I frequently write about home design trends and poll BuzzFeed readers on their design opinions since I'm weirdly fascinated by how they evolve and change over time. But let's face it: For us regular, non-rich people, it can often feel like an expensive uphill battle to keep our spaces "on-trend" — whatever that means.
While revisiting some of my old posts, I realized that there are actually a decent number of "unpopular" trends and styles that most people still implement in their own homes, even if they're not universally beloved by interior designers or your favorite HGTV hosts. These are just some of the trends that members of the BuzzFeed Community proudly enjoy seeing in their own homes, regardless of what others might think of them.
1. Sliding Barn Doors
"I agree that barn doors are probably overused these days — you don't need barn doors for every room in your house — but I totally get it when they're meant to save space for a design. Most people just say to install pocket doors instead, but pocket doors can be way more expensive to install and they're less DIY-friendly."
2. Open-Concept Floor Plans
"What is with the hate of open concept? It’s very practical to be able to communicate with people in your home and it gives the appearance that a place is bigger than it actually is. It provides much better heat distribution, too. And there are less walls to paint! Open plans also allow for communicating with guests while you're whipping things up in the kitchen."
"As an emergency responder, I know that a lot of people never think of this, but EMS and fire will have a much easier time extracting an injured or ill person in open-concept since they won’t have to squeeze through narrow hallways and tiny rooms, and should you have a loved one who needs to be resuscitated doing CPR, an open floor plan is much easier to do as we have more space to work on the patient."
3. Farmhouse Sinks
"Farmhouse sinks are everything. I was told when I was doing my kitchen remodel last year to skip it because it was a 'fading trend.' But I’m sorry: after having one previously, I will never not have one. Screw what’s trendy when it’s something that is undeniably practical! Every time I have to wash a dish at someone else’s house, it’s like, “How do you do anything in this playhouse-size sink you have here?”
4. Subway Tile
"From a design standpoint, it’s pretty well known that subway tile weirdly just doesn’t go out of style, even if it's not the most groundbreaking choice for a backsplash or shower. For whatever reason, it’s just one of those design staples that always tend to be well-received and acceptable, especially if you hope to one day sell your house. It’s classic — like brick houses and wood floors."
"Minimalism isn’t boring or even a 'trend' really. People think of minimalist homes as spaces with bare walls and no furniture, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Entire aesthetics and cultures even (Japanese and Nordic, to name two) are of a minimal-esque posture."
"Minimalism is more of a lifestyle than a trend. It can also be done with rich colors — not everything has to be white. Maximalism, on the other hand, definitely looks stunning when it's done right, but I wouldn’t want to live in it. It’s too much clutter which gets overwhelming for my anxiety and ADHD."
6. Word Signs
"Sure, maybe 'Live, Laugh, Love' in particular is overdone, but I low-key love other word signs. If it's important to you, inspires you, or even reminds you of your values, why not hang it in your home? As long as you follow the 'less is more' approach, I don't see how these are offensive."
7. Laminate Floors
"Sorry, but sometimes laminate is the better choice depending on your lifestyle. Our house has hardwood floors and our dog and vacuum both scratch the hell out of it. We literally don’t know what to do right now because vacuuming is scratching it every time. Fine, laminate may not look as 'beautiful' as actual hardwood, but that stuff is unbelievably tough and so cheap."
"My friends have real wood floors. They also have a basket of disposable slippers by their front door for all of their guests because it's so easy to damage it. I have laminate in my flat and it's so much easier to maintain and clean. It's also warmer and softer underfoot if you are someone who likes to walk around barefoot."
8. Painting Older Materials White
"Painting older stuff white for a 'modern' look appears in century-old decorating books and has been in continuous use ever since. It's neither a trend nor aging poorly — it's a timeless way to upgrade an old home. I don't always agree with the decision in every single circumstance, but it's a recognized and worthwhile technique, not some fad."
9. Wall-To-Wall Carpeting
"I actually like carpet. Not in every room, but at least in bedrooms and on the stairs. My upstairs neighbors walk around their room above my bedroom all hours of the night. I can hear them with shoes on or off. They also love dragging furniture around after midnight for some reason. It's like they never sleep. If they had carpet, it would absorb so much of that noise! Not every house has beautiful hardwood floors, either. My sister lives in a new construction house that has those generic gray wood floors and she's slipped on the stairs more than once."
10. Gallery Walls
"I love gallery walls because they are inherently different. Depending on your personal style, they can be modern or eclectic or farmhouse chic, or any other design style due to the pictures and frames chosen. They also allow people to show off memories or family photos in a more 'designed' way than just having a bunch of framed photos on tabletops. Plus, they're way easier to put together than trying to find that one massive piece of art that's just right for your space and affordable."
11. Dark Granite Countertops
"My house was built in 1994 and still has the original brown granite countertops, and I still think they look amazing. They're durable, timeless, and they never look dirty, either. Also — at least they're not laminate."
"Hot take: Linoleum is actually fantastic. It's bio-based, and it comes in lots of different (and aesthetically appealing) designs. Sure, some of it can definitely be ugly, especially the older stuff. But I'd gladly put some of the better looking stuff in my own home!"
13. Kitchen Cabinets (in lieu of Open Shelving)
"Enough with the open shelving! Give me all the cabinets I can get. With cabinets, I don't have to worry about if my dishes are 'pretty' enough to keep out in the open, and I never have to worry about stuff collecting dust while it just sits there."
14. All-Gray Everything
"I'll treasure my grey walls and floors — they truly go with everything and they allow my personal style to shift and change over time. I don't like the 'orange' look that normal wood-toned colors or beige walls give. I mean, no disrespect to anyone that does."
"Honestly, paint color isn't really an issue to me, and I don't know why people get so intense about it. If I ever decide to sell my place — or if I get bored of gray — I'll just repaint."
15. Wood Paneling
"Listen, the people who can't get behind wood paneling must have never seen good wood paneling or the inside of a cabin. Wood walls can be absolutely amazing! They're cozy and add so much natural texture and warmth to a room, even if people would rather paint them white and call it 'shiplap' these days."
16. Color-Coded Bookshelves
"I still don't understand the massive hatred for color-coded bookcases. Am I unable to simultaneously enjoy how my books look on the shelf and read them?! Seriously, the only reason I ever hear against it is that people who choose this 'must not like books.' Well, sorry for liking both rainbows and the written word."
17. Handheld Showerheads
"Every designer wants to put a rain showerhead in every single bathroom, but they're just not practical. In my opinion, handheld showerheads are always the way to go. The rain ones make you feel like you're drowning, and if you ever have to point the hot water away from your body while you shave, you're out of luck."