Home Style Choices and Trends to Avoid
Okay, okay, admittedly this could also be headlined “trends I hate and don’t want to see anymore,” and that would probably be more honest. As someone who often claims I don’t discriminate on the basis of style (since I generally think almost anything can shine in the right place), this all may seem a bit out of left field. Maybe it’s because I had two toddlers screaming at me all morning and their grouchiness is contagious? I don’t know, but what I do know is that even when I’m in a good mood, these trends make me angry and/or sad.
French Country Kitchens (done American Style)
There is nothing wrong with a legit French country kitchen. But the above? That isn’t ‘French country.’ That is ‘American French country’ and as far as I’m concerned while we AMerican’s label the French ‘rude’, calling this monstrosity “French” proves we’re the rude ones. I mean, OUCH.
Here is what an actual French country kitchen looks like:
Pretty! Simple! Functional! Lovely. This post from Laurel Home is PURE GOLD about why this style is the worst. But in a nutshell, this style has got too much, way too much, going on. Don’t do it! Don’t insult the French!
This is just NOT CHIC. It is fake-old. It is one of only two things Joanna Gaines consistently does that me no likey. WHY would you make something look old when it isn’t? There’s plenty of old, scuffed up furniture in this world already. If you go to the trouble of repainting furniture, why would you scuff it up instead of having nice fresh painted furniture???
We have cabinets in our kitchen that are faux-antiqued and it drives me NUTS. They have a black crackle finish like the above, sanded spots – it’s some nonsense. Especially in a house like ours where so much is legit super old – WHY would you do this to innocent furniture?
I look at this and just see broken glass and paint chips. NOPE.
“Italian” or “Mediterranean” Kitchens
Blah. See French country above. Here is a real Italian/Mediterranean kitchen in the actual region:
And this is what we Americans do to it:
Like, remember Carmela Soprano’s kitchen?
DON’T DO THIS.
Travertine & Tumbled Tile
This is the go-to tile for house flippers, contractors, and people born prior to 1970 alike. Don’t do this to your bathroom, or kitchen – please! It gets even worse when we’re talking about ‘faux travertine’ (I see you, Home Depot!), which are essentially printed porcelain made to look like these hideous brown tiles.
As a corollary to this are tumbled tiles, which are basically shabby chic in tile form. These are fake-chipped tiles. WHY. If you have a zellige tile that’s designed to wear and tear, that’s one thing. But to faux age tile? That you PAY for? No comprendo.
Giant Tiles on Bathroom Floors
I say this from experience: if you put giant tiles on a bathroom floor, it makes the floor slippery, and you will fall. If you put smaller tiles, with grout, the grout stops you from falling. Don’t bruise your butt, use tiles smaller than one foot square.
Are they pretty? Yes! Are they stupid? ABSOLUTELY. There are new products coming to market that supposedly keep marble from absorbing stains which I admittedly haven’t tried, but until these are perfected, STAY AWAY. Or don’t use your kitchen, I guess?
If honed, these will stain, which means they’ll look dirty all the time. If polished, they also etch, meaning you can see every time a drip of wine or lemon touched the surface.
At my old apartment we had an island in a gorgeous marble. It was stunning. It’s the showpiece of the kitchen. Five years later I can say with confidence – NEVER AGAIN.
Words as Décor
It’s a kitchen, so we put up a sign that says EAT! It’s a bedroom, so here’s a sign that says DREAM! I mean, this is creepy over a bed, right?
You know what I say? NO. And for those keeping track, this is the second thing Joanna Gaines does that me-no-can-standey. Otherwise, she is an empire-creating goddess, so, you know, you’re not going to please all the people all the time.
Upholstery with French Stuff on it
This may be a footnote to shabby chic, because this is often found in that style room. But you know how every time you go to HomeGoods, there’s loads of upholstered items with like – the Eiffel tower? Or a bunch of postcards with French cursive on them?
What is the point of these? I know French expatriates can’t be HomeGoods’s #1 customer base, buying all this junk, but they’re the only ones who have an excluse to buy it: “Oh, this reminds me of home, I’m filling my house with this stuff.” For the rest of you? NOPE.
I’m beginning to think we Americans should stay away from all international styles – seems to consistently be a massacre every time we appropriate something!
Those of you who are regular readers know I’m a big fan of rugs. This is because they are beautiful, and because I’m always cold. If you live in South Florida, or Arizona, or SoCal or something and want to wander barefoot on cold floors – fine, that’s your choice. But for the rest of you? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOUR FEET? Why would you do this to your rooms? Rugs are the best.
Okay, this has been very cathartic, but I think I’d better stop before I go from ‘catharsis’ to ‘rage.’ But I know there will be a sequel!