Now that the holidays are over and long winter nights are ahead, you’re probably considering a home make-over. Yes, it’s fun exploring Instagram pages and Pinterest boards looking for inspiration.
But stop right there.
What looks good online often doesn’t work in a home. Those picture-perfect posts aren’t practical in real-life.
1. All-white interiors. Anyone seriously considering this trend must be designing a room in a museum. Seriously, even the cleanest person couldn’t manage to live spot-free in such a space. If you want a pristine, clean vibe, look at sage green or other subtle colors.
2. Shabby chic. There’s a fine line between “shabby” and “chic.” It’s a hard look to pull off; chalk painting, faux distressing, and antiquing often comes off as fake and tacky. To add interest and dimension to your rooms, consider textured fabrics or genuine antiques.
3. Open shelving. This look is great in a hermetically sealed environment. Otherwise, books, dinnerware, decorative items — all of it! — will soon be covered in layers of dust. And if the shelves are in the kitchen, you can add grease and film to the mix. If you want the look without the upkeep, install glass-front cabinets.
4. Accent walls. This trend is definitely over, especially when it involves painting one wall a bright, bold color. If you love the color, paint the whole room that color. And if that color is too overpowering for the entire room, add it with pillows and rugs, which are far easier to change than repainting a wall.
5. Barn doors. These are only suitable for a barn. Unless you live in one, skip this trend.
6. A pop of color. Yes, this design technique can look impressive. But, when the pop is a random primary color or in a radically different tone than the rest of the room, your “pop” can fall flat. Avoid childish or random colors for a cohesive look.
7. Shiplap walls. Once the darling design choice of HGTV stars, the shiplap trend has set sail. It’s overdone and will soon look very dated. If you want to add texture to a wall, check out other wood finish ideas that are time-tested.
8. 50 shades of gray. Movies would have us believe that only the coolest bachelors can carry this trend off. But the truth is, all-gray is dull, boring, and slightly depressing. Balance cool gray with warm tones or shades of blush to bring life and warmth.
9. Matchy-matchy furniture. We don’t mean coordinating; we mean matching. When the sofa, loveseat, armchairs are all identical, your rooms look more like a waiting room or furniture showroom instead of your home. Instead, shop around and find unique pieces to create your one-of-a-kind look.
10. Palm prints everywhere. Unless you live in the tropics where you can enjoy the real thing, use palm prints sparingly. (The same rule also applies to flamingos and succulents. A little bit goes a long way.)
Finally, if you’re really in love with one of these trends, go for it. When done right and sparingly, your home won’t look dated and trendy in the years to come.