10 Dead Design Trends from the 2000’s


1- Beige: Specifically the paint color “beige sand” or “builder beige” (as we called it in my production building days), but beige in general is out. White still rules, but greens and and blues are sizzling hot right now. With paint stay cool literally, and gain your warmth from intermittent pops of color like art, tile back-splashes, exterior doors, or the ever popular wood!

2-  Granite Counters: Anything typical (black or brown) will date your house immediately. Marble (especially white) is still in, along with any stone that is novel in veining or color. Concrete counters (I still like in certain applications) experienced their moment, but are fading in popularity to the current king, engineered quartz (like CeasarStone). Glass looks and sounds fun but is spendy.

3- Carpet: Gross. Need I say more? Try an area rug, ideally something free of chemicals like ecoFiber custom rugs.

4- Trim: With the clean lines and focus on function that is demanded by contemporary/modern design, trim itself is becoming a thing of the past. Specifically colonial milled baseboards and door casings that were a big hit in the early 2000’s. Antique or reclaimed trim (ornate or not) works as a contemporary design element, but not for anything uber modern. Most folks still using trim go with something as square as possible, avoiding rounded edges, and when budget allows go for a flush detail. A product called the EZ Jamb can help you achieve trimless, camouflage clean doors.

4- Textured Walls & Rounded Sheetrock Corners: Caked on textured wall finishes have become the leapers of modern design. It’s all about smooth. Natural elements like wood and stone are the “texture of today.” What about rounded corners? Along with the whole Tuscan style, totally out! If you are talking super curvy architecture I love that, but rounded sheetrock corners are not that.

5- CFL Bulbs: Not acceptable in a custom home in 2016. They are inconsistent performers, put off subpar light, and contain small amounts of mercury. Plus their corkscrew shape looks stupid. LEDs rule the market now (for so many reasons), but I still use incandescent bulbs for certain applications.

6- Toggle Switches: Nowadays it’s all about Decora. Accessory switches like timers and fan controls are primarily made to match Decora rectangles, so it just makes sense. Plus, the lines look cleaner. Screwless plates are my preference, but only the one piece Leviton covers, not the two piece Lutron’s (which look cheap to me) because from the side the cover looks like it can peel off. Flush mount switch covers are few and far between, but will be a thing in the future just like flush base is today.

7- Honey Gold (& Brown Sugar) Stain: The honey gold log cabin look is not where it’s at in 2016. These days, it’s all about water based clear coats that don’t amber like Sansin glacier clear. Let the wood speak for itself, it knows what to say!

8- Bulky Floor Transitions: Forget your t-molds and reducers, that were par for the course in the 2000’s. Floor transitions are expected to be seamless these days, as they should be. Schluter provides a nice extruded metal detail, but many times proper planning (of flooring underlayment materials) and a bead of grout caulking is all that’s necessary.

9- Non-WiFi Thermostats: I can tell instantly that an HVAC system is old, if I see a dated thermostat on the wall. Nest and it’s counterparts have taken the smart world by storm, and for good reason. They’re super convenient and save us cash on our utility bills.

10- Phone Lines: R.I.P.. Smartphones won the battle and the war, and now landlines are as obsolete as pay phones.

Doug Cameron is a Healthy, High-Performance Builder & Remodeler with EcoSafe Spaces Design+Build in Austin, TX

Leave a Reply