9 Home Decor Red Flags & How to Avoid Them

Nov 7, 2023
9 Home Decor Red Flags & How to Avoid Them

Source: Ljupco Smokovski

Navigating the world of home decor can be overwhelming, especially with an abundance of design trends that often seem to contradict each other. Whether you’re trying to choose the ideal couch, browsing the best mattresses for your bedroom or deciding on the right rug to complement your sofa, avoiding design mistakes is key.

Experts say that a well-thought-out space should look like something that resonates with your personal style. We look at some of the top red flags in home decor and offer expert advice on how to sidestep them. By understanding what to avoid, you’ll be better equipped to create a home that not only looks good but also feels right for you. Feel empowered to make confident choices in your home decor journey.

1) All-White and All-Gray Interiors

All-white and all-gray interiors have been touted as a clean, minimalistic approach to home decor. It’s true that minimalistic interiors have been studied for their mental health benefits. However, some interior designers find this approach to be problematic. First, these color schemes can come across as lacking personality and character. They can also be impractical, especially when it comes to maintaining white and light gray furniture and upholstery. Last, they’ve been popular for so long that they’re now considered outdated by some designers.

If you’re aiming for a more dynamic interior, consider introducing pops of color through accent walls or furniture. You don’t have to give up neutral tones altogether — instead, try other neutral colors like beige or go for bolder hues that add personality to your space. Remember, your home should be an extension of your personal style, so make design choices that resonate with you.

2) Shiplap Everywhere

Shiplap has gained enormous popularity in recent years, especially for those who appreciate rustic or farmhouse styles. However, some designers argue it has drawbacks. The primary issue is its lack of originality — shiplap has become such a trend that it risks feeling generic. Second, it can be overused, appearing in multiple rooms or throughout the house. Last, shiplap doesn’t always fit seamlessly into all design styles, particularly more modern or eclectic looks.

To achieve a unique, textured wall without relying on shiplap, you have several alternatives. Wallpaper provides countless options for patterns and colors. Textured paint or wood paneling can also offer similar depth and interest to your walls. The key is to make a design choice that aligns with your personal taste and the overall aesthetic of your home.

3) Curved Plastic Chairs for Dining Room Seating

In recent years, curved plastic chairs have made their way into dining rooms, praised for their modern design and affordability. While they may look stylish, they aren’t always the best choice. For one, these chairs often compromise on comfort. Additionally, plastic materials may lack durability and can deteriorate more quickly over time. Last, some designers feel that plastic chairs can’t deliver the level of sophistication that other materials can.

Instead of settling for curved plastic chairs, look into alternatives like upholstered chairs for more comfort, wooden chairs for durability or metal chairs for a sleek, modern look. The choice of seating can make or break the dining experience, so choose something that complements the overall design style of your home and meets your functional needs.


4) Generic Word Art

Generic word art has been a frequent staple in home decor for quite a while, often adorning walls with phrases like “Live, Laugh, Love.” According to interior designers, this trend can be problematic for a few reasons. First, it often lacks originality, essentially turning personal expression into a mass-produced commodity. Second, many designers feel that word art lacks sophistication, which may clash with more refined interior design styles. Last, due to its popularity, word art has been deemed overused and can make your space look less unique.

If you’re aiming to display meaningful text or quotes, consider getting custom art pieces that resonate with you personally. Another option could be more sophisticated wall decor items like framed art, mirrors or wall sculptures. The key takeaway here is that your home decor should reflect your own style and taste, making the space genuinely yours.

5) Tile and Concrete Countertops

Tile and concrete countertops have seen varying degrees of popularity in the home decor landscape. Some interior designers, however, are not fans. The concerns mainly center around durability and maintenance. Tiles can crack or chip, requiring replacement or repair. Concrete countertops can stain or develop cracks if not properly sealed. There’s also the matter of style — some designers argue that these materials can sometimes lack the elegance or versatility offered by other options.

