Current Design Trends That Will Date Your Home

And other trends that are better investments, according to interior designers.

By Devon Thorsby, Editor, Real Estate |Dec. 9, 2015, at 9:27 a.m.

Current Design Trends That Will Date Your Home


Don't age yourself with your design style.

Sofas, coffee table and rustic walls in farmhouse living room

(Getty Images)

The popularity of sites and apps ranging from Instagram, Pinterest and design blogs has given interior design a wider reach than ever before. But before you incorporate all that barn wood into your living room, think about which design trends will be better investments in the long run, and which will have people coming into your home a decade from now saying, “Ugh, it looks like 2015 in here.”

The ‘All White Everything’ in the kitchen may be short-lived.

The ‘All White Everything’ in the kitchen may be short-lived.

Modern white and clean kitchen interior with stools at counter

(Getty Images)

Pristine white kitchens have been common over the last few years, and while they certainly look clean, the trend is already evolving. Kirsten Grove, a Boise, Idaho-based interior designer known for her blog Simply Grove, warns the all-white kitchen can get old fast, even if it’s still in style, “Ten years ago I wanted an all-white kitchen with white counters and white hardware. Everything was white. And I think I was over it in six months," she says. "It was too sterile.”

'Almost' all white will last longer.

'Almost' all white will last longer.

Beautiful Kitchen in Luxury Home with Island and Stainless Steel

(Getty Images)

For those who like the look, Grove recommends following more recent developments in the all-white kitchen world by playing with the texture of countertops or adding color to your cabinets. “Right now with cabinetry, people are getting curious about what it’s like to have colored cabinetry,” Grove says. If you still prefer the white, two-toned cabinets (white for the upper cabinets and a natural wood tone for the lower cabinets) help to break up the color in the kitchen.

The more natural light, the better. For longer.

The more natural light, the better. For longer.

Modern living room

(Getty Images)

“People are really moving away from overly fussy, heavy-handed [window] treatments,” says Julie Bass, who owns an interior design firm in Annapolis, Maryland. And according to Bass, they won’t be coming back. Design now focuses on bringing in natural light and simple shades or blinds to provide privacy. Any drapery serves only a decorative purpose to frame windows.

Chevron is going out fast

Chevron is going out fast

Contemporary elegant home office

(Getty Images)

A couple years ago the chevron zigzag pattern burst onto the interior design scene, and just as quickly, it’s making an exit. As a pattern that made its way onto curtains, rugs, pillows, and even walls and floors, people seem to be getting sick of it. Grove isn’t shy about her dislike of the pattern either. “It’s gone – out. It should be out,” she says with a laugh.

... but herringbone is here to stay.

... but herringbone is here to stay.

Antebellum Bricks in Herringbone XXXL

(Getty Images)

A softer cousin of chevron, herringbone has replaced the previous trend as the V-shape pattern to use. Herringbone has also been around for decades. “You see herringbone in the flooring from 1890 in brownstones in Brooklyn. It’s a more classic choice – it’s timeless,” Grove says.

The Moroccan pattern is still in – for now.

The Moroccan pattern is still in – for now.

grazed tiles wall

(Getty Images)

Another geometric pattern of the moment is the signature shape widely referred to as “Moroccan,” which Bass says embodies an international trend that appears on rugs, linens, drapery and even tile. “We’re sort of in the midpoint of that [pattern], and global patterns in general have been very popular,” Bass says. “You want to show a little bit of global influence because the world has gotten to be such a smaller space.”

But don’t overdo it.

But don’t overdo it.

Portrait of girl (8-9) laying on bed

(Getty Images)

To avoid regrets down the road, don’t embrace the Moroccan pattern too holistically. Laura Umansky, creative director of Laura U Interior Design in Houston, recommends using it in small doses now, because you’ll probably replace it with a new pattern in just a few years. “Using it in a small room, like a powder room, would be great … [Or] in kids’ rooms it’s great because they grow up so quickly, you’re going to want to change it anyway in a couple years,” she says.

Gray is strong in the neutral palette …

Gray is strong in the neutral palette …

Modern interior design living room

(Getty Images)

The days of beige walls in every room are gone, and designers who spoke with U.S. News say they’re not coming back. With gray serving as a more common neutral in current designs, Grove says it provides more ways to play with color in furnishings. “People assume in their mind that beige should be the base of your room, but it’s hard to mix colors with beige because beige has such an orange-y, yellow undertone, and so you can’t necessarily mix cool items in a beige room," she says." Gray, black and white – you can pretty much do anything you want.”

… and cream is cropping up too.

… and cream is cropping up too.

Couch with Mirror

(Getty Images)

Umansky says a lot of her work now involves creams and warm whites rather than gray, which allows for more warm hues in furnishings. Whichever neutral you choose for your home, know that it will likely cycle out of style over time, though if you wait long enough, it’ll be in style again within a decade or so. Select a neutral you personally love and will enjoy looking at for longer, unless you want to repaint your rooms every few years.

Gold is slowly replacing silver …

Gold is slowly replacing silver …

gold furniture handles

(Getty Images)

Similar to neutrals, the metal in style tends to cycle between gold and silver, though the trends have longer staying power. Bass says gold is a rising trend to complement the warmer color tones coming into fashion. “They’re definitely moving more into the golds, and you’re going to see a lot of that in lamps and the hardware of the home,” Bass says.

… but don’t throw out your silver lamps just yet.

… but don’t throw out your silver lamps just yet.

luxury lamp and books on bedside table in bedroom

(Getty Images)

Not only do silver and nickel have some time left in them, but Grove says mixing metals in a room is a rising trend. “It looks organic,” she says, and it allows you to buy new gold pieces beginning to trend without having to hide any of your silver pieces that don't quite match in the basement.

Open floor plans will remain a staple.

Open floor plans will remain a staple.

Modern open plan ground floor

(Getty Images)

Interior designers agree open floor plans won’t be going away, simply because they embrace function over formality. Umansky says fewer barriers between rooms makes it possible to use every square-foot of the home. “That open floor plan makes sense for young families," she says, "and especially for homeowners that have a casual lifestyle – just because it’s an easy way to live.”

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Devon Thorsby is the Real Estate editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she writes consumer-focused articles about the homebuying and selling process, home improvement, tenant rights and the state of the housing market.

She has appeared in media interviews across the U.S. including National Public Radio, WTOP (Washington, D.C.) and KOH (Reno, Nevada) and various print publications, as well as having served on panels discussing real estate development, city planning policy and homebuilding.

Previously, she served as a researcher of commercial real estate transactions and information, and is currently a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Thorsby studied Political Science at the University of Michigan, where she also served as a news reporter and editor for the student newspaper The Michigan Daily. Follow her on Twitter or write to her at

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