DIY Home Trends to Forget in the New Year

A vintage chair painted in turquoise shabby chic paint.

DIY projects have become popular recently thanks to a practical approach to style and design. Homeowners are ready to tackle projects themselves that will add interesting features and charm to their spaces without paying someone else to do the dirty work. While DIY can be fun and rewarding, it’s easy to get caught up in trends that won’t last, which can mean you're wasting valuable time and materials. Here are some DIY trends you’ll want to forget in 2019.

Chalk Paint Furniture

Chalk paint was all the craze for a few years as everyone rushed to paint over old furniture, dressers, sideboards, desks—if you had it, it got painted! While we aren’t saying you should throw out a nicely painted piece of furniture, it might be a good idea to relax on slapping the chalky look on everything, especially when warm, natural woods and well-aged vintage pieces are having their moment in the spotlight this year. Tip: Instead of chalk paint, try sanding and treating well-worn treasures instead of painting them.

White Paint

You see a sale on paint at the hardware store and all of a sudden, your whole house looks like the North Pole. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this all-white palette is no longer the go-to for painting. But don’t panic if you white-washed everything, because you can add color and dimension with wall art and opulent picture frames. And if you didn’t latch onto the “white-wash everything” craze or don’t mind getting the paint brush out again, then consider warm neutrals when updating rooms in your house. Note: All-black bathrooms and kitchens are taking over where white left off.

Chalkboard Paint

An outdated DIY chalkboard sign with a wifi password that's a trend to forget in the new year.

There was a moment when everyone had a black chalkboard either framed or painted on a wall in their kitchen. While it can be functional to write down shopping lists or notes that can easily be erased, ask yourself whether it would get used (or is used) as much as you’d like. It may be that this trend should be left on sandwich boards and coffee shop walls rather than the ones in your home.

Barn Wood Board Everything

2019 is about subtly re-thinking past trends, so while a really nice barn wood door or wall feature doesn’t need to be ripped down immediately, it might be time to let the rustic look have a rest. Instead, hunt for doors and tables that use elements of glass and metal, perhaps mixing them in with barn wood, but also considering how to contrast with other natural woods. Bottom line: look further than the barn door.

Barn Doors

On the note of using old stuff found in barns, sliding barn doors were also highly popular with DIYers everywhere in the last couple of years. The rustic metal hanger and rustic wood door was notorious with chic design, especially since it was an easy enough job for amateur carpenters. While it’s true that they can help utilize space better for small rooms, it might be a better idea to consider a pocket door for bathrooms and bedrooms instead—you’ll get more privacy with the same overall function.

Edison Bulbs

A lit edison bulb that's a diy design trend to forget in 2019.

They look cool and it’s relatively easy to replace old light fixtures with Edison bulbs, but what people didn’t realize is that they can be rather harsh on the eyes when you’re actually in the room with them. They are also extremely expensive, especially considering that you have to change pendants and lamps to ones that will expose the light bulb. Tip: move towards warm LEDs that are hidden in beautiful lamp shades and modern pendants.

Geometric Wall Features

The only chevron you should see in your home is in your floors or backsplash. Gone are the chunky horizontal two-tone wall features that adorned the space behind bedroom headboards, in fact, the “feature wall” may be on the outs in general. If you do want to showcase a particular area or get creative with color, look to ornate, floral patterns instead. Also: ditch the wall decals.

Live Edge Furniture

Live edge wood was the rebel of DIY design, used as countertops, tables, and shelves where there once were boring, straight contours. My apologies if you spent an enormous amount of money on those live edge pieces, but this particular trend is passé in 2019 as we reclaim a sense of order and geometry in woodworking. Not all is lost, however, as any natural wood you incorporate into design is going to be trendy this year. The lesson here? Keep the live edges around for a little longer—just don’t buy any more of it.

Folk Art Quotes

To be honest, having quotations as décor items in your home was never really that cool in the first place, but there was a rise in popularity in the last couple of years. Rather than sprucing up your calligraphy skills and painting a favorite quote on a wooden pallet, scrap the clichés for items like well-framed prints and art pieces. Tip: If you want to add some personal touches, frame a tasteful black and white photo you took yourself, or invest in artwork from places you’ve traveled.

It will always be in style to be able to update and decorate your home yourself, but that doesn’t mean that everything you make will stay chic, no matter how cool it once was. Don’t hold on to unfashionable fads just because you put the time and effort into achieving a certain look once upon on a time. Things change, and so should your décor.