1950s home in formica ad

How to Avoid the Outdated, Trendy Home

1950s home in formica ad trendy fashion of 1950s

A 1950s home represented in a period formica ad. Fashionable, trendy, and modern home decor.

Recently, I ran across an Internet article on how to update your outmoded, thoroughly unfashionable early 2000s kitchen. It seems that the trends of that era — which my mathematical skills date a mere 12-17 years ago, about the age of the average teenager — are embarrassingly passé. It’s time to take what was once heralded as fashionable and modern — but is no longer fashionable and modern — and update it into what is now . . . fashionable and modern.

Such is the nature of trends, and the one thing you can say about them is that they never end.

pride and prejudice interior living room bingley's house

A cozy interior from Pride and Prejudice Days, from the 2005 movie. Fashionable, trendy, and modern home decor. The Greek pillars add that finishing, aha! touch.

Remember gleaming, stainless steel industrial kitchens, the Must Have of the late 1990s and early 2000s?


Mason jars as a decorative element, everywhere, anywhere, here and there, and all over?


How about ugly, retro lamps that look like what secondhand stores offer for $5 but decor gurus sell as part of their designer collection for $80?

Back in the secondhand stores.

Oh, and let’s not forget, let’s never forget, the ubiquitous paneling from the 1970s.

The kitchen from the Brady Bunch. Some of us, who spent too much time watching TV, spent a lot of time here. Fashionable, trendy, and modern

Way out, but not as in groovy.

HOWEVER, shiplap, which kind of looks like horizontal paneling to people who remember watching original episodes of The Brady Bunch, is in. For now.

Fashionable, Trendy & Modern

For now. Those two words encapsulate the nature of trends, modes, crazes, styles, rages, and vogues — the last word, ironically, of fashion, and those who follow the words of the gurus, whether they’re on HGTV or Houzz, or writing a column in a decor-themed magazine, will wind up, 12-17 years from now, with not just a kitchen, but an entire home that needs to be modernized and brought up to date.

Victorian home interior 1885 trendy fashion

A home interior from the Victorian age, 1885 photo. Fashionable, trendy, and modern home decor.

(“Just add a pop of color with an accent pillow, within your highly neutral grey-, beige-, or white-themed interior. Oh, and get rid of the granite countertops and replace them with concrete. And knock out that wall. Chic. Trendy. Modern.” The Victorians of the mid and late 19th century called their homes Modern. If we wait long enough, Victorian Modern will be back in style.)

Now there’s nothing wrong with changing and updating, and a coat of paint on the walls renovates a room, but the crucial factor in decorating any home is not what is — for the next nine months –“in,” but what the people living in the home like. Generally, this last element is accorded the least importance by reality design/decor TV experts because, quite frankly, what people like doesn’t sell products. What people are convinced that they like does sell — season by season, trend by trend, new look by new look.

Trendy: Classifying Home Decor — and People — by Type

Are you traditional or contemporary? Industrial or country? Coastal or Southwest? Romantic or Mancave?

Cave drawings of lascaux france trendy for their time

Authentic decor from the original mancave — cave drawings of Lascaux, France. Fashionable, trendy, and modern home decor.

True to our nature of classifying everything, including people (Choleric or melancholic? Lion or lapdog? Fire or water? Extrovert or introvert?), the corporate decor world prods and nudges home residents into precise, definitive decorating categories. In order to fit those categories and get that day’s chic, modern, themed look, the homeowner needs to buy this, replace that, paint over this (faux paint, textured walls, accent wall, splatter paint, smooth finish, photo mural, shiplap) and refurbish the furniture to match the new rug which coordinates with the artwork.

It never ends, because by the time the home is totally coordinated to expert specifications, it’s out of date.

Home Decor That Isn’t Trendy, but Reflects Your Fashion

So what is the homeowner to do?

In solving any problem, commonsense reigns supreme, and indeed, if commonsense were the prevailing, enduring fashion trend, reality TV, and its many satellites in the print and Internet world, would not exist.

Let’s number a few thoughts, albeit simple ones, but enough to hold in the back of our mind before we determine that our home is hopeless:

  1. Figure out what you like, and incorporate it into your home. In other words, buy what you like.  Even if you consider yourself an idiot when it comes to design, you have personal likes and dislikes that matter.
  2. Tune out the voices, and determine that the central voice you’re hearing is yours, in tandem with that of the other people who live in the house.
  3. If you must classify your style, make it Eclectic.
  4. Gravitate toward what makes you happy.
  5. If it requires a huge renovation and major cost, run through items 1, 2, 3, and 4 — over and over again.
  6. Never forget that this is your home, and you and your family live in it. Decorate for you, and not the guests you imagine will be critiquing your tastes. (Why are you inviting people like this into your life anyway?)
  7. If you hire an interior decorator, find one you like and who listens to you.

Commonsense doesn’t sell trendy products, and it doesn’t drive ratings — but it may make you happier with your home.

