Your pod made mod.

:: Six Home Trends Going Out of Style January 27, 2009

Which home trends are out, according to recent consumer preference surveys?


modern pellet stove

1. Fireplaces: The fireplace skyrocketed in importance in homes in 1991 with 62 percent of new homes having one or more. But the number has steadily been decreasing ever since. In 2007, the number dropped to 51 percent.

eco-modpod says: Everyone loves a cozy fire when the temperatures drop but polluting the air with a wood burning fireplace is way out. Gas fireplaces are still popular and desired. Better yet, install an alternative and efficient fuel source–such as a modern pellet stove–to keep you warm when the power lines go down due to high winds, blizzards, or ice storms.

2. Carpet: While 54 percent of homes still have carpet floors, the number is decreasing and hardwood floors are taking the place. Vinyl and ceramic tile flooring also are being bypassed more by buyers. Seventeen percent of new homes contain hardwood floors throughout the entire house.

eco-modpod says: Most carpeting is far from earth friendly. Not only does it off-gas for several years, it collects dirt, dust, pollen and dust mites to inflame allergies and asthma. Reclaimed wood, bamboo, natural linoleum and cork floors are the way to go. Cork is especially great in kitchens to ease back pressure from long periods of standing. Ceramic or recycled glass tile in bathrooms is still ideal.

3. Living room: These once-decorative centerpieces of homes are slowly vanishing from newer homes. Thirty-four percent of consumers say they’re willing to buy a home without a living room.

eco-modpod says: Formal living and dining rooms, along with that special occasion china, are definitely going out and being replaced with “all occasion” rooms. If the TV is central in your lives then one room will do. If you prefer to keep the TV out of your main living and entertaining area then you may still want two distinct rooms.

4. Desks in the kitchen: These desks were once looked at as great storage areas but they’re often too small and quickly become clutter spaces in a home, said Gayle Butler, editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens. Instead, more consumers say they prefer larger desks in or near the family room—equipped with a messaging center—where they can keep an eye on their kids as they work on the computer.

eco-modpod says: Agreed. Desks in the kitchen are clutter traps and very unattractive.

5. Skylights: The little windows that allow natural light to seep into a home from above are falling out of style. Only 10 percent of new homes will include them this year, a continuing downward spiral for skylights.

eco-modpod says: Skylights that are installed properly are always in style! Skylights allow natural light in and less need for turning on lamps. Skylights can range from $500-$2000 installed depending on the size and features. Light tubes are another great option.


modern eco soapstone countertop

6. Upscale kitchen finishes: Granite countertops are slowly becoming less desirable among buyers who are now moving toward affordable, low-maintenance laminate countertops—which tend to last longer and now come in various styles.

eco-modpod says: It seems that most homes on the market these days list “granite countertops”. As soon as it becomes common place it goes out of style. Laminite and granite are definitely out, out, out. Laminate is not at all eco-friendly and granite is mostly mined from China and can emit radon. Cork, recycled glass, and soapstone are hot new trends for eco countertops!


By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

Eco-mod pod says:

Trends change. Purchase or remodel in a way that makes sense for you, your family, your budget and the environment.

Many of the out going trends in new homes are to reduce the cost of the builders and pass those savings on to the consumer. Over extending ourselves through credit is out of favor with most Americans. The home trends on their way out reflect consumer decisions to purchase less expensive new housing.

Remember: Think neutral, simple, and natural to create lasting style.


7 Responses to “:: Six Home Trends Going Out of Style”

  1. Greta Bloomfield Says:

    Can you get cork flooring in plank style?

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Do you mean narrow planks like wood flooring? Click together cork flooring comes in approx 12″ x 36″ planks. They go together easily and look great!

  3. Deanne Says:

    Cork feel great but fades quickly. We have throughout our home and it is uneven everywhere. What can be done?

  4. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Deanne,

    Our new cork floors also look and feel great but direct sun can fade darker corks. How long did it take for your cork to fade?

    We should probably make sure to close the skylight blinds when we aren’t home and luckily we have a rug under the area that receives the most direct light.

    If you do not have a veneer cork you can sand, stain and polyurethane your floors.

    A veneer cork will typically have a variation/patterned grain instead of the uniform cork board look.

    Here is one manufacture’s instructions:


  5. grant Says:

    countertops can look really warm and natural

  6. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Grant,

    Thanks for the great website to compare products

    The acrylic countertops may be a less expensive alternative to granite and quartz but a solid surface of all plastic is still plastic made to look like stone. Corian and the Livingstone solid surfaces just don’t have the look and feel that appeal to me. Silestone is 94% real stone and 6% resin (plastic). The resin holds together the crushed stone, makes it easier to work with, and provides a wider selection of colors.

    For a comparison of products visit:

    There are pros and cons to all countertops and it certainly is a balancing act between the environment, cost, functionality, and style.


  7. Paul Says:

    In reading some of your replies here I don’t believe many of the people you recived your post from have really done any research and are going off what they read in passing. 80% of stone used in the residential market today is mined in Brazil. Some of the stones mined in Brazil may be “finished” in China but the majority will still be finished in Brazil. This is the difference between going to a trusted fabricator and going for the bottom dollar. A quartz company came up with the “radon” thing. Check your facts. A banana emits more radon than Granite.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s