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7 Outdated Decorating Trends To Avoid In 2021, And What To Do Instead

Updated: Jan 4

Some of these decorating trends should have been long gone, but consumers held on to them for far too long.


Some of the trends I will mention are not in and of themselves bad, but their overuse or inappropriate uses earned them a spot on the list.


This list does not mean they should be completely eliminated from the design world. It however means that more thought should be given to their use, and they are not to be used simply based on what's trending.


Let's check them out


1- Barn Doors


There is absolutely nothing wrong with barn doors in a barn, or even an authentic farmhouse, but within the last few years, they became so popular that they were being used in all kinds of inappropriate applications. I have even seen barn doors on bathrooms and bedrooms. These doors are more of room dividers and are not ideal for rooms that require privacy because of the gap around the door due to the hardware. They have gotten a bit more streamlined in recent years, but still not the best choice for private spaces.


Of course there are a few exceptions to where a barn-style door makes sense. For example here my client chose these barn-style doors with her builder to separate the main areas of the home from a private family room area. Pocket doors would not have worked because of the kitchen nearby, and having doors that swing in or out would have taken up more space than needed.


She chose these clean, modern frosted glass version with black hardware, and they were absolutely perfect for the modern farmhouse architecture of the home



Modern Style "Barn Doors" Were Perfect In This Modern Farm House.


What to do instead


Pocket doors! Yes, pocket doors are classic and timeless and don't tie you to one design aesthetic, especially if that aesthetic is not appropriate for the architecture of your home



Pocket Door In Laundry Room


They tuck away completely into the walls and they can be locked for privacy.


2- All Gray


I understand completely why gray has remained such a trend for a long time. Just think about what it replaced - beige! Gray is a very versatile color, and both the warm and cool versions are wonderful. It became the go-to safe neutral, and then it became grossly overused.


What to do instead


Layered neutrals. If you are not a big fan of lots of color, choose a layered mix of neutrals instead of just sticking to gray tones



A Mix Of Neutrals And Textures In Mid Century Modern Inspired Living Room

Here in this living room, we used grays for sure, but we layered in several other neutrals ranging from green to a neutral lilac to browns, and some gold metals.


3 - Weird Millwork Patterns


This is one I hope will go away, but I don't think it will unfortunately. I love thinking outside of the box and see imaginative interior design. But when it comes to millwork, why mess with a good thing? I think wall paneling should remain timeless, and these days, I see a lot of weird geometric patterns and reinterpretation of a classic statement-making element.


What to do instead



Parisienne Style Wall Paneling Painted In Matte Pink In A Powder Room

Use paint to make a modern statement with classic millwork. In this powder room, I decided to go with an ornate version of the wall paneling, and then juxtaposed that with a matte pink paint color.


4- All White Kitchens


All white kitchens are very classic, and I actually do love them. But they have become such a trend within the last few years that it's time to mix things up just a bit


What to do instead



Kitchen With Color And Pattern Mix

This is my personal kitchen, and it's not for everyone, but some elements can be incorporated into an otherwise white kitchen to add some warmth and authenticity. Maybe a tuxedo style kitchen where the top cabinets are painted white and the bottom a deeper color. Or add an interesting backsplash as a focal point.


5- Open Concept Floor Plans


Ok, I know I will get some resistance on this one, but hear me out. I am not suggesting that we go back to the days of compartmentalized small rooms. But I think when a space is much too open it can feel vast and cold.


What to do instead



Living Room, Dining Room, Office Combo, Separated By A Half Wall


A View Of The Wall Separating The Two Main Areas


The goal should be to create cozier and more intimate vignettes throughout the space. You can create visual separation between spaces by the way you arrange furniture, floor screens, or even the use of different wall treatments in different spaces to delineate them


Here in my maximalist living room, I have a half wall that separates the office space from the living and dining spaces. The half wall became a great surface for housing some of the books from my collection. The spaces still feel open to each other, with clear separation and functions


6- Floating Shelves In A Kitchen


Ok, I know I will definitely get some push back on this. I almost didn't add this one to the list, but I did because it is also a trend that I see overdone. Like all other trends, there will always be appropriate uses of that design feature. There is a place for floating shelves in a kitchen - I may even do it in the future. I am addressing the inappropriate uses. For example, if your kitchen is small and you actually need real storage


What to do instead



Glass front cabinets are a great way to have a sense of openness without the floating shelves that can sometimes seem disproportionate in the context of a kitchen. Glass shelves are more timeless, and these days, you can even add gold metal grids for a more luxurious feel.





