Residential Design Services for Builders

Our Blog

September 08, 2023

Faded Fads Part 3

Thank you to everyone who has responded to my request for faded fads. The list keeps growing!

But with the start of the NFL season, I thought we should start with TVs – since so many watched them this weekend. Today, TVs are much simpler. They are virtually flat and can hang on the wall – usually without having to see wires or components hooked up to them.

But that wasn’t always the case. TVs were bulky. Their screens were small by today’s standards, but they were deep – typically 21” to 25” deep. And they had exposed cables and wires for cable hook up, video or DVD players, and speakers. The fronts often had visible knobs and buttons. In short – they were not attractive. It became the mission of architects and designers to seamlessly integrate them into our homes.

Built-in TVs

Enter the TV built ins – given what we were working with, this was a great idea. Keep the fireplace as the focal point of the room and put the TV to the side – hidden among the books or knick-knacks.

Or you could go all the way and include doors that closed to hide the “stuff”. Brilliant.

But we didn’t stop at our family rooms. We needed TVs in our bedrooms, so we bought these massive armoires to hide our TV. After all, some thought it taboo to have a TV in the bedroom.

Then the TV’s grew. Suddenly, everyone had to have the biggest, latest TV. So, the TV migrated from the armoire to another location – along with the stuff! Or the beautiful built-in doors would no longer close. Or worse – the TV no longer worked with all the new Bluetooth enabled devices and remained a dinosaur among our new décor.

Walk-thru Laundry Rooms

Another seemingly-clever (and often still implemented) idea: placing our laundry rooms next to our garages. I suppose this was an upgrade over having it in the garage or the basement. This “secondary” entry will be a great space saver and maybe we can make it both laundry room and mud room. You can always walk through the front door if you want a glamorous entry. That was the thought.

The reality? The laundry entry is always the primary entry. Coming and leaving home daily through a dreadful space filled with baskets of dirty laundry or wet clothes hanging to dry. Imagine picking up your friend at the airport for a visit. And the first thing they see are bras hanging to dry. Guess you have to clumsily walk around the house to the “real” entry.

Dining Disasters

So many older homes today have the giant formal dining room at the front door and the tiny breakfast nook next to the kitchen.

The formal dining is rarely used, and the breakfast nook is too small. If you’re going to have both a formal and casual dining area, make sure the casual dining room is large enough for the entire family.

Farewell to these Finishes!

Our journey down memory lane would not be complete without talking about some not-so-fabulous finishes that we had to live with. I’m talking popcorn ceilings, shiny sheet linoleum in the kitchen, T-111 exterior siding that lasted 5 years… We’ve come a long way in design fads. The question is, what current design trends are going to be looked at in horror 5/10/20 years down the line?

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and feedback over the past couple of weeks! Did you have any (least) favorites? Any that I left out? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Categorized in:

This post was written by Housing Design Matters