New trends in interior design often set off a flurry of activity, with home builders and remodelers hurrying to jump on the bandwagon with the “latest and greatest.”
Some are attractive – but in practical use prove not to have been such wise ideas. Among those trends are:
Dark wood floors
They look sleek and sophisticated – as long as they’ve been dusted and polished within the last five minutes. Every speck of dust or lint shows – as do footprints. And if you have pets – so does every toenail scratch.
A lighter shade is a better choice for most homeowners.
Again, it looks beautiful when brand new, but unless you simply don’t use your furniture, it can’t stay that way for long. Spills happen. That’s simply a fact of life no one can escape. We can’t even imagine white upholstery in a home with pets or children, but even sophisticated adults are apt to spill a bit of wine or cocktail sauce from time to time.
Marble counter tops
What the sales person won’t tell you is that it isn’t actually made to be used in a kitchen. Marble is porous, so the stain from the wine or the tomato sauce you spilled is there to stay. It also scratches easily, so when used in everyday cooking, will soon have etched areas where the polish has worn off.
You can seal it, but that won’t protect it completely, so you’ll have to be ever-vigilant about using soft mats and scrubbing off every spill as it happens.
If you love the look, consider quartz instead. It’s non-porous, doesn’t scratch, and some versions look almost identical to marble.
It’s great for an accent, but if you plan to sell that house, skip doing an entire room. Wallpaper is a highly personal choice, and your buyer isn’t likely to love what you chose. Even if you’re planning to stay for the next 20 years, think twice. Removing it when you’re ready for a change is much more difficult than installing it.
And in the bathroom… Two of the latest trends are proving to be far from good ideas.
Do you really want to soak your hair every time you step in the shower? What if you just came from the hairdresser?
If you love this idea, go ahead and install a rain showerhead, but make sure you ALSO install a normal showerhead and give users a choice of which to use when showering. This could turn out to be a “make it or break it” feature when you decide to sell your home.
Yes, many people today prefer showers and wouldn’t consider getting into a bathtub. But some day you might want to sell that home to a person who loves a good bubble bath – or a person with small children. A home with no bathtub will be eliminated from consideration immediately.
Our advice: Leave at least one bathtub in close proximity to the bedrooms.
Before you decide to jump on the latest trend…
Think about the practicality. Will this trend make life in the house easier and more pleasant, or will it add to the work load?
And, since most people do move at some point, think about the resale value. Is this change something the majority of buyers would embrace, or is it so specialized that your buyer pool will shrink?
Latest and greatest is nice – but will it still seem nice five years from now?