Decorating Don’ts: A Collection Of Interior Design Trends To Avoid

By Joyce S February 10, 2023

We are all used to catchy phrases like “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and “good or bad taste is a subjective matter.” By following those guidelines, it becomes almost impossible to argue if something is fashionable, beautiful, or ugly as heck.

There’s a humongous difference between what’s trendy and what’s stylish. We make tons of bad decisions when we don’t know how to tell those two concepts apart. Knowing how to tell whether something is a fad is the trump card to keep things modern and exciting.

That’s precisely what you’re going to learn here. We’ve selected some of the worst interior designs and decorations listed by professional designers that you definitely shouldn’t try at home. Feast your eyes on these monstrosities.

What Happened to Stair Banisters?

Banisters and railings are not just a matter of style but also safety. No one wants to have their kids fall down the stairs because it didn’t have banisters to prevent the accident. Imagine your grandma and grandpa going upstairs to nap and having nowhere to hold on to. Tragic.

Image courtesy of imgur / pinterest

Contemporary and Midcentury Modern houses and apartments require sleek and trendy touches from ceiling to basement. Still, modern and edgy architecture and design don’t have to equal a lack of safety. Protect your kids and elderly ones, and forget staircases with no handrails and railings.

Lack of Solar Panels

Today’s high-quality architects and interior designers must find the balance between style, functionality, and responsible techniques to bring their plans to life. Solar Panels are a modern tool that helps us daily and could potentially help save a lot of money. 

Image courtesy of Studio Harmony /shutterstock

This is an excellent idea for those living in places where the sun always shines or where reliable energy is unavailable. The light, not the sun’s heat captured by the sunlight, is stored and turned into electricity that lights up an entire household or building, and it’s a cheap alternative.

Too Minimalist

Minimalism, in general, is mostly about finding ways to live plainly with fewer consumption habits and possessions. It’s a statement of social and environmental awareness, but everything that goes too far becomes a potential problem, and that goes for house decor, too. 

Image courtesy of SEASONS IN COLOUR / pinterest

Understand the kind of place you have or will have to assess if the minimalist style is the preferable option for you. You don’t have to ditch your personal style and forget about minimalism, but it’s a nice idea to consider decorating a bit more. 

Toxic Positive Wall Signs

Things are far from being roses and butterflies all the time, and keeping positivity in hard times can backfire sometimes. As soon as you arrive in a place where the walls are jam-packed with life affirmations signs taken from Pinterest, you wonder how boring the people who own the house are.

Image courtesy of etsy.com

Those signs are style-killers if you’re looking for a fun vibe in your place. There are thousands of ways to lift up your home’s spirit without relying on the annoying messages spread around the rooms. Picture yourself on a stressful day reading “Don’t Worry. Smile” on the wall and try not to go crazy. 

Fire(mis)place

Nothing sounds better and cozier than sitting by a fireplace on a snowy or rainy day to have a hot chocolate. However, this beautiful and warm refuge might get destroyed the minute you place a tv set over the fireplace. This nonsensical idea also brings a danger alert.

Image courtesy of stylebyemilyhenderson.com

Let’s not even talk about the waste of money when your tv falls down onto the fire, and you have to buy a new one. Besides, looking up when watching a film or game on the TV doesn’t feel very comfortable because your fireplace is right below it.

Hollow Doors

They may be cheaper and easier to carry around, but hollow doors and windows are a huge disservice when you aim for a comfy and cozy place. They don’t keep the rooms isolated from outdoor noise; hence there’s no privacy.

Image courtesy of rebeccaandgenevieve.com

Another strong argument is that you would have a terrible sleep time even with doors closed. All the noise coming from the streets day and night can drive anyone crazy, especially on stressful and demanding days for those of you who work from home. 

Lifeless Color Schemes

Over the years, house decor has gone through phases and transformations. From the warm hues of orange in the 1980s to the plain beige in the 2000s. Now, the trend among the rich and famous is throwing white and grey on every corner of the house. How boring is that?

Image courtesy of Apartment in St.Petersburg / behance

Having a calmer and less extravagant lifestyle is not a problem. People find ways of being elegant and stylish with a lot less than the Kardashians of the world. However, we can get lost in the limits between what’s flamboyant and ordinary. 

Where Did Personality Go?

