Over the past few years we saw a profusion of design trends invade our homes like swarms of cicadas. A few of them (the design trends, not the insects) haven proven to be keepers; others quickly wore out their welcome, inspiring boredom, embarrassment, or even outright anger in no time flat.
The guilty parties? Well, just to name a few, shiplap continued its onslaught into our homes and away from its original habitat of the shed; the industrial look still hasn’t returned to the factories where it belongs; and barn doors belong in … well, barns.
Although in isolation many of these trends aren’t as off-putting as others we’ve seen through the years (we’re looking at you, avocado-colored appliances!), we’ve just seen way too much of them. And our stable of decor and design experts agrees: These 10 looks are on their way out, so say sayonara in 2017.
Faux Mid-Century Modern
After basking for many years in the limelight as retro cool, nostalgic Mid-Century Modern design might be on the verge of seeming, ironically enough, downright outdated. For a while, the vintage decor trend was so ubiquitous it seemed almost standard—but designers say customers are already tiring of the look. “Mad Men” has been off the air for two years already. It’s time to move on, folks.
“We will look back at 2016, asking, ‘What were we thinking when we went Mid-Century Modern crazy?'” says designer David Schneider of Schneider Kennedy Design.
Blame the endless knockoffs of classic midcentury furniture designs, which dilute the appeal of the sleek ’60s style. Suddenly, everyone was sporting a retro credenza, making yours seem way less special.
But if you’re blessed with any original pieces, don’t unload them just yet. “Mid-Century Modern is always going to be appreciated,” Schneider says.
Sorry, Joanna Gaines: After four shiplap-crazy seasons, the trend has to go. If you’ve ever wondered what 2016’s version of tacky wood paneling would be, look no further than this trend that seems to have overtaken TV design shows.
Slapped on every wall—regardless of the home’s style—shiplap has long passed “quirky and quaint” and set down anchor at “overused.”
“The shiplap craze is going to die down and fizzle out soon,” predicts Liz Toombs, the owner and founder of interior design firm Polka Dots & Rosebuds.
Decorating an actual farmhouse? Sure, go ahead: Shiplap is historically accurate and still attractive, if used in moderation. But it makes no sense in a Colonial or Tudor—and it’s a pain to tear out.
Barn door sliders
There was a good reason for the barn door madness: Not every hallway has space for a swinging door, and if you were trying to stuff a laundry room into a tight spot, barn doors were an easy solution. (Plus, they’re cuter than a pocket door.)
But you guessed it: What was once cute and clever is now tacky and outdated.
Of course, barn doors have been on their way out for a few years. Like the chevron pattern trend (the worst, amirite?), barn doors just won’t die. If you love the look, follow your dreams. But keep in mind their impending downward spiral if you’re considering selling any time soon. Most buyers will see only another eyesore that needs replacing.
The kitchen is the messiest room in the house (assuming you don’t open the door to your teenager’s bedroom. Don’t do it.). So why did the all-white craze catch on there? White countertops, white cabinetry, white floors—you might feel like buying stock in home cleaning products at the mere thought of the potential messes.
“It’s just too much,” says Sara Chiarilli, a designer at Artful Conceptions. “This trend started to go in 2016, but you will find it completely gone in 2017.”
White’s not entirely going the way of the dinosaurs. But homeowners will see “more depth and tones coming into kitchens,” Chiarilli says. Think darker cabinets, backsplashes with “pop and wow,” and contrasting floors.
Copper has been DIYers’ favorite metal for some time now. If you check Pinterest, you’ll find tutorials for copper blanket ladders (a dying trend we’ll happily discuss another time), towel rails, and plant stands. But copper just isn’t as timeless as other metals, and our experts predict you’ll be seeing less of it in 2017.
There’s nothing wrong with continuing to experiment with the metal (although we wouldn’t recommend your running out and buying copper fixtures for your kitchen). Just remember that any trend is best used in moderation. So if you go copper-loco, don’t be surprised if you feel like ripping it all out in a few short months.
Neutral, toned-down gray seemed like the season’s hottest color, slathered on every wall from New York to California. But designers are predicting 2017 to be a year of color, making last year’s staple seem old and bland.
“It’s been overdone,” says Tanya Campbell of Viridis Design Studio. “Diversity in the palette will strike a contrast. We may even see a transition from gray color palettes to warmer mochas and taupes.”
Scandinavian style brought us chic, monochromatic color palettes that evoked the stark, contemporary minimalism of our friends near the North Pole. But living rooms with off-white walls, floors in another off-white, and neutral furniture could go the way of the shag carpet in 2017. And it’s not just whites and neutrals that are to blame. Even rich hues can lose their luster if they’re plastered uniformly across every surface.
“It was bold and calming at the time, but now it’s boring and overly coordinated,” Campbell says.
Monochromatic themes arrived hand in hand with this 2016 décor obsession: glam. Bold whites, bright silvers, and deep blacks took over our kitchens and bathrooms. But next year’s color explosion means this luxe look might be no more.
“We’re going to leave the glam era behind. That slick, stark, severe minimalism will be replaced with warmer elements,” says interior designer Bea Pila. “At the end of the day, we’re seeking a deeper comfort level in our personal spaces. That perfect-showroom feel we were once into doesn’t make this possible.”
What’s an all-white kitchen without America’s favorite stone (by way of Italy), Carrara marble? The look is initially stunning, sure, but the high-maintenance material is turning off some homeowners.
Marble stains. A lot. Instead, consumers are turning to easy-to-clean countertops such as quartz and soapstone. And it’s not just the rigorous standard of care that’s turning Carrara from a must-have to a must-not. Those distinctive gray veins are becoming a little too distinctive. Omnipresent materials never stay trendy for long, and this one’s ready for the dustbin of history.
Heavy industrial themes
Industrial décor spent 2016 in its death throes. Industrial brought us pipe shelving, bare wood, and rickety metal tables. Like your life-of-the-party uncle at Thanksgiving, industrial decor was a fun distraction. Until it’s suddenly not.
Chiarilli doesn’t think industrial will entirely leave the stage in 2017—expect a few more years of the warehouse look. But the style will be “softened quite a bit with silkier and softer fabrics mixed with polished finishes and stone,” she says. By Jamie Wiebe
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