Ridiculous decorating trends

Judging by the reaction it received, my post on making sense of the news in the Trump era scratched an itch a number of people were feeling.

Let’s turn our attention now to another topic of grave, national import: open shelves in kitchen design. Did you know this tomfoolery is all the rage?


I challenge you to find one photo of a gleaming kitchen recently remodeled that does not include open shelves. You can’t do it. They ALL include open shelves. Sure, those glasses and cookbooks look pretty, but, could there be a more impractical idea?


Aren’t kitchens for cooking? And doesn’t cooking involve flying droplets of oil? I’ve never figured out a way to avoid the soaring grime that spews from my daily kitchen endeavors. Even if the recipe calls for covering the pot on the stove, it will still have to be scrubbed later in the sink. Oily, soapy droplets are guaranteed.

I hate to say it, but I think Joanna has led us far astray on this one, friends. (What? Some thing just have to be said.)

While we’re on the subject of impractical decor trends, we need to discuss decorating with generic, “vintage” books. Have you noticed this one?

camera-1959385_1280This seems to be every designer’s new favorite way to bring in neutrals. As though books are a prop!  As though it makes sense to spend money on books that you don’t intend to read.

Do these people not own books? More to the point, do they not live for new ones   have unwieldy, towering stacks at their bedside love them? Who are these alien creatures?

To add insult to my biblio-injury, many designers are now even turning the books around so the spines face the wall. Endless neutrals, they coo.



For the love of all that is good and literate, WHY?? Do these people not have books they care about and want to be able to find? Am I the only wordy nerdy who needs Harry, Ron, Hermione, Anne, and Diana present and visible?

I have already established myself as a decor freak. I pledge to you that I will continue to be one so long as kitchens are for cooking and books are for adoring.

©Laura Goetsch and Thinking About Such Things, 2017.

4 thoughts on “Ridiculous decorating trends

  1. 1) If you take my ordinary kitchen clutter (homework, mail, medicine, toys, etc.) and add it to the open shelving concept, you have an overload of visual chaos. Open shelves only work, I think, if the rest of your kitchen is a shiny, smooth surface with no signs of human activity. Closed shelves help me minimize visual stimulation (and hide things when picky guests are coming).

    2) Not only do I love books and find comfort in piles of them, but I also want to see what’s on others’ shelves, too, as a way of getting to know them.


    1. You make a very important point, Valerie, that I had not yet realized: turning the books backward means your guests can’t browse them! That is one of the first things I do when I visit someone’s home – peruse their bookshelves. It may be my favorite ice-breaker.


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