You are listening to episode 11 of the Decorate Like a Design Boss podcast. Is your home dated? How on earth did that happen? Seems like just yesterday it felt fresh and brand new. Well, on today’s episode I’m going to share some ways that you can update your home and bring it back into the new.
Welcome to Decorate Like a Design Boss, a podcast for design lovers who want to create beautiful spaces in their very own homes. My name is Kimberly Grigg and I’m a professional interior designer who teaches design lovers like yourselves how to decorate. And when I say decorate I mean decorate like a design boss. If you’re ready to create a space that your family loves and your neighbors can’t stop raving about well, buckle up honey because it’s time to design.
Well, hello there, design lovers. Thanks for joining me on the design lovers lover’s lane. And I’ve got an episode that just might help you turn your space from drab to fab. When opening up a discussion about homes being dated, please know that it’s almost impossible to prevent this from happening. While we all crave homes that are current and fresh, and actually for that matter are timeless, but making this happen can be a big challenge.
So, I first want to talk about making decisions that are right for your home. This will help prevent you from falling into the dated trap in the future. We’re looking for timeless decisions right from the get-go. Here’s a good rule of thumb, if something is really hot, and I mean really hot, very much a trend, it’s going to date you even faster. This is typically a trend. And trends can fade fast and get you into a lot of trouble. If you’re going for timeless, then don’t follow trends.
Let me give you an example, about two to three years ago we couldn’t install barn doors, meaning my company, for clients fast enough. Just a couple of short years later they’re already trending out. Soon they will be known as those hideous barn door things that we did in 2019. It was an ever so hot trend, yet it was just that. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have installed lots of barn doors, rustic ones, French ones, and even ones made to look modern.
I love the concept. It’s actually wonderful if you have the wall space for them. But for me, I think this trend should follow the style and mood of the home, and actually not be very barn door-ish in its style at all. Hence that’s why I had French looking barn doors in a French décor, and modern ones in a modern décor, because they served a great purpose. But I wanted them to be in keeping with the style and the décor of the home. This means that they will be timeless.
Another trend that was so huge, but is also trending out is, drumroll please, farmhouse everything. Joanna Gaines has made this such a hit. And it has been so hot. But when a trend is this hot it also dies quickly. And then you’re left scratching your head about why your home looks dated. Now, don’t get me wrong. If your design DNA tells you that farmhouse is your style, and it’s you, and you want to withstand the test of time lavishing in this style. Then this goes from being a trend for you to actually being a classic that will stay with you.
But my suspicion is for many of you that this was hot because it was hot. And that you joined in on this train because it was a big whopping trend. I could go on and on. But my point is, when decorating in a timeless manner, ask yourself, am I buying this or decorating like this because I love it? Or am I being influenced and swayed by maybe the media, or Pinterest, or magazines, and the like? Do I genuinely love this? And can I continue to love it for the next 10 plus years? Or am I jumping on a trend for the sake of being cool, or hip, or trendy, or because I am being influenced?
Now, of course everything will become dated after a while, even if it’s not a trend. This can happen also not because the style is wrong, or it was a passing trend, but because of simply wear and tear. Homes are something that need attention and they’ll need to be updated no matter what. This just comes with home ownership. Sometimes just because things wear out or look worn and tattered, we have to update.
So, I would like to suggest that no matter what your style is, that you consider adding a touch of the classic version of the style, the style that you love with a touch of edginess. Add the edge or whatever that trending style might be in the form of pillows and accessories. These harder to change items like tile, countertops, flooring, and anything structural should be more timeless. Then you can enhance and show off your style or the trend by the furnishings and accessories that you choose.
So, let’s take the trending farmhouse style for example. Let’s say you love this style. I might pass on the barn door look which is so popular in this style. And I would probably pass on the shiplap unless I did one accent wall in a room like a bedroom. I would also limit the subway tile. Even though subway has been around for years and is considered a bit of a classic, right now everyone is doing it. And I think in the future we’ll look back on this and consider that subway tile is a part of the 2019 to 2021 trend and will become a part of that era.
Instead, I would use the color palette of the farmhouse movement if this appeals to you, which is white with a little green blue, and blue greens. But I would switch up all of my base materials to non-farmhouse. Then you can add farmhouse accessories and in a couple more years when the wave has completely passed, switch up the accessories. And your home will actually be fresh and current. And it will be much easier to change out the small things rather than the large things. Make sense? Well, I sure hope so.
Alright, now let’s get to the list of things that are dating your home and what you can do about them.
Number one, wallpaper borders. This is a big old no, no. Honestly, I didn’t like them when they were on trend, and I certainly think that they spend way too much time breaking up a space. The easy fix, remove them. Chances are they’re attached to a wallpaper that’s on the wall, and I’m sure it too is doing you no favors. Remove them both and start all over. I love wallpaper and it can be a game changer as long as it is current, and beautiful, and goes with the style, and function, and mood that you’re trying to create in your home.
Number two, blinds. Okay, this one could be a sleeper, and you may not even know that it’s happening. I just replaced the two inch wooden blinds in my bedroom for this very reason. One day I just looked over at those dust collecting suckers and simply said, “You got to go. It’s time.” If you have blinds, especially the micro minis and/or the verticals. Please kiss them goodbye if you want to update your home.
