Home Fads That Are Falling Out of Style

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  1. I agree with most of your observations in general. I think some things are regional and will be driven as such. Fireplaces in my coastal area have not been cost effective, carpet not practical because of the sand and humidity etc. Can’t imagine that granite or other hard surfaces are going out of style; I think it is more of a price point choice. Lower end buyers will choose something other than granite or other hard surface material for cost purposes. In the upper end homes, granite is still the 1st choice, hardwoods/other hard surfaces, open kitchens/dens, and the living room has been replaced by a home office.

  2. My name is Jorge Muralles and I work in Rhode Island, my company is based in Newport, very pretty town by the water.

    In our market I have notice how ranches, as whole have been less popular, it might be because a lot of people moving to the area like the traditional New England stile architecture.

  3. Just across the lake from Seattle, people are looking for light and warmth. So in this area skylights are still popular, as are hardwoods, granite, and anything else that is shiny and adds light to a space. Fireplaces are a necessity, and people much prefer gas ones to wood. I’ve seen a couple of great examples of modern looking gas fireplaces recently, which do not contain fake logs. They looked great! “Green” is still in here as well, as it’s probably less expensive in the long term, and the people here are generally well educated and forward thinking, and prefer long-term solutions.

  4. In Arizona, we are finding that fireplaces are not a trend. And typically if the client wants a fireplace they are from the cold country. Granite is still “hot” in our market. And hardwood floors are becoming “hot.” The typical carpet is going out of style just because Arizona is hot in the summer and having a home with tile or hardwood floors is much cooler. And the “formal” living room is out!

  5. One of the biggest trends we are starting to see in Atlanta is the decrease in the number of Great Rooms/2-story family rooms. People are realizing that these are harder and more expensive to evenly heat and cool these rooms; you end up with “pockets” of warm and cool air. Plus, they add an echo-factor that is a bit annoying. These types of rooms are not entirely gone but they’re on their way out.

    Skylights are almost non-existent in new construction here. Instead, large, non-payned (spelling?) windows cover entire walls to increase light. Much better in my opinion.

    We are also seeing the rise in upstairs media/play rooms, which is GREAT if you have kids. Coffered ceilings are quite popular here as well.

  6. bah humbug

    You have to be kidding… tell a child that fireplaces are going out and now Santa has to come in by the stove.. Ridiculous! Wood burning may be but nothing better than Turing on a gas flame and automatically turning on the person you are with having a nice glass of wine and cheese. Oh lets all sit and stare at a blank wall or better yet a plastic rotating flame.. How romantic…. Much better having a real fireplace on those cold nights no matter where you live.
    Oh and a couple of other things…. Nothing better than having water or food spots on a nice wooden kitchen floor, let’s see how long they last. And laminate over natural stone granite? Don’t forget to add florescent lighting and electric cooktop to save on gas and in the living room be sure to include the sliding glass doors overlooking the above ground pool. Bet your home also has the plastic seat covers on the white couch and over the red lamps shades. I think it would be wise to take a better poll on what is in and out.

  7. michael j

    I have been noticing more homes with mirrors in the bedroom or as one celebrity calls them “love reflections”. In addition, open porches with jacuzzi seem to be popular.

  8. Kim Russell

    Atlanta- I disagree with granite falling out of favor, any home “in-town” has granite or other stone product. Fireplaces continue to be a selling feature, especially in older homes. I have seen many clients convert the formal living room as dining room and convert formal dining rooms to den or office. New construction the only carpet is in bedrooms, which builder will install hardwoods if requested by buyer.
    Great Rates, Great homes, Atlanta is Hot!

  9. Ms. Tracy, I don’t know where people come up with these statistics. A few years ago I read that stainless steel appliances were on their way out. That couldn’t have been further from the truth.

    Here in the Jacksonville, FL area, fireplaces are very popular. We actually use them.

    Granite has competition with composite granites like Cambria and embedded granites that don’t have to be treated, but no way is formica coming back in style in the $300,000+ market.

    In FL, many people are opting for tile and natural stone like travertine, as well as hardwood flooring. I would agree that less carpet and more tile/stone/wood is being seen in homes here, but not necessarily hardwood over tile/stone. In fact, the opposite is true.

