We all want a high-impact space that looks cool and says to the rest of the world "look, I'm hip and edgy!" But there are a few design styles that have had their 15 minutes and need to head on into the sunset now.
1. Open Kitchen Shelving.
Martha Stewart made us all want to collect vintage jadeite and display it in our softly hued immaculately designed kitchens. Personally, I love vintage table wear and I'm sure this solution works well for Martha because she has people who come in and clean the stuff. My kitchen, on the other hand looks like a college dorm room. Regardless of whether you are organized or not, this trend needs to hit the road. There is a reason cabinets have doors on them, and it's not (just) to hide your mess behind. They keep you dishes and cookware from getting dirty from all the cooking grease, dust, cat hair and whatever else may be floating around in the air in your house. This means whenever you need to grab one of your beautiful dishes to actually use - it's dirty. Like covered in a layer of fine cooking grease that has settled on the dishes and made the perfect adhesive for any dust in the air. So unless you plan to wash your dishes before you use them every time, you may want to skip this trend.
2. Sliding Barn Doors.
God bless Joanna Gaines, she truly has a gift, but if I see one more industrial sliding barn door slapped into the middle of a spec house, I'm going to lose my shit. And mind you, Joanna's not slapping them in spec houses, her misguided fans are. First of all, in the spaces that Joanna Gaines designs, everything is carefully considered and harmonious. This can not be said for the DIY'er who picked up their barn at Home Depot. The general effect that a retro fit barn door has in a space is akin to putting on mismatched socks. Go Sesame Street: "One of these things is not like the other. " Secondly, for god's sake, don't put one of these on your powder room or any other bathroom for that matter. You might as well just put up a beaded curtain, because that's about the same amount of privacy you are afforded by a door that contacts nothing but two rollers on a track. Forget the Poo-Pourri, everybody knows what you're doing in there.
To be honest, I like shiplap, but it is totally overused at this point. Have a real heart-to-heart with yourself if you are planning on putting this up and then be very judicious with it if you do. This is a trend in it's twilight and it won't be easy to take down. 'Nuff said.
4. Matchy-Matchy Couches and Pillows.
DO NOT under any circumstances buy a couch and a loveseat/side chair that have alternating patterns. Like the pillows that go on the couch match the (usually offensively tacky) upholstery on the love seat and vice-versa. Picturing this in my head makes me a little nauseous. But they go together so well, you say! So do Garanimals, but you are much too sophisticated for those too. In fact, unless we are talking about matching dining chairs you should avoid repeating upholstery patterns on multiple furniture pieces in general. If you are worried about things not looking right together, just stick with neutrals - they will never fail you. Jazz it up with some flashy pillows if you need a pop of color. It's low commitment and you won't feel guilty about changing them out.
Pallet coffee tables, pallet flags, pallet headboards, pallet bookshelves. Stop repurposing pallets unless you're going to make them look like something other than a pallet. I get it, it is good wood and I don't want to see it go to waste either, but tipping a pallet on its side and painting it does not a bookshelf make. In the sense that it will hold your books up off the floor, yes it accomplishes that, but so would a taxidermied raccoon and we're not calling that a bookshelf, now are we? It's not shabby chic, it's just shabby.
6. Beach Themed Beach Houses.
You are at the beach for christ's sake, how much more affirmation do you need? The only part of the beach you should be bringing home is some sand in your flip-flops. Skip the shell sculptures, fish net swags, seashell motif bedding, towels, tableware, etc. If you want to remind yourself you're at the beach, just look out the window. Mother nature is doing a much better decorating job than you could ever hope to. Let her do the heavy lifting and opt for something tasteful instead. If, perhaps, there is something nautical that in and of itself is a beautiful object - like a glass fishing float - fine, but a dab 'l do ya. Please don't sprinkle that shit everywhere.
7. Tile accent strips.
One meager row of glass mosaic tile will NOT dress up your bathroom. It's really dated and looks like you just couldn't afford the tile you really wanted. Try changing your field tile orientation, pattern, or shape, or maybe switch up the grout color, but leave this bathroom relic in the past.
8. Mass-produced Art.
There is so much good, original art in the world, it is truly a tragedy that anyone owns reproduction art prints from Hobby Lobby. Yes, a lot of original artworks are expensive, but there's also a lot that are not. Check out a local artist co-op, consider buying that painting in the local coffee shop, look out for spring sales or even give-away's at universities with fine arts programs. You can pick up some really fantastic original artwork for a song this way and have a one of a kind instead of a cheap print out of Starry Night.
9. Chalkboard Paint.
The only time this will ever look good is before the paint actually dries. After that it becomes a smeared cloudy mess unless you want to spend inordinate amounts of time triple washing the surface to get all the residue off. An exception to this is in a child's room where the kid is allowed to draw on it with abandon. It will still look super messy, but at least it will be original art. If you can't bear to look at it, paint the wall the door is on so you don't see it from outside in the hallway.
This trend has been hideous since I was a kid in the 70's. There is nothing redeeming or attractive about it and it should have stayed in the grave. My skin seriously crawls when I think about it, especially the texture of this hot mess of shaggy fiber tied up in knots hanging like limp spaghetti on your walls. Please don't invite this fiber version of The Walking Dead into your home - and if you have already, you should burn it.
Decorating trends come and go, and if you read all the information out there, you may just want to burn your house down in frustration trying to figure out how not to do it "wrong." While there are definitely some things that you should never do (macramé, I'm looking at you,) there is plenty of wiggle room in there to make your space look nice without dating it with the dinosaurs. My general advice for not getting caught up making a costly mistake is to stick to neutrals for big, expensive pieces, don't go for the trendy $8,000 couch. Get a timeless neutral in a classic silhouette that can be pulled or pushed from one style to the next with accents like pillows and rugs and throws. This way you'll extend the life of your décor while still managing to stay on trend without breaking the bank.