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What are the things from the ‘70s, ‘90s, 20-teens that are NOT considered dated?

I generally don’t care all that much, but I can’t pretend that this stuff isn’t crossing my mind as I make some choices, lol. But I can’t think of many things that have been done in the past that don’t get slapped with the dated label now, so I’m trying to figure out the point of avoiding trends.

Dh teases me about my gray and white aesthetic (my dream long before it took over Pinterest), but there’s no denying that painting our walls gray (albeit not the current dove gray trend) instantly updated our house.  I suspect whoever buys this house will paint a whole different color much sooner than I bit the bullet.

But it’s a serious question. What isn’t dated? Or what do you believe won’t become dated?

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Materials that are natural don't get dated as easily.* I think there are classics, like prairiewindmoma mentioned. muted colors in granite or marble countertops, white subway tile in a bath or kitchen, real wood trim and floors. Carpet is dated, imo. 

Crisp, clean, and consistent throughout the house. I was looking online at a house for sale the other day and the kitchen was updated and crisp black and white, but one of the bathrooms had obviously been redone in the late 80s or early 90s. The kitchen was modern classic looking while the bathroom looked very country. It looks like people ran out of money mid updates. 

Other things not dated, real tile tub surrounds, white bathroom sinks and toilets. 

Some features that I don't find dating, main floor or upstairs laundry (provided it's in a good location), wall ovens. My mom's is from probably the 1980s, it works great so it really doesn't need replacing. It's an odd size, slightly smaller than newer wall ovens, so it would really mess up the kitchen to have to replace it. 

 

* the exception would be ship lap walls and sliding barn doors. They might be real wood, but they're already looking dated to me. 

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I think white walls are trending. 

I’d never do another small tile on a bathroom floor unless I planned on black grout. Penny tile = mostly grout, and impossible to keep white. 

It’s impossible to not have something get dated. All trends change over time.  Every generation of women wants something different than their mother had. 

But otherwise I agree with both posters above.

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45 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Oak floors in a medium stain

white walls

crown molding

white penny tile on bathroom floors

painted white cabinets

 

^^^ Agree with all of those. I think eventually the very pale woods that are really in at the moment will eventually look dated just as the super dark woods of the 80s and 90s look dated now, but real wood floors in a neutral mid-brown (not too orangey) always look good. I think the gray-stained wood (or wood look) floors that were in a few years ago are already looking dated.

Other things that I think are classic and timeless:

* Well-made, floor length, solid-color curtains in a good fabric, with a simple rod
* Good handmade wool rugs
* A sofa with simple lines in a good neutral fabric
* Linen anything (slipcovers, curtains, bedding, tablecloths)
* Antique furniture that's not too frou-frou. So anything with fairly simple lines, from a $$$$ Georgian sideboard to a primitive pine hutch, will always look good, but ornate Victorian stuff isn't to everyone's taste and it comes in and out of fashion

Things that are super popular right now that I think will look dated very soon:

* White subway tile in the kitchen (but fine in the bathroom)
* Tile all the way up to the ceiling in kitchens
* Shiplap and those geometric trim designs that some people are doing for accent walls
* Rattan and macrame
* Groups of baskets on the wall
* Gallery walls that aren't really meaningful and look over coordinated — like someone bought the whole set at Target
* Wall decals with sayings (Live Laugh Love, etc.)

Having said that, I think context has a lot to do with how "dated" something looks — if a room has 20 elements that were all trendy at the same time, that's going to look a lot more dated than if there's just one or two things. For example, a lot of people are saying that gray walls are on the way out, but there's a big difference in the overall look and feel if the other elements in the room are classic and timeless vs a room where everything was bought at Ikea in the same year, kwim? 

 

Edited by Corraleno
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Most of what I liked in the 80s looks ridiculous to me now.

Examples include small patterned wallpaper with coordinated big pattern wallpaper borders (the calico skirt theory of decor), and anything painted a grayed lavender.  

What I find actually frightening is that I ran across a Martha Steward magazine from just a few years before, maybe 7-8 years old at the most, and it looked horribly dated to me, to the extent that I couldn’t imagine why I had saved it.

So I dunno.  I suspect what I want right now I’m not going to want in 10 years.  Since I hate to redo decor, this immobilizes me.

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Everything gets dated. Everything circles back. 

Crown moulding...gives way to modern clean lines in 20 years. 

