Trends are always tricky when it comes to custom homes. While you want your home to look updated and fresh, trends can fade just as quickly as they come. Home builders always recommend homeowners stick to classic, timeless choices for larger items that can’t be changed easily. Design elements like hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances aren’t in danger of going out of style anytime soon. Integrate trends in smaller pieces that can be swapped out when they fade like paint color and light fixtures.


There are some trends though, that annoy home builders and interior designers more than others. It’s usually because while they look great on HGTV and renovation shows, they’re highly impractical in real life. Here are the worst design trends that you should stay away from.


Gray Wood Floors

Hardwood floors are classic, and they’ll never go out of style. They’ve been used for over a hundred years in homes! But a recent trend is to put in hardwood that is gray or gray washed. Gray was huge a few years ago, but the trend is dying quickly. If you put in gray wood now, chances are in a few years it will scream, “dated”. Also, gray means you are always stuck with cool tones, it looks unnatural, can often look cheap, and it only works with certain styles.


Barn Doors

Barn doors have been popular for a few years now, and they really do look great. But lately, people have been using them in ways that aren’t the greatest. Barn doors are perfect for pantries, closets, and even dens. But they shouldn’t be used for rooms that need privacy like bathrooms or bedrooms. The reasons why are that they don’t lock, they don’t block noise or smell, and they can be noisy when moved.



Most home builders and interior designers have come to loath Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper because she popularized shiplap. Shiplap is a specific type of wood board that was used on walls, typically in the south. There is something quaint and rustic about it, but they don’t belong in every home. Nowadays people are putting it in every style of home and the worst part is they don’t even use real shiplap, just wooden boards. Unless your home is in the South or has a rustic style, skip the shiplap.


Edison Bulbs

Edison Bulbs looks super cool, and they have an industrial-vintage vibe to them that can really add style to a room. The issue is thought that, well, they are just awful in terms of lighting. Edison bulbs don’t produce a strong light, and it’s often very yellow which isn’t flattering to most colors. So feel free to use them for some light fixtures, but avoid them in places where you really need task lightings like the kitchen and dining room.


Jet Tubs

Spa-like bathrooms are all the rage, and it’s easy to understand why. Who wouldn’t want to have a tranquil bathroom? Often people try to create this vibe by putting in jet tubs. The issue with jet tubs is that they don’t last a long time. Many have issues with jets breaking down or mold growing inside of them. Cleaning them can also be a problem. And for the large price tag you have to pay for them, they’re just not worth it. A soaker tub without the jets is far easier to maintain and it costs less, so go that route if you can.


TVs Over Fireplaces

In Canada, fireplaces are actually needed. But often people don’t think about furniture placement when designing home. That leaves them scrambling when they moved in. The reality is that most people have TVs in their living rooms, and when it comes time to sell buyers will look for a place to put one so you better have one. Over the fireplace isn’t the ideal location though. TVs are too high leading to neck pain. There can also be issues with heat from the fire affecting the TV and if you have low ceilings placing a TV higher up can making a room feel squat and low. Plus, who wants unsightly cords dangling over their gorgeous roaring fireplace?



Having a trendy home might look great, but it might not always be the most practical for real life. Including trends at the cost of practicality or functionality is never smart. Stick to classic elements or styles that you really love so that your home stays looking good for longer. Learn to find the balance for integrating trends in small ways. Contact us to learn more or to get started building your dream custom home.