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Trendy vs. Safe

Trendy vs. Safe.  That is the question!  One I have pondered more times than I can count this past year during our build.  It’s a question I think a lot of us debate when we are decorating our homes.  My motto has usually been to keep big, more expensive items neutral and then play around with things that are easy to change like paint and accessories.  But.  Lately I’m noticing (when gawk at my Pinterest decor boards) that my favorite spaces have bold/trendy decor and furniture.  So sometimes I think it’s good to just go for it!  Do what you love regardless of whether or not it will look trendy!  And then I chicken out and go neutral.  :) 
Today I’m trying to nail down a carpet runner for my stairs.  I love the look of all wood stairs, but I have three little ones who are up and down the stairs 100 times a day.  And I would prefer for those little ones to not fall flat on their faces 100 times a day.  So the posts and balusters will be white, the treads and handrail will be stained the color of my wood floor, and there will be a carpet runner in the middle.  Sounds simple enough, right?  
After eliminating piles of options (trying to find something that works with our wood floor color and the grey paint) these three are left.  And once again I’m torn. 
Go with the trendy pattern on the left?  
Or play it safe with something more neutral like this one?

Kenny loves the pattern.  He is always trying to push me outside of my comfort zone and stop me from playing it so safe.  I don’t know why.  I play safe so nicely!  He said “get it and if you’re sick of it in 5 years we’ll get a new stair runner.”  I said “can I have that in writing?”  He said “ha ha.”  I said “no seriously – get our your pen.”  It actually will be a fairly inexpensive, easy thing to change because it’s not connected to any other carpet and is a small amount.  Plus with wear and tear that stairs get we may be ready for something new before too long anyway.  But still….  ???  Too trendy for the stairs???

Here’s more beautiful trellis I’m considering.  Wallpaper!  So fun!  I’m putting wallpaper in my powder bathroom (I don’t have the pattern to share but will soon!) and I’m debating the blue wallpaper above for  somewhere else.  Maybe the pantry?  I get so excited about it and then something holds me back.  Will I be sick of it in a year?  Will it look too crazy bold?  Will I regret the decision?  
 I kind of doubt that I’ll regret the blue since I have been in love with aquas for years…  
I’m going to try to not go as overboard with this color in the new house.  
No promises.  But I’ll try.  :)
So what is your opinion?  Do you like to play it safe?  Or is your motto go bold or go home?  Which stair runner do you prefer?  The Trendy Trellis or the Neutral Nelly?  
Note to self:  No more late nights with the Property Brothers.  
Here’s a peek of one space I didn’t chicken out on.  My upstairs laundry room cabinets are green!  Or blue!  Kind of both depending on the time of day.  I think I’m going to love it!  Especially when the room is finished and the floor isn’t covered with red paper.  :)  Since this space is upstairs by the kids’ rooms I figured I could have a little fun with it.  Next step is to teach the kids to do their own laundry. 
So they can have a little fun with it too.  

xoxo, Erin
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79 thoughts on “Trendy vs. Safe

  1. I don’t think the patterned stair runner is too trendy at all. I like it much better than the plain and as you say, a stair runner is a relatively easy and inexpensive thing to replace, and also wears out relatively quickly as people step in the same spots on stairs a lot (compared to a full room of carpet where the steps get more evenly spread) so this is exactly the type of decor I think you could take a (tiny) risk on.

  2. I am pretty boring so I say go plain and accessorize. Course, how can you accessorize stairs? Lol. Loving your new home! Shared your blog on Kelly’s Korner blog post today about blogs we love!

  3. I say: go with the first carpet runner! The design is beautiful, and the other two are plain and boring! And Kenny is so smart: you CAN change anything you end up not liking or anything you get bored with. It is only a carpet, and you built entire house, for god’s sake :D. And I vote for the turquoise wallpaper to go to the pantry! I love that your house enteres that stage where you show us a lot of decorating options, yay! :)

  4. Let me start by telling you I also tend to “play it safe” personality wise. But, I LOVE the carpet that you labeled “trendy,” though I do not think it is at all. It looks great with the hardwood color! Wallpaper is an easy fix down the road if you get tired of it, especially in a smaller space. So, from one safe person to another, I say go for it! And, the green/blue cabinets in the laundry look lovely! Thank you for the house update since I so shamelessly asked you for one! 😄

  5. I’m usually the same as you are with choices. I always go neutral and safe because I don’t want to change it in however many years. I have to go look at my boards now and see what I have been pinning! With that said, it is definitely he trellis carpet. The wy it compliments the wood color and the gray makes it pop. Go for it!!!