Rooms with doors....give way to open floor plans

Even neutrals get updated.....beige can have yellow undertones or red. Undertone trends vary every 5 to 10 years. 

Small tiles give way to large tiles.

Butcher block counters turn into concrete......solid surface trends vary from stone looks to marble.

My sister had grey in the 90s, it isn't all that modern....just trends circling back. 

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

What isn’t dated?

I agree with the others that style just changes and that if you buy in style it generally goes out. Now some (furniture, pieces, whatever) will be interesting or thoughtfully made and endure. It's why some things from those eras will be in resale shops and some won't, lol. 

If you don't want to look out of style, I guess don't be in style. I did my house the way I liked, at the time when TAN was the word of the day and everyone was painting walls shades of tan and brown, mostly tan. Now it's all gray, haha, so tan might look out of date. But nope, not me, I did yellow on the main floor and PEACH in the basement. And that peach, which was a total accident, ended up a few years later being an in color! I kid you not, I was looking at magazines and was like dude they painted a kitchen to look like my basement! Hahaha. 

And if my house is now "out" I probably don't give a rip because I intrinsically liked what I put in. But some things are neutral (a couch, the walls) and some will wear out (drapery) and get changed. And I freshen it by bringing in new, modern touches. Like I've gone through and changed out lamp shades on the lights. Some of them, well actually all of them, are antique/older fixtures, so there's nothing like a modern, fresh lamp shade to brighten that up. My dd had bought these garish brass base glass lamps with leaves painted on them, but right now ALL the lamps in the stores are butt ugly (to my taste), haha. So I figure nuts, one ugly lamp vs. another. Brass was back in recently, so with a fresh shade the ugly lamp is now in. Or at least close enough. I'm certainly not going to pay money for something new that is ugly just to say I did, lol.

Also, I've been refreshing a space that we started decorating 20+ years ago. It got neglected, so now I'm going back. It's interesting to see what endures and what is just yucky. Things that we thought were ugly then (mauve and blue silverware) are still ugly. But the Laura Ashley valences I put up in the windows were charming then and charming now. They endured, because they were good design to start with, kwim? Not just good quality but good *design*. The eye appreciates the intentionality and beauty of good design. So whether it's a basket or a stool or whatever, good design stays in. There's a leather covered black metal footstool we have that came out of a grandpa's house. The thing is so quirky you might think to get rid of it, but literally I walked into Target last week and THERE IT WAS!!! Now the modern version has a slight twist. 

We had this oak side table with a center lamp that I just thought was garish all the way. It was garish then, still is. But I was in Lowe's looking for lamps and they now have those same stupid side tables with a center lamp but in a cute, updated metal! Will it stand the test of time? Maybe. They were kind of thoughtful and cute, if not exceptionally well made. I thought about getting one but thought that was silly to replace the old with an updated version of the same thing. Instead I went a totally different direction (primitive wood, very popular in our area). Because that sort of shaker/primitive look is so classic and reflects good design, I doubt it will look dated over time. It's sort of outside the trends because it's not really on trend. It just happens to be popular in our area for whatever reason. I suppose it would become odd if our area had enough sprawl that it become URBAN. Then the look would be out just because it wouldn't make sense, lol.

I've been wondering if all these cow prints at Hobby Lobby will be "out" some day. They're crazy cute. I don't know. Might be the equivalent of the geese from the 80s.

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47 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I suspect what I want right now I’m not going to want in 10 years.

I did my main floor (which is honestly impossible to repaint unless I bring in professionals, because it has a vault and would just be a pain), and what I'm finding, now that it's like 10-12 years old, is that I'm just starting to thinking about changing the draperies. Like I'm not thinking really hard, because I sewed them and they were a lot of work, lol. But I see potential in the room where my very french country draperies could go more modern/solid/textured quite easily, keeping the same walls and furniture. It even crossed my mind I might change out one of the rugs one day and change it to something totally different. But these kinds of changes are easy and can totally change the vibe of the room.

The main thing is I liked the bones, got what I liked, and so I still like those things 10 years later. I think it's normal to change out curtains, rugs, accents, etc. every 10 years just to freshen the look. You change, your tastes change. 

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Not to rattle too much, but I also think what makes a space ageless is blending time periods. So I have french country elements AND contemporary things AND antiques, all in the same room. So things can go in or out and they all blend, because the room isn't all one look. It would be much more conspicuous if things were all done to one time period/style. 