    Living rooms are still popular in that they are used for an office, since so many people do at least some work from home. Young couples don’t care about a great room floor plan, but families with children desire a living room that can double as an office.

    It would be great if you would give the source of your stats for articles like this.

  10. Our 1976 kitchen really needed a lift. 2.5 yrs ago, we stuck with laminate (replaced) and very affordable. Maybe 200,000 color/styles! We saved $3000+ (match was important) Also, mural on pantry door. Kitchen is still with “age” of home. Love the care-free surface. Painted fireplace. Very happy.

    Kitchen featured In local Homes Mag.

  11. Brian Brown

    As a Realtor in the Las Vegas area, I couldn’t disagree more with some of these findings.

    Granite countertops in any kitchen (and any price range) is a definite selling point. I have never had a buyer client unhappy to see granite tops in the kitchen of a resale home. As a matter of fact, most require granite or something similar to even consider a property. This is true even in the lower end of our market, say 150 to 200. Never had a client ask for laminate over granite. Stainless appliances are definitely in as well.

    Fireplaces are also widely used in this area. Although usually not a deal breaker for buyers, many people seem to enjoy having a fireplace to give a room/area a definite focal point. Although the Southwest is not as cold as some places, we can have chilly winter nights. Wood burning is definitely not the trend here, but gas fireplaces are quite common. I cant imagine not having one myself.

    Carpet does seem to be less popular these days. However, I do not agree that tile flooring is on it’s way out. Wood flooring is popular, but still quite expensive. Never had a client who wanted linolium over tile though…

    Living rooms do seem to be evolving into the “greatroom” type of setup. Not sure if that’s buyer driven, or just builder design preference. upper middle and higher end properties in the Las vegas area do still have living rooms though. Most buyers I deal with do seem to prefer an open, flowing feel to that of a more broken up style.

    Skylights. People do seem to like them when we come across a home that already has them, but it’s not a deal breaker if a home doesn’t have them. More buyers in this region just want alot of large, (but efficient) windows to help open up a home. French doors are definitely tops over sliders.

    Kitchen desks, while I still see builders offering these, I don’t see alot of demand for them in resale properties.

    Interesting statements in your article, but based on my experience with buyers in the Las Vegas market, I’m not sure I agree with some of the findings.

  12. laminate is sure not making a come back in South Carolina!!!! quartz and granite are the preferred!!!! carpet in the bedrooms only!!!! hardwood, the various tiles and marbles really using both seems to be preferred. not all hardwood floor though out they want the break from the foyer and many times the kitchen breakfast…….. No vinyl floors even in the laundry room. As to fireplaces most desire gas log fireplaces in the great room, morning room if they have one and the master if they can splurge!!!!
    maybe tastes real vary from state to state……..

  13. This article was certainly geared towards “new” construction (as most of these types are). I agree with someone’s comment that it’s the builder who is excluding these items to cut costs.

  14. In Southern California, (San Bernardino County) we’re seeing trends vary along economic lines. First time homebuyers love granite counters, especially if they can get them at discounted prices. As for fireplaces, the 35+ crowd seems to really like them. Younger buyers seem to not care as much about them. I’d say cathedral ceilings are falling out of favor. People want high ceilings, say 9-14″, Formal dining rooms are still popular. Separate tub and showers are big if available. Out door living spaces are really coming on strong. As for “green living” it’s a non issue here except for dual paned windows and low water landscapes.. People just don’t care. I think another trend is clients wanting more storage space, especially in the garage.. Condosare out.

    I am seeing more clients asking about views across all income levels. People are looking for stress free living. Berber carpets are out, area rugs are in. People want convenient access to shopping and local events. I see more people choosing communities and neighborhoods that offer park space as well as quality restaurants and independent shopping.

  15. In Utah granite countertops, hardwood & travertine floors and fireplaces are still in. Luxury homes use marble floors particulary at the entrance. Luxury homes often have fireplaces in each bedroom; gas is the preferred fuel. Consumers prefer carpet in the bedrooms. Master suites are highly desirable and everyone loves a great room.

