Friday, January 23, 2015

Design Trends I'd Like To See Disappear...

... and no, I'm not talking about the ubiquitous chevron print! Lately, I've noticed that certain design trends aren't just overdone. Some are actually giving me headaches and ruining my nights out. And that's not good, functional design. I love the vintage industrial look, but I'm starting to see why some of these things were originally designed for factory use, not residential use.

1. Exposed light bulbs in cages
Yes, they look cool when you're shopping online. In reality, though, the unfiltered light burns my eyes and eventually gives me a headache. And the cage casts bizarre and unflattering shadows all over the room. I'd like to see more interesting light fixtures with glass globes or shades that filter the light.

Industrial Cage Light and Possini Euro Open Cage Glass Pendant Light

2. Hard surfaces with no sound absorbers
The restaurants and bars in Nashville are full of metal, concrete, brick... and nothing soft to absorb sound. I'm so tired of going out to places that are loud because sound won't stop bouncing off the hard surfaces! I have a librarian's quiet voice, and when no one can hear me, I give up and spend the evening in silence. At this point, I'd rather stay in, and that's a bummer. The problem would be so easy to fix with soft banquettes, draperies, rugs, or even wall hangings to absorb sound. Basically, I'd like to see more textiles and soft furnishings in restaurants.

At least it's undeniably beautiful. Design by Brinkworth
3. Reclaimed wood everywhere, just because
First of all, SPLINTERS. Ouch. Yes, reusing building materials is a nice idea. But I'm not convinced that using reclaimed wood is the greenest option. Because, HELLO! It's WOOD. Wood can be composted, which would save all the pesky environmental problems of shipping it. And since this look is so trendy, soon it's going to look about as cool as 1970s wood paneling. I'd rather see reclaimed wood used in smaller projects that aren't built-in and semi-permanent. Like furniture.

What design trends do you hope will go away soon?


  1. Girl, I don't think we can be friends anymore

    1. Ahaha, I was afraid I would hear that! Rest assured that I don't hate industrial design. Quite the contrary, in fact. I just wish designers would tweak it, so it's actually pleasant to live with it. Not just to look at pictures of it.

      Especially the restaurants with nothing but hard surfaces… So loud, and so freezing cold this time of year, no matter how far you sit from the door. :(

  2. There's just so much new construction in Nashville right now and the reclaimed wood/industrial thing is literally everywhere in restaurants and stores. I totally agree that it's played out. We saw a neighbor's house that was recently remodeled and they had put in a reclaimed barnwood accent wall in their front room. It seemed like a biiiiig commitment to that trend.

  3. A barnwood accent wall is a BIIIIG commitment, yep. I understand the desire to be current and on-trend. But unless they want to spend big bucks to tear it down in a few years, I think it would be smarter to use barnwood in smaller quantities.

    I don't want to see the industrial look go away entirely, because I like the way it looks. But I do want to see it reimagined so it's more functional. No more headaches, and more conversations.

  4. The restaurant you pictured looks like a prison mess. The one trend I wish would go away is the decaying half finished furniture look. It see it in all the magazines and upscale catalogs. French country pieces are most often the victims. A dining table will be stripped down to grey wood with a few chips of pale paint still clinging to it. The wooden frames of the chairs are also stripped with a thin muslin upholstery held in place with industrial staples. What are the owners of these rooms saying about themselves? Did civilization crumble before the upholsterer could finish his job? Is stained, oiled wood and beautiful fabric pretentious and uppity? I just can't see people having a good time in these rooms - I can't even imagine people sitting in the chairs.


What do you think? Your comments always make my day.

P.S. All trolls will be fed to the bookworms.