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

^^^ Agree with all of those. I think eventually the very pale woods that are really in at the moment will eventually look dated just as the super dark woods of the 80s and 90s look dated now, but real wood floors in a neutral mid-brown (not too orangey) always look good. I think the gray-stained wood (or wood look) floors that were in a few years ago are already looking dated.

Other things that I think are classic and timeless:

* Well-made, floor length, solid-color curtains in a good fabric, with a simple rod
* Good handmade wool rugs
* A sofa with simple lines in a good neutral fabric
* Linen anything (slipcovers, curtains, bedding, tablecloths)
* Antique furniture that's not too frou-frou. So anything with fairly simple lines, from a $$$$ Georgian sideboard to a primitive pine hutch, will always look good, but ornate Victorian stuff isn't to everyone's taste and it comes in and out of fashion

Things that are super popular right now that I think will look dated very soon:

* White subway tile in the kitchen (but fine in the bathroom)
* Tile all the way up to the ceiling in kitchens
* Shiplap and those geometric trim designs that some people are doing for accent walls
* Rattan and macrame
* Groups of baskets on the wall

* Gallery walls that aren't really meaningful and look over coordinated — like someone bought the whole set at Target
* Wall decals with sayings (Live Laugh Love, etc.)

 

 

Are the bolded in now?  I see rattan and macrame and I think 70s--groups of baskets on the wall and I think 80s.  

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40 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Not to rattle too much, but I also think what makes a space ageless is blending time periods. So I have french country elements AND contemporary things AND antiques, all in the same room. So things can go in or out and they all blend, because the room isn't all one look. It would be much more conspicuous if things were all done to one time period/style. 

This.  I started liking my home decor a lot more when I quit trying for a particular look and just started using things I liked.  

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20 minutes ago, Katy said:

Yes, very in. 

Interesting.  Just as Pier 1 went out of business that dated look comes back in style.

I think a lot of whether something looks dated depends upon the setting and style of the home.  I rock fireplace with a wood mantel may not look dated in a mountain home, but it would look dated in a home on Houston. A sliding glass door can look dated in one home but lovely in a more contemporary-style home with a gorgeous view.

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I live in an old house and there are some things I'm not allowed to remove - heavy solid wooden window shutters, cornices, astragals on windows, traditional front door, wood panelling in entryway, original fireplaces, etc. Anyone visiting will know that they are there to stay, so they can't date. 

Apart from that, I agree that furniture with clean lines is best - you can always froufrou the cushions if you like.

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I keep thinking that all the stainless steel in kitchens will move out of fashion and people will go back to something, literally anything else - but last time I checked HGTV it was still going strong, and there's still a lot of stainless steel fridges at Home Depot last time I went.

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5 hours ago, Bootsie said:

 

I think a lot of whether something looks dated depends upon the setting and style of the home.  I rock fireplace with a wood mantel may not look dated in a mountain home, but it would look dated in a home on Houston. A sliding glass door can look dated in one home but lovely in a more contemporary-style home with a gorgeous view.

That’s an interesting point!
In my area, “contemporary” can mean the same thing it does everywhere else, but it’s mostly used as a label for a mash up between salt box and A-frame that got built a lot in the 80s and 90s. And we’re in a mountain region, so all styles of house designs are prone to mountain home elements and decor.  I live in a regionally-defined contemporary mountain home, lol. 

The only other single family home I’ve lived in was a custom designed, kinda contemporary, 80s-modern vibe. And now I’m going to a somewhat standard colonial. There are little twists and changes to it, but it’s mostly still a colonial design.

With my current and childhood houses, it never felt like there needed to be any “rules”.  Well, except for a bit of the nice wood in my current house. But houses like mine range from full-out hunting cabin style to Current Pinterest Trends and none look wrong (though some look shoddy.) They’re pretty flexible.

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3 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

I keep thinking that all the stainless steel in kitchens will move out of fashion and people will go back to something, literally anything else - but last time I checked HGTV it was still going strong, and there's still a lot of stainless steel fridges at Home Depot last time I went.

I cannot wait to go back to stainless steel!
We had a SS dishwasher and refrigerator, and then a replacement ss fridge but, when it came to the third fridge and second dw, I decided to go black to “solve” fingerprints and streaks. Well, my black dishwasher streaks just as much, and my black fridge gets scratches that show white.  I’ve always had a black stove (and since I’m not getting a gas range, my “stainless steel range” will still have a lot of black) and I clean it up all nice at night only to wake up for the sun to directly hit it and show all the specks of overnight dust.