  6. I go for bold everytime:). The colours in my house are mainly pink, red, yellow & peach – & white melamime shelving etc.

    My kitchen cupboards are white & the walls in my lounge & dining room are pink – my Dad chose the colours:)

    I recently bought a lovely yellow rug for the lounge & it looks brill:)

    I don’t have any dark colours in my house & no magnolia on the walls – something that is popular over here.

    I say be brave & go bright – you can always change it if you don’t like it.

  7. I’d go with the trendy pattern to jazz up the stairway a bit and not make it look too industrial. In any case, the trendy pattern isn’t over the top either. It’s still pretty safe.

  8. I agree with your husband. Do the runner in the pattern. It is a small space and with three kids you are going to have to replace it in 5-7 years anyway! Go for it!!

  9. Go with the patterned carpet! You have given enough reasons to make me feel like it’s actually a pretty safe bet!

    Everything is looking gorgeous-I LOVE your green/blue cabinets, how FUN!!!!!

  10. Go with the bold! You can always change it later…or just remove it and have wood stairs in 5 years when the kids are bigger.
    I’ve seen your boards….you seem like you’re pinning spaces with personality and specific design pieces that stand out. I can’t imagine you building a home that looks like a hotel! Go with what you love…you’ll always love something else down the road but that’s life, right?

  11. I wish I had words of wisdom to share but I do the exact same thing. However, I LOVE the laundry room cabinets. So, I guess I am drawn to the bold, too :). I really can’t wait to see pictures of the house finished!

  12. First off, I am in LOVE with Property Brothers! Also…in my opinion, you should go with the trendy trellis for the carpet. If you choose the neutral nelly, it will just blend in with everything else and not be something that makes you smile as you go past it. The trellis though, is a different choice that will always be a reminder that going out of your comfort zone *can* be a good thing, occasionally. Just my opinion though. Also, something to consider about the blue wallpaper…if you do it in somewhere such as a pantry, it will be covered by many a product (organized, of course!) and only show through the background. I recently made the mistake of choosing a toned down version of an orange pattern I liked for fear it would be too bold, and now, am regretting it because it is about 3/4ths covered anyway! love reading the updates!

  13. Go with the pattern on the stairs!! It’s so great – and not CRAZY trendy, just a little oomph. Love it! Cannot wait to see pics of you guys all moved in! (Not in a stalker way, of course.)

  14. Go with the trellis runner! I think you’ll be much happier with the look. The other looks a little commercial to me and doesn’t give that homey feel. Eventually you’ll have to replace it due to wear, but I think you’ll be surprised at how long it will last. Everything’s looking great!

  15. Erin,
    I have read your post for awhile now, but have never made a comment. I would have to agree with Kenny. Go with the trendy carpet runner.

  16. Love the upstairs laundry room and I would definitely go with the trellis stair runner. I don’t think it’s too trendy and it has a lot of life to it. I don’t think you’ll regret it!!! It’s all looking beautiful! ~gina

  17. I’m typically a neutral nelly kind of girl. But I love the pattern. It’s gray, so it still won’t stand out that much, but I think it adds a lot of character.

  18. Oh….. love the trendy version! Go for it! It will probably wear well with the kiddies running up and down, AND you can replace it when it’s worn. LOVE the laundry room…. beautiful!

  19. I think you should take Kenny’s advice. It’s just stair Erin! Or meet in the middle and go with the one you have on the right side of the wood with a slight design. DO IT DO IT DO IT! LET’S GO ERIN!

  20. Hello, I love the patterned carpet and I would go with that on your stairs! Your home is coming along beautifully!! I really enjoy reading your blog, so thank you for sharing your life with all of us!

  21. I always play it safe too, but then feel a little sad when I see other homes where they’ve been more adventurous. I love the trellis stair runner! It looks so much richer than the other one. Great visual to a beautiful staircase as well!

  22. We are building too and going through the same debates! I love the aqua and am debating painting the whole ensuite aqua! What is the name of your grey paint chip? We are looking at greys too and it’s hard to find the perfect shade.

