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    "Millennial Pink," Subway Tile, Tufted Headboards, And 36 Other Polarizing Home Design Trends Of The 2000s (Ranked From Worst To Best)

    #1 is a hill that I would be honored to die on.

    Designing and decorating a home is hard. We're all just trying our best out here, but let me tell ya: It's way harder than it looks on TV.


    Trends disappear forever as quickly as they rose in popularity, which means we're always playing interior design catch-up...and honestly, it's not a fun game! It sucks!

    Some trends, however, have stuck around longer than others. Throughout the wild, wild 2000s, we've been riding a pretty sizable wave of polarizing trends — some good, and some blatantly awful. So, I ranked every one that I could think of. I can assure you there are some super spicy hot takes here, so buckle up.


    I also can't believe I'm saying this, but...if you disagree with any of these, I welcome a dialogue in the comments. 😳

    39. Motivational or "Family Rules" Signs

    Large wooden "Family Rules" Sign with various sayings and slogans

    Looking at these signs makes me physically ill. Back in 2013, a college friend visited my family's home over the summer. My mother — bless her heart — had one of these hanging in a bedroom.

    My friend said: "Aw, has that been in your family for a long time?!"

    Me: 👁️👄👁️

    38. Color-Coded Bookshelves

    Color-coded bookshelf
    © Eleonora Galli / Getty Images

    I honestly don't mean for this to sound mean or at all aggressive, but if you've ever taken the time to color-coordinate a bookshelf in your home, I'm genuinely worried about you.

    37. All-White Everything

    Empty white kitchen
    Imaginima / Getty Images

    I'm not sure when we decided as a society that "Hospital Chic" was in, but my god, can we please be done with all-white-everything? And if we can't get rid of every all-white room, at least let us do away with the kitchens. I'd rather die than have to clean the GRIME off of every surface in an all-white kitchen, TBH.

    36. Home Office Sheds

    Wood-paneled "shed" with livable space inside
    John Keeble / Getty Images

    Ok, to be fair, I'm unsure if my repulsion here stems from A) the fact that they're questionable at best, or B) the reality that I'll never be rich enough to have one? Either way, the thought of someone "commuting" to their "office shed" in the morning gives me secondhand embarrassment.

    35. Concrete Flooring

    Concrete floor in a white kitchen
    Experienceinteriors / Getty Images

    I know that some folks have these to support radiant-heated floor systems, which like, awesome...but if you're not one of those people (and you willingly walk around on ice-cold rock every single day of your life), are you OK?

    34. Floating Staircases

    Black floating staircase leading up to a loft space
    Edwin Tan / Getty Images

    I am riddled with anxiety just looking at this picture. Before I step foot on a floating staircase, I WILL be checking your up-to-date homeowner's insurance policy. No risks will be taken while maneuvering this literal death trap.

    33. Electric Fireplaces

    Electric space heater made to look like a wood-burning stove

    "Come on, kids! Let's get cozy, drink some hot cocoa, and gather 'round the electric space heater with weird plastic logs and 'It's A Small World'-level special effects!"

    32. Tuscan Kitchens

    Large "tuscan" style kitchen with massive, dark wood features and dark granite countertops

    The chokehold this style had on suburbia dwellers is endlessly funny to me, but to be completely honest, the burning desire to make your kitchen look like it was ripped straight out of a Macaroni Grill is also somewhat comforting? Nostalgic? Or disgusting, IDK. Regardless, I'm not over it, and I never will be.

    31. "Modern" Futons

    White futon with decorative pillows
    Liesl Clark / Getty Images

    A futon is not a couch. Once more! A FUTON. IS NOT. A COUCH. While they're a totally acceptable addition to any dorm room, you couldn't pay me money to sleep (or sit) on one of these excruciatingly uncomfortable abominations.

    I miss old futons — ya know, the ones with the big wood frame and a literal mattress dropped on top? Bliss.

    30. McMansions

    McMansion-style home with large driveway and palm trees in a housing development
    Jodi Jacobson / Getty Images

    According to Investopedia, the definition of a McMansion is: "A large, often opulent or ostentatious, mass-produced house." According to me, they're an absolutely LOL-worthy display of unnecessary wealth, and I am simply ecstatic that we more or less stopped building these before the 2010s arrived.

    29. Chalkboard Walls

    Large chalkboard wall with various text written on it

    "Oh! I don't want to forget that. Let me just write it on my WALL."


    28. Animal Hide Rugs

    White faux animal hide rug draped over a gray couch.
    Luda311 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    I don't care if it's's a no from me. If you have an animal skin covering your floor that you literally walk on top of — or some other type of material made to look like a formerly-living animal — you are not to be trusted. Sorry, I don't make the rules.

    27. Millennial Pink

    light pink front door outside of a home

    I have so many questions when it comes to this subject matter. Why this shade? Why millennial? Also...why? I mean look, I don't find this offensive, but there's a limit.

    26. Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers

    Mid Century style chandelier light fixture
    Try Media / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    I genuinely love mid-century modern furniture. I do! I appreciate the clean lines and minimalistic features. But THESE lamps? No, no, no. We could've left these in the mid-century, and I would've been fine with that. I say this as someone who legitimately SOUGHT OUT one of these lamps to install on my own ceiling, and now I look at it every day in disgust.

