Written by Blanche Evans

Once upon a time, avocado green appliances and orange shag carpet seemed like a great idea. Appliances with color provided a custom look for ordinary homeowners, and wall-to-wall carpets were considered a luxury. Then the Beatles broke up and what was once considered cool morphed into flocked wallpaper, Berber carpets, and jewel tones, which nobody wants anymore either.

The point is that things you may think are cool at first glance may have some real drawbacks and you could end up regretting some design and decorating decisions you make.


Lofts became popular with the trend to reclaim industrial spaces for residential use. It’s very cool to be downtown where all the action is, but you’ll pay a premium for walking access to restaurants and clubs.

The ones who make out the best on lofts are the developers. “Yeah, we could’ve given you a private bedroom, but by hanging your bedroom over your living area, we were able to sell more units and make more money.”

Living like you’re crammed into overpopulated cities like New York and Hong Kong is one thing, but if you’re in Dallas, San Diego, or somewhere with room to spread out, you’ll definitely overpay for this kind of urban renewal.


Magazines like Elle Décor celebrate the concept of minimalism – a few well-curated pieces of furniture, accessories and art that show off clean architectural lines. These homes may look great in theory, but aren’t necessarily user-friendly.

Imagine Fisher-Price plastic toys spread out all over your Mies van der Rohe concrete floors, or peanut butter and jelly fingerprints on the wall of glass in your living room.

No place to play, no collections, nothing on the tabletops? Are you really that OCD? Sounds more like the lobby of a commercial building than a home.

Alternative countertops

Interior designers are dying to break our addiction to granite, but unless you’re in a Los Angeles or New York City, you shouldn’t pay extra for quartz, resin, concrete or stainless countertops. Why?

Granite may be made of stone, but it has an elegance and warmth that can’t be achieved with concrete or stainless. If you want to get edgy, try granite on the main countertops and an alternative product like stainless on the island.

Moroccan prints and gourd lamps

In the 1960s, bamboo-trellis wallpaper and parquet-patterned floors were the rage. Now we’re being inundated with variations on the

Moroccan trellis on walls, upholstery, and rugs. The patterns are pleasant and colorful, but they’re suddenly everywhere you look.

A close second in things that are now being overdone and oversold are gourd lamps. The lamps we’re talking about aren’t really made of gourds, they just echo the rounded shapes of gourds. The problem with them is that you could pay a lot for these lamps that are now being knocked off for pennies and that just shows their moment is already over.


HGTV Budget Decorating

When you start out on a budget, resources like HGTV are fantastic. You get great ideas, but if you follow too much of their advice, your home is going to look more like a loud daycare center than a home. HGTV can go a little over the top with too many bright colors, flea market bargains, and do-it-yourself projects that you’re bound to screw up.

Do you really have the time to paint stripes on your walls or renovate an old cabinet with ombre drawers? And wasn’t ombre over two years ago?

Fifty shades of grey

Neutrals like beiges, whites and greys are necessary in decorating, because they’re relaxing and easy to decorate around. For example, you can dress up a neutral couch with orange or hot pink or turquoise pillows.

Grey is the current go-to neutral, but it’s like the metallics of the disco era, a little on the cold side. Grey is an industrial business-like color that’s difficult to soften. While it looks newer than beige and it’s less glaring than white, that doesn’t mean it’s the right neutral for your home. If you’re going to use grey, make sure you warm it up with accents like yellow, orange and golden or red woods.

We’ll leave you with this thought. Anything that’s a trend now is going to be dated later. If you like trends, that’s fine, but just know that change is always in the wind.