So, personally, I’m glad stainless is still going strong, lol.

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3 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

I keep thinking that all the stainless steel in kitchens will move out of fashion and people will go back to something, literally anything else - but last time I checked HGTV it was still going strong, and there's still a lot of stainless steel fridges at Home Depot last time I went.

Manufacturers have even attempted to budge away making high end lines in other than SS, and to no avail. I do wonder if perhaps it is because professional/industrial kitchens are predominantly, if not completely, SS and most want that real commercial kitchen look. I thought copper would trend for a while but it has not caught on it would seem. Perhaps patina is off putting in a kitchen. 
 

@PeterPan- I had forgotten about the geese! Thank you for bringing me a chuckle remembering those. 

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I have found that trying to win this game is a fool’s errand. The Powers That Be are always going to change up (usually completely) the trends within five years, certainly ten if you can get that far, and even things that were stylish or seemingly style-neutral will eventually look dated. And now that most living areas are open to each other, this means the whole thing has the dated look and you can’t change one thing without changing it all. 

So, for example, I have ceramic tile flooring in my hallway and kitchen in a wonderful textured, dirt-concealing tan color. I did not think it was screaming “early 2000s” when I chose it. But now 1) tan is “out”, 2) 12x12 squares are “out”, 3) visible grout is “out”, 4) ceramic tiles for kitchens is “out”. 

I had the prescience to realize that doing entirely hard-surface flooring on the first floor was a good trend, but our hardwood floors are warm oak color and standard width, which are now “out.” 

Everything is like this. Brass tone hardware was the worst thing ever and now it’s coming back. Stairway materials, door design, window casing, flooring type, appliance types, light fixtures...it all changes, leaving the most beautiful of homes seeming “dated” in five to ten years. 

My boss was showing me photos of a house he once owned; it had that “Tuscany” design concept that was so beautiful in, like, the late 90s. Now it seems gaudy. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Remember wallpaper? It was the kiss of death for the past 15 years; now I see on the design shows, designers are starting to use it again. 

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I think some of this is practicality and learning from past trend “mistakes” or annoyances. Smaller tile with more grout is a pain. I’ve always hated it as it’s impossible to clean so I’ll never buy it. I can’t see the larger tiles becoming dated. They are easier to clean and very sleek looking. I do think the newer, beautiful designs on tile will become dated sooner than not because they are busy designs and people will get tired of the busy look and want to go back to simple. 

Practically speaking, the open concept floor plan does not work for families now who are all home all the time. Working and schooling from home with everyone needing a separate space. I decided on a separate dining room instead of open with the kitchen because on regular basis, we need more rooms. It won’t be as easy on holidays with huge family gatherings but that’s a few times a year whereas we need the separate spaces everyday.  

I love the gray look but I think it will be out in a few years so I’m not going to do my walls gray. I’m leaning towards white which is going to be cheaper for us anyway—main floor all one color. We can add color with decor which is much easier to change. 

The exterior is causing me the most angst because it will be permanent or at least for the next 30 years. But I really love the dark blue look so that’s what we’re leaning towards. Since it’s a hard thing to change, I’m thinking exteriors are a trend that will last decades as opposed to a few years. 

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6 minutes ago, kristin0713 said:

The exterior is causing me the most angst because it will be permanent or at least for the next 30 years. But I really love the dark blue look so that’s what we’re leaning towards. Since it’s a hard thing to change, I’m thinking exteriors are a trend that will last decades as opposed to a few years. 

I was playing with some exterior colors that I loved, but I chickened out. Not so much because of societal trends, and not because of neighborhood conformity, but because I’m afraid my own opinion will change too quickly, lol.

