Reader Remarks

Reader Remarks: So Over! 2013 Edition

Part of keeping up a blog is keeping things organized.  And then after a few hundred posts or so, you sometimes forget what you’ve spoken about.  But thanks to a little attempt at cleaning up things around here, I rediscovered an older post that I had a lot of fun getting your feedback on:

Every year, there are a number of home decor trends.  Some are a revival of a trend from yesteryear (hello, subway tile).  Some are just fun to sprinkle around the house for a season (provided it can be done inexpensively or with minimal effort, like arrows on a pillow or your preschooler’s handiwork on a a cheap picture frame that you call “ikat” because it kind of looks like that when you squint really hard).  And some simply leave us scratching our heads as to how in the hell they are so damn popular.  Take for example, my least favorite trend last time is still true today:  the sunburst mirror.  With rare exception (like the one below made from vintage Barbies), there isn’t much I find impressive about them.  They’re easy to DIY, and I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I’m not a fan.  They seemed to overtake the blogosphere before I got the chance to like them, so I was soon thinking sheesh, another sunburst mirror?

The rare exception to my sunburst mirror rule.

So, how about we have a little fun like that again?  Considering that it was more than two years ago when I first asked this question (and I’m not even on Formspring anymore), there may be a few new readers who would love to throw in their two cents this time around.  Like last time, I’ll start:

so glad I don't have to keep calm anymore

This one’s hard to confess, because I used to be strongly considering it for my own kitchen, and I still admire what a few other bloggers have done with this trend.  But for my own home, I’m 99% percent sure I’m over the whole chalkboard paint thing and want to go in a different direction.  If you’re at all on the fence like I am, a wall decal (like this one I spotted from Urban Outfitters) might be the way to go.

Again, I think it’s because of the frequency of seeing it.  I’m sure there are plenty of you who also still admire it, too.  But just like the shabby chic look, not everyone is going to have the same opinion, and that’s what makes a post like this all the more fun!

Ok, now, it’s your turn!

What popular home decor trend do you just not get?

(Remember, we’re talking opinions, not trashing someone else’s project or going overboard.  So please be careful not to be “that commenter” who gets immediately deleted.)

Never Miss a Post


  1. says

    The whole thing with all white all the time. I do admit I think it is pretty a lot of the time, but it is so unrealistic for me in my house filled with three children, a messy husband, and a dog. It is never going to happen!

  2. Karen says

    I don’t get Ikat and tired of chevron. I don’t want to buy household goods from Target anymore! LOL I think that’s a bit of the issue with reading DIY/decor blogs, you get inundated with the trend and so it seems everyone is doing it.

    Also, gallery walls, of people especially. It’s just too much for me.

  3. JulieW says

    I am so over the words/definitions on the wall. Eat Pray Love. Who cares. How about some useful ones for a change, like “Use the damn trash can!” To sweetly remind your forgetful husband. Or “Don’t yell at the kids!” When they have destroyed the room YOU JUST PICKED UP in the time it took you to make dinner. And I certainly don’t need the definition of Laundry in my laundry room. I barely have time to do the laundry as it is and quite frankly if my walls know the definition, then they can do a little bit of laundry for me.

    • Jess says

      Haha, SO true!!

      My cousin had to hang up one of those “Laugh Live Love” signs in the spa salon belonging to his loopy girlfriend and even loopier and completely vile mother. She used to take advantage of his position as “her daughter’s boyfriend” do get him to do a ton of handyman work and never pay him.

      I want in as he’s hanging them and he turns around and says to me “fuck this! I’m going to make my own damn signs that reflect real life – Work work work!”

  4. says

    I can’t quite wrap my head around the chalkboard thing. All I see is chalk-dust carried throughout the house.

    And this new polished brass trend? I don’t get that.

    • Leslie Ross says

      I’m with you on the brass thing! It just screams 80s/90s to me – and I have no desire to go back to that, especially since it can look so crappy and so fake. Give me ORB or polished chrome anyday – just no brass!

