Decorating styles change over time. So which should you follow? Which should you skip? Let’s look at what will give you the biggest bang for your buck to create a timeless style.

Decorating trends.  We’ve all been sucked into following them at some point or another.  Is that a bad thing?  No, not necessarily!  

And let’s be honest, when we’re bombarded with images showing a particular decorating style or design, over time, it’s hard not to be sucked in…even just a little bit!  

So, should you follow the trends?  Should you skip them altogether?  How can you follow a trend in an affordable way?  To get these answers, let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of following trends.

What is a Trend?

Essentially, a trend is anything that is popular at the time.  This could be a particular color or color palette, a decorating style, a wall treatment {i.e. wallpaper, sponge paint, shiplap}, a stone {i.e. granite, travertine, marble}, a metal, a pattern, and many other things!

Some of the home decorating trends in the recent past include:

  • Farmhouse decor
  • Shiplap walls
  • White or off-white walls
  • Marble {and also faux marble substitutes}
  • Wallpaper
  • Gold and copper accents
  • Open shelving

Wondering what trends to follow in 2023? I’ve narrowed down the 8 trends you should watch!

One of the benefits of following decorating trends is that because they’re popular, these items are readily available at stores, both brick-and-mortar and online.  

Right now, it seems everywhere I turn, I see Farmhouse finds.  Shopping for trendy items is easy because you can find them everywhere and as a bonus, the style becomes so popular that less expensive alternatives are made, making these items more affordable to the masses.

Another benefit is that following the trends keeps your home looking up-to-date and fashionable.  In this respect, following decorating trends is really the same as following fashion trends.  If you want your home to feel fresh and stylish, keep up with the trends.

Also, following trends gives you exposure to things you might not have otherwise considered.  {Be honest.  Did you ever consider tobacco baskets before Farmhouse style became popular?}  As you bring these items into your home, you start to create an eclectic, curated look, as your trendy items mix with your old favorites.

{via Rachel Whyte for HGTV}

A trend is exactly as its name implies and what is trendy now, will eventually look outdated when another trend takes its place.  This is in the Bad category because you’ll have to update your decor as trends change if you want to keep up with the times, and that costs money.

I have a Tuscan kitchen which was very popular in the early 2000’s, but is now starting to look a bit dated.

Farmhouse kitchen white cabinets, travertine and granite.

Also, trends don’t always fit with the style of a house, and if you choose to follow a decorating trend that is incongruous with your home, it can sometimes just look “wrong” or feel a bit “off”.

All trends start to look outdated over time, but only the special few become what is known as The Ugly…

Every trend brings with it as least one thing that years later, we all look back and wonder, “WHAT WERE WE THINKING?”  I think this every time I see photos of avocado shag carpet and harvest gold and orange accents.   That color combination just screams ’70s, doesn’t it?!

Avocado green and harvest gold bedroom
{via Elle Decor}

And does anyone remember this look?

1950s Pink tile bathroom
{via Lindsay and Drew. And FYI she PAINTED this tile and it looks like a whole new bathroom! Click to see!}

Pink bathrooms were so IN in the ’50s!  While these styles might look outdated to us now, at the time, they looked great, right?!

Not all trends end up in this category, this is really reserved for the few that end up representing an era, and therefore, automatically look outdated.  And as an aside, I find myself in this category a lot when it comes to my hair styles, especially the ones I wore in the late ’80s and early ’90s!  Anyone else look back at photos of themselves and wonder, “What was I thinking?!”

So what does all of this mean?

As always, you should decorate with things you love. So if that means following the trends, then go for it!  If it means skipping a few or even all of them, that’s okay, too! Your home should be a reflection of you and your family, so embrace whatever style of decorating best suits you, even if that means sticking with something that looks outdated to others {yes, even if it falls into the above category}.

Most of us can’t remodel entire rooms once they start looking outdated, so here are a couple of tips if you want to follow trends in an affordable way.

To extend the longevity of a trend, try to pick elements of the trend that historically, have shown they have some staying power.  Examples of these elements include natural materials {i.e. wood, stone}, natural textures, and millwork.  

With the Farmhouse trend, for example, maybe you skip the shiplap walls but add baskets and natural wooden objects to your decor that you can incorporate into a different style as trends change.  If painting your walls isn’t in your budget but you want to add more white to your home, consider decorative pillows, area rugs and throws to add a bit of Farmhouse white without painting.  

And as for the current wallpaper trend, there are also great options for removable wallpaper {you can see how I used it HERE}, which would allow you to follow the trend without damaging your walls should you want to remove it later.

Lastly, as a general rule, walls, floors and furnishings are often big-ticket items, so you might want to skip color trends in these areas and opt for a neutral palette.  Then, as the color-du-jour changes from year to year, you can incorporate it through the use of smaller items that are less expensive to change out.

Remember, you don’t have to follow a trend 100% in order to incorporate it into your home.  Instead, consider choosing the items and elements that you love and that fit within your budget.

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  1. Todd Stauffer says:

    It’s interesting how you said that there are some home decor accents and looks that are outdated simply because they represented a time period. Taking the time to really understand what will look good and what won’t be good. That way you don’t make any awkward decisions that could make you look outdated.

  2. Nice article dear. Liked the way you classified so elegantly that even people with some outdated trends wouldn’t feel bad. Instead, it would encourage them to try new. Proud to say I am one of them!! Inspired and working on change. Thanks

  3. I didn’t see any bad or ugly ones, These decorating designs were all good.

  4. Marlene Stephenson says:

    I guess i am showing my age but i have seen trends that would pop back up about every 6-8 yrs. So i am not a trendy sort of person. I do have pillow covers so i can change them out when i need to or a have different kinds of metal to decorate with and that is it. Thanks this was a good post.

  5. Pink bathrooms are back “in” again. Just take a look at Houzz. Everything eventually gets recycled but is presented in a different way.

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Rosamund – You make an EXCELLENT point!

  6. Kim, this was an excellent article to read. Thank you!

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Tammy! :) Kim

  7. Way back, think 1980s, a Southwestern trend emerged and blanketed the country. Much like the current farmhouse trend, people, designers, home decor magazines, blogs and other social media were not available to consumers then. I was a newlywed in a new home and took the bait. I purchased furniture, lamps, accessories and art which had no other place than in a true Southwestern style home. Within a year, I wanted all of it out of my home! I had heard so much and seen so much about EVERYTHING Southwestern, I was DONE with it!
    I learned an expensive lesson about following trends. I had always had a rather eclectic sense of style, WHY did I put all of it aside for a trend? I still don’t know! I do enjoy watching trends and occasionally will add a very inexpensive decor accent in the trend au courant. Otherwise I have remained steadfast in dressing our home in pieces that speak to our sense of style creating an environment we love to live in eveyday. It is not my intention to criticize any other person’s preferences or style, that’s what makes life so interesting…appreciating the tastes of others. I just wanted to share a personal experience on latching onto a trend, from the pictures Kim provided for us, we know that trends come and go.

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      I had completely forgotten about the Southwestern trend until you mentioned it! But it sounds as if you’ve found your own sense of style now and just tweak it over time. I really do think one of the benefits of keeping an eye on trends is that they introduce us to things we might not have otherwise considered, and like you said, we can just add an accent if we’re not committed to the look 100%! Thanks for sharing your story! ;) Kim

  8. We just built a house and moved in. We chose white with a gray tint for the paint and extra white for the trim. We also have some open shelves in the kitchen. We love it! Having said that, I think everything is a trend to one extent or another. People who don’t worry about decorating are at an advantage a little bit. Those of us who love to stay up to date have to be ready to DIY or pay. :)

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Stacey – Your home is drop-dead gorgeous, as I’ve seen from the pics! That kitchen!…..*swoon*

  9. This was a great post! I usually don’t get too crazy with trends, howeve, in the hair department? I’ve got a few pictures where I look like a badger and others where I look like Buckwheat! The big hair days…yikes…

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Sally – I literally laughed out loud when I read your comment! You’ve pretty much summed up several of my hair styles, too! Hahaha! :) Kim

  10. I have followed the trend of using gray walls as a neutral and have been happy with it. I spent a great deal of my life in apartments cursed with all white walls and beige carpet so I would do just about anything not to see that again. I’ve always been a lover of contemporary style, so I haven’t chosen a lot of things that get particularly crazy outdated. Although, one house I owned had gold wall to wall carpet (not shag) throughout the entire house and gold stove, refrigerator and dishwasher in the kitchen. That was in mid-70s but I still can’t stand gold or yellow in my decor.

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Pat! Your home sounds beautiful! I love gray walls, too. Thankfully for us, I don’t think they’ll ever fall into the crazy outdated category like the gold trend you mentioned. :) Kim

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