Love or Hate: Readers Weigh in on the Most Controversial Trends

updated Nov 3, 2022
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(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

A few weeks ago, we asked some of our favorite designers and influencers: What’s a design trend everyone seems to love but you hate? They had opinions, and, when it came time to comment, so did you. Lots and lots of opinions. And you didn’t always agree, which is great, because we love a good controversy. Here are some of the most controversial design elements: things that Apartment Therapy readers either really love, or really hate.

Subway Tile


mariann crowell: Another trend I would love to see go away is subway tiles. Why does everyone think having your room tiled to look like the New York subway is an attractive look? I just don’t get it, there are so many amazing tile and stone options out there.


Brit Gagne: I’ve probably been in a subway once or twice in my entire life, so 99.9% of my experience with “subway” tile is a clean, basic, and versatile tile. Rectangular, that’s all. The correlation with a dirty subway simply isn’t one shared by people who live outside metros with subway systems, which is quite a lot of people, I imagine. It’s an inexpensive upgrade compared to many other options, and subtle enough to keep from being dated.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

All White Everything


mariann crowell: I hate a lot of white. I hate white kitchens, white walls, white countertops, white appliances, white fireplaces, white furniture, white-washed furniture, and white slipcovers. The only things I like in white are towels, sheets, and sheer curtains. Oh and unicorns in white are good, too!


MollyHeyer: Being rather claustrophobic I’ll stick to relatively open floor plans and lots of white 🙂

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Open Floor Plans


Jfairch: I loved having a kitchen that was its own room. I have a very large open and modern floor plan that feels harder to keep spotless all the time.


Smee: I admit to liking open spaces, especially with smaller square feet. If my kitchen were a separate space I’d be cooking in a shoe box with zero connection to those I am cooking for.

NoClue: Not over open kitchens… I spend my life in pretty much two rooms – our home office and the kitchen. My worst fear is a galley kitchen where I get to see no one ever.

(Image credit: Bridget Pizzo)



oh holland: Glad to see other commenters also loathe the use of animal parts as so-called decor. Any animal that has been stuffed, stripped of its horns, antlers, tusks, fur or skin and put on display tells me everything there is to know about the person who chose it.

Love (or tolerate, maybe):

gingerlee1982: Like they enjoy hunting? An old neighbor of mine had his entire garage covered in deer busts. Floor to ceiling. All that tells me is that his wife didn’t want them in the house and that he’s a great shot.

westmain: I like taxidermy, sometimes. What if it’s from an animal that died naturally and was then stuffed? Why is that so horrible? I would never kill an animal just to use its corpse for decoration, but if it’s a creature that died without interference then I see no harm in using its remains.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Chevron Patterns


Valiantly Varnished: I loathe chevron pattern.

Lix: I thought chevron was out already? I haven’t seen it in ages. (And good riddance!)


parhelia: I know a lot of people hate chevron, but it was the pattern that finally yanked Oklahoma out of the hellish pit of pseudo-Tuscan-McMansion muddy florals we’ve been drowning in for what seems like FOREVER, so I, for one, will always smile at chevron. I adore all of the quirky geometric and ethnic prints, from southwest to Ikat to Suzani, that have been popular since.

(Image credit: Sandra Rojo)

Word Art


balinesecat: At the top of my Most Loathed list: Decor that features words or slogans that direct you to do something. Prime examples include “eat” in the kitchen, “dream,” “relax,” “gather,”and “live love laugh.”

…though I have to admit I once pondered the possible wit of buying letters that spelled out sh*t and hanging them over my toilet 🙂

2cats2many: My husband and I are talking about renovating the bathroom, but we also have a love of browsing real estate listings. After too many signs direct people to “Eat!” in dining rooms (I guess people get very confused?), I have a burning desire to take brown, watery paint and put $*!T in our bathroom before re-painting it.

There’s a definite trend here. Also, two cats is never too many.


Mitako: I know “word art” gets a lot of hate here, but sometimes what seems trite has deeper meaning. Several years ago, my 20-year marriage ended in a very, very brutal way and left me reeling for a few years. During that time, I bought two hand-painted signs. One says, “It is what it is” which reminded me that there was no point in dwelling on why or what happened… it happened, and simply had to be accepted. The other sign says, “Relax, you’re home” and reminded me of just that; I was in a new space and safe.

Both of those signs are still hanging in my new place with my new husband. I realize the sentiments are cliche, but they mean a lot to ME, and that’s what matters.

Thanks to you, Mitako, and to everyone else, for sharing your stories and your points of view. Others may love it, or hate it, but you’re creating a home that is special and meaningful to you, and that’s what Apartment Therapy is all about. Here’s to the intrepid decorators out there, and vive la difference.