When trying to sell a home, the power of first impressions cannot be overlooked. Prospective buyers can make snap judgements based on what they see, often making up their mind before they see the full property. One thing that can hurt a home’s first impression factor is outdated décor. What looked great 10 or 20 years ago may not translate to buyer’s design sensibilities today. When it comes to avoiding bad first impressions, here are ten trends that have run their course.

  1. Wall to wall carpeting in main living areas. While carpet is fine in smaller rooms, hardwood floors in larger rooms give homeowners the ability to use artfully placed rugs that coordinate with their furnishings and display their personal style.
  2. “Greige” everywhere (grey + beige): What was once at the height of fashion for paint colors in kitchens, bathrooms, and pretty much throughout the home is now falling from grace. Designers are predicting a transition from the popular gray color palettes of the last few years to warmer mochas and taupes in 2018.
  3. Chevron patterns. A trend you saw everywhere from carpets to wallpaper to art and accessories, chevrons had their moment – and that moment has passed. Choose instead to use classic patterns in rich colors and materials and you’ll be fine.
  4. Mirrored dressers. A few years ago you couldn’t turn the page of a home style magazine without seeing at least one piece of furniture covered in mirrors. From dressers to nightstands to entryways and living rooms, you’re guaranteed to see your reflection somewhere. But the trend has faded, and homeowners (probably sick of cleaning fingerprints daily) are calling it quits on mirrored pieces.
  5. Whirlpool tubs in the master bath. Sumptuous spa-like showers with natural materials and luxe hardware are more in line with today’s trends while whirlpool baths are more often used for holding potted plants than providing the amenities today’s buyers is looking for.
  6. Mid-century modern. For a while, this vintage decor trend was so popular it seemed almost standard. But “Mad Men” has been off the air for two years now and designers are saying it’s time to let it go and move on.
  7. Featured in almost every episode of HGTV’s mega-popular Fixer Upper, shiplap graduated from the shed to the home and has been the darling of home décor for the last few years, much like Joanna Gaines. Quirky and quaint only works for some people, though, and shiplap’s glory is fading as classic materials make their way back. If you love farmhouse style, shiplap is fine. But it just doesn’t work in Tudors or Colonials, of which we have a lot here in Arlington, VA.
  8. Sliding barn doors. Again, if you love farmhouse style, then go for it. But sliding barn doors in Tudor, Colonial or Victorian homes don’t really work, and potential buyers will just see something that they need to replace.
  9. All white kitchens. White on white on white is just too much. All-white kitchens have been the go-to design choice for homeowners and design professionals for many years now. But the ultra-white palette that became almost standard for the past decade is evolving to meet the preferences and needs of new generations seeking color, contrast, and lots more pizzazz in the heart of their homes. If you’ve got an all-white kitchen, the good news is that it’s easy to update it for universal appeal. Read this article for ideas that add color, warmth and interest to all-white kitchens with ease.
  10. Man caves. Homeowners still value getaways, but design trends are moving away from the classic man cave to spaces designed for more universal appeal. Think less sports bar and more luxury living spaces where anyone can relax and indulge their love for everything from arts and crafts to spa-like yoga studios or peaceful places to just sit quietly or binge watch Netflix without interruption.