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10 Played Out Home Trends That Buyers Are Over

Getting ready to redecorate or sell? Before you swing a hammer or pick up a paintbrush, learn about these on-their-way-out trends, chosen by agents in the know.


Open-concept layouts

After years of top billing on house-hunting lists, real estate agents report that open-concept floor plans may be on their way out.

“With the rise of work from home, I’m seeing clients needing more separate space for those Zoom calls, away from barking dogs and kids needing a snack,” says realtor Deb Tomaro, of Encore Sotheby’s International Realty in Bloomington, Indiana.

“I’m seeing more and more buyers prefer a little more separation. Plus, when everyone is always home, it’s impossible to sneak cookies in an open-concept space!”

She also sees more buyers asking for a dedicated home office space. Check out these essential items for creating the home office of your dreams.

Modern farmhouse kitchenAliyev Alexei Sergeevich/Getty Images

Modern farmhouse

Despite the continued popularity of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their TV show Fixer Upper, the updated twists on traditional farmhouses are likely on their way out, according to at least three of the agents interviewed for this story.

“One trend that seems to be on its way out is the whole Modern Farmhouse look,” says Ricardo Mello, co-founder and managing partner at Manhattan Miami, a luxury residential real estate agency with offices in New York City and Miami. “Buyers seem to be moving away from features like barn doors, faux-weathered cabinets, and shiplap.”

But some elements of the trend are still sticking around. Clients, he says, still favor light, airy styles and neutrals. Here are some other tips for creating a stress-free home.

white kitchenBreadmaker/Shutterstock

White-on-white kitchens

Years and years of bright white Instagram home photos are starting to fade. “An all-white kitchen surely looks neat and clean, but we’ve seen too much of it,” says David Cusick, chief strategy officer at House Method. “Buyers are looking for something refreshing. Instead of pure white, you can paint the kitchen island or cabinets with a shade of gray or other colors that will give an accent.” Luckily, it’s not impossible to revamp your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Detail of glass-block partition in long cream bathroomScott Van Dyke/Getty Images

Glass block bathroom walls

Glass block bathroom walls have long been an effective way to brighten dark bathrooms and add natural light without giving up privacy. But, Cusick says, it turns out many buyers don’t like them. His suggestion? “Use skylights for lighting instead, and choose LED lights for energy savings.” We’ve all lived in a home with questionable design choices—check out this list of home fads that failed.

Empty bathroom with white subway tilesadamkaz/Getty Images

Classic tile patterns

Chuck Vander Stelt, realtor and founder of Quadwalls in Valparaiso, Indiana, says typical tile patterns, sizes, and designs are fading fast.

“Homes with subway tile, chevron patterns, and interlocking low-cost plastic backsplashes on the inside of bath and showers areas are now common,” he says, adding that homeowners who take tile to the next level “stand out dramatically” among the others. “Consider choosing a not-so-common size and do not be afraid of selecting a tile with some color or definite pattern,” he says.

Looking for an affordable way to update your bathroom? These makeover tips will take your decor from dowdy to deamy.

granite kitchen countertopspics721/Shutterstock


Goodbye, granite?! After an era as an absolute must-have for kitchen countertops and islands, realtor Lindsay Bjerke of Norton Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota, says clients are nixing pebbly granite over more uniform-looking quartz finishes. “There are some cool granites, but people see the same ones over and over,” she says, adding that clients are also open to butcher block.

The upsides to quartz? Besides the fresh aesthetic, it’s harder and more durable than granite, doesn’t need re-sealing and the selections are more uniform. These are the other best home improvements to add value to your home.

Big showeralabn/Getty Images

Taking out the tub

Do a quick search on Pinterest or Instagram, and you’ll find many homeowners ripping out bathtubs and replacing them with a big, luxe shower. They’re beautiful and definitely a draw, but Bjerke cautions not to take the trend too far.

“It’s important to buyers to have a tub somewhere in the house, so don’t eliminate all your bathtubs,” she says. It can be a deal-breaker for buyers if they need to add one back in, so best keep your bathtub. However, you can get rid of these other things that are cluttering up your bathroom.

crisp-gray living room wall color _133777247Santiago Cornejo/Shutterstock


Vander Stelt cautions that gray interiors no longer stand out against the crowd.

“The gray walls and white trim, casings, and doors provide great contrast for the pictures in your home,” he acknowledges. “However, this color palette is doing nothing to give you contrast against the other competing homes for sale. Remember, it is a swipe-left, swipe-right world. Homebuyers are on the websites and apps and are making fast decisions. Stand out to get those buyers to slow down and focus on your home.”

Bjerke agrees—cool grays are a bad move. While Bjerke says she sees people moving back toward taupes and beiges and away from accent colors, Vander Stelt advocates for great colors in lighter shades. This paint color can add thousands to your home’s sale price.

Silver fixturesphototropic/Getty Images

Silver fixture finishes

Vander Stelt says he always encourages people to freshen up their doorknobs, faucets, and light fixtures—and brushed nickel or chrome aren’t going to do it anymore. “These metals do not stand out in pictures due to low contrast,” he says. “In person, these metals just look and feel cold and institutional. We are big fans of the oil rubbed bronze and black fixtures.”

Bjerke says gold tones are making their way out, but she’d stick with black or chrome for an eye-catching look. Here are some other design choices that make your house look outdated.

Hardwood floorCommercial Eye/Getty Images

Hardwood floors

If you’ve replaced your floors recently and installed hardwood, don’t panic. Buyers are not necessarily moving back toward loving wall-to-wall carpet. But although replacing your flooring can increase your home value, Bjerke says buyers are not hardcore about having the real thing. Luxury vinyl and laminate flooring options made to look like real hardwood can easily do the trick if hardwood flooring is out of your budget.


Originally Published on The Family Handyman