  23. Oh my word – now see! That is just what I needed. For you all to make this decision for me! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Trendy trellis is taking over! Kenny will be so pleased. :)

    Dee – you are welcome! And I laughed at your last comment! Loved it! This post was for you! ;)

    Nonny – I adore you! Truly honored to be on your most loved list. Thank you!

    Jen – if I do the trellis stair runner you have to do your ensuite in aqua! :) We are using several greys (I’ll share them all in a post at some point) but the one for the main body of the house and around the stairs is “Seattle” by Frazee.

  24. Erin I have tone on tone trellis on my front stairs and LOVE it. It is just enough pattern without being too busy and in your face. Love the gray and aqua trellis too. Just purchased a pair of aqua curtains for Katie’s new house in Texas in that pattern and we love it! The green in the laundry is beautiful.

  25. Patterned stair runner. It will hide dirt better and while it is patterned, it’s really subtle.

    I think going bold with things that are easy to change-wallpaper, paint, carpet runners, cabinet hardware, etc. and stay safe and neutral with things that are harder to change- mouldings, flooring, trimwork, etc.

    I can’t wait to see the new house.

  26. Go with the “trendy trellis.” Two reasons…1. It matches the wood perfectly and 2. I think the lighter one would get dirty a lot quicker. I seriously love the trendy runner. I also think the plain will be a little boring! They are both really great choices, however, it is only the runner. It isn’t the whole house. I think it will give the stairs some character.

    Go trendy Erin. I think you will be happy with the results. I can almost see it in my minds eye! I really love it!

    I also love your laundry room.


  27. One thing I forgot to mention…are they running your hardwoods across your treads? or just doing the edges hardwood with the plan for the runner to be inbetween. Just a thought…we found out much later that what we thought was hardwoods all the way across ours turned out to be pine pieced inbetween, so when our kids we a bit older and we thought we could just pull up the carpet runner and have the treads sanded and finished, we could not. To go back and have it either pieced or have new treads in was expensive, so we had to keep the carpet. Just something to think about if you think in the future you may not want carpet on the stairs.

  28. LOVE! Trendy trellis for sure! It’s such a small area that if you do decide to change it in a few years it’s only that area! Love the blue/green cabinets! Can’t wait to see the finished product as it’s all coming together beautifully!

  29. I think your husband’s choice is perfect! I just did my stairs because our young dog fell down once and was afraid from that point forward. I went with a bold pattern and love it! Go for it! It won’t last more than five years so you won’t need anything in writing! LOL!

  30. I love the Trendy Trellis and the blue wall paper. Like you said with wear and tear on the stairs you may need to replace it within a few years. GO FOR IT!!!

  31. I totally get what you mean. I’ve been fighting the trendy or safe battle lately too. And then the thought came to me that if I truly love it, I should do it and enjoy it.
    I would totally go with the trendy trellis runner! I don’t think it’s too trendy at all. It looks really great! And it will bring a smile to your face every time you go up those beautiful stairs. :)

  32. Hi Erin!
    My first choice would be no carpet on the stairs, but my second choice would be the patterned stair runner! I love the design on it and think it is perfect.

    I LOVE the turquoise wallpaper! I don’t think you would get tired of it at all because I know how much you LOVE turquoise!

    Your laundry room is fabulous!! I love the fact that you can open the window and air out the room, too. Your planning amazes me! I just love your new home and can’t wait until you can all get settled in!

  33. I love your blog and have been reading it for so long. I play everything safe but have been dying to do something ‘crazy’ in the new house. I think I’ve settled on stenciling a pretty, colorful trellis pattern in my pantry. I don’t think you can go wrong with trendy choices on a small scale, like a stair runner. It will be beat up before you know it and by then I’d guess you’ll be ready for no runner at all.

  34. Def the pattern carpet runner…YOLO! IF you can’t have fun with your carpet runner, where can you have fun?! Also, love seeing the house design pics – what did you pick for kitchen countertops? I’m in process of a kitchen re-do and would love to see. thanks!

  35. We’re just about to move into our new house and start decorating :) I adore turquoise, have done since I was a kid as it’s my birthstone colour. Now it seems to be in fashion and everyone says wont you regret using it but for me it’s been a lifelong love. Its a lovely colour :) go for it!