    What was I thinking.

    25. Gigantic Entertainment Centers

    Large gray entertainment center housing a large TV in the center

    How many DVDs could one home possibly have? Apparently a whole lot. I don't miss these being all the rage.

    24. Tufted Headboards

    Green-yellow tufted headboard, close-up
    Kyryl Gorlov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    A comfortable headboard to rest your sleepy lil' head next to? Or the inside of a casket? You decide.

    Large casket with white tufted interior


    23. Stovetop Pot Fillers

    Stovetop pot filler filling a blue dutch oven
    Jumping Rocks / Getty Images/Publisher Mix RF

    I certainly don't hate these...but COME ON. Is it really so difficult to walk a few feet to the sink? That said, I'm used to cooking in my tiny NYC kitchen (where I can literally touch every piece of equipment I own without moving my feet) so potentially disregard this.

    22. Subway Tile Backsplash

    Installing subway tile backsplash

    Opinions on the ever-popular subway tile backsplash get heated. Some absolutely love the clean slate minimalism, others think they're totally overdone. Me? I think I fall somewhere in the middle...but I'd also like to say that being reminded of the New York subway in your own home is never fun, regardless of the context.

    21. Edison Bulbs

    Edison bulbs hanging outside while a couple plays chess
    Grandriver / Getty Images

    Outside? LOVE. Inside? Meh. They're undeniably chic! I just don't totally understand the desire to bask in orange light all the time, and using these babies without a lamp shade?! My eyes are burning just thinking about it.

    20. Accent Walls

    Black accent wall with raised ridges against another white wall

    I'm willing to ~believe~ that there are pretty accent walls out there, but I've never seen one. Most of the time they're busy AF (and entirely distracting), so unless you're bored in your apartment and trying to pull a fast one on your landlord, I struggle to understand the point of these.

    19. Home Theaters

    Red home theater with large red reclining chairs and a gold curtain around the projector screen
    Lindsay Guido / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Don't get me wrong: If I had the money for an actual home theater, it would be incredibly cool...but isn't the point of watching a movie in your home with your loved ones to experience it together?! Not to isolate yourself in your own individual seat and be completely silent? Am I alone in this train of thought?

    18. Sliding Barn Doors

    White sliding barn door
    Triggerphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Unfortunately I think these are — and I genuinely hate to admit this — cute. BUT! There is a special place in hell for people who install these outside of bathrooms. Enough.

    17. TVs Mounted Over Fireplaces

    TV over  a black fireplace with white trim
    David Papazian / Getty Images

    It may be the formula to a dynamite Zillow listing (and as a Zillow browsing enthusiast, I know this for a fact) but in reality, this is watching a movie or TV show on the ceiling. Is the neck cramp worth the aesthetic? Debatable.

    16. Mason Jars

    Mason jar with flower bouquet inside
    Anthony Sejourne / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Anything this multi-functional gets my seal of approval. One second they're a "vase" for a bouquet, the next second they're a totally worthwhile drinking glass. I'm definitely not interested in seeing mason jars on every shelf in your home, but in general, this is a trend I can totally get behind.

    15. Open Shelving

    Open shelving in a white kitchen, with baskets on the shelves

    Entirely open shelving gives me intense anxiety — the thought of having to maintain a meticulously-organized kitchen is truly hellish. That said, I think supplementing regular ol' cabinets with exposed, open shelves is an A+. If you're going the open shelving-only route, however, you might want to rethink that decision. Function > aesthetic, folks.

    14. Open-Concept Floorplans

    Open concept floorplan with kitchen, dining room, and living room all in one

    I truly feel like the general consensus around open-concept floorplans changes yearly. Some years we want rooms, other years we want massive, cavernous, multi-purpose spaces. I for one am glad that the open-concept movement has stuck long as we never, ever, ever extend this concept into bathrooms. Put doors in front of your toilets — regular ones, not barn doors!

    13. Floor-To-Ceiling Windows

    Woman sitting in a chair next to floor-to-ceiling windows, listening to music
    Vitalina Nakonechna / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    I'm genuinely thrilled that we've finally grasped the concept of just how important sunlight is. It makes us happy, so I am all for people absorbing sunlight through any means possible. People love to hate on floor-to-ceiling windows (something about how dirty they get really quickly?), but it's a sacrifice I'd gladly make if I had the option of literally bathing in sunlight each and every morning through my nine-foot-tall windows. I mean, would anyone disagree?

    12. Granite Countertops

    Kitchen and breakfast bar in a large, wood-accented kitchen with light brown granite countertops
    Brian Brown / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Remember laminate countertops? Woof, yeah, and for that very reason I'm ecstatic that granite has become the gold standard for counters these days. They're not totally maintenance-free (for that reason, people rave about the wonders of quartz) but they do look pretty great in just about every kitchen...unless you go out of your way to get a horrific pattern.