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I am an outlier. I have zero interest in decorating trends. My rooms are painted white or off-white. The walls are lined with lots of bookcases. The open spaces on the walls are filled with oil and acrylic paintings painted by family and friends, one wall quilt made by a friend, my husband's tae kwon do black belt certificates and awards, my kids' artwork, and my own framed photography. The windows have shades but no curtains (we like to see the outdoors). The beds are topped with quilts made by my mother. The floors are the original 1800s wood floors complete with almost two-hundred years of scratches. There are no rugs (the cats just barf on them). The furniture is an eclectic mix of mission, shaker, and hand-me-down (I want sturdy long-lasting furniture that is actually made out of wood--shaker and mission give me that, also the cats shred anything upholstered). My easel and art supplies have their own corner and look quite inviting. For "decorative knick-knacks" I have hundreds of interesting things I've collected in nature over the past 52 years: interesting rocks, driftwood, pine cones, shells, specimens of lichen, acorns, dried mushrooms, etc. The only things I purchased in order to decorate were four glass teardrop-shaped prisms that hang in the windows and decorate the house with rainbows. So I say fill your home with things that have meaning to you, that reflect your hobbies, remind you of people you care about, remind you of places you have been, and choose colors you like. In such a personalized house, nothing can be dated, it will be uniquely reflective of your whole life. 

Edited to add: I might accidentally be trendy! There is macrame on the sunporch! An macrame owl I made in Brownies when I was seven that I gave to my grandmother and that was on her porch until she passed away and was returned to me, which despite being made by me, reminds me of her. 

Edited by Kalmia
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My whole house was completely dated when we moved in almost twenty years ago. Now it’s super trendy because everyone is using mid-century stuff again. Suddenly the weird giant windows and clean, crown moldingless lines make sense. If you’re going to be there forever, pick what you love and just hold on while the trends cycle through. My darker kitchen cabinets haven’t quite made a comeback, but they’re solid wood and replacing them with another shade of solid wood would be insane. There’s nothing wrong with them. I did redo two of the three harvest gold bathrooms in white. The harvest gold toilet never clogs so it can live in the guest powder room forever. 

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7 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

I keep thinking that all the stainless steel in kitchens will move out of fashion and people will go back to something, literally anything else - but last time I checked HGTV it was still going strong, and there's still a lot of stainless steel fridges at Home Depot last time I went.

IKR?  It was really hard to find a white fridge the last time I needed one.  I hate SS but I had to special order the white.  And almond is completely unavailable.  So in my kitchen I have an almond stove, a white fridge, and a black dishwasher.  I’m unwilling to replace the stove.  I’ve found others that I like features on, but none with the wide burner spacing that my old one has, which is crucial for using all the burners at once.  I don’t do that often but every once in a while it is crucial, and besides, how silly is it to have 4 or 5 burners that you can never use at once?

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I never understood why people wouldn't update their outdated houses when I was younger. I get it now. I vote go with what you like. Trends change with the wind so if you don't really like it you'll especially hate it when it falls out if fashion. I hate that I went with an open floor plan on our rebuild. Our previous plan was too closed off but I despise my dining and living room being one room. 

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So I really think it depends on your home.  I live in a house built in 1915.  We put in 2 tone hex tiles and subway tiles w/glass tile trim with darker grout with pedestal sinks and double knob fixtures with "H" and "C" knobs in 2 bathrooms.  Was that trendy when we did it?  Meh - not really.  White grout on white subway tiles kind of were when we did it.  I actually hate that look.  White grout is very hard to maintain and it reminded me of a cheap plastic surround we had where we used to live.  I know plenty of people balk at darker grout.  But our bathrooms fit well with the era and feel of the rest of the house.

I think if you lean your choices toward the overall era, look and feel of your house, you will general do better than if you automatically jump to what is ever going into new homes now.  The last time we were home shopping, we were looking in neighborhoods that primarily had homes prior to 1940's.  I really ended up disliking the ones where you'd walk into a house with double hung windows, lush woodwork and built in cabinetry.  And then you'd go to the addition and it was default modern trim and sparse windows.  

I don't worry too much about paint because that is an easy correction.  But we have all sorts of really strong hue historic colors most wouldn't pick either.  But if we painted more modern softer hues, it just gets lost with our heavy dark woodwork.  We tried a lot of samples on the wall before we hit what was going to work and it definitely wasn't close to what we would have bought when we started thinking about painting each of these rooms.  

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3 hours ago, Quill said:

I have found that trying to win this game is a fool’s errand. The Powers That Be are always going to change up (usually completely) the trends within five years, certainly ten if you can get that far, and even things that were stylish or seemingly style-neutral will eventually look dated. And now that most living areas are open to each other, this means the whole thing has the dated look and you can’t change one thing without changing it all. 

