Drive around with your grandpa and you will likely experience some of the nostalgia he feels for the vehicles he grew up on. He’ll point to the vintage car, mull over the exact year within the decade of its release, and then identify exactly what makes it a ‘56 Chevy Bel Air as opposed to a ‘58. It is human nature not only to be drawn to the objects, people, and places that remind us of happy days-gone-by but to also use these markers to justify ourselves on the timeline of life. “I remember when so-n’-so became president because I had just seen the newest comic book movie before the results were announced.”

Houses, perhaps more than any other object in our lives, exercise this strange and wonderful hold over our perspective of history, both personal and communal. Not only do we feel nostalgic for where we lived, personally, but we are able to look at the way a house was built (as well as its later home repair) to place it accurately in time.


Just like grandpa can look at the tire skirts and blue dots in the taillights to identify when a car was made, we are able to look at the home renovation trends — what was passing for a deck and what kind of siding Utah was choosing at the time — to understand when in the 2020s, 2010s, or earlier the home was constructed.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends, both past and present, to brush up on Utah’s domestic design journey. Who knows if one day we may find ourselves explaining to our children just why everyone became infatuated with glass blocks in the ‘80s.


There are plenty of home repair trends that have had their day in the sun that have now, maybe for the best, aged out. From colors to materials, here is what people are choosing to walk away from as they complete their home renovation projects.


Perhaps you remember the trend that was dominating siding in Utah over the last few years: picking more than two colors with which to paint the house. Usually, there’s a primary color (meaning the main color, not necessarily the color wheel designation) and a complementary accent color that, when used together, give the house a clean, sophisticated look. However, there was a trend not long ago where homeowners were picking a third and even a fourth color to accent parts of the house. This just serves to make a busy mess for the eyes.


On the other hand, painting the entire house in monochrome can be a recipe for disgruntled neighbors who must look at something dour on their street each day and emotional distress for whoever actually lives in it. There’s not much about a gray home that really screams “come here for relaxation and positivity.”


Columns are some of the most overused, yet difficult-to-pull-off trends in home renovation today. It is very easy to stray from what seems practical and classy to something overwrought and ugly. Faux Greek classical, ultra-skinny, or the dreaded “double style” of columns being placed back-to-back all serve to lower the feature’s appeal.


As the pendulum swings, however, new must take the place of old, and the aforementioned undesirable trends are even now being replaced by an aesthetic that may yet stand the test of time. Below are a few of the most notable examples.


The optimal word here is “rustic.” There has been a big drive lately to make sure one’s home blends in with the surrounding flora, instead of clashing with it. Optimally, the feeling should be that one simply “happens upon” the house and that it looks like it was always meant to be there. Adding wood accents to the home’s siding in Utah won’t just make the house look good, it may even have an influence on making the neighborhood more green.


So, we said it was a faux pas to have too many colors that exhaust the eye and too few colors that bring down the mood of everyone around you. What is the Goldilocks answer then? Two bold, complementary colors! The best part about limiting yourself to two is that you can really go wherever you want, in terms of color, because the accent will help legitimize your base. Painting the trim, the window shutters, even the rain gutters, will all serve to make your home look sophisticated and beautiful.


Stone pathways, retaining walls, and siding have all been growing in popularity for a few years and that star is still on the rise. What makes stone such a pleasure to work with is that when used properly, with the help of a trained home renovation landscape architect, your house will look timeless, like a staple of the entire neighborhood.