    11. Gallery Walls

    Large gallery wall against a white painted wall

    Bare, sterile walls are out, and eclectic gallery walls are definitely having their moment. While a "busy" gallery wall might not be the perfect match for all tastes, I certainly appreciate the instinct to decorate in a way that's visually-stimulating (and endlessly customizable).

    10. The Age Of The Houseplant

    Woman watering numerous houseplants in a bright room
    Aleksandarnakic / Getty Images

    Considering the numerous plant delivery services that've only popped up in recent years, it's abundantly clear that people want their plants! And they want lots of 'em. As a proud plant dad, I'm an enthusiastic supporter of this budding trend — no pun intended. Plus, with the numerous resources out there to help the not-so-green thumbs (PlantTok! All the apps!), it's truly never been easier to become a successful plant parent.

    9. Shiplap

    White shiplap wall in a bathroom with natural wood accents
    Pc Photography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Fixer Upper is likely responsible for the eye roll that people give when seeing (or hearing about) shiplap. But must we?! Is shiplap not undeniably trendy?! The clean lines and subtle rustic vibes fill me with absolute joy. But just to be clear: I'm not advocating for you to add shiplap to every single wall in your home. That would be much.

    8. Modern House Numbers

    Metal house number "113" in front of a concrete wall
    Simon Mcgill / Getty Images

    These might not be for everyone, but I find it absolutely wild how something as simple as a font can bring a home completely into modern times. If you live in a standalone house, your house number is the first impression any visitor has of your home. So for that very reason, I'm ranking this simple, budget-conscious, and very effective update pretty high on my list.

    7. The "Eclectic" (Or "Lived-In") Aesthetic

    living room with plants, an orange couch, and various colored pillows thrown around (with an eclectic gallery wall behind)
    Katarzynabialasiewicz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    In recent years, I've been absolutely elated to see eclectic, lived-in spaces become more and more popular when it comes to interior design. In other words — designing our homes like people ACTUALLY live there! Because they do!

    6. Metal Roofs

    Rust-colored metal roof on a large house
    Sonia De Leon / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    I can admit that metal roofs are not jaw-dropping when it comes to pure looks, but damn, these things are as functional as it gets. Metal roofs — when cared for properly — can last for up to 70 years (!!!) while traditional asphalt roofs struggle to do their job after 20. It's an investment that pretty much pays for itself, and to be honest, I don't think they're all that off-putting.

    5. Bidets

    Built-in bidet on a standard toilet
    Sinisa Kukic / Getty Images

    Bidets are one thing that Europe just gets so, so right, and I'm anxiously awaiting the day when these are standard in American homes. I've personally installed a bidet in my own home, and I gotta say it's changed my entire life. Endless thanks to companies like Tushy for making these more and more common in the states, and if you have them in your home, too, consider this my virtual high-five. You get it.

    4. Smart Lights

    Israel Sebastian / Getty Images

    Lighting is absolutely everything. Like, I don't care how expensive or trendy your home is — if your lighting isn't a 10/10, it frankly doesn't matter. While I'm not sure that ever need to enter the full Smart House age with fully-automated everything, I'm a firm believer that technology has enhanced lighting for the better. I'm not even talking about the more advanced features, like manufactured sunrises and what not. I'm talking about the ability to dim lights from your phone, or even change the color temperature to fit the activity you're doing. It's next-level stuff, and it'll seriously change your home's interior for the better.

    3. Skylights

    Large skylight over a modern, gray and white kitchen.
    John Keeble / Getty Images

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: Natural light. Natural light. Natural light. Skylights do what windows never could by allowing ultra-bright light to filter in through the good ol' sky itself. And considering the fact that natural light can boost your mood, improve your sleep, and even lead to higher productivity, I officially want one in every single room.

    2. Rain Showerheads

    Maridav / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    When I moved into my current apartment, it had a legitimately embarrassing showerhead installed — one that felt like I was showering under someone spitting water on me. The first thing I did was rip it out and replace it with a pretty cheap rain showerhead, and my god, it was the best decision I ever made. Say what you want about these — I think they're the closest thing you can get to a spa in your own home, and in the grand scheme of things they're a pretty easy (and budget-conscious) update.

    If you feel like you're "drowning" underneath these, just try moving your head out of the stream. It'll work wonders.

    1. Stainless Steel Appliances

    Stainless steel stove, dishwasher, and range hood in a gray kitchen with white subway tile
    2creativecrew / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    I sort of can't believe these are my #1 pick, but after a lot of thinking and debating, I truly think that stainless steel appliances are the most timeless, objectively-stunning home design trend to come out of the 2000s. They look good in any kitchen, no matter what finishes you're working with, and they offer a touch of luxury even if you're not trying to spend a small fortune on your kitchen. 

    Here's my ultimate tip here: Just invest in a really good stainless steel cleaner; this one is my fave. Don't try to use that multi-purpose cleaning spray on stainless steel. It'll look streaky and bad, and I promise that stainless steel-specific cleaner you bought will last a whole lot longer than you'd think.

    Do you agree with this ranking? Are there any recent home design trends we missed here that you're absolutely obsessed with? Let us know in the comments. 🏠