  16. Low maintenance laminate counter tops outlasting granite? Who made up that fib??? Granite will outlast most homeowners.

  17. The trend I am starting to see a lot more often here in Austin is omiting the breakfast nook and just having a large bar in the kitchen that will seat 4-6. I am also seeing a lot more net nooks being designed into homes too. Granite and stainless are still a must here.

  18. Fireplaces aren’t going out of style, buyers are still asking for them, but builders aren’t putting them in. I even bought one for my bedroom. And as for granite and carpet going by the wayside… I don’t think so. Someone isn’t going to say, no I want formica instead. I’ve seen people who have tiled their whole house, and people are looking for carpet to keep their feet warm. We might want a larger sampling of folks on these topics.

  19. Darlene Mann

    Interesting about the FIreplace. A home I sold a couple of months ago – The first thing the Buyer did was completely tear-out the fireplace. It was large brick one, he wanted the room and it did make an improvement in the living area.

  20. This blog is very informative, as a Realtor in Knoxville, Tn. I like to find out what is going on in the rest of the nation.

    We are all in agreement about carpet only in the bedrooms (if at all).

    In our area, it depends on the price range as to what buyers prefer, but I think practacality is very important in our area, at least for the moderate home buyer.

    Personally, I don’t think master on the main, will never completely go out of style, it is so practical, especially if you have older children or are just a couple!

    Kitchen upgrades are VERY important. Kitchens sell Houses!!

    Large closets and storage are just practical and I can’t imagine that anyone dosn’t want this feature, again practicality.

    Luxurious, baths, are just that a feature that is not nessesary, but are much appreciated and an updated bath is a great selling feature.

    As contractors, cut down on the costs, of building homes, I wonder what will go?

  21. Sean Simon

    Not sure where Melissa did her research but this is a bunch on BS. I do not agree at all.

  22. styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org – now in my rss reader)))

  23. carpet. They help create Allergies. Skylight’s are nice and help open up rooms, so I do not care trend or not. They actually help save electricity. Desk, where no good anyway, just for clutter. Fireplaces are nice but the gas got to expensive.
    I like to see a coil water heat in the rooms. Where if you do not use a room you do not have to heat them, like it has been in Europe foe many years. We wised a lot hear. Also better windows. Our windows are not practical and useless. Take a look at German Windows. Easy to open, very easy to clean! Even when you are on the 3rd floor.
    We need to learn when it comes to better building a whole lot more.
    We also must get rid of all the toxic building materials we are still using in the US including the toxic household cleansers. I am so glad I found get clean none toxic cleaners. I get them from http://www.SafeGetClean.com

  24. Carpets are bad, Fireplaces are bad.! We all knew this years ago
    Larger windows are much nicer and let sunshine in. I still like to see skylights , in walk in closets and hallways. We must remember to save energy. Wood is out and so are Fireplaces they just suck up heat. Tile and hardwood floors are easier to clean using Basic H you do not have to worry of any toxins on the floor.

  25. I have yet to have any buyer tell me, “Oh, and please exclude those homes with fireplaces, and/or granite…”

    My home has granite in bathrooms and kitchen, and I don’t view it as a luxury … it is a HUGE convenience! Hot pots and pans are no match for granite. Set it down, and don’t worry about it. Hot irons or hair straighteners, no worries with granite.

    I agree with the desk and skylights, but am scratching my head over the others…

  26. Diana Bustamante

    A Fireplace continues to be a good selling feature and I think most would agree. Again, granite countertops out weight a laminate counter, In Los Angeles area Granite is still very popular and desireable in the kitchen. As for the Radon gas I would like more conclusive information on this issue. As for a skylight I agree it is a passing fad,

  27. Laminate counter tops last longer than granite???

    Quartz has the most durable polished surface which can maintain its luster for up to five hundred years. Granite follows just after quartz as having the longest lasting polished surface. Granite pavers have been used in Europe for hundreds of years and have proven to be a very successful pavement material. NY City skyscrapers are lined both inside and out with granite which has held up for more than 100 years. Can you imagine if those buildings were lined with formica?