Instead, opt for roman shades and/or other types of shades like bamboo and/or fabric shades. If privacy and light are a concern, this is a good solution. Or if you want a more luxurious feel try draw drapes. They’re wonderful. Plantation type shutters are especially lovely but they work best if you don’t have a view. Their horizontal lines really can interfere with your vision to the great outdoors.
Now we’re at number three. Colored carpet. While color is making a huge comeback, unless it’s a newer fancy version of colored carpet it’s time to make a change. For almost the same money you can install LVP, which is luxury vinyl plank and that can be installed without too much fuss and it has a real hardwood feeling. Or change your carpet to what I love, which is a patterned neutral. This is a win and looks fresh and can do wonders for updating your space.
Number four, do you have carpet in your bathroom? If this is something that is happening in your home then stop it immediately. Whatever you have to do to get that out and changed to some sort of stone or tile is a necessity. Posthaste, nothing dates a house more than carpet in a bathroom. Under no circumstance is this a win. Beyond the typical sanitary reasons, it just looks plain awful. And on this, enough said.
Alright, we’re at number five. Stained trim. If your home has a ton of stained trim running through it, it might be time to paint it. In homes like this it can feel a bit overwhelming. However, updating the stain to a paint finish will make everything feel fresh and new again. And the result will be nothing short of stunning and refreshing.
Outdated hardware is number six. But this one is such an easy fix and such a win. By simply changing your knobs, doorhandles, and even plumbing fixtures, you can create a wonderful feeling of refreshed and this is as easy as an afternoon project.
Number seven is builder grade light fixtures, especially those nipple fixtures. Look up, are your light fixtures weighing you down? Do they look insignificant? Or do they look weird? Do they look too small? Do they look heavy? Do they look like a builder grade product? Well, if the answer to any of these questions is yes, then run, don’t walk to your favorite lighting source, and replace these.
Your lighting should reflect your style and the style of your home. They shouldn’t go unnoticed just because they came with the home you purchased 25 years ago. Take the plunge and replace them. This is an instant update and one that I promise you won’t regret.
Number eight is ceiling fans with those dangly fancy dancy scrolling light fixtures attached to them, those light kits. These things look like they came from a Victorian era, and even if your home is a Victorian style, then it’s time to opt for a cleaner lined, more sophisticated ceiling fan. It’s a must.
Now, I am going to go down the ceiling fan debate road, not going to go down it right now. But if you want and have ceiling fans, go with ones that are most likely to go away on your ceiling. You don’t want fans that call attention to themselves. But instead, you want more slimline ones that get the job done, but don’t cause any interference with the remainder of the décor. Those dangle swirly light things are an eyesore, and they just need to be gone. We’ll have an episode soon on ceiling fans, but for now, let’s just stick to the no light kit option, unless the light kit is rather obscure.
And now we’re at number nine which is cultured marble bathrooms. Updating your bathrooms is something that will simply need to be done in 20 or so years, no matter what. It just comes with the territory. If you have a bathroom with cultured marble sinks and etc., then consider replacing those with tile and stone. You’ll thank yourself for this upgrade and update.
Number 10 is often on many list, and it is faux plants and flowers. Vanish them, enough said. They are dust collectors. Opt instead for fresh flowers and if you have a green thumb, fresh plants. Preserved greenery is more acceptable than faux. But if you are looking for height in a space, consider a pedestal and maybe placing something sculptural on top. You can also consider live orchids and/or fresh flowers to replace the faux flowers that you have in your spaces. And if you have ivy on top of your cabinets, get it down before I come over. Nothing is dating your space worse than dusty old fake ivy.
And number 11, recliners that look like recliners. There are so many great products on the market in this category. I say if you want a reclining chair, have a reclining chair. But just consider an upgrade if your recliner is easily spotted as a recliner and is a bit of an eyesore in your spaces. There are some products that are so sleek and lovely that make reclining a beautiful thing. Take a look around at the plethora of these styles of chairs that are in the marketplace today.
So, what can we take away from today’s lesson? These are a few of my top things that I have noticed that can date your spaces. Of course, there are many others, but these are the ones that I see the most often. I am hoping that the solutions will inspire you to give your home a once over and bring it back into the now.
Remember, start slowly and bite off what you can chew. It didn’t get dated overnight and you don’t have to un-date it overnight. Take your time and consider the classic versions of the styles you love most. And then it will be easy to add elements of what is trending in the form of accents. This will go a long way in keeping you from dating yourself all over again.
So, this is going to wrap up episode 11. Your reviews are making me melt, so please keep them coming. Remember, I am giving away my favorite monkey bowl accessory to three lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the podcast. This guy will surely add just the update you are looking for. You can find out all about the contest by going to kimberlygriggdesigns.com/podcastlaunch.
So, with that I like to say, don’t wait, today is a great day to decorate. I’ll see you next time, until then, bye for now.
Thanks for listening to Decorate Like a Design Boss, if you want more info on how to decorate your space like a pro visit kimberlygriggdesigns.com. See you next week.