It’s perfectly fine to pick a cheaper and smaller home when we’re on a budget. The house may even look like every other house on the block, but that is not an excuse to give up on your unique personality.

Image courtesy of onekindesign.com

You want to live in a place that represents who you are and what you like. It’s like a blank canvas; set your imagination and creativity free and play with decor possibilities and furniture styles. Remember to flatter the external areas like entryways and gardens. 

Open Plan Offices 

Unless you are an expert at meditating in noisy and crowded places, there’s no way anyone could bare working in open-plan offices in a productive way. The staff productivity in this kind of working place depends a lot on the work developed there.

Image courtesy of redesignhome.co

But we bet that you would crack at a certain point. No one manages to focus and work efficiently when exposed to noisy environments all the time. This chaotic architecture is responsible for making people pile up dozens of stress-related problems.

Mini Apartments

Mini apartments and dorms are a massive trend in cosmopolitan cities like Tokyo, Japan, and São Paulo. Millennials are the ones who aim for places like these to live. A small apartment is ideal for those who don’t spend much time at home and need a place to sleep.

Image courtesy of Shake / pinterest

It might help you save some cash instead of renting a two-bedroom apartment, but remember to check how wide the bedroom is. Tall people who sleep in large beds won’t fit comfortably in a tiny bedroom space. And forget about having friends over for dinner and game night.

Limited Kitchen Cupboards

Cupboards that don’t go all the way up to the ceiling eventually become a headache when it comes to organization. You won’t have enough space for your kitchen supplies, and it will give bugs and dust a sweet spot to live unbothered.

Image courtesy of Ground Picture / shutterstock

When it comes to price, there’s a slight chance that smaller cupboards will be cheaper than higher ones. Even if you don’t have too many kitchen utensils to store, think about the future and invest in storage space when choosing your cupboards.

Kitchen Open Shelves

Speaking of storage space, opting for open shelves to replace kitchen cabinets and cupboards is a recipe for disaster. It’s also a reasonable alternative given the right scenario, for example, for those who don’t have much money to buy sets of cabinets or if you don’t have many utensils. 

Image courtesy of etsy.com

Even in those specific cases, you should take into account some annoying and preventable situations like dust, insects and germs, pet hair, spider webs, and so on. It is definitely not the most hygienic way to store food and dishware.

Shiplap

Shiplap finishes have their perks, but they also come with some pitfalls. Lifestyle channels are filled with cheap and easy fixer-uppers for all sorts of homes, and shiplap is one of the dearest materials to cover up ugly walls and uneven surfaces.

Image courtesy of lowes.com

But we’ve had enough of it. It becomes a trap in the long run because it stores dust in the gaps between boards. Its low cost is attractive, but you should also think of the costs of maintenance. One extra tip, it doesn’t look good in every room or type of house.

Cookie Cutter Houses

Housing developments had their boom around the decades of the 1960s and 70s and printed a new face to the so-called “suburban life,” and, boy; this house model spread around residential areas like a virus. A cookie-cutter house has its perks, many of them actually, but we have a few complaints.

Image courtesy of splitrockcustomhomes.com

It’s hard to give a personal touch to cookie-cutter homes since they’re designed to look pretty much the same—hence the name. Say bye-bye to privacy when living in houses like these. They are built super close to each other and have many windows facing other people’s homes.

Nautical Motifs

This trend should be long gone, folks. Beach houses need more than cheesy nautical patterns and designs. The light blue and white stripes, along with anchors, ropes, rows, and helms, are way too dated. There are other, less corny ways to pay tribute to the lifestyle.

Image courtesy of pakngoshome.com

Nurseries are also targeted by nautical vibes. It looks cute when babies are in the picture, but give it another thought, please. Explore different elements the ocean has, corals and colored fishes, and give warmer color schemes like oranges and yellows and different tones of blue and green a try. 

Too Many Corners

Homes are supposed to be welcoming and functional. Nobody wants to spend tons of money choosing a place that won’t be used to its fullest potential. Corners are probably the most expendable areas of a home. From the outside, the house looks busy and with way too much information, and visually uninteresting.

Image courtesy of thecreativityexchange.com

On the inside, you have the perfect space for bugs to live and mold to show up. Imagine the nightmare it’d be to renovate it or fix a broken pipe, and also the waste of money in building corners that have no functionality whatsoever.

