Shag carpet was all the rage in the 1970s. Wallpaper borders and glass bricks were beloved in the 1980s. Along came the blonde wood in the 1990s. And now, these features are some of the first things to go when planning a home remodel.
Wondering which current home design trends are heading to join the others in extinction? We posed that question to real estate agents. Here’s what they think is becoming totally overdone:
They started as an interesting accent, but now barn doors are everywhere, says James McGrath, a licensed real estate broker and the co-founder of New York City real estate brokerage Yoreevo.
“Not only have they become overdone, they never really made any sense,” he says. “They are terrible at blocking sound since they just hang over the doorway.” Plus, barn doors feel mismatched in more modern or contemporary homes, McGrath says.
Gray floors, gray walls, gray kitchen cabinets! Treating gray as a neutral is something that’s starting to feel predictable, says Samira Tapia, a Los Angeles-based Realtor with Compass: “I specifically have buyers asking me not to send them any all-gray listings.”
The open-concept kitchen seems to be waning, says Catherine Silver Smith of Warburg Realty in New York City. “Many of my clients are opting to keep the kitchen and living area separated for a number of reasons, including the feeling of having more space,” she says.
Plus, aromas from the kitchen can waft into the living room and kitchens can get messy—something you might want to be reminded of when you’re trying to relax in a nearby room, Silver Smith points out.
Having a private media room in your home once was the “ultimate luxury,” says Minnesota-based agent Aundrea M. Paskett with RE/MAX Professionals. But with streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO becoming the new norm, she doubts buyers will be wowed by media rooms.
“In reality, people don’t really use their media rooms,” Paskett says. “It essentially becomes storage and wasted space. I actually had a client who invested in recliners, projectors and all that jazz, but hardly used the media room,” she says.
Over the past few years, a lot of people have renovated their kitchens using brass or gold fixtures, says Daniele Kurzweil, an agent with the Friedman Team at Compass in New York City. But, she warns, they won’t likely be en vogue for long.
Instead, she recommends brushed nickel or stainless steel. It’s timeless, Kurzweil says, and can’t be linked to any one year or design trend. “Clean lines and classic colors always withstand the test of time,” she says.
Once considered a luxe amenity, big wine cellars—perhaps with a dedicated wine room and tasting table, too—are no longer impressing buyers. Robin Kencel, an agent with Compass in Greenwich, Connecticut believes that’s because of the new options on the market. Buyers are preferring wine refrigerators that can store up to 300 bottles as well as wine walls showcasing suspended bottles.
Remember black stone countertops—the ones that were trendy at the turn of the century but now look dated now? The all-white kitchen could be headed in that direction, too, says New York City agent Steven Gottlieb of Warburg Realty.
“We are seeing earthier colors now, including dark wood paneling on the cabinetry and stone countertops,” he says. He doubts the all-white kitchen will pull down sales, but any trend that has a big moment eventually dates itself.
Which trends do you think are overdone and which ones do you hope we hang on to a little longer before they go down in design history with etched shower doors and avocado-colored appliances?