Cane front cabinets are also a great way to add some texture and a unique touch to cabinets


7- Matchy Matchy Furniture And Color


Matchy matchy furniture pieces and color in a space is a dead giveaway of what I like to call catalogue decorating. Furniture pieces should not all match, or even be all the same style. Mixing things up always make for a more authentic feel. Also, when it comes to color, using varying shades of the same color, or similar shades from the same color family will always be better than the exact color throughout. Colors should be layered, just like you see in nature


What to do instead



Eclectic Master Bedroom With Layered Color And Mixed Furnishings

Create a more storied, collected and layered feel to your spaces. It's important to note that balance, harmony, proportions, scale, repetition, all matter when it comes to creating a space that is not super matchy matchy


Here in this master bedroom, nothing matches. If you look carefully, you will see that every item is different, yet the room feels unified and grounded.





Long Time Trends You Can Expect To See More Of In 2021 And Beyond


These are trends that have been going strong for the last few years, and we can't get enough!


Wallpaper


The bolder, the better!



Jungle Wallpaper In Toddler's/Guest Bedroom


I hope this trend never dies.


We will be seeing much more of this awesome trend going forward, and the papers will only get bolder and more unique.


We will be seeing more wallpaper on ceilings as well, and I am here for it!


Color





I may be a bit biased with this one, because I love color in my designs, but I think we will be seeing much more color in 2021. Bye bye gray walls!


Flexible, Multi-purpose Spaces



Our lifestyles changed overnight early last year as we were now spending much more time at home. Spaces were reimagined for home offices and homeschooling. We will see this trend continue, where people now want their homes to function for them.


Here in the Seasonal Living Magazine Virtual Luxury Designer Showhouse, I created the dining room with flexible seating options. Take a tour of the Showhouse HERE, to see more amazing trends that you can look forward to in 2021.


Family-friendly Furnishings


Now that families are spending a lot more time together at home, the furnishings have to function for everyday use and abuse



We will see an increase in lounging areas and deep, comfortable, lounging type upholstery pieces.


I think we will see more requests for media and game rooms as well



Sustainability


The Seasonal Living Magazine Virtual Luxury Designer Showhouse featured a 3 story solarium complete with a koi pond. See more HERE


We will be seeing more home greenhouses and vegetable gardens in 2021. Maybe not on this grand of a scale, but I think a lot of people have a renewed awareness of growing their own food as much as they can, with the goal of a sustainable and healthy lifestyle



Decked Out Laundry Rooms And Pantries




Laundry rooms are one of those small spaces that homeowners feel a sense of empowerment to tackle. It doesn't usually require a large investment, not a lot of furniture is required, and it is fast and manageable.


We will be seeing more tricked out laundry rooms and pantries in 2021.


Not just tricked out aesthetically, we will start to see more attention to the wellness aspects as well




The laundry room of the Seasonal Living Magazine Virtual Luxury Designer Showhouse designed by Rachel Moriarty, kept wellness in mind with the decontamination zones and cleanable surfaces. See more HERE


Outdoor Living



Balcony Area Decked Out For Outdoor Living

We will certainly be seeing more indoor outdoor living in 2021. With some states still experiencing restrictions and stay at home orders, people will begin to crave the outdoors and create spaces where they can spend time comfortably outside.


What's my color trends for 2021?




I think we will see more mustardy yellows, burnt oranges, olivey greens, inky blues, earthy browns and taupes. Much more grounding earthy tones are coming for 2021


Pantone recently announced their colors of the year



But I beg to differ :-)


Sherwin Williams announced Urbane Bronze as their color of the year, and I love it!



Benjamin Moore announced Aegean teal



I don't see where Kelly-Moore chose a color of the year for 2021, so I will choose one for them - "Valentine's Day" because all we need is love right now! :-)





Which trend are you looking forward to see end in 2021 and which one do you want to see more of?


Did I miss anything on this list of trends to look forward to and trends to say goodbye to?


Which one will you try in 2021?


If you need any guidance with decorating your home beyond what's trending, let's talk. Book a FREE discovery call at THIS LINK and let's get the ball rolling



Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!


Veronica

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