So, for example, I have ceramic tile flooring in my hallway and kitchen in a wonderful textured, dirt-concealing tan color. I did not think it was screaming “early 2000s” when I chose it. But now 1) tan is “out”, 2) 12x12 squares are “out”, 3) visible grout is “out”, 4) ceramic tiles for kitchens is “out”. 

I had the prescience to realize that doing entirely hard-surface flooring on the first floor was a good trend, but our hardwood floors are warm oak color and standard width, which are now “out.” 

Everything is like this. Brass tone hardware was the worst thing ever and now it’s coming back. Stairway materials, door design, window casing, flooring type, appliance types, light fixtures...it all changes, leaving the most beautiful of homes seeming “dated” in five to ten years. 

My boss was showing me photos of a house he once owned; it had that “Tuscany” design concept that was so beautiful in, like, the late 90s. Now it seems gaudy. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Remember wallpaper? It was the kiss of death for the past 15 years; now I see on the design shows, designers are starting to use it again. 

Some of the best advise I ever heard was to redo a room per year so that you never have a fully outdated home.  That is not so easy with flooring though, especially in open floor plans.  I guess flooring could be it’s own ‘room’. 

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13 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

 

 

Dh teases me about my gray and white aesthetic (my dream long before it took over Pinterest), but there’s no denying that painting our walls gray (albeit not the current dove gray trend) instantly updated our house.  I suspect whoever buys this house will paint a whole different color much sooner than I bit the bullet.

 

I had gray walls in the early 90s in my townhouse, the first home I bought. When dh and I became serious I moved into his house where he was a single dad and wasn't going to uproot dss -besides my place was too small for three. I was sad that gray walls quickly went out of style because I loved them and didn't get to enjoy them for long before we moved. They became dated by the mid to late 90s. Now that the color is back in style it would look awful in the new house so I'm still sad about that. Ironically dss and ddil just repainted their interior and went with gray. At least I get to enjoy it when we visit them and the grandkids.

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I think most 19th century homes and a lot of Shaker and antique furniture can be truly timeless, though they may need to be restrained or painted. Everything else will look dated at some point, some things faster than others.  
 

I think that most people nowadays replace their furniture way before it gets broken or worn out and this creates a lot of waste, much more waste than replacing clothing.  And we constantly talk about green living and our commitment to the environment.  We are truly slaves to keeping on trend.  It’s a lot of work to keep up with the trends and do all the renovating.  Once upon a time people had minimal furnishings and almost never replaced them.  

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Y'all are cracking me up with the macrame.  I spent most of the 70s perfecting this art, only to get to the 80s and realize EVEN MY OWN MOTHER could not stand another hanging planter.  Maybe now there's a business for me.

 

I dunno that this kind of crystal ball gazing is possible -- as pp said, in every generation, we always seek to undo much of whatever our parents did, so trying to resist that is like trying to keep back the tide.  It's maybe possible to go "trendy" on easy-and-cheap things to swap out, like paint colors and cabinet knobs and removable stuff like furniture and disposable stuff like hanging baskets, and try to stay in more "classic" territory for more durable and permanent choices.

 

That said, I really concur that

11 hours ago, Bootsie said:

...I think a lot of whether something looks dated depends upon the setting and style of the home.  I rock fireplace with a wood mantel may not look dated in a mountain home, but it would look dated in a home on Houston. A sliding glass door can look dated in one home but lovely in a more contemporary-style home with a gorgeous view.

White subway tiles will *never* go out of style in NYC apartments: my MIL was an interior designer in the 1970s and 80s and that was her favorite then; they were still classic when my impeccable-taste SIL set her Forever Apartment up in the 1990s; and they're still classic now... because for that setting, they really are classic.  But outside of NYC apartments, they were a trend, a trend that maybe now is over.

In my area, the most common type of house by a YUGE margin is (various variants of) center hall Colonial.  Whether a house is 150 years old or brand new, it will have: mullion windows, hardwood floors throughout, crown moldings, overhead chandelier-style lighting in most of the rooms.  These elements are baseline and classic and universal then and now; variations like the two-story cathedral ceiling in the foyer, or the huge open layout kitchen/family room with oversize stone hearth, or the McMansion McSpa master bathroom, read now as "dated."

An Adirondack-style or timber-frame house actually *in the mountains* will always register as timeless. Less so here in the suburbs.

 

And most of all: You're building your dream house. Don't try to design around impossible forecasts about resale. Build to how you do live, how you best foresee you will live 15 or 20 years down the lane, surround yourself with what you love.

