I’ve spent the last two days cleaning my new house in preparation for furniture arriving. I’m including a couple of photos of the house. What you’ll notice in the kitchen is that (gasp!) it has cherry stained cabinets, dark granite, and a very bright red backsplash among all those fancy appliances. And you’ll notice in the guest bath that there is (gasp) wallpaper on the walls!
Oh my! I’m supposed to be the one on our team that picks out the materials for our rehabbed houses (well, along with Carol, who’s an amazing decorator). What am I DOING putting in all this color and “dated” finishes? Have I not paid the least bit of attention to my training?
Relax, dear readers! This is my personal home. The one I’ll live in the rest of my life, I hope. We’ve broken every single rehabbing rule on this house. Such as:
- It’s way out in the country in a poor county where no one would want to pay top dollar for it it.
- We went significantly over budget and issued numerous change orders.
- It’s taken us well over a year to build it.
- The living area is not very big.
- It only has two bedrooms, because we turned the third one into my office/den.
- All the cabinets (and the doors when they finally show up) are solid wood, custom built, stained a non-trendy cherry. Nearly every room has custom built-ins. Ka-ching.
- There is granite, quartz, and labradorite not only on counters, but windowsills.
- There’s no attached garage.
- The kitchen, as mentioned before, is not gleaming white with subway tiles and dark granite or quartz counters. At least it’s got stainless steel (whew).
- I have a giant orange bathroom with very busy travertine stone. I like it. Another bathroom is dark purple. The third has that “dated” bird wallpaper (OK, actually I think wallpaper’s making a comeback).
But who cares? We aren’t planning to sell it! Rest assured that every single rehab we do for the foreseeable future, including the house we currently live in and plan to sell, will have the coveted tannish gray or grayish tan walls, gleaming white cabinetry, white or gray tile in the baths (with a small amount of accent tile, for that luxe look), brushed chrome fixtures as far as the eye can see, the trendiest of fake-wood laminate or tile (upscale houses get REAL wood–no horrible carpets!), and those coveted “pops” of color in the accessories, so people don’t go snow-blind. Of course they’ll be staged with all the furniture in the middle of the room and there will be fruit on the counter (pop of kitchen color).
This is all good, because it will sell houses, which is the goal. And it provides a neutral canvas that buyers can make their own. And many people are truly enjoying their beautiful new white kitchens; I think many of the kitchens my friends have put in recently are absolutely gorgeous in their white, gray, and accented black glory. But, I see a downside.
I am eagerly anticipating about a decade from now. Then, all the decorating shows on whatever HGTV has become by then will be full of entitled young women buying their first house just screaching about how “dated” those subway tiles are. And how horrible those boring white kitchens are. And how awful the floors are because they don’t have whatever the new flooring trend of the month is. And brushed chrome? OMG NO! It has to be black cast iron or nothing! (I made that up.)
Are we really supposed to completely overhaul our kitchens and baths every ten years? What if we bought quality appliances and used good materials? They might last longer than that! I’d love to embrace the looks of each decade and appreciate the beauty in them. Yes, in 80s wallpaper borders, in golden fixtures, in wide expanses of carpet. Someone spent a lot of time carefully choosing those things! Sure, remodel if you need to, and choose what’s current, but let’s stop picking on people who don’t.
As for me, I’ve got my forever house with what I hope are forever surfaces. Sure, if something breaks I’ll get a new and trendy replacement. But I like a red kitchen, I like travertine floors, and I like cherry wood. Thank goodness, since I can’t get away from it now!
What choices do you make that buck the trends? Or why did you choose what’s current? Share if you dare!