  36. I say go with the pattern. In this case your hubby is totally right! If you hate it in a few years you can just get something else. But the color is neutral so the pattern isn’t too over the top! Your new home is going to be so beautiful! I can’t wait to see it all done.

  37. I love the patterned runner. I actually think it’s still semi-neutral but not boring. Very lovely!! And this is said from a neutral loving girl!!

  38. The patterned runner is “trendy” but since its gray it really doesn’t seem THAT bold and daring to me. I think you’d love how it makes your staircase a little more special and unpredictable. And if Kenny is on board, and willing to change it if you hate it, why not? I also love that wallpaper, its your perfect color =) My laundry room is that color and I was going to suggest that until I saw your cabinet color! It would look great and fun in a pantry, or maybe on a single wall of a playroom or your craft/scrapbook room? With things that are fairly easy to change, go for the bold that you love!

  39. I love the laundry room!! If mine looked that cute, maybe I would actually do it :) I would definitely do something cute and trendy in the pantry. It’s a fun place to mix it up without being to crazy. I love the aqua trellis pattern. And if Kenny is okay with switching out the carpet later, I would totally take him up on that!

  40. Well, shoot; now you have me hooked on trendy : ) In all honesty, I thought for sure I’d vote for neutral/safe, but I think with those two particular items (runner and wallpaper), I love the idea of going bold (or going home … at least to YOUR new home!). They are fairly easy to change in five or so years (yay, Kenny for that timeline. Can he please call Will and explain to him this genius line of thinking??). And you are probably more likely and inspired to change them if they are a bold ‘trend’ than a neutral ‘I can live with this even though I don’t love it’ look. Can’t wait to see the results!

  41. I love the trendy stair runner but I don’t think it’s trendy at all. I think the other two look really cheap. Like commercial carpeting found in an office. You have great taste, so you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks!

  42. Since gray carpeting shows dirt more quickly than does brown carpeting, I think you can go with the patterned runner. You’ll likely be ready for a new one (due to dirt issues) before the pattern becomes obsolete.


  43. I usually chicken out and go with nuetrals but I love the trendy trellis!! And I really don’t think it’s that trendy! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together! :)

  44. Trendy trellis looks great with your timber…and the aqua wallpaper is gorgeous – paper a smaller room or perhaps just one feature wall and you can always change it if you change your mind! It’s all looking great Erin! xx

  45. Go for the bold, trendy carpet!! Kenny is right that you can change it if you hate it, but I kinda doubt you’ll hate it!
    Your house is looking incredible!!


  46. I love that you are talking about going ” bold” and they are both totally brown and neutral :) go crazy and o a zebra or cheetah runner! Maybe seagrass or a small black and white houndstooth? …and I think the first instinct is always the best! Just Ollie what you love and you will be happy! I think aperture is great for a mall pace!! Looks awesome… I am in awe of the detail in this house…!! All the trim work! Holy cow!!

  47. This really made me laugh. Your current house is so bright and lively and colourful so when you asked for advice I thought “this is going to be something really wacky” yet here you are debating that one of 3 shades of grey might be too bold!!

    Love your laundry room colour!

    One thing I have wondered about Erin is why you chose to have your master bedroom suite downstairs?

    I live in a bungalow and all our friends think its weird we don’t go upstairs to bed (and when I hear people referring to going up/down stairs in their home it catches me for a second as I forget other houses have stairs), so its intriguing to me that you choose your room to be downstairs.

    Plus I have a request, please please please can you post a room layout for your new home – every time I look at pics I try to orientate myself where everything is and it gets SO confusing – put me out of my misery!!

  48. Ha ha! I know! Nothing too crazy. But to me it seems crazy for stairs! :)

    Anonymous – we chose to have our master on the main level because we wanted a little bit of separation and privacy from the kid zone (upstairs). Our bedroom in our current house is upstairs with the kids and it’s always a mess of toys. I wanted a bit of an escape! :)
    I will have to share a floor plan at some point! I’m sure it will make more sense to you when we move in and I start sharing more pics. :)

  49. Hi Erin, would you mind sharing where you found your runner for the staircase from? We need to add one to our staircase and I don’t even know where to begin looking. Thanks!

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