No Space in the Garage

Using our creativity when choosing garage spaces is paramount, considering they’re not meant to house only cars. They need to accommodate bikes, boxes, tools, and toys if you have kids, and if you have more than one car, then you definitely need spare space for them.

Image courtesy of Dogwoodfarmhouse / ig

Fitting the cars and nothing else is a drawback in the near future, and the more time you spend in your home, the more junk you’ll need to store in your garage. This area should give you and your family storage possibilities, especially when you don’t have a shed or basement.

Small Backyard

You may not have pets or children that would appreciate some backyard space, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t need one. As a homeowner or a renter, you have to be tuned into how spacious backyards add value to a simple house.

Image courtesy of housebeautiful.com

In the same way, be aware of how much a property’s worth declines when the backyard looks like a matchbox. Don’t get tricked into believing that any backyard space is an advantage, even when the house is huge. Look for space balance inside and outside.

Tiny Pantries and Laundry Areas

Similar to garage space, pantries, and laundry areas must be well picked if you don’t want to get frequently stressed in the future. Small functional rooms tend to be preferred by those who live alone or have a small family.

Image courtesy of https://www.henriinteriors.com/

Even in those cases, you should look for a more balanced space division. It is not worth having a huge dining room and kitchen if you have to squeeze yourself into the laundry room when laundry time comes. It’s just not a good idea.

Wasted Space

It’s a trope as old as time; you visit apartments and houses looking for the perfect spot to settle in and find that one place that has it all: space, natural light coming in, home office space, and a cute balcony for you to have your morning coffee as you gaze at the city’s beauty.

Image courtesy of Konstantin Kaschuk / behance

Only to find that it would wreak havoc on your budget. One thing you should consider is that you might not need so much space. Ok, that master bedroom looks immense, and you loved it, but ask yourself if you have enough furniture and things to fill it up and if it’d be worth your while.

Give Up on Farmhouse Trend

Every trend becomes popular given the unique details they possess, but no trend has been given so much love in the last few years as the farmhouse trend. Urban spaces bought the idea of adding rustic elements to attract clients and potential house owners.

Image courtesy of Modern Country Home / pinterest

Strong it came, fast it goes as well. The farmhouse sink model, shiplap everywhere, and over-the-top nature vibes make the target public sick of the trend pretty fast, and it’s basically in the entire house, so give it a good thought before going for it. 

Fake Paneling

Faux wood panels make house decorating an attainable dream. It comes from a mixture of materials such as vinyl, wood particles, and Polyurethane. It looks good, and it’s a cheaper alternative to give some life to the walls. Just use it with some discretion, please.

Image courtesy of theinterioreditor.com

It usually replaces drywall and painting, which sounds great if you want to save some money, but check if it matches your style and personality, kitchen appliances, and furniture. Your house it’s supposed to mirror a bit of who you are, so take that under consideration.

Industrial Design is not Cozy.

A signature design popular in lofts and home studios is the industrial look. Brick walls are left without paint or drywall, and the construction elements that we naturally try to conceal, like pipes and ducts, are left exposed for the sake of style.

Image courtesy of Teeraphan Pensupha / shutterstock

So if you’re looking for a cozy and welcoming place to call home, avoid industrial designs. They look fabulous for a photography studio and things like that, but not for a home unless you’re ok with the grey and cold looks of it.

Stain Colors

It may not look like it, but stain-color wood flooring requires some attentive eyes. Some stains are durable and present a lasting lifespan. But the lack of frequency in maintenance makes it harder the task of re-staining in the future.

Image courtesy of keuka-studios.com

What seemed like a good and simple idea to flatter your home’s good looks will likely turn your cleaning time into a living hell. Research with specialists the best options for stain-color wood flooring and have a plan B as well.

Spotlights All Over

Packing the ceiling with humungous chandeliers and industrial lightning may be a good deal for electricians but not for your home on a daily basis. Most of these lightning styles have a super yellow light that doesn’t do your classy furniture any justice.

Image courtesy of lampefeber.com

The bills will become a nightmare, and it’s kind of disappointing to get rid of all that junk once you fall into disappointment. It’s really exciting to find pieces that would give special touches to our homes, but we must see the bigger picture and how it’d look with everything else in the house.