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48 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Some of the best advise I ever heard was to redo a room per year so that you never have a fully outdated home.  That is not so easy with flooring though, especially in open floor plans.  I guess flooring could be it’s own ‘room’. 

See, I don’t enjoy the process, so this would just mean that I was always doing it and always unhappy.  Not good.

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Somehow I missed the gray walls in the 90s.  I wonder if that was a regional thing or if I was just oblivious.  At least in the early to mid 90s all the walls were still peach in my area.  Bathroom tiles were brown and tan through the 90s, with brass-tone fixtures.

So often I hear people talk about their updating expenses as being investments in their home's value.  Often it is only going to impact resale value if you are immediately selling your home.  No, the shag carpeting your grandmother put in over her hardwood floors in the 1970s did not increase the value of her home when she sold the house in 2010.  

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9 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

See, I don’t enjoy the process, so this would just mean that I was always doing it and always unhappy.  Not good.

That would be a really bad nightmare for me. It would mean I'd never be able to sit back and relax and enjoy my home. Personally, I give not one rip if something is outdated, as long as I like it. 

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57 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Some of the best advise I ever heard was to redo a room per year so that you never have a fully outdated home.  That is not so easy with flooring though, especially in open floor plans.  I guess flooring could be it’s own ‘room’. 

This would drive me batty.  First, I am not sure why I would care that my home is "fully outdated"--especially compared to being 70% outdated.  I would rather have a fully updated house once every 10 years than do 10% of the house every year (if I were even in to making sure things are updated).  But the mismatch of brass door knobs in part of the house and silver fixtures in one bathroom and white light switches in part of the house with cream colored in other parts would feel like a constant state of disrepair.

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47 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

See, I don’t enjoy the process, so this would just mean that I was always doing it and always unhappy.  Not good.

I don’t enjoy spending $$$$ on it. I like getting something new because the old one is broken or vastly underperforming, but the thought of throwing out cabinets or appliances or flooring that is perfectly fine because that color isn’t trendy anymore is something I can’t stand. 

Sometimes I wonder if we will renovate our house before putting it on the market. Im leaning towards no, because for one thing, there’s that change-one-change-all problem and also, I think I may update it and the new owners will decide it’s not to their taste and will trash brand-new stuff for something different. 

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12 hours ago, klmama said:

I started liking my home decor a lot more when I quit trying for a particular look and just started using things I liked.  

There's a side of me that thinks it would be fun to do a "style", but I think I'd do it in a vacation place or something, kwim? Something smaller where you could change it out when you got bored. 

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I think of a simple white mantel with red fireplace bricks as a timeless look in many homes (of course it would look out of place in a mountain lodge or a in Taos).  We were selling a house that was over 80 years old a couple of years ago.  Some of the brick skirt around the fire place was damaged and we were wanting to repair it.  We searched high and low for some classic, red brick type of tile, or something similar and had a difficult time finding anything that matched.  No, we didn't want glass tile or some other trendy look.  Some of the "everyone puts in the same tile" simply has to do with what is easily available when it does come time to fix something. 

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13 minutes ago, Quill said:

Sometimes I wonder if we will renovate our house before putting it on the market.

Your realtor will tell you what to do. A little bit (flooring, neutral paint if something is extreme in a direction) can make a difference, sure. With a kitchen though, yeah that can happen where a change in that is not even liked by the next person. My mother once bought a house that had been on the market for three years because it was ORANGE. Like a pumpkin! They bought it and had it repainted, lol. So some things need to change for a sale. :biggrin:

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I don't care if the house is dated unless I'm getting ready to sell it. Then, I'll do things that are quick and easy fixes, but nothing substantial because the biggest wastes I've seen are when people try to update to sell and then the buyers come in and change it all anyway! I change things when I have to or if I hate it, but I can live with a lot because renovating and redecorating is expensive. I painted almost every room in this home since moving in, but that's because the colors reminded me of a particularly unpleasant situation we'd been in. It was cleansing.

I've been seeing so many people in our area redoing perfectly functional staircases. Is that the trend everywhere? One person will put a picture up of their transformation and 20 people will ask who did it, how much, and say they want in.  People will have solid oak wood stairs and handrails/bannisters and paint the risers white, stain the treads dark, and replace the rails with wrought iron. Having grown up in a home with a wrought iron staircase, I am confident those will not age as well as what they had. Actually, my MIL told me I needed to do that to our stairs the first time she came to see our new house. I don't get it- that's a huge amount of work and money. And then what? I'll have to stain the entire main level's floors to match! 