Wenaha Gallery

Wenaha Gallery features distinctive artwork and home decor, ranging from original paintings and sculpture by Pacific Northwest artists, to fine art prints from The Greenwich Workshop. The gallery also custom frames artwork, certificates, photos, treasures, and other mementos that add that unique touch to our clients’ homes.

Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at

An article complementing this one is 5 Super Easy Tips for Choosing the Right Artwork for Your Home.


A fossil of a fish is one of the more unusual items that framer Lael Loyd has framed at Wenaha Gallery.

When Being Framed Is a Good Thing — The Importance of the Simple (or Ornate) Frame

A fossil of a fish is one of the more unusual items that framer Lael Loyd has framed at Wenaha Gallery.

A fossil of a fish is one of the more unusual items that framer Lael Loyd has framed at Wenaha Gallery.

The beauty, and frustration, of history are the differing opinions by experts regarding what actually happened. After all, since the parties involved are long gone, it’s difficult to be precise.

So it is with the history of not only painting (with researchers propounding both Europe and Indonesia as sites with the oldest works, and dates ranging initially from 10,000 to a present consensus of 40,000 years ago), but with the frames that surround the paintings. One voice in the framing world, Church Hill Classics, asserts that frames have existed since the second century B.C., when borders were drawn around Etruscan cave paintings, while the UK’s Paul Mitchell Ltd, specializing in antique and reproduction frames, pinpoints framing’s origins to the embellishment of vase and tomb artwork around that same date . . . or a thousand years earlier.

Three dimensional items are a challenge, but not an impossibility, to frame.

Three dimensional items are a challenge, but not an impossibility, to frame.

Technicalities aside, framing artwork has been around for a long time, and as any college student with posters on the wall can attest, a formal outside border makes all the difference in whether the room feels like a dorm, or a home. It enhances, it upgrades, it protects.

“For all practical purposes, it holds the guts of the frame package together, and acts as another barrier to protect the art,” says Lael Loyd, principal framer at Wenaha Gallery in Dayton, WA. “The frame is the last line of defense against the elements from the side.”

While it can be as simple as strips of barn wood (hopefully without the splinters) to the ornately crafted, gold-leaf gilded frames associated with 19th century French landscapes, the final choice, Loyd observes, strongly depends upon the artwork within.

“The frames, like the lamps, floor rugs, couches, and mirrors, should never detract from the room. We encourage each piece to be designed for what it needs, keeping in mind the environment it will live in.”

A Victorian Shadowbox incorporates items from the era.

A Victorian Shadowbox incorporates items from the era.

Like that interior furniture and decor, framing goes “in” and “out” of mode, Loyd says, explaining that the manufacturers of commercial framing keep an alert eye on the home interior market, introducing styles that are trendy without being “faddy.” Some elements, however, are like the little black dress — always perfect, and always timeless:

“Basic black, gold and silver always win . . . Browns, in a variety of tones, mahogany, black and shades of gold, silver and bronze are what I use most.”

Loyd has designed framing packages for everything from what one would expect to frame — a painting, a poster, certificates and diplomas — to the more unusual — a fossilized rock, a piece of the Torah (“No pressure there!”), a softball outfit including the ball and bat, a World War I Service Banner encased in glass on both sides. Her most challenging 3-D framing commission was her first, a Victorian shadow box that included a feather, pair of gloves, book, buttons, pocket watch, and more.

“I was terrified! I took a long time because I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I used techniques I didn’t know existed until, and in the end, it is one of my favorite designs.”

Some frames are works of art in their own right, and within the museum art world, curators are paying increased attention to this fundamental, but easily overlooked, element to the finished art package. In 2015, The National Gallery in London presented a 5-month exhibition entitled Frames in Focus: Sansovino Frames, featuring elaborately designed frames from the 16th century. It is the first in a series of exhibitions that the gallery plans on frames.

For the average person, however, what needs to be framed probably won’t be found in a museum, although this does not mean that the work doesn’t have meaning.

“I love the designs that come with a story,” Loyd says, “like a child’s refrigerator art housed in a basic frame, and the child comes in and clings to the framed piece, or the photo of a prize-winning husky, with ribbon included, and the owner brings out a Kleenex because the beloved dog has passed away and we’re now working to display a memory.

“It’s history, living history, preserved and protected for future generations.”

Wenaha GalleryFraming Extravaganza is the Pacific Northwest Art Event from Monday, March 28 through Saturday, April 23. Both ready-made frames and a select inventory of link molding (from which custom frames are made) will be deeply discounted as the gallery makes room for additional frame styles and colors.

Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at

Wenaha Gallery is your destination location for Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Prints, professional customized framing, and original fine art paintings and sculpture by notable Pacific Northwest artists.   Books, gifts, note cards, jigsaw puzzles, and more are also available. Visit at 219 East Main, Dayton, WA.

This article was written by Carolyn Henderson.