6. Faux Green Trend
This may seem to be a controversial opinion. But the “marketization” of the green movement has meant as much about sales of new products (more and more to fill the landfill) as it has meant about real conservation. The best green products are antiques. We’ve been overwhelmed by the marketing of the products and forget about other factors like transportation. Wrapping products in the “green flag” can sometimes be like putting lipstick on a pig. You can dress it up, but it may still be an unnecessary product in the long run.
5. Cheap Furniture
There was a time when those setting out to start their first homes would make do with lots of hand-me-downs and carefully considered first time purchases. A dining room set or bedroom suite was purchased for life, not for right now. Furniture was expensive and the decision around what to purchase was about value and lifetime use. Because of this, most young people ended up with better quality, even if it was considered moderate at the time, and they respected it enough to take care of it. Once furniture prices started to drop due to mechanization of production and cheap imports, furniture buyers stopped thinking about longevity or even had any expectation of quality. Furniture became “temporary” and “throw away.” This is bad for the landfill and ultimately bad for the pocketbook, as this furniture requires replacement more often than that of higher quality.
4. Faux Tuscan or “Olde World”
The faux Tuscan or Olde Wold look has been very much overdone in the last decade. Rather than spending time studying what makes Tuscan or European style so unique and beautiful, we’ve reduced it to a few elements and done bad reproductions of those elements. When we’re enamored of a certain place or style, we can sometimes fixate on the most obvious elements, but it’s the subtleties that give those originals life.
3. Mix ‘n Match Architectural Styles
Little is worse than the random mixing of architectural styles both inside and outside a home. Small ranch homes are remodeled and suddenly feature Palladium windows. Columned front porches are slapped on modest Cape Cod style homes. All traditional architectural styles have a beauty of their own — their details are scaled to work with their innate size. Loss of proportion and scale makes many newer homes seem neither here nor there.
2. Laminate Wood Floors
Wood floors are long lasting, warm and comfortable to walk on. I lament the plastic flooring trend.
1. Refinancing to Purchase Any of the Above
Finally, the absolute worst trend — even worse than building a McMansion — has been the economic environment that allowed us to take money out of our homes to purchase all of the above. Bad financial planning coupled with bad purchasing spelled disaster.