Tile Countertops

This is a disastrous idea. Countertops made of ceramic tiles are lame and make your kitchen routine much more complicated than you deserve. They aren’t easy to maintain, given the nature of the grout joints. Plus, the tile itself is pretty fragile and cracks relatively easily.

Image courtesy of scottbrown.us

You should also bear in mind that this is the 21st century, and although many vintage trends are coming back, tile countertops are not one of them and don’t look good at all, regardless of the cabinets and appliances you have.

Vinyl Floors

This is a kind of flooring that looks good and cushy once it’s freshly installed, but the hardships that wait for you down the road are not worth the effort. There are countless alternatives to vinyl floors that bring much less trouble for you.

Image courtesy of nfm.com

The range of disadvantages also comes with some risks for your family, and they go from the emission of volatile organic compounds known as VOCs to the short lifespan that makes it impossible to repair once damaged. The financial drawbacks are also present due to the negative impacts on resale value.

I See Marbles Everywhere

Even if you have money to spare, putting marble floors in every room is not a good idea. Marbles are imposing stones that highlight the elegance of a well-decorated room, and they’re not cheap. It should give a special touch to your home design.

Image courtesy of contemporist.com

So covering the entire house floor with it makes it look ordinary and gives an austere vibe, even a morbid feel, to your house. They are vulnerable to water penetration and crack or chip easily. Marble floors also get stained faster than the speed of light and are slippery as an ice rink.

Shaker-Style Cabinets

They are graceful and timeless, also minimalist, and easy to keep up with maintenance. Shaker cabinets match perfectly with basic hardware and appliances that give a clean and soft feel to your kitchen, but it doesn’t mean it’s for everybody.

Image courtesy of pics721 /shutterstock

Due to their delicate looks, shaker cabinets don’t match well with inox appliances, for example. The shaker style is not as versatile as it is beautiful, and if your kitchen island is made of a pompous rock, they will not agree visually. 

Fake Balconies

They’re also called Juliet Balconies, and you probably know why. When you’re going for a walk feeling inspired and bubbly and see one of those surrounded by freshly cut flowers, they definitely look cute and romantic. But how functional is it?

Image courtesy of St. Udio / pinterest

Listing Juliet balconies’ disadvantages is not an easy task for us since this is an awfully cute house decor. They are not considered appropriate for those who aspire to have some quality time sitting on a hammock and watching the sun go down simply because they lack depth.

Huge Kitchen Islands

Home decor and design tv shows are responsible for brainwashing us when it comes to the dream house. It’s a good thing if you’re house hunting either to buy, rent, or even if you’re looking for a renovation. Just be careful when considering the size of your kitchen island.

Image courtesy of boracookingsystems / ig

Sometimes we get over-excited when renovation starts and go berserk choosing the neatest furniture and kitchen hardware, but hold your horses when picking a kitchen island. Find a balance and aim for a spacious island that doesn’t disturb the flow around it. The kitchen must be functional as well.

White Kitchens

A clean white interior design makes modern homeowners stand out with distinguished style and confidence. It enhances natural light; it’s great if you have plants, and it highlights artwork like no other home design. But we must be realists and think of the cons, too.

Image courtesy of mollyhensley.com

Needless to say that all-white homes get dirty and messy faster and easier than any other home style. White walls and furniture bring a cold vibe and a hospital-like feel. Tears or any other problem becomes the focal point in such houses.

Built-In Appliances and Furniture

They give a sense of permanence, so if you go for built-in appliances, it may convey you’re there to stay. They are great because the architectural project will be designed around the hardware and furniture you have in mind, so they fit perfectly.

Image courtesy of decoholic.org

The setbacks are also worth weighing because they aren’t cheap, and you’d better hope they don’t break or present malfunction. It would be an unnecessary ordeal to have them repaired or replaced. That goes for built-in wardrobes as well. Choose wisely.

Barn Doors

Concept designs for apartments and houses make us cherish our homes and feel like safe havens, especially when we need to seal ourselves off from the noisy and busy outside world. We don’t have barn doors in apartments very often, but who knows? It may happen, so we’re here to give you a helping hand.

Image courtesy of highcraft.net

They make us feel closer to the countryside and bring a certain freshness to the area, but they come with a few surprises. Due to their unique characteristics, they don’t provide much privacy from light and odors and don’t dampen outside noises.

