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Remodeling Trends That Are Becoming Outdated

In our post “When to Remodel a Whole Home,” we noted that “a whole home remodel can help increase the value of your home.” The right remodel can also “make [your home] easier to sell.” However, some renovations realtors previously considered necessary in order to list your home on the market might not actually help sellers. In fact, many of the remodeling trends that are becoming outdated were incredibly popular just a couple of years ago. Today, they are turning prospective buyers away rather than inviting them in. From modern farmhouse interior design and shabby chic to fast furniture and granite countertops, yesterday’s biggest trends are out of style. Before transforming your home’s interior based on old information, you might want to consider this list of outdated home remodeling trends to avoid in 2021.

Six Outdated Home Remodeling Trends to Avoid in 2021

Outdated Home Remodel Trend #1 – Clinical Kitchens

Example of a clinical kitchenThe first in our list of outdated remodeling trends to avoid is the all-white kitchen design trend. Homeowners are tiring of crisp and clinical kitchens in 2021. During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, homeowners across the country furiously wiped down kitchen counters and sprayed endless ounces of disinfectant. Clinical kitchens replaced warm and sunny spaces as one of the primary interior design trends in early 2020. More Americans than ever are working from home full-time or a few days each week. As such, modern kitchens must embrace the quintessential duality of design: form meets function. While all-white kitchens with austere stainless steel appliances might be beautiful on paper, they rarely suit real life. Clinical kitchens are cold and difficult to clean. Furthermore, flaws are immediately discernible — whether a cracked floor tile or a scratched cabinet door.

Main Takeaway: Ditch the All-White Kitchen in Favor of Form Meets Function

Keep your kitchen light and bright without indulging in last year’s kitchen design trends. Abandon your stark, monochromatic kitchen in favor of natural open shelving, vintage drawer pulls and classic yet contemporary quartz countertops. Opt for a backsplash with a subtle pattern or texture that disguises spills and stains without distracting from the rest of the space. Above all, try to keep your kitchen design in line with the rest of your home’s interior. Nothing screams “doctor’s office” more than leaving your cozy armchair for an all-white room with stainless steel instruments.


Outdated Home Remodel Trend #2 – Adding a Formal Dining Room

Second on our list of outdated remodeling trends to avoid in 2021 is updating or adding a formal dining room. Initially, trend analysts predicted 2020 would be the year of the dining room. Experts expected this because of declining interest in open floor plans and increased demand for private spaces. However, the COVID-19 pandemic knocked this trend off-course. While desire for modular, closed floor plans is still trending upwards, requests for formal dining rooms have plummeted. Instead, homeowners are opting for flexible, multifunctional spaces.

In her article “Say Goodbye to These 6 Trends That Are Leaving the Design World in 2021” for Apartment Therapy, Kelsey Mulvey elaborates. With more of us working and learning from home, “rooms that only have one purpose…are on their way out of favor.” Quoting interior designer Liz Caan, Mulvey writes that today’s homeowners “‘feel less of a need for a formal dining room.'” Homeowners should use their homes “‘to the fullest’” in ways that actually work for their families. This might also mean doing away with the formal living room in favor of a versatile living space.

Main Takeaway: Swap Your Formal Dining Room for a Home Office

How many of us scooted our ergonomic office chairs into the dining room while our partners or children Zoomed in the study? Instead of updating your formal dining room with a larger dining set or a vintage chandelier, consider converting the space into a home office. The size, shape and layout of most dining rooms works perfectly for studies.

Outdated Home Remodel Trend #3 – DIY-ing Anything and Everything

DIY fashion and crafting took over 2020, making a comeback that many expected. It rode the coattails of the sustainability movement while occupying the hands of stressed Americans stuck at home. Following Martha Stewart’s guide to handmade holiday centerpieces or block-printing leaves on a tablecloth with a kit from Etsy are both harmless. However, most amateurs lack the finesse and trade knowledge to safely and successfully execute a home remodel.

For best results consult a team of experts when embarking on a renovation project. As a design/build remodeling company, VanderBeken Remodel has all the expertise in one place. Our designers walk you through every step of the design process in order to make sure the scope and design of your remodel fits with your unique style and needs. Our production team and specialty trade partners are also a part of the discussion from the very beginning. The result is a streamlined remodel process with collaboration between all players. Your modern kitchen cabinets, bathroom tiles and washer-dryer hookups will thank you.

