You've changed out the throw pillows, created an accent wall, or bought a new rug, but something just isn't jiving in your space, and you can't seem to put your finger on what. When this happens, there's a strong possibility that it could be a more permanent feature causing style havoc in your home that's a bit past its prime. Trends are always coming and going—and everyone's tastes are different—but to make your home feel fresh and aligned with your tastes, here are the features that designers say aren't winning any popularity awards these days.
Gil Walsh of Gil Walsh Interiors says that the all-white kitchen is on its way out. "With people spending more time in their homes, they are craving color, pattern, and texture," she says. "Black appliances and hardware, either shiny or matte, will be making appearances in kitchens in 2023. Pair the black with a muted green, like Farrow & Ball’s ‘Breakfast Room Green’ for the cabinets, and display colorful dishware on open shelving." Even lovers of all-white and super-neutral kitchens can make a few adjustments if they're getting bored of the look—opt for new cabinet doors or try hanging vibrant pendant lamps over an island for character.
Open Plan Spaces
Interior designer Carol Lang believes "open plan isn’t all it’s cracked up to be." This was especially true for her clients in 2020, when many people had to turn their homes into a makeshift offices, helping them realize "the incredible value of doors!" That doesn't necessarily mean that closed-off rooms are all the rage now—it's a little more nuanced. "No longer am I getting requests for fully open floors, but instead, clients are looking for one large space with satellite rooms," says Lang. "Pocket doors are getting a lot of work to keep spaces feeling open after hours or when entertaining and closed off when privacy is needed."
The infamous popcorn ceiling is still hanging on in some homes, and if that's the case in your space, it might be time for a change. Linda Smith of BLDC Design says it's worth looking up and seeing what's above you. "Does your ceiling have a popcorn texture or a swirl finish? It’s time to have these areas smoothed to a flat, clean finish and painted with neutral flat paint." While this look was popular years ago, it's safer to choose a more basic look and add texture around your home in other ways.
Non-Existent Dining Rooms
Relatively recently, dining rooms began to feel like superfluous spaces. Dedicating one whole room to meals and entertaining felt unnecessary, especially in small homes and over the last couple of years when large gatherings weren't a thing. That's now changing back. "For many years, I had clients explicitly ask to repurpose dining rooms as offices, playrooms, billiards rooms, and more," says Lang. "Recently, I’m hearing more requests to maintain a separate and formal dining space. I think this may have to do with fewer relying on restaurants for gathering and more looking to have long gatherings at home."
Separate Living Rooms
On the reverse end, Lang is seeing far fewer separate family rooms and formal living rooms. Homes that do have this split tend to grant one of those spaces a different purpose. "Instead, we’ll often do a multi-purpose living room that feels more casual and is suited for the entire family (thank you to performance fabrics!) and will add a separate den or study for smaller gatherings or a one-off movie or TV show!" She adds that it's more common nowadays to leave the living room for anyone and everyone, whereas kids and teens can commandeer the basement. Dens and studies have become more appealing spaces for adults that want something a little less lax.
Laminate and Tile Countertops
There are a few features of a kitchen that can strongly dictate the overall appearance, countertops being one. When those feel off, the whole cooking space can feel dated and this often comes down to the material or color implemented. "Laminate, used in a kitchen for a work surface, went away and will likely never return," explains Smith. "Tile countertops are the same. Take a look at your baths and kitchen; replace these areas with hard surface material to achieve a cleaner look and durability."
Outdated Wall and Window Treatments
It's true that some home decor and features from the grunge era had a resurgence, but like popcorn ceilings, wallpaper borders are not one of them. "Wallpaper borders were huge, but this trend has disappeared and will undoubtedly make your house scream 1990," says Smith. "Take them down, clean the walls with fresh paint, and don’t be tempted to repeat this design mistake!" She adds that heavy, stuffy window treatments are in the same vein of over-the-top features that have overstayed their welcome. "Take down heavy, swooping valances that obscure the natural light and consider something lighter in color and texture."
Jennifer Verruto, CEO and Founder of Blythe Interiors explains that gray floors will not have the hold on homes that they once had. "While they served a clean, cool aesthetic, people are now wanting warmer, more dimensional, and organic spaces," she explains. "We are seeing lots of natural wood tones ranging from white oak to rich walnut and often different wood tones are being combined in the same home." If you have gray floors and aren't a fan but aren't able to replace them, an accent carpet can help change up the look.