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5 Home Design “Don’ts” for 2016

Say Goodbye to These House Design Trends!



So you think you’re ready for the hottest home design trends in 2016!


Before you get into the redecorating mode – or start your search for new house plans – take a look around your home to see if you have any design “dinosaurs” that you can ditch. What may have been trendy in 2000, a few years ago – or even in 2015 – may be old news by now.


Let’s take a look at five design “don’ts” that every homeowner should avoid in 2016. 





1.   Whirlpool Bathtubs – A great idea in the 1980s but totally “out” this year. With today’s homeowner more conscious of the use of floor plan space and energy, these huge tubs are unlikely to be part of the master bathroom of a new home. They take up a lot of room in a floor plan and can be a maintenance problem – with the need to replace motors periodically.


Go for bigger showers, more elaborate vanities with double sinks, and more counter space instead. 


big walk-in shower

A four-bedroom Shingle style house plan features this big walk-in shower (above) that is perfect after a day at the beach (Plan 161-1038). Below: A modern bath in a modern Ranch home plan comes with double sinks, a multiple-head shower, and built in shelves for bath accessories (Plan 101-1336). 

bath with double sinks, a multiple-head shower, and built in shelves




2.   Kitchen Desk/OfficeA few years ago, homeowners used space next to the refrigerator as a work station. A desk was often installed in the kitchen area as a “home” office – for mail, phones, messages, computers, cookbooks, and storage.


In 2016, the kitchen desk/office as part of any set of floor plans is definitely designated for the shelf – with a majority of homeowners utilizing bonus rooms and other space for a more formal home office. And for extra storage in a great kitchen, there’s a kitchen island – or even two – that can accommodate a sink, cooktop, food-prep space, built-in cabinets, open shelves for recipe books, and other kitchen needs.


Cluttered desk in the kitchen area

Out: Deck space in the kitchen (above) is a definite “don’t” in 2016. Who needs a kitchen desk when you can have a kitchen island (below) with cabinets and open shelves (right) for cookbooks, pads, and other culinary needs (Plan # 106-1276)?
(Above Photo credit: Slava Keyzman on Unsplash)

Modern kitchen with classic look and large island.




3.   Over-the-Stove MicrowavesQuite the trend in the 1990s, this kitchen space-saving idea has had its day. It was a viable option to portable microwaves that took up counter space – since it cleared part of the kitchen counter for food preparation and work space. But this type of microwave is not all that practical, especially when it’s installed far too high for some family members to reach.  


The trend in most home designs in 2016 is toward a striking-looking range hood above the stove. This also keeps the indoor air cleaner by venting grease-laden cooking smoke and steam. With the kitchen the highlight of an open floor plan, homeowners want to make their kitchens unique and appealing. So they’re adding colorful touches and accents like attractive backsplashes and eye-catching range hoods. 


Great looking kitchen - although placing microwaves over the stove is out.

Out: Years ago, an over-the-range (above) was a space-saving option in kitchens. The beautifully-designed kitchen of a two-story Craftsman-style home plan includes a copper range hood above the stove (below to go with the beams, hardwood floors, and kitchen island (Plan #146-2810). 
(Above photo credit: Naomi Hébert on Unsplash)

Country-style kitchen with stainless steel stove hood.




4.   Barn DoorsOne of the more fashionable accents in 2015, the barn door was just right for limited or cramped floor plans. With the barn door, a room could be “partitioned” temporarily and opened up as needed. Case in point – two siblings sharing a room can have some kind of privacy with a sliding barn door between their areas in the bedroom. At the height of its popularity, the barn door was used to give bathrooms a rustic and colorful touch, to hide home offices, and to separate spaces in the home floor plans.


As families look for some “alone” time in their bedrooms or secret spaces, barn doors and the minimal privacy they provide are out. Besides, who wants a barn door to the bathroom? 


Sliding barn door inside the home

Out: In 2016, homeowners can forget – and ditch – barn doors for bathrooms and other rooms in the home floor plan. (Plan #161-1072)


master suite with a master bath

Den with traditional double doors

In: A one-story, three-bedroom country house plan features a master suite with a master bath that has a “real” door rather than a rustic barn door (Plan # 153-1906). Escape into this study (right) with a traditional door, and enjoy some time away from family activities (Plan # 175-1073).




5.   Mason Jar Decor – A design trend that started in 2011, mason jars captured the imagination of Americans who were looking for something simple, folksy, quaint – and most of all, inexpensive – for their homes. Voila! From wall accents to lights, bathroom touches, wine glasses, flower vases, and even chandeliers, mason jars saturated homes, restaurants, bars, wedding receptions, and social gatherings.


As more homeowners veer from “do-it-yourself” decor in 2016 and look to experts for their homes’ interior design, the mason jar trend is finally out – and done with. Instead, go for geometric patterns – and if you want folksy or quaint, artisan crafts are in. 


Mason jar chandelier - works nicely in this farmhouse but not in every home

Out: Time to say goodbye to this chandelier with hanging lights in mason jars.
(Photo credit: Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash)


Wrought iron chandelier in traditional dining room

In: For rustic chic, take a page from this one-story, four-bedroom Traditional home plans and its wrought iron chandelier in the dining room (Plan # 141-1071). Or go for artisan-crafted chandeliers and accents (right) in an outdoor dining area. 

Blown glass lighting fixtures over this kitchen island



So if you’re ready for a home-decor makeover in 2016, take our advice and stay away from these house design trends! 


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