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Five Design Trends that Never Go Out of Style

The counter-culture of Traditional Architecture

The sequel to my Christmas blog ought to be about the New Year—or, perhaps, about last year’s highlights in traditional building. Have you noticed that all the “10 Best” lists and “What’s Next” narratives in the design field are trending modern? For example, for a 2016 Star Wars architectural tour, check out “Shifting Skylines: The 9 New Buildings Which Will Define Their Cities in 2016.”

Traditional is the trend I cover. So you’ll understand why an HGTV story called “20 Design Trends That Never Go Out of Style” got my attention. When what’s new is trendy, what’s old is counter-culture! If you are reading this, you are likely a traditionalist. If you are a traditionalist, you are counter-culture. That makes you cool.

HGTV turned 20 years old, which is what inspired their “20 Design Trends” story. This blog is five years old, so I’ve picked five out of their 20 to talk about.


“This storage space achieves a romantically worn feel of a classic in-home library while keeping the room up-to-date with fresh white bookshelves,” according to HGTV. I like built-in shelving because it holds books, which, contrary to the wisdom of popular culture, people still read. Architects especially read books. I got three books for Christmas, all from architects. (These books each had the architect’s name in the title.)


“These hypnotizing extras show no sign of burning out,” according to our trendy friends at HGTV. I was relieved to see their featured fireplace without a big screen TV above it. And the logs in their fireplace are not electric.


If you’re like me, when you walk outside, you look up at the sky; when you walk inside, you look up at the ceiling. A decorative ceiling with crown molding is “the jewelry of the home,” says HGTV. I like looking at this jewelry while lying in bed. “Choose ornate molding for a traditional look, or try a stripped-down style for a more modern home,” advises our trend spotter. From now on, I’m going to refer to modernism as “stripped down” architecture.

A strikingly bold scarlet door

This traditional home boasts a strikingly scarlet front door.


“A house with curb appeal is always in style,” declares HGTV. I wish the phrase “curb appeal” would go out of style along with the other realtor’s favorite: “This house ‘boasts’ granite countertops and a Viking range.” It’s true, though, a house with a front door looks like a house. (A house without one doesn’t get its mail.)


This quaint little room is always in style because, like the powder room, it’s where your guests like to snoop. They learn a lot about you by peeking in your pantry (or medicine cabinet). I’ve always wanted a pantry with swivel doors that hide the contents behind the shelves you see. On the front are the healthy foods, the organics and gluten-frees. Swivel these shelves around to the hidden side to see what I really like to eat.

There you have it, for 2016: “Five Design Trends that Never Go Out of Style.” Thankfully, these architectural details and amenities are ones you are likely to see featured in our magazines for years to come.

Happy New Year! May all your trends come true in 2016.

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