  5. Emma says

    I think these have already phased themselves out a little, and I actually enjoy the accent in my bathroom I re-did, but small glass tile. I think that’s a trend that’s moving out and I’m really OKAY with it.
    Brass is coming back in and it makes me shiver. I really can’t stand brass and gold (which goes almost hand in hand with the neon clothing trends)
    and I’ve personally never been a fan of the modern, simple, styled furniture – but that’s just me.

  6. Elaissa says

    Painted wall maps and chalkboard paint everywhere! One in the kitchen to keep a grocery list or to-do list is fine, but all over the house! yuck!

  7. shells says

    this is soooo much fun!….here we go
    1) Distressed furniture/shabby chic- I think that plays into my dislike for all things fake, genuine vintage is AWESOME, but beating something to make it look old just seems so odd to me
    2) Pallet wood anything- I don’t hate it, but it’s a fine line. I think many DIY projects I’ve see look awesome, if you have a mansion and the odd quirky rustic element…in is lesser house they can just look like trash- reminds me of my wooden beer crated turned on it’s side for a sideboard table when I was dirt poor in college, looked like turds, but in the right house would probably be artistic
    3) While I do like white painted kitchen cabinets, I still think there is a warmth and timelessness in great wood cabinets (not ick 60’s oak, which we are currently living with)
    4) chalk board: eek, the sound of even chalk on a chalk board makes me CRINGE
    5) polished brass- don’t get that either
    6) words anywhere on walls- don’t know why, but just not my thing

    now for the things I’m totally on the follow-the-sheep bandwagon with
    Industrial: can’t get enough of beautiful figured wood combined with steel (I’m a woodworker, might explain why I have pallet wood snobbery!…..gorgeous grain in hand polished wood makes me tingle….sad I know).
    Concrete: concrete anything, we did a polished concrete counter in our bathroom reno, it’s held up well with no staining, and I’m in LOVE- will do our kitchen counters next
    wallpaper: I can’t even believe I like it! but in small doses it can works miracles on the mood of a room- and with the modern easy peel stuff I’m not too worried about tearing it down if I get tired of it.
    Outdoor rooms: I little summer oasis in the back yard with a fire pit, seating and an outdoor kitchen with awesome landscaping (I can dream). We have a tiny house (1100 sqft), with a huge yard….both are a work in progress

    • Nikki says

      Did you DIY your concrete counter? We would love to do concrete counters in our kitchen, but I’m still on the fence about the best way to go about it. Any advice you have would be welcome! Also, did you stain the concrete, or just polish it? Thanks!

      • shells says

        Oh my gosh- I really don’t need any encouragement to preach about concrete counters!
        If you do your homework/research they are super easy (I completely DIY’d, husband helped with pouring and lifting though) and sooooo cool: these were my experiences

        I went into my first concrete project with the “even if it turns out blotchy and full of cracks I’ll consider it art” outlook, but actually it was the opposite, it’s totally gorgeous and professional looking -I think so anyway ;-)- I’m convinced the only reason it turned out so well is because I bought Cheng’s DIY concrete book, he gives a step by step process and I followed it almost to the letter (google Cheng concrete his stuff is amazing!). I used menards concrete counter mix, don’t use regular concrete- it doesn’t have enough tensile strength, and mixed a small amount of charcoal grey dye in the concrete (to give a medium grey) and sprinkled chipped marble and black stone in the bottom before pouring (I mixed with a shovel in a wheel barrow liner….HUGE messy pain in the but- rent a mixer), after the concrete is cured we removed the mold (concrete is HEAVY need at least a couple of people) and within a week polished with a wet polisher with diamond pads (this was the most expensive part- I think I paid $150 for the tool and pads, you can rent it, but since I’m planning the kitchen and the countertops on our outdoor patio it didn’t seem like a big deal). After the first polish I went back and filled the micro bubbles (they are unavoidable, your first polish removes the “cream” and reveals little voids) with a concrete slurry. The final finish is so “polished” you can see your reflection in it.

