Friday, February 20, 2015

7 Things That Make Your Home Look Dated?

I was browsing through the Huffington Post online when this article caught my eye: 7 Things That Make Your Home Look Dated. The article is written by Erin Gates who recently wrote a book on decorating called The Elements of Style. The article promises to help us avoid those "What Was I Thinking?" moments in the future.  I have LOTS of those, don't you?

Here's the list and my take on how my own home measures up.

1. The Backsplash Accent That Cuts the Walls in Half.
I could be so trendy if only I didn't actually use my kitchen for . . .  cooking!
Where would we store everything?
We inherited our kitchen backsplash when we bought our condo two years ago. I liked the simple white tiles ("not dated"); the accent tiles from Greek mythology not so much ("pretty weird"). But, there are only six of them and I've learned to live with them. So I guess my backsplash would only earn a C on the "Style Scale". 

2. The Throw Pillows That Set Pinterest on Fire.

Gates says that, "If the social network created a time capsule to chronicle its meteoric rise to fame in 2011, you better believe it would've included a pair of turquoise-and-white throw pillows. While the zigzag itself is timeless, its use -- and that particular color combination -- has been overdone."

This look probably has been overdone but chevron is timeless and I love turquoise.  My pillows are a similar style to the ones that are "out" but I made them and, since we live on the coast of Maine, I like the coastal feel. Think I'll keep them!

3. The Stylish Pouf That's Better Off as an Ottoman

I agree with Gates that, as cute as "poufs" are, they're not very comfortable for actual seating . . . too tipsy and low to the floor. At my age, I would probably slip right off after a couple glasses of wine!

For my reading corner, I've stuck with an ottoman so I guess I gat an A on this element!

4. The Cabinets Used in Almost Every Early 2000s Home Makeover Show.

Gates suggests that, "Maple and oak wood-stained cabinets (especially those with ornate, French-ish carvings) instantly age a kitchen" and recommends painting them black or white.

I see her point, but painting kitchen cabinets is a huge amount of work and, if you were to do it every time decorating trends changed, you might as well put your local painter on consignment. I remember when DH #1 I and had our first apartment in Worcester, Massachusetts back in 1970 (so young!), my teacher-friend Barbara and I spent hours after school each day painting all of the kitchen cabinets olive green . . .  to go with my harvest gold accents. I wonder how many times those cabinets have been painted since?  I like the simple off-white cabinets in our condo. I'll give them a "B+".

5. The All-Caps Word

Apparently Home Goods hasn't gotten the memo on this style "No No" yet. I was there with BFF Mary Elizabeth last week and there were huge metal words everywhere; many of them even lit up, marquee-style. "EAT" is even in the Spring Pottery Barn Catalog.

Image result for Home Goods lighted signs
Photo courtesy of

I wonder if single letters count? If so, I'm "dated".

It may be because I was an English major, but I love text, in all its forms. I love to read, I love to write, and I love to use letters and words for personal expression in decorating and crafts. Color me "partially dated".

 I have to admit, I am getting a little tired of these . . .

Image result for Home Goods signs
Too many, too much. 
Getting too corny?
6. The Pendant Light Fixture

Image result for home depot pendant lights
Home Depot photo courtesy of

Instead of a pendant, Erin suggests a larger light, like this "Hick's pendant" .
(It's brass. I thought that was "out" too?) 

I don't have a pendant light but if I did, at $525.00 each "Hicks pendant", I think I might choose to stick with the "dated" ones from Home Depot.

7. Sleigh Beds

Erin calls sleigh beds "the Sleighs That Don't Come with Eight Reindeer" and feels they tend to swallow up a room.

Image result for antique sleigh bed
photo courtesy of

She recommends a light, contemporary canopy-style bed instead. Here in New England, sleigh beds are still popular and the design has endured. I gave myself a "C" on #7 . . . our bed is traditional and has no canopy, but, thankfully, it's not quite big enough to hold eight reindeer!

In case you'd like to read more about "what's dated and not", here's a link to Erin's blog, The Elements of Style.

When I decorate my home, I do what makes me happy. I'm aware of trends and try to incorporate new elements when they appeal to me. But I also love quirky old things, and handmade things, that will never go out of style. If we all followed the rules all the time, wouldn't our homes all look alike?
That doesn't sound like much fun!

This post is being shared at:
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors


  1. I so agree! I am leaving my kitchen cabinet doors on and unpainted, which makes my kitchen outdated...but I like to think that since it's clean and comfy and smells good in here, we're doing OK. And who has to judge it anyhow?

  2. I was holding my breath as I read this in fear that I'd have all 7 dated design no-no's. hehe I've got red and white chevron pillows in my living room, and I'll probably have them for a good number of years because I LOVE them! I guess I like a few trends, but you're right, Cheryl. If we all followed the trends, we'd need 3 jobs just to keep up and all our homes would look alike. Now, out of curiosity I'm going to check out the link. I hope they didn't borrow any what not to do photos from my blog! Fun post!

  3. Oh no, I'm guilty as charged with a few of these. I've been eyeing my maple cabinets for a couple of years now trying to decide when I'd ever have the time to paint them. Thanks for sharing:-)

  4. I thought some of those no-nos were a little extreme myself. Throw pillows can always be recovered if you want to go in a different decorating direction, and curating pictures and knickknacks is something lots of people do for fun, not because they read a particular trend is "out" now.

  5. I LOVE your last paragraph. I call my home eclectic and refuse to do the decor in trendyness. We recently retiled the kitchen with....plug your eys...white ceramic tile. Also replaced cabinets with...plug once more....those cabinets. I have stained and varnished barn siding on at least 1-2 walls in most rooms as well as on the ceilings in some rooms. I never caught the "paint it" trend always remembering that we would be old some day and I did NOT want to paint over and over. Also, we live in Northern Indiana where the humidity fluctuates so which season with what humidity level should I paint and what would the shrinking/expanding do to the planks. I really think a lot of these kind of articles are invited by designers and manufacturers to get us to spend money we don't have. I always love my visits here. You get me thinking outside the box and inspire me to use what I have in new and refreshing ways.

    Yay You!!
    xx, Carol

  6. Here. Here! Great post. I never follow any trends but choose what I like and tend to keep it forever. I have learned over the decades my simple style goes in and out of style like the tides of the ocean. They wash right over me! (Love that ottoman of yours!)

  7. Great post and, BTW, I love your pillows, too!!! Live with what you love!

  8. What the author wants or doesn't want would only appeal to her. It annoys me when the first thing out of someone's mouth while looking at houses on HGTVs shows is that the house is "dated"! Puh-leese!!! And, the first thing a host on HGTVs shows does is gut the perfectly-good interior. It's such a waste. My wife and I are constantly hurling insults to the whiny, self-important, little twits on the shows - the hosts AND the participants. Geez! Sometimes I can't even bring myself to watch the shows because they grate on me so much. Who cares about trends?!! Trends are only about what the furnishings stores present to buyers and have nothing to do what buyers want. We all know that we can make do with what we have, rearrange what we have, paint what we have or make what we want. My neighbors decor is not what I want for my house, but it makes my neighbor who she is, and I wouldn't want to change it. BTW...I saw a source that said chevrons are "out". As far as I was concerned. they were never "in"! Never liked them, didn't use them, they were overused, and now they're gone. No love loss there. Enjoy your homes - however you care to decorate them! And, I'll do the same.

  9. Great points you mentioned. Style is so different in each region of the US too. They never take into account that the Midwest doesn't decorate like New York.Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!


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