  28. marty cerna

    Laminite lasting longer than Granite??? What do you live in a motorhome?! This totally untrue and needs to be stated, SORRY! In California the livingroom/diningroom in new homes is slowly being taken out.

  29. Fireplaces are still important, granite is still the best and most desirable…and believe me, those light tubes are not popular with many buyers I work with.

    I do agree with the living room change – we have our pool table where there should be a living room – why put it away in the basement? The builders here have been putting them on the first floor for models, and we loved the idea! Just had a dinner party on Saturday and all three couples were able to play pool and mingle if it wasn’t their turn – awesome fun!

  30. In the Poconos, views are king. Modern kitchens, granite, stainless, ceramic floors
    are in. Four bedrooms colonials are hot with ceramic floor entry plus 9 ft celings.
    Fireplaces are a plus, master bedroom suites with spa tubs and showers, ceramic floor and walls along with large walk-in closets, tray ceilings. Separate den/office,
    Pantry in kitchen, and basements when possible. Two/three car garages are hot.
    Our market is primary these days with may commuters working in NY and NJ.
    We’re spoiled, we want it all.

  31. Victoria C

    Fireplaces are definitely not going out of style where I live. Granite countertops are also still in style except among those who can’t afford them. Wood floors are highly desirable but only among those who can afford them, so carpet is definitely still in style here as well. My biggest must haves in a new home are glass kitchen cabinet doors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and hardwood floors. I also need room for a home office/library and music room. For me it’s not about trends but instead, getting what I want and need in a house to make it feel like a home.

  32. Laminate counter tops last longer than granite???

  33. J. Ayres

    I’m in southern california. Our buyers are still in love with granite and fireplaces. Even those buyers that are on a second, third or even vacation home! Very few think that laminate is the way to go unless they have a handyman that can change the counter top to granite after closing.

    Our buyers are also looking for seperate office spaces with their own doors, powder rooms, bathrooms for each bedroom, 2 masterbedrooms and ample backyards. If it is a 2 story home masterbed on first floor plus another bedroom with own bath for parents.


    After reading al these messages, my opinion is that a lot of these people are uninformed or misinformed. I recently remodeled my kitchen and used Corian (a DuPont product) for counter tops. This product is superior to “granite”. It does not need any care at all. Also, all of you “bad rapping ” laminate should rethink your positions. The floor material I selected is made by a company named Wilsonarts. This floor materail is a laminate and extremely durable. It is better than any hardwood, and looks good , too. Paul

  35. Corian is so much warmer and not as destructable as granite or laminates. Didn’t know that Granite could be releasing radon. Sounds plausable.

  36. Open floor plans weren’t even mentioned. I feel that’s the biggest draw back to selling older houses. The rooms are more divided and sectioned off, not like newer homes. Buyers, especially young first-time homebuyers, are looking for open spaces for entertainging. Like kitchens open to great rooms with easy access to a large deck or patio.

  37. Lee Jepsen

    Views from the SW suburbs of Chicago:
    Fireplaces continue to be one of the most requested features in this area. Wood-burning with a gas starter offers the best of both worlds as long as you don’t have to haul the logs through the entire house (like not a good idea in a basement-opt for gas logs there). Just did a rehab home and added a ventless gas fireplace in the living room, huge impact and puts out nice heat.

    Carpet…mixed reaction, mostly good in bedrooms, but hardwood is still flooring of choice in this area. Tile good in baths and laundry areas. Laminate???? You’ve got to be kidding! Only exception is high-end laminate wood, but have seen some very bad installations…not good! We see a lot of hardwood floors in kitchens and baths, not as much maintenance as you would think, just wipe up any spills (like any other surface!)

    Living room…again, mixed reaction, some buyers still like the idea, some don’t care as long as there’s a nice great room. However, it does make a nice area for the baby grand piano, also a private retreat for parents if teenagers take over the family room, or possibly a home office. Most buyers in this area are looking for larger, open spaces for gathering and entertaining, rather than shut-off formal areas.

    Kitchen desks…if tucked away from traffic area, and wired for computer center, can be nice option for homework, on-line bill paying, downloading recipes (lol), etc., but old 70’s style “planning desks” are out.

