modern farmhouse living room with dated decor trends

7 Dated Decor Trends & How To Update Them

When someone mentions dated decor trends, what do you think of? Many designers and design lovers might say shiplap. While shiplap stole the hearts of modern farmhouse lovers after a particular HGTV celebrity made them famous, their time in the spotlight may have come and gone. Does that mean you can’t keep your beloved pieces that may be considered dated? Absolutely not, but it’s good to see what alternative options there are to help update your home.


Dated Decor Trends In Your Home

It’s not always easy to recognize or accept that a piece you love may not be as timeless as you had hoped. This is also why I always recommend that you find pieces you truly love for your larger purchases because anything you truly love will never go out of style. However, it’s also okay to let go of the old to make room for the new. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself these few questions:

  • Do you really love this piece or did you buy it because it was popular at the time?
  • Can you afford to replace this piece?
  • Will you be upset in 5 years that this item is no longer in your home?

The answers to these three key questions will help you decide if it’s time to keep or replace this piece in your home.

Replace Shiplap With Wainscoting

grey shiplap in modern farmhouse bathroom design

Personally, I still really love shiplap. However, I recognize that it’s not what anyone would consider “current” or “trendy” now. For those of you who aren’t still in love with your shiplap or are just ready for a change, there are a few other options you can choose instead. The main one that is taking over in 2023 is wainscotting. For those who don’t know, wainscotting is wood paneling or trim on the walls.

Some of you may be having PTSD from the early 2000s when half the wall featured that thick trim that was often painted white. Don’t worry, that’s not what this new version of wainscotting looks like. This time around it’s a sleeker and classier design with thin trim. This creates more of an elegant and timeless look that still provides that same visual intrigue as a shiplap accent wall.

Replace Overly Distressed Furniture With Raw Finishes

natural wood coffee table in coastal farmhouse living room design

think it’s safe to say we all purchased at least one piece of overly distressed furniture.  Something about the faux distressing never really looked quality. Instead, those overly distressed pieces, while popular, always seemed to make the room feel less expensive. While I know this may be an unpopular opinion, I’m glad it’s going out of style.

Are you curious as to what is replacing faux distressed furniture? The answer is raw and natural finishes. This is really exciting for organic modern design lovers like myself who can appreciate a natural oak finish. It’s a great way to create that raw, organic element without cheapening the room.

Replace Word Signs With Art

landscape painting in seating area with large cabinet next to it

I can admit that I fell into the trendy trap of word signs. For what seemed like eons, modern farmhouse design practically centered around a plethora of cute, yet gimmicky word signs. Although I don’t think you have to completely eliminate them from your home (you certainly can if you want to), you should limit how many you have and I recommend not having them as a main focal point in your home. While they are quite adorable, they do tend to make your place look dated.

Instead, replace your word sign with a work of art. As a matter of fact, you could even DIY your old word art sign into a custom art piece you made yourself. If you need some inspiration for art options, here are some of my favorites:

  • painting
  • framed photos
  • canvas art print
  • mirror
  • tapestry
  • metal signs

Replace White Wash With Paint Or Stain

light stained natural oak nightstand in farmhouse bedroom.

Similar to overly distressed furniture, white-washed furniture, flooring, and other wood features are a thing of the past. While the intent of whitewashing was good, it ended up making most of the pieces feel cheap and dated. Even when it was trendy, the style quickly became overdone and the improper DIYs gave the technique a worse reputation than it should have. I do find a well-done whitewash to be the exception, but from my experience, that is a rare find.

If you have a white-washed piece and love it, keep it! However, if you also think that it was one of the worst and most dated decor trends, then let me give you a better solution. Sand down your white-washed furniture and either paint it with a solid coat of quality paint or properly stain it with a wood stain of your choice.

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