        Total cost breakdown was:
        melamine sheet for form $37
        screws and caulk for the form (already had them)
        2 bags menards concrete counter mix $30
        menards liquid concrte colorant: $8
        rebar reinforcing aprox $10
        Cheng acrylic slurry $25
        Cheng penetrating sealer $26
        Cheng concrete polish $13.50
        total= around $150 ($300 if you include the polishing tool)

        TIPS: 1)make sure to vibrate well if you want to get rid of all the bubbles- you don’t need the concrete vibrating wand that the pros use, an orbital sander with no sandpaper vibrated all around the form works fine. Also, the mix should be way drier than you would think- i.e. when I mixed according to the bag instructions it seemed waaaaay to dry and flakey, but one you start shaking and vibrating the form it kind of flows. If you add too much water it weakens the concrete and you’ll end up with pooled water on top after vibrating
        2) Don’t skimp on reinforcing. I probably overdid it, but a year later still no hairline cracks
        3) buy a good penetrating sealer (not one from the big box stores, I used Cheng’s sealer- you can buy it online).

        hope if helps!

  8. Jess says

    I will never understand the whole “painting upholstery” thing. I just think it seems like a dumb idea, with such a huge number of things that could go wrong. And even if you manage it perfectly, you end up with a somewhat crunchy/crusty chair that I highly doubt anyone could sit in comfortably, especially if they were wearing light clothing or sweating!

    Also, I dislike 99% of accent walls.

  9. says

    Love this topic!

    Shabby chic has got to go! Don’t people want things to look new and in good condition? I especially can’t stand when people do this intentionally to perfectly fine pieces of furniture. I guess its fine if you’re trying to save something but don’t ruin one purposely.

    And for the record, I JUST painted my dining room gray. Couldn’t help myself ;)

  10. Laurie S says

    I don’t get this whole mustache thing..what have I missed?? They have baby clothes with mustaches printed on them, parties themed on mustaches, straws come with a mustache on them to make the user look as if they had one even jewelry. I don’t get it??! I missed something somewhere. I LOVE chalk paint but totally agree on the chalkboard!! Why would you make labels written in chalk, wouldn’t that rub off with handling?

  11. Becky says

    Distressing furniture. As a single mom…all I could afford was used (usually hand me downs).
    It always distressed by the time I got it! I want my furniture to look clean and new!!

  12. Sandy says

    Wow! Really enjoyed reading the comments. I have never liked Chevron. The chalkboard walls are overdone. Not a fan of starburst mirrors. The keep calm thing is overdone. I’ve always hated the Live, Laugh, Love signs. All white rooms are getting to be boring and it would never work in my home. Planked walls and planked headboards. Don’t like themed rooms. Oh, and why would you put a huge EAT sign in your kitchen or dining room? I guess to each their own. After all, we have to do what makes us happy but it is nice to vent about the things we don’t care for. It seems that wooden rocking horses are becoming a trend. I love the rustic french look but it’s getting over done too. I do NOT like real cowhides or other real animals for rugs or hanging on the wall. I think the deer antlers sitting on a table are overdone. I don’t get putting books with the spine facing inward so all the pages match?

    I love an eclectic mix and think we should surround ourselves with things that make us feel good. I tend to stay away from trends when it comes to large expensive items but for an accessory or two it works for me. Subway tile is a classic timeless look. I tend to go with neutral colors when picking out tiles and countertops. I’ve always liked white cabinets. I do like stacks of books sitting on the table. I usually have my hard cover gardening or decorating books stacked on a coffee table.

    This was fun!

  13. Megan says

    Repurposed lighting. Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favor of creative reuse and recycling. Its just that simply “putting a light in it” is gimmicky and and cutesy in an almost shabby chic sort of way. I predict it will soon look dated and contrived. That being said, reusing materials in a way that is design driven rather than trend driven is a great idea. Its greener too as designers can focus their energy on finding creative uses for discarded materials that are in over abundance rather than spending energy and fuel to source individual “repurposeable” on-trend items.

  14. Megan says

    Just one more thing…Library print wallpaper. No, just no. The joy of decorating with books is that they are useful, meaningful and beautiful, all at once. They also add depth (visual and figurative) to a space. And they tell a narrative of your mental travels. The solution to achieving this look? Read more! Oh, and build yourself inexpensive floating shelves. :)

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. Feel free to let your words of wisdom and humor fly (there's no swear jar on this blog), but if you're overly spammy, rude, or just plain boring, you're just going to have to accept that your comment may not see the light of day.