    Skylights…I can see where they might be attractive in other climates, but they were mostly a fad here. And nothing worse than showing an older home with a huge skylight covered with debris and signs of water leaks running down the shaft. Big turnoff! Most buyers would rather have lots of windows for natural light.

    Granite…Absolutely a must, regardless of price range. Recently completed sale of new construction, builder had put in laminate, first thing buyers said they would do is upgrade to granite. I think all the other comments pretty much covered the disdain for laminate countertops. Granite is extremely easy to clean, always looks good, and impervious to heat. I lay out an entire buffet on mine, hot dishes and all. Another biggie is SS appliances, also center island. Haven’t had too much demand for wine coolers, but maybe just work with the wrong class of people.

    Three-car garages definitely a big plus if buyers can afford them, but two-car capacity ok as long as they’re attached and have good access to laundry/kitchen area.

    Master bedroom big selling point with luxury bath and huge walk-in closet(s). Jetted tubs losing favor, but some people still like them. Definitely separate shower, and compartmented toilet always a nice touch.

    Totally enjoyed all the comments, hope next time the “survey” includes more of us in the trenches.

  38. Linda McMillan

    I didn’t see any source for information given. In the past few years it has been the builders that have set the standard. That will not be the case for several years forward.
    Fireplaces aren’t out of vogue but the type of fireplace is. California has air quality standards that vary by county. I have not seen any of the stove stores going out of business. As a matter of fact, they are more popular than ever and stove/fireplace manufacturers are adding hearths and surrounds to their offerings. Granite remains very popular regardless of supposed radon scare. For those of you who think Corian cannot be damaged you should talk to people who have had it for awhile. All products must be maintained to some degree. Flooring also should be thoroughly investigated before purchase. All of these items relate to lifestyle. Quality of infrastructure construction is what the wise buyer is looking at.

  39. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE DATE SOURCE!!! GRANITE, FIREPLACES, AND LIVING ROOMS, ETC. ARE NOT GOING OUT OF STYLE… this phenomenon is called a poor economy folks, give me a beak.

  40. In the Tampa Bay area, granite countertops and laminate or hardwood flooring is expected. Carpeted bedrooms seem to be ok, with upscale tile in wet areas. Anything less is called a “fixer upper.” 🙂

  41. SE Florida, I see on the way out
    • fake Spanish revival monsters
    • high (two story) ceilings
    • carpet
    • tile

    Popular, among other items:
    • laminat (lower- and midlevel prices)
    • hardwood (midlevel and up)
    • fireplaces – even here are not out of style, just not seen too often
    • remodelled kitchens, often in a “country-style” of sorts, but with stainless-steel appliances and GRANITE counters (buyers would shoot us if we showed “low-maintenance laminate”)
    • and finally clean, crisp modern deisgn, especially in the $1m+ range

  42. When I see a home decorated with complete mirror walls , it instantly takes me back 30 years.This happens a lot in PuntaGorda FL. While, sellers think it it a bonus, younger buyers think it will be an expense…they are not easy to mantain either!

    Laminate countertops, specially those that look like granite are also not in my wish list.

  43. I found the comments much more useful than the article itself. I agree with most things said.

    It occurs to me that our opinions are shaped by our experiences with clients and our own personal preferences. Perhaps those contributing articles should make sure to gather insight from sources all over the country before making sweeping generalizations. As REALTORS we know that markets are local not national….so perhaps the same can be said to some degree for “trends”.

  44. I agree with all in this post! Thanxx

  45. Fireplaces may be out in some areas of the country and gas the preferred choice for urban areas, but here in the rural areas of Southern Oregon it is quite different. Buyers look for wood or pellet stoves, wood burning fireplaces and inserts, and the new wood stoves built to look like a fireplace. Wood is a renewable resource, easily obtainable and inexpensive if you cut it yourself. And when the power goes off, you can still stay warm and heat some soup.

    I have noticed a movement away from granite to other hard surfaces as more people learn of the upkeep required to granite.

    Carpet is still the choice for lower end homes with laminate and then hardwood as price increases.