Wanna know where I don’t see all these things? In the actual back yards of actual people, or to be more specific, in the back yards of people who don’t have a dedicated groundskeeping and housekeeping staff.
After my endless series of posts on decorating trends that instantly “date” a house that we are working hard to renovate and sell, I thought I ought to work on ideas for creating a nice looking house that will keep looking good for many years. (Note: I realize most of the work we do as rehabbers is focused on selling a house NOW, so it makes sense to stage renovated houses to appeal to current trends. Still, a house could look “of the moment” in such a way that the poor new homeowners won’t feel compelled to re-do everything in a couple of years.)
I read a lot of decorating magazines (you know, as part of my job, heh heh). There are often articles about homes that have not been re-decorated in decades, other than small refreshes. These timeless settings don’t NEED shiplap to be beautiful. The original decorators chose colors, surfaces, materials and objects that retain their beauty. It can be done.
I was looking for some guidance on timeless decor, when my friend Meg posted an article on my Facebook timeline that was exactly what I was looking for. Check out How Can I Decorate in a Way That Won’t Date? by Anna Baddeley for some great ideas (also it’s on a great site, in general). Most of her ideas make sense, and a few of them might be new to some of us. Hmm, how am I doing in creating timeless decor in my own homes and renovations?
Keep Walls Neutral. Baddeley says, “Grey, especially when offset with flashes of yellow, is already looking a bit tired. Unless you are very confident with colour, it’s safest to stick with boring white.” (You can tell she’s British.) Other than vindicating my personal ennui about gray and yellow, she has a good point. If your backdrop is a serene neutral (and there are so many shades of white), the rest of your furnishings can shine. I kept the original color in my most recent family home for 15 years. You can always change pillows if you want color.
It’s our final installment of the Trends Which Must Die series! As you may recall, it’s based on this article: 15 Most Hated Home Decorating Trends That Need to Die in 2017. I’ve shared my thoughts on white kitchens (nope), granite counters (yep), and so many others. I’ll link to the others at the end of this post, in case you want a review. What’s up for today? A couple more items that bring out strong opinions in me! Let’s go.
Now, this is a trend I truly don’t get. I think the photos in magazines and the images on television shows of these kitchens with only open shelving are beautiful, yes. However, it brings up a question. Who ARE these people who can store all the contents of their kitchen cabinets out in the open? Where do they get all that matching stuff? How do they LIVE with so little kitchen stuff?
The answer I propose is that all of these people have giant pantries, or better yet, separate, closed-off butler’s pantries to hold their food processors, waffle makers, ugly plastic kid stuff, and mis-matched glassware. Also, there are never more than 6 people eating at their homes, since there are usually six pristine plates, bowls, glasses, and cups displayed with plenty of space around them, so they can breathe (I guess). And those three matching mixing bowls. Those are nice.
On the other hand, maybe the folks with open shelves just don’t have the funds for cabinets. I know a few folks like that, and their shelves are filled with fun and funky treasures. That’s sort of cheerful, really.
I’m all for a couple of nice shelves to display beautiful kitchen treasures. However, my dinner services for 12, 6 sizes of glassware, endless storage containers and serving pieces are much happier behind nice, opaque cabinets. Maybe one or two could have glass, you know, to show the Fiesta Ware that Anita has. I have china cabinets for nice things. Kitchen cabinets are for work horses, seldom used but helpful things, etc.
Prediction: In the next five years, contractors will be very busy replacing open shelves with cabinets that feature doors.
The public (Okay, a few of my friends) are clamoring for more analysis of current staging/decorating trends that may or may not need to disappear, as found in this fun online article by Amanda Harding. And today I have a couple of good ones, plus a bonus. As always, I value your feedback and comments, so please share them!
The author says, “Is it really shabby chic — or just shabby?” I think my entire grad school home was shabby chic, 80s style. Mostly because I had tables and chairs discarded by others, covered with things I knitted or crocheted to make them look “better.” My walls were covered in decorations I made myself (and the tables had lots of candles dripped onto wine bottles), because there wasn’t any spare money for actual “art” things.
That’s probably why I never really liked getting things made to look ratty on purpose. I had enough of it when that was my only option. I sure don’t want things that someone whacked with a hammer or sanded the paint off to make them look used. I think old things that are still functional and have grown a patina honestly are worth a place of honor in the home, though, like Lee’s parents’ old stereo system. So maybe my deal is authenticity. Old stuff that’s real can be great. I think that’s what Mandi means when she declares her love of shabby chic.
(That said, I defend your right to distress whatever you want to distress, and display all the new things that look old that you want, but I wonder how long that will look fresh.)
Verdict: Shabby is only chic when it comes by the shabbiness honestly.
We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on my posts on 15 Most Hated Home Decorating Trends That Need to Die in 2017! Thanks. Today we hit some of the biggies. I want to know if you love or hate these decorating trends! I also welcome your thoughts on the need for being totally “on trend” with every renovation. Must we? Does every house need to look exactly alike? Some of our mentors insist on doing each house with the same “modern” elements. Is this good?
Of course shiplap is on the list or trends that must go down in flames. It’s either loved or hated by our shabby chic friends and fellow rehabbers. One of my friends said that houses with shiplap on them will be instantly dated to the period starting around 2015, known as the “Joanna Gaines Era.” Another friend points out that what Joanna uses often isn’t really even shiplap. (This article cracked me up.)
Up until now, we’ve never incorporated shiplap into our houses. However, the Taylor house has shiplap up the wazoo, and it’s of the correct era to actually incorporate it. The house may well look good with a shiplap wall or two, since it is not one that would look good turned into a mid-century paradise.
Mandi tells me beadboard is way better than shiplap. Maybe it’s the next trend. I’ve always liked it, and it seems more timeless than shiplap, since it’s always been an exterior finishing technique, while shiplap usually was UNDER the actual walls.
Prediction: Shiplap will say bye-bye soon. Use in small doses, in appropriate homes, in areas that are easy to change.