We just renovated our kitchen because it was a health hazard and every day I wanted to scream about some poor design choices it had. We tried to stay at or below budget so we got white subway tiles because it was the cheapest and they were fine quality. The fancy stuff we preferred would have blown our budget. I don't know if the tiles will date the house, but I think they should be at least inoffensive. Who knows if someone would have liked the mosaics I was looking at. Our cabinets and counters are similarly plain. I think overall that busier and louder colors and prints will age more quickly, but those are also sometimes the things that people love about their homes or that give it character. You can't win. One person's classic is another person's boring. 

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6 minutes ago, Paige said:

 

I've been seeing so many people in our area redoing perfectly functional staircases. Is that the trend everywhere? One person will put a picture up of their transformation and 20 people will ask who did it, how much, and say they want in.  People will have solid oak wood stairs and handrails/bannisters and paint the risers white, stain the treads dark, and replace the rails with wrought iron. Having grown up in a home with a wrought iron staircase, I am confident those will not age as well as what they had. Actually, my MIL told me I needed to do that to our stairs the first time she came to see our new house. I don't get it- that's a huge amount of work and money. And then what? I'll have to stain the entire main level's floors to match! 

 

We bought a house last year--it is almost 100 years old and has been added on to/updated so many times we don't know what the original footprint was.  The staircase that was added when a second floor addition was built has wrought iron--that looks so dated to me.  I have been wondering if we go to the expense of updating it--I guess maybe I am in style and didn't even know it.  

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Some of the best advise I ever heard was to redo a room per year so that you never have a fully outdated home.  That is not so easy with flooring though, especially in open floor plans.  I guess flooring could be it’s own ‘room’. 

This is a nightmare scenario for me. I’d feel like Sisyphus. I think the trick is to do what you like and outgrow caring what other people might think of your house. 🤣

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When I go in cleaning mode (which is not always, haha) I sit in a room and go ok, if I wanted to spend $100 max (pick an amount), what could I do to freshen this room? And then I might go buy some plants, put up a picture collage frame, hit the antique stores for something cute. And then, since I'm not a fast cleaner, haha, I repeat that in the next room a week or two later. 

So I try to freshen my rooms, but I don't just toss everything and redo. Just adding to the layers. Of course I'm a very pokey decorator. Maybe I don't have up enough stuff for it to look "out" haha. Like fenton and cacti, how "out" can they be?? I guess fenton is very out, but I decided it's back in. I have an indecent amount of it and line it up, which means it's now back in. At least it's not bells. My grandma had BELLS in her bay window, and I see no point. But, you know, more power to the person with that collection. I line up glass chickens, so who am I to talk? :biggrin:

Ok, so I'll make a confession. Sometimes I stop and look around my house and wonder what someone ELSE would do to it if they were there. It's an interesting exercise. But I'm still not taking out my chickens and fenton over it. I just see if any of the answers are something I would like, lol.

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10 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I line up glass chickens, so who am I to talk? :biggrin:

Surely you realize that you can't make a comment like that and not share a photo!  I've never seen a glass chicken, much less a flock of them.  Please?

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15 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

 

Ok, so I'll make a confession. Sometimes I stop and look around my house and wonder what someone ELSE would do to it if they were there. It's an interesting exercise. But I'm still not taking out my chickens and fenton over it. I just see if any of the answers are something I would like, lol.

I don't even have to wonder.

We just bought our "mid-century modern" (??) house in August. It is NOT open concept. The kitchen & dining are on the back side of the house with a whole wall and staircase to the basement between them and the living room. 
 

I fell in love with the house because of the storage! So much storage (except for the kitchen which needs more!) All of that lovely storage is in those center walls between back and front of the house. A fantastic deep pantry over the stairs which is amazing for vacuums, mops, cleaning supplies, and small appliances (instant pot, coffeemaker, etc.), a huge linen closet with shelves, and a same sizes closet for coats beside it.

The most common comment I get about the house after they marvel over the amount of storage... "I wonder if you could knock out those walls between the living room and dining room to open it up more."

😳😳 It's as if they don't realize those walls contain all that marvelous storage they just gushed about. 😖Not to mention that I LIKE having the living room separate from the clanging and banging of the kitchen.

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