you look at it. I'm a classic girl who likes a neutral base with hits of a trend here and there. I think if you like it then go for it but if you're just buying it for the sake of it being trendy then stop yourself.

    Love list:
    -chalkboards (not chalkboard walls... it's too much)
    -barrel chandeliers
    -painting furniture to get a fresh look
    -gallery walls (I don't believe it's a trend)
    -grey b/c it's a great neutral
    -painted ceilings b/c it's unexpected for those who aren't exposed to the blog world and can make a room feel much more cozy

    Hate list:
    -Foo dogs
    -trellis pattern (so overdone!) and chiang mai fabric!!
    -60's, 70's and 80's design (it's cool to watch Mad Men but I don't need to recreate the set in my home)
    -shabby chic

  20. Anonymous11:37 AM

    "Let's hope shag rugs and avocado-coloured appliances don't come back in vogue."

    Whats wrong with shag carpet and avocado appliances - its the been the cottage decor of choice in our family.


  21. I think I love white ceramic animals from Jonathan adler... and lots of other things. I just wish my house had any sort of design, or was put together.
    my pet peeve? no idea. There are lots of things that I hate but most of it has to do with how people put things together- if you are good at it go ahead.
    I hate toll painting though.

  22. Love the lists...My skin crawls at barrel shades over chandeliers...I DO NOT get it. ;)

  23. Anonymous11:21 AM

    Like: Personal style mixed with classic style. Whatever that may involve. Just because someone else's neck may crawl over my gorgeous chandelier shade, that's okay. It is MY shade and I love it.

    Dislike: Taking decorating so seriously. I am interested in and enthusiastic about home decor (and wish my wallet were as inclined), but at the end of the day, it's not what makes a house a happy home.


  24. HATING
    - Those giant floor lamps that droop into the center of a room.
    - Crap with owls
    - Rooms that look like they walked out of Mad Men.
    - White painted floors
    - beige

    - Ikat (sorry!)
    - grey and yellow (sorry!)
    - Rooms that look like they walked out of Mad Men (conflicted.)

  25. hi!! see??? these trends illicit a ton of response don't they?? thanks for the link love...your blog is great! first time visitor.
    since i plan on one day renovating something..i am glad you exist to help me.

  26. Loving this conversation! Rob, you sound like you'd be a great client for me - I love to create interiors that are made for real people with kids, and pets and mess!

    I never really liked antlers. I don't particularly like white ceramic animals either. I don't mind chalkboards if they're framed nicely, but I don't care for a whole wall of chalkboard paint. My daughter has a giant chalkboard. It's magenta, framed in a vintage frame. She's 4. It works in her room. ;)

    I have a ceramic garden stool, and I love it. My kids think it's a drum, and it provides endless entertainment plus a place to put a drink.

    I can't stand books arranged by color or books turned pages out so you can't see the title of the book. What's the point? I want my books arranged by subject so I can easily find the book I want. If a homeowner has a lot of books, I love to see them nicely displayed, but I hate it when people buy bags of books just to put them on a shelf "for looks."

    I don't mind the occasional vinyl decal in a child's room, but I do not understand the desire to have vinyl words all over the house. I'd rather see a nice piece of art. I also have to give a resounding "AMEN" to whomever said that fake plants on top of kitchen cabinets are horrible. WHY is that space there??? I'd rather have a cabinet that requires a ladder to reach than an empty space filled with fake greenery.


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