Open Concept Bathrooms

If you’re okay with a lack of privacy and opt for an open-concept house, we’d say go for it. They flatter small or odd spaces quite a lot and make the rooms more integrated and give an uninterrupted flow of light and energy. 

Image courtesy of trendir.com

But please, think twice before doing that to your master bedroom. The uninterrupted connection between the sanitary ware and the resting place demands certain attention. The open space would have to be squeaky clean to prevent microbes from migrating to your bedroom.

Huge Garage Door

Giving your house ample garage space might be a smart thing to do, but the garage door doesn’t have to be as big. Find balance; otherwise, the vast garage door would become some sort of scar on your house’s face.

Image courtesy of archifan.com

For two-car owners, it may be a necessary feat, but take your time researching the best and most functional options. Two single garage doors or one double door are the go-to options but mind the house style and project design to make sure they’ll add value and beauty.

Comic Housing Developments

Housing developments tend to offer more affordable homes, and that sounds fantastic. On the other hand, we’d have to let go of some features that wouldn’t come with them. These houses are mostly built to look the same; this way, it makes it easier for the construction plan to be put into practice.

Image courtesy of Vivendi Ventures / pinterest

They may have a more original look once you decorate them, but still, they would be the same as your neighbors’ place. Besides that, you would have to invest in high-quality curtains and shades due to the absence of privacy.

Go For Storage Spaces

If you visit a showroom and the house looks beautiful and immense, think again. Sometimes those houses look big when empty, but we have to always think of them once furnished. Not doing that may leave you without much storage space when you fill the house with stuff.

Image courtesy of m / pinterest

It doesn’t sound like a big thing, but once you don’t have a spacious room to organize house stuff, those things begin to pile up in some neglected corner. Keeping up with cleaning and organizing your home would be twice as hard and tedious.

Smart Homes Are Dumb

Smart devices are not meant for everyone. Simply because some of us don’t adapt well to so many digital and artificial intelligence technologies. Smart homes bring a larger scale to that reality. So you should reflect on the pros and cons of them.

Image courtesy of VidaBox Kiosks/ pinterest

There’s the price factor, of course, and also the difficulty of having products from different vendors. Sometimes these devices don’t communicate well once installed. You’d become dependable on the smart tech and wouldn’t have much control over it at some point. They also have security flaws and can be hacked. 

Animal Print Rugs

This is a long-gone trend. Animal print rugs, carpets, and throws became hard items to match with some of the most modern furniture and appliances. They aren’t easy or simple to maintain since you can’t use the regular cleaning products you’ve at home, and they are costly to repair. 

Image courtesy of ezpass.club

Most of the fabrics, whether real fur or not, allow dust to accumulate and mites to proliferate, giving allergic people a very hard time. The dark prints also may hide some dangers, like camouflaged cockroaches and spiders or even pointy objects that are hard to see. 

Blobby Furniture and Decor

We can have fun with house decor and show off our eccentric personalities, but ditch the idea of having blobby patterns and squiggles everywhere. They are super outdated, and when they come in a variety of color hues, the visual nightmare gets much worse.

Image courtesy of tacchini.it

They are hard to combine with other patterns and can become boring with time. Since it’s a rather flashy and vintage trend, it gets even more arduous when renovating furniture, decoration pieces, and appliances. Go for versatile design options that don’t limit your possibilities.

Modern Bathtubs

A few considerations about modern bathtubs have to be stated. First, they are not the most comfortable tubs in general, and they are incredibly uncomfortable for the elderly and for those who, for whatever reason, have a difficult time with body movement.

Image courtesy of vinnovadesign.com

Bath time should be a moment to relax and forget a little bit about the stress of work and study routine. Modern concept bathtubs go in the opposite direction of these traits. There’s no room for your neck and legs to rest. Not comfy at all.

Carpeted Bathrooms

Keeping one or two rugs to help dry the bathroom floor is fine and easy to manage. But actually, carpeting the floor completely is a bit out of line. Bathrooms are the wettest places in our houses, so carpeting them is not wise.

Image courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com

After that long hot shower, you’d come out of it soaking wet onto the fluffy floor. Think of the number of germs that would be stuck to the wet carpet. That would be a sweet spot for them to multiply. The smell would eventually bother you and make cleaning a lot harder.