For those considering a kitchen remodel or update, more durable and low-maintenance options like granite, quartz or marble countertops are often recommended. These materials are not only more resistant to everyday wear and tear but also offer a range of aesthetic options to fit different interior design styles. Again, choose materials and looks that truly resonate with your personal style to create a cohesive home environment.

6) Man Caves

The concept of a “Man Cave” is fairly well-known: a designated space within the home geared toward masculine hobbies or interests. While not inherently problematic, some interior designers take issue with them for a few reasons. Man caves can reinforce outdated gender roles by segregating spaces based on gender. They can also disrupt the overall design flow of a home if they’re overly thematic or isolated from the rest of the living areas. The overuse of certain design elements like sports memorabilia or hunting trophies can also lack originality and personalization.

If you’re keen on having a specialized space to unwind or focus on hobbies, consider integrating those elements into shared spaces throughout the home instead. Using tasteful decor like leather furniture or industrial accents can achieve a masculine vibe without isolating it to one room. Remember, the aim is to create a home that reflects all who live in it — design should be inclusive, not exclusive.

Source: Inked Pixels/Shutterstock.com

7) Beds that Prioritize Form over Function

When it comes to interior design trends, beds that prioritize form over function often end up on the “worst interior design” lists. The primary reason is a lack of comfort. Beds that look aesthetically pleasing but aren’t comfortable can affect your health and well-being. Another issue is practicality. For instance, low-platform beds might be trendy but can pose a problem for someone with mobility issues. Durability is another concern — a bed might look great but not stand the test of time.

So, what should you do if you’re not sure whether to go for form or function? The key is to find a balance. Choose a bed that’s in line with your home design, and that is also practical and comfortable for your specific needs. Look for quality in brands like Nectar mattresses. Whether it’s a higher bed for easier access or a model known for durability, it’s crucial that this larger piece of furniture serves its primary function well while still being a focal point of the room. And don’t forget about those finishing touches in your bedding and linen. Sleep accessories like cooling pillows for hot sleepers can add to your aesthetic and quality of life.

8) Faux-Distressed Decor

Faux-distressed decor is another trend that has overstayed its welcome, according to some designers. This design choice often lacks the authenticity of genuine distressed pieces, making it feel forced or fake. And with good merit because it’s honestly both those things. The trend’s overuse adds to its fall from grace, rendering it a cliché in today’s home settings. Moreover, some designers feel that faux-distressed decor lacks the sophistication needed to be a focal point in many design styles.

If you’re captivated by the rustic or vintage aesthetic, consider authentic options that bring texture and authenticity to your space. Natural wood finishes, woven textiles or actual vintage pieces can make your furniture and decor feel more genuine. Trends come and go, and it’s time to accept that the faux-distressed look is one on its way out.

9) Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Open shelving in the kitchen has been both praised and criticized, but it has made its way onto some “worst interior design trends” lists. The open design may seem appealing, but it’s not always practical. Shelves collect dust and grease, making them harder to clean. They also expose your items, leaving no room for clutter or less aesthetically pleasing kitchenware. Like many trends, open shelving is often overused, leading to a lack of originality in the design.

If you’re not sure what to do but like the airy feel that open shelving brings, there are alternatives. Glass-front cabinets are a good compromise. They offer both storage and the option to display select items. However, if you’re determined to stick with open shelves, aim for cohesiveness. Create balance by placing similar items diagonally, mix in greenery for texture and adhere to a theme to make everything look put together. The key is making it a functional and attractive focal point of the room.

A Balanced Approach to Decorate Your Home

As you navigate the complex world of interior design, remember that avoiding home trends that have outstayed their welcome is just as wise as knowing what to embrace. It’s not about blindly following the dos and don’ts, according to designers, but about creating a space that feels right for you. Make your home look lively, not one that could look dull due to outdated or overused trends.

Listen to design experts, but don’t forget that your home should feel special and unique to you. The potential for mistakes should never hold you back from making choices that make your home look either modern, classic or uniquely yours. Feel empowered to blend functionality with aesthetics and, remember, the best-designed homes are those that truly reflect their inhabitants.