What is the shag rug of our generation?
During the 1970s and into the 1980s, there probably wasn't a house in the United States that didn't have shag in at least one room. Plush, wavy, luxurious, shag beckoned to you to come lie on top. Relax. Run your fingers through it and do something naughty and 1970s.
It was practical and devilish at the same time. Synthetic. Sensual. Sexy. Shag!
And then it was gone. Somewhere along the way it just got tossed out along with disco and The Love Boat. It was in the house with the bits of potato chips hiding in its canyons, and then it was ripped out and left by the dumpster. Now almost nobody has shag in their house, except maybe for the very old and the very gay, who always set the next trend. If you haven't thrown your shag out, keep it. We'll all have it again in a few years.
Who can explain why these things come and go? Everybody thought shag was great 30-40 years ago. The poor had it, the rich had it, the tasteless and the tasteful had it. But then we all agreed it was tacky and ugly and had to go. We pulled it up to uncover all those 1930s wooden floors that were so old fashioned and then weren't again.
When people put shag in their homes during the 1970s, many of them probably thought it looked fantastic and was there to stay forever. Timeless. But it wasn't.
So what do we have today that people 15 or 20 years from now (including us) will laugh at? It's fun to think about. We never think anything we have will be dated. It's timeless, we tell ourselves when we buy it. Then you look at pictures of yourself from grade school and remember that the clock always ticks.
In fact, when we describe something in our house as timeless it might be a good indication that some day it will be sitting by our dumpster. Something we'll laugh about. What were we thinking then?
It's tough to say, but I predict granite countertops will be the shag rug of our age.
You don't see a house for sale today that doesn't play up its granite countertops. It's true that they can be nice. Dependable. Timeless. But there's nothing about granite that's any better than shag was. Depending on the type of granite, the food seeps into the little cracks and can get moldy. Just like shag. It's not any better for cutting or cooking than any other surface.
I can see it now: in 2027, there will be a young couple that walks into a house for sale. The price is right, lots of space, great location. But when they go to their car with the realtor's card in their hand, they'll whisper, "Pretty nice place once we get rid of all that granite."
What else? Maybe stainless steel? Kitchen islands? Wood floors? Who knows? It's hard to predict because I, like most people, don't like to admit that my house and my life aren't timeless.