6 Living Room Trends That Might Last

  • 01 of 06

    Barn Doors

    Living Room Trends
    Sliding barn door in a living room. Pieter Estersohn / Getty Images

    Barn doors have been popping up everywhere for the last few years, and they're great for a few reasons. One is that barn doors can save a ton of floor space. Instead of needing clearance to open a door the way you normally would, it slides along the wall. Granted, you need enough wall space to accommodate it, but it can be a great option for small rooms where every inch of floor space counts. Barn doors are also great because they add architectural interest and can be modern, vintage, wood,...MORE glass - there are a ton of options. While they are often made of reclaimed wood, the style has evolved quite significantly and now people are using all types of materials. But the questions is, have they crossed over from trend to classic? Chances are that years from now the existence of barn doors in a house will clearly date it to the early days of the new millennium, but their practicality means they'll never totally go out of favor.

    The verdict: If you love the look of barn doors and the space they can save you, don't hesitate to install one. Their practicality will never go out of style, but if the look does, they're easy to remove down the road.

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  • 02 of 06


    Living room trends - Sectionals
    A neutral sectional sofa in a large living room. Skit Inc. / Income Property S11

    Sectionals have come and gone a few times over the last hundred years. On the one hand they're great because they can accommodate a lot of people, but on the flip side they can be very difficult to work with because they're big and bulky. The issue with sectionals really comes down to longevity. If you move houses down the line, will is still fit? Basically you need either an appropriate corner to put it in, or a room large enough to pull it out from the walls. For those who are part of...MORE the tiny house movement, they're definitely not an option, and for people living in large homes they're usually pretty safe. But for everyone else they pose a risk. They're not inexpensive and having to replace one can cost big bucks. That said, while their popularity seems to go in waves, chances are good that sectionals will never really go way. They might just hideout for a while.

    The verdict: If you can accommodate a sectional and you really have your heart set on it, go for it. But keep in mind that it might not always work for you. There are a lot of things to consider before buying. If you think you'll be moving in the next ten years or so, a regular sofa and a couple of chairs might be a safer bet.

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  • 03 of 06


    Living Room Trends - Shiplap
    Living room designed by Joanna Gaines. HGTV / Scripps Networks, LLC

    Fixer Upper's Chip and Joanna Gaines may be singlehandedly responsible for the resurgence of shiplap. Check out any decorating blog or Pinterest feed and you'll see it over and over again. It gives rooms a relaxed, farmhouse or coastal vibe, and it's fairly inexpensive to install. Like any other type of wood panelling, it adds architectural interest to walls, and in many cases can give a home a sense of history and a bit of a vintage look (even if the home is brand new). Shiplap is...MORE definitely best suited to homes where a casual vibe is desired.

    The verdict: While shiplap is lovely, its popularity likely won't last. It will always be great for cottages, cabins, and farmhouses, but for everyone else the look is destined to become dated.

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  • 04 of 06

    Layering Rugs

    Living Room Trend - Layered Rugs
    Cowhide rug layered over jute. Studio McGee

    A relatively new (but not completely original) trend in the decorating world is layering rugs. In particular, layering patterned or colored rugs over jute or sisal. It started off as a way to create a bohemian vibe in a room, but it's become popular in rooms of all styles. In many cases it's used when a great patterned rug simply isn't big enough to cover a desired space. It's also ideal for mixing interesting textures. For some people this look can be a little too...MORE 'messy' and not sleek enough, but for others it's a great way to show off some color and pattern while also grounding a space. It can be particularly great for open concept spaces where you need to create more definition of areas.

    The verdict: Don't sweep this one under the rug! Layering rugs is a great way to add personality and define spaces. With so many options for colors, textures, patterns and sizes, there's no one particular look, and the very idea is destined to become a classic.

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  • 05 of 06

    Gallery Walls

    Living Room Photo Wall. Lauren Flanagan

    Getting bored of gallery walls? You're not alone. Gallery walls have been hugely popular for the last decade or so, and it seems they're in just about every house in North America (and Europe for that matter). But here's the thing - despite the fact that some people have had enough of them, gallery walls will likely never go away completely. People love their art, and gallery walls are a smart way to display everything without having to pick and choose. What's great is that they...MORE can be as big or small as you want, and they can evolve over time as your art collection grows. When it comes to living room art (or any other room), gallery walls are a great option.

    The verdict: Definitely a trend, but some trends are destined to become classics. Time will tell if gallery walls fall into this category.

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  • 06 of 06

    Slipper Furniture

    Living Room Trend - Slipper Furniture
    Pastel slipper chairs in a living room. via xtend-studio.com

    Slipper furniture (sofas and chairs) are upholstered pieces that don't have arms and sit fairly low to the ground. Their clean lines and slim silhouettes have made them very popular in contemporary interiors and small spaces. Their popularity can be chalked up to the fact that they're so easy to work with. They can be "slipped" into just about any space. Slipper chairs have actually been around for a couple of hundred years and were commonly found in bedrooms and dressing rooms....MORE In the last few years however they've made the move into living rooms and other areas. This move has also marked a change in style. While slipper chairs used to be delicate and feminine in nature, many current styles are more simple and contemporary in design.

    The verdict: Given that they've been around for so long, slipper chairs will likely always have a place, but the contemporary versions popping up in living rooms may not fare so well in the coming decades. With no arms to rest on, they're not as comfortable as other styles, and their practicality may not be enough to fight this.