Main Takeaway: Invest in Expert Help with Your Home Remodel

In our post “Is a DIY Bathroom Remodel a Good Idea?” we noted that “remodeling is full of surprises that can decimate your budget.” Trained renovation professionals — e.g. architects, interior designers, contractors and more — are effective project managers with expansive trade knowledge. As such, they understand how to factor in and tackle complications that might arise.

Outdated Home Remodel Trend #4 – Landscaping Manicured Gardens

Fourth on our list of outdated remodeling trends to avoid is manicured lawns and ordered gardens.  Both have lost their luster in 2021 — a necessary casualty of our shift towards conscious consumerism and more sustainable lifestyles. Instead, homeowners are opting for outdoor spaces that function for the family. They are embracing zoned exteriors, with space for seasonal flowers, raised bed vegetable gardens and outdoor dining. Principles of permaculture, homesteading and natural landscaping have all captured the attention of savvy homeowners in the last couple of years.

Cross-generational interest has piqued as more research emerges about the mental health benefits of proximity to nature. Today’s homeowners prefer gardens that soothe, inspire and nurture themselves and their families.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Make your own compost.  It is great for your garden (and your budget). Learn about composting, including what to put in it (and what not to).
  • Plant natives. Learn more about plants native to the Northwest with The National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plan Finder.
  • Take a gardening class. There are an assortment of excellent nurseries in the area that offer classes (many are free) to aid you in your gardening journey including Sunnyside Nursery and The Bellevue Botanical Garden which is made up of 53 acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands.

Main Takeaway: Create Sustainable, Soothing Outdoor Spaces Instead of Ordered Gardens

Instead of maintaining a monoculture of grass, opt for native plants that require a manageable amount of maintenance. Consult with a professional landscape architect on the design of your garden to ensure it best fits your family’s needs.

Outdated Home Remodel Trend #5 – Installing Pedestal or Floating Sinks

As outlined above, homeowners have lost patience for elements that prioritize pizzazz over practicality. Given this, it should come as no surprise that pedestal and floating bathroom sinks have fallen by the wayside. Once prized for their minimalist, streamlined aesthetics, pedestal and floating sinks no longer fulfill the needs of modern homeowners. Lacking much-needed counter space above and storage below, pedestal and floating sinks are poorly suited for most bathrooms. Furthermore, they look fairly out of place in larger bathrooms.



Main Takeaway: Stick with a Cabinet Sink for Plenty of Storage

Uninstalling a floating sink and replacing it with a traditional sink can be pricey and complicated. Floating and/or pedestal sinks are also less likely to appeal to a wide range of potential home buyers. Instead, opt for a longline vanity cabinet in a classic style — such as mid-century modern or campaign.

Outdated Home Remodel Trend #6 – Converting to an Open Floor Plan

Last but not least on our list of outdated remodeling trends to avoid in 2021 is converting to an open floor plan.  Open floor plans are ideal for some families, but are ill-suited to others. While open floor plans are likely to remain popular — particularly in coastal climates — homeowners should not feel pressured to convert. In “Here Are The Interior Design Trends Going Away” for Forbes, Amanda Lauren notes the open floor plan is no longer a “must-have.” As with other trends mentioned above, Lauren credits the pandemic for this shift.

She writes that “people learned the hard way that…your kitchen, home office, playroom, and living room shouldn’t all be the same space.” When everyone is crowded together while doing different things, “lack of privacy ultimately becomes lack of function.” Lauren expects the open floor plan to eventually fade away and for “more flexible and closed layouts [to] become the standard.”

Main Takeaway: Pick a Layout that Prioritizes Both Family and Private Spaces

For the best of both worlds, consider organizing the layout of your home’s interior to prioritize both family and private spaces. Opt for a kitchen that opens into a breakfast nook instead of the living room. Consider an upstairs playroom instead of a large living room separated into zones.

Work with VanderBeken Remodel to Create an Updated Home You Will Enjoy for Years to Come

Avoid these outdated remodels and other design pitfalls by working with a team that understands today’s homebuyers and tomorrow’s trends. Remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room or outdoor spaces is so much easier with expert help. Contact our design/build team today to explore the possibilities of working with VanderBeken Remodel. Our team has over thirty years of design-build experience. We are committed to discovering what delights each and every client in order to make their dream home a reality.