Reno of the Month: Dated design elements in your home — Part 2

Before & After. (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Well, last month’s “Design Elements That Are Dating Your Home” column clearly struck a chord with many local homeowners! We heard from lots of people who shared other items they think are ready for a new, fresh twist. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some other dated items homeowners want to switch up when it comes time for their next home remodel or refresh!

Kitchen Desks

We’ve lost count of how many of these we’ve pulled out of homes in recent years! The kitchen desk seemed like such a great addition when it became ‘in’. However, many homeowners just never used them and they became a dumping zone rather than a work zone. When the COVID pandemic and lockdown happened, most people didn’t want to work at a desk in a small space facing a wall, so the home office/dining room got more attention as a work zone and the kitchen desk was abandoned. If you’re thinking of a kitchen remodel, we say replace the kitchen desk if you don’t use it. Put that square footage to better use!

Closet Pantry

There was a time when homes in this area weren’t built without a closet pantry. Although they are useful, they take up A LOT of square footage and because of their layout (not to mention an added door in a small space), things tend to disappear into the back of them, never to see the light of day again. Closet pantries are now being replaced with pull-out pantry cabinets instead. Got room for a separate pantry? Lucky you! The pantry has become a curated space in its own right and we LOVE it!

Platform Tubs in the Primary Bathroom

We’ve been saying this for a while, but the days of oversized platform tubs are gone. Taking their place are free-standing soaking tubs — or no tub at all! If you love a good soak, then the new style of tub is a great addition to your primary bathroom, but it’s no longer a ‘must-have’. Many homeowners are foregoing the tub altogether and creating large, glass shower enclosures instead. If you simply must have a tub, the trend of having a glass enclosure that has both the shower and the tub in one ‘wet’ zone has also been showing up everywhere in recent years.

When it comes to resale, many prospective buyers may want a tub somewhere in the home for kids (and yes, sometimes, pets!), but it is no longer a requirement to have a tub in the primary bathroom.

Heavy dark wood furniture with ornate iron work

This is SO hard to write, because there was a time when this style was EVERYWHERE! However, when it comes to furniture, ornate scrollwork is no longer in demand. The same thing goes for railings. The trend now is a minimal look and streamlined finishes instead.

While we are on this topic, the same thing goes for sleigh beds. Yes, we said it. Sleigh beds can be lovely but they date a space.

Small, Square Tiles

Whether on floors or countertops, the time has come to get rid of those small, square tiles! Small tiles have the opposite effect than intended: they actually make a space look smaller than it is. Large format floor tile or engineered hardwood (if it’s a concrete slab) are the way to go for floors. We’ve never been a fan of small tile on countertops. The grout is impossibly hard to keep clean.

That’s not to say all square tile is out — there are so many new finishes and ways of using square tiles, it’s all about implementation and design inspiration! Take a look at the examples below to see what we mean!

80s Leather & Pastel Furniture

Comfortable? Yes! Outdated? Also yes! We love leather furniture, but the time for the ‘puffy’ leather style is over. There is a new trend for ‘marshmallow’ furniture, but we think a choice of a more classic piece will stand the test of time better than some of these more recent “fads”.

Dark brown and brass kitchens

We mentioned the end of the days of polished brass used everywhere in last month’s post, and this goes hand-in-hand with heavy dark wood kitchens. That is NOT to say all dark wood kitchens are a thing of the past, but there is definitely a more modern way to do it. New kitchen not in your budget? Update your cabinet handles/pulls, lighting and faucets to help lighten the look.

There is also a general move away from all white kitchens (as in white kitchen cabinets, white backsplash, white countertop, white island). Although an all white kitchen is still a classic look, wood kitchens and color/wood combination kitchens are making a comeback. We love the look of wood kitchens and the new twist on them.

Wood paneling

This is another one that is so hard to say goodbye to if you love wood! However, the wood paneling so common in the 70s and 80s needs to go. If you like the look of wood, replace it with wainscoting or custom paneling instead which are still hugely popular and a beautiful look.

Wallpaper borders

Wallpaper borders were definitely a thing. I even helped my mother put one up in our hall many, many moons ago and we loved it for such a long time. But, just as I have aged, so has this trend! If you have a wallpaper border, it’s probably time to get rid of it and update your space. There is a renewed interest in wallpaper borders, but revamped for 2022 and it’s all about placement, layering and color choice. Not sure of the difference? Take a look at the examples below.

Note! Wallpaper is definitely trending and we LOVE wallpaper. However, like everything else, the styles have been updated with fresh and interesting patterns and colors. Don’t be afraid to go big in small spaces — wallpaper also works in small rooms, especially powder rooms.

Textured Ceilings

We’re not entirely sure why popcorn ceilings ever became a thing but they are, most definitely, a thing of the past. At one time, it might have been an easier way to finish ceilings this way but, if you can afford it, it’s worth remedying and scraping/sanding them to bring your space right up to date. We also love some of the clever ideas to cover popcorn ceilings with beadboard, wood planks or other finishing materials.

We don’t think popcorn ceilings are a trend that will ever come back, so it is money well spent to get rid of them.

As a local home remodeler, we’re all about creating beautiful spaces that stand the test of time. We only work on custom residential interior home remodels including whole homes, kitchens, bathrooms and basements. Ready to take the first step on your home remodeling journey? Get in touch!