Interior Designers Share Trends Not Worth the Money
An all-black look can be expensive to undo. Black walls can be difficult to paint
An all-black look can be expensive to undo.
Interior designer Pamela O’Brien told Insider that the trend for black cabinets and walls can be hard to get right and requires considerable effort to undo.
“While black cabinetry and walls can be dramatic and moody, all that black and darkness can wind up feeling oppressive,” O’Brien said.
The color is often very difficult to cover up, so you may need to spend money to replace your cabinetry or hire a professional painter if the look doesn’t work out.
Open shelves may be cheap to set up but are tough to maintain.
Open shelving has been going strong for years, but this design choice requires discipline and regular maintenance.
“If you’re willing to carefully organize your dishes each day, this can be a great look,” O’Brien said. “But if you need to store assorted items that don’t look great, cabinets and doors are a better choice.”
She added that open shelves usually can’t hold as much as traditional cabinets, so you may need to find additional storage.
Swag light fixtures can make a room look messy and unfinished.
Susann Goerg, interior designer and founder of happyhomes design, told Insider that swag lighting – fixtures with visible wiring and hanging mechanisms – can be hard to pull off.
“More often than not, your average swag light ends up looking unintentional and gives the space an unfinished look and feel,” Goerg said.
The designer instead suggested experimenting with swing-arm wall sconces or tall, arching floor lamps.
Indoor jungles can be expensive and lead to pest problems.
Bringing live greenery into your home is an easy way to make rooms feel inviting and fresh but can also be pricey in more ways than one.
“Spending loads of money on exotic plant cultivars doesn’t make sense for most people,” O’Brien said. “Plus they require a lot of maintenance and can harbor pests.”
Having too many indoor plants, especially in a poorly ventilated space, can put your home at risk for pest infestations and mold problems due to the humidity.
Seating that only looks good but isn’t comfy isn’t a great investment.
Statement seating pieces, such as curved sofas or hanging chairs, can add drama to a space, but often at the cost of comfort.
“These days, every piece of furniture needs to be functional and deliver on comfort, not just looks,” Goerg said. “Make sure that statement sofa makes sense for your space and is actually comfortable.”
You may replace glamorous, yet unusable furniture sooner than more traditional styles, so these pieces can feel like a waste of money.
Trendy patterned tiles may look dated soon.
Retiling your floor or backsplash is a long-term investment, so Goerg recommended passing on brightly patterned geometric or vintage tiles.
“Dated-looking tile could affect the value of your property over time,” Goerg told Insider. “Ask yourself if you’ll still like the pattern in six or eight years and if it truly enhances the style of your home.”
The designer instead suggested opting for tiles in solid colors or eye-catching, yet versatile subway, herringbone, and penny layouts.
Leather cabinet pulls aren’t practical.
Leather cabinet and drawer pulls can lend character to a room but usually look more durable and practical than they are.
“Leather pulls easily stain when exposed to wet hands, sticky fingers, makeup, oil, and food residue,” Goerg said. “They also tend to loosen over time, so you’ll probably end up replacing them with a more durable alternative.”
If you’re determined to use leather pulls, opt for installing them on bedroom or hallway furniture rather than kitchen and bathroom cabinetry.
Accent walls are rarely a good idea.
Painting or wallpapering a single wall in a different way than the rest of the room may wind up muddling the overall style.
“A random, unbalanced accent wall in a loud pattern or color will usually make the room’s style feel unfocused,” Goerg said. “These walls rarely have the desired effect.”
Instead of painting an accent wall, Goerg suggested customizing the ceiling with paint or wallpaper.
Wicker waxes and wanes often sport a high price tag.
Interior designer Luciana Fragali, owner of Miami firm Design Solutions, told Insider that wicker furniture isn’t worth the expense.
“Wicker makes a comeback every decade or so, but when it’s not trending, it becomes an expensive eyesore,” Fragali said. “It can also be uncomfortable, making it impractical for living spaces.”
But unwanted indoor wicker pieces can often be repurposed as patio furniture after being sealed and reupholstered in all-weather fabric.
Murals can limit the future value of your home.
If you’re thinking about moving in the next few years, you may want to hold off on installing a wall mural.
“When the time comes to sell, the wall mural will be the only thing buyers focus on,” Fragali said. “They can seem like a great idea at the time, but quickly look dated.”
She instead recommended investing in bold accessories or creative millwork.
All-white decor often comes with high cleaning costs.
