Design Failures-Fads That Don't Translate To Real Life

Posted on July 18 2017

Design Failures-Fads That Don't Translate To Real Life


We all drool over them, save them to our Pinterest boards, clip the magazine photos .... but some design fads don't really translate to the real world. Whether they be impractical or won't be in next season (and you just spent a bunch of $$), a fad is exactly that - a fad. Meant to be enjoyed for a brief time and then move onto something else.

Here are some design trends that did not quite translate into the real world.

Shag rugs.

It looks great doesn't it? Romantic, inviting, comfortable.

Shag rugs were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. While today we are not necessarily doing wall to wall shag carpet anymore, even small area rugs are not a great idea. They are incredibly difficult to clean! All kinds of critters, food particles and dirt get clogged into the long fibers and as soon as you step on it, the shag flattens. And don't even think about using it in the bathroom! Mold and mildew will accumulate faster than you can imagine. Unless you feel like combing it every day, don't bother.

Jane Russel's famous pink shag bathroom. No!


You will need a shag rake. Every. Single. Day.


All white rooms.

How fabulous this kitchen looks. It's photographed at a great angle, the light is perfect and it is styled without anything out of place. 

Hardly realistic. We live in a world of messes and spills. That's what a kitchen is for. While this white kitchen looks durable, cleaning it will be a full time job and it will never look like this again. It also is very cold. I have seen many all white kitchens, and in real life they do not have that warm feeling a kitchen should have. 

A white living room is glamorous! But again, very impractical. Unless you live alone and NEVER entertain or have guests or family over, this beautiful decor will never be used to it's full potential. Hand a guest a glass of red wine and watch the entire room tense up, waiting for the spill. One good way to make anyone uncomfortable.


Stainless steel appliances.

Great idea, really awesome. I worked in restaurants for the better part of 20 years and stainless steel was indispensable in the kitchens. Rugged, durable and hoses down fast. The problem? They are not as easy to keep clean in your home. The metal is not the same as industrial grade, it's thinner, almost like a veneer. Home appliances will rust quicker and are notoriously famous for showing fingerprint marks. There are special cleaners, but you have now increased and multiplied your cleaning time. 

Unfortunately, it is still a huge fad that seems to be lingering and there is not much to choose from. White, black or stainless steel in every appliance section. There is a new matte black that is just beginning to roll out - if you are in the market for new appliances, check those out.


Mirrored furniture.

Similar problem to the stainless steel appliances, mirrored furniture needs a lot of extra attention. A piece or two here and there is great in your home, just don't go crazy. Dust particles settle and show up much quicker than traditional furniture. You will be using your glass cleaning products more frequently to remove dust and finger prints. Have you ever seen a cracked piece of mirrored furniture? It's just what you think a broken mirror looks like. Very difficult to fix, expensive and pretty much makes that piece of furniture useless - not to mention dangerous with sharp, exposed shards. You are basically throwing away $$. If you use it, don't place it in a high traffic area, but off in a corner. It will still look great.

This cabinet we have in stock is a good example of what to have. The corners are wood and less sharp.  Click here to see more of this cabinet.



More a fad from a long time ago, when humans hunted for sport before severely threatening our wildlife and their survival. There is an ick factor here that is difficult to get around. I love animals and the thought of displaying them on the walls is off-putting - and may be so to your guests as well. Can you imagine eating a steak dinner with a cattle head staring at you from the wall? There is a place for everything - perhaps a lodge in Africa is the best place for a wall taxidermy. Avid hunters may pine for these, but who needs to hunt anymore?

If you want an animal piece of sculpture, there are options, like skulls. They seem to have the appearance of a natural death, and not have been hunted. They are not staring at you. Even some faux ones will have the realism you may be looking for. Just my two cents!


                    Faux Ram Head Skull                           Faux Crocodile Skull



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