When NOT to follow the trends

There are many ways to have fun when decorating while incorporating the hottest new trends but it’s also important to understand when NOT to follow the trends. When building or renovating ignore the trends no matter how tempting when it comes time to choose fixed elements. 



Unless you are planning on doing a major renovation within 8-10 years it’s best to stay clear of trends when choosing fixed elements such as tiles, flooring, and cabinetry. Otherwise, once the trend is over you are stuck with a dated feature that is costly to change out. Remember when accent tiles were so trendy back in the 80’s and early 90’s?  I fell prey to that trend and used vegetable and fruit accent tiles in my “new” kitchen back splash.




Today there is no shortage of trendy tiles and ways to apply it.  Colored glass tile is very trendy and I adore it but I just can’t help thinking today’s colored glass tile is tomorrow’s dated accent tile.


Thin strips of stacked glass tile applied on the vertical is also very trendy.



As much as I like this look, I think this bath will soon look dated with the tile application and vessel sink.


Bold tile such as this chevron pattern is so much fun and it makes for a great magazine shot but this kitchen will look dated once chevron is no longer “hot”. (Not to mention there are no upper cabinets for storage).


Brightly colored high gloss cabinets are also trending but I wonder if these homeowners will still love this kitchen say 5 years from now.



The bold floor below is lots of fun but when the geometric trend ends this bath will be left behind.



Maybe this fabulous hallway by one of my all time favorite designers will stand the test of time but if not, it is going to be one expensive redo.



My advice? When choosing fixed elements  for your home, to get the longest “shelf life” so to speak, it’s best to go safe even if you feel it is boring. At least things won’t look dated in 5-10 years.

Neutrals, classic lines and timeless materials with traditional application will stand the test of time. This kitchen by Victoria Hagan could have been designed yesterday or 10 years ago; it is beautifully timeless.

Best to incorporate today’s trends in easily replaced furnishings, fabrics, accessories and of course my favorite…paint!

I would love to hear from you. Do you follow the trends? Have you ever regretted a trend you used on a fixed element in your home?

15 Responses to When NOT to follow the trends
  1. Jil Sonia Interiors Reply

    Brilliant Linda!
    Looks like you and I share the same kitchen backsplash tiles – although I don’t have the fruit – i do have the copper accent pieces. These were there when I purchased the home 6 years ago – and they drive me nuts every time I look at them!
    Great advice to keep things clean and simple. Thank you!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Jil. The fruit and vegetable accent tile was in our previous house. Our current house has no backsplash…yet. This Summer we plan to instal one.I’m still deciding what to install.

  2. Neali Hernandez Reply

    When I look at Marcel Wanders Mondrian hotel (which I adore) there is such a mix of modern and traditional, contrast of color and shapes and I think that is the perfect combination and very timeless as one get a sense of “lost in time and place” with the different styles. I think that is what makes it so great! One day when I own my house I hope I can create a look so eclectic but so smartly cohesive at the same time. Great article!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Neali, I am not familiar with that hotel. I will have to check it out online.

  3. Jann Newton Reply

    Great post,and I completely agree with keeping things simple and not go too trendy. I loved all of the oak in our house when we built it 16 years ago, but now I can’t wait to paint most of it!

    • Connie Nikiforoff Designs Reply

      Oak? In our area I like to tease about how much we are still using it! I say “Around here oak = good = god”. LOTS of oak and also not only do we use a lot of oak (even on new 2013 builds!) but it’s always the same stain color. I’ve tried to convince people that even if they’re doing oak, they could still stain it a different color….or yes, paint it. I think I’ve sent a few people to the emergency room due to my comments about painted oak cabinets. Hahha 🙂

      • Linda Holt Reply

        Connie, Oak is certainly a hot button in my area too. The wives hate it, the husbands love it….need I say more?

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Jann, I think we all loved oak in the late 90’s. I have it in my house too. I finally talked my husband into painting it all out White this Summer. I can’t wait!

  4. Connie Nikiforoff Designs Reply

    Yes! I absolutely agree with your comments! Most of the trendy things today are things I’m not personally keen on. (Can we please leave chevrons to military uniforms?!!) That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do something trendy for a client if they are realllllly realllly set on having a particular look/trend. But I too advise going with something that one might consider ‘safe’ and adding in some trendy things in the form of accessories and maybe even a trendy paint color here and there; both which are very easily changed for not much money.

    As for white kitchens? Can it get any more beautiful than they are? LOVE ’em, got one! 🙂

  5. Kelly Reply

    Great examples Linda. Especially the Chevron kitchen!! It is smart to keep the larger investments neutral and play with trends in the accents.

  6. Merit Tukiainen Reply

    Hi Linda, I love reading your posts. I will keep your advice in mind as I plan a master bath and kitchen renovation in my mid-century ranch. I hope to achieve a neutral, easygoing, timeless, but kind of retro-modern look with both. Good point about the vessel sinks — I thought I wanted them, but perhaps not. I also thought that with those, the vanity would forever get splashed?

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Merit, I think one of the reasons why mid century is so popular today is because is so timeless….Clean lines, quality materials and lot’s of neutrals.

  7. Luci@BungalowAtHome Reply

    Great points Linda!
    I think a trendy tiled backsplash can add some pizazz and it’s not so expensive to switch out unless the area is huge so I’d maybe go trendy there but certainly not with an entire kitchen in glossy lime green cabinets..

    I happen to love the fun, geometric tile floor in that bathroom especially if the client decorates in an eclectic style!

  8. Tina Gleisner Reply

    Love the thin, vertical tile … and yes, always better to follow your heart than today’s trends.

  9. Jean Leider Reply

    I have had black appliances in my kitchen for ages! I am very happy with them and think they are still stylish. My next kitchen will most likely have them too. I’d say I follow my heart and not trends.

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