Saturday, June 09, 2012


Maybe it's being 61 years old, but I have a really low tolerance for certain trends in all things (the "bubble" dress? Didn't bother to buy one!).  Where decorating is concerned, I have noticed several trends that I think people will look at in 10 years the way they do the avocado green shag rugs of the '70s.  These trends won't really make it to classic because they have major flaws of some sort: they are impractical, silly, uncomfortable or sometimes just downright ugly. Any one of these marks the trend as something that in 10 years will seem ludicrous.

1.  Burlap: Uncomfortable, scratchy, and overpriced, this humble textile belongs around feedbags, not in your living room.  It's just ugly.

2.  "Deconstructed" furniture - very popular at Restoration Hardware - the new Pottery Barn.  These pieces are quite expensive when you consider that they are upholstered pieces that are not upholstered. Do you really want this (below) in one of your rooms?

3.  The use of animal skins, especially zebra.  Not fond of being reminded of dead animals.  I like my animals alive, and if you've been to Africa and seen zebras in the wild as I have, there's no way you really want them on your floors.  Animals are living beings that live in family groups quite often (yes, I am a vegetarian).  In this country, not many people need to kill animals for food, so the animal skins are not a byproduct of necessity. And even the faux ones bother me.  There's just something callous about using them.

4. Animal heads and antlers - see #3.

5.  Ugly lighting: includes metal fixtures that look as though they belong in an old-fashioned general store.  Lights with the bulb as a focal point.

images from Restoration Hardware
6.  Sunburst mirrors: I can remember when these were in everyone's living room in the '60s (sometimes clocks instead of mirrors).  Everyone has one; don't succumb unless you want your home to look like everyone else's.

7.  Chalkboards and chalkboard paint - except in children's rooms.  One woman actually put little chalkboards in front of decorative items in her living room naming the decorative item.  Chalkboards can be useful if you use them to write messages to your family - otherwise, are they really that decorative? (I spent 25 years writing on chalkboards and lecturing to students.  I have chalkdust in my lungs; chalkboards are for information, not decor.)

8.  Flaking and peeling paint: not attractive when the paint is coming off in huge flakes or barely there to begin with.  This furniture looks as though it came from the houses of the poor of rural Arkansas or Mississippi.  I just don't see the appeal. It's not the same as the gold leaf flaking off a Louis XV.  Often these are pieces that when new would not ever have been welcome in the house.
image from Hoosier Homemade