You are here: Home » Design Tips » Following Decorating Trends: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Following Decorating Trends: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Design Tips | Learn How To

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.

How to affordably follow decorating 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!

At the time of this post, some of the current home decorating trends include:

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



The Good

One of the benefits to 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}


The Bad

A trend is exactly as its name implies and what is trendy now, will eventually look outdated when another trend takes its place.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.  {Boo hoo for me!  I wish that meant there was a remodel in my future! Lol! But truthfully, as long as I still like the look, I’m not too concerned about whether this trend is in or out.}

Farmhouse kitchen white cabinets, travertine and granite.


Also, trends don’t always jive 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…


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}.


How to Follow Trends on a Budget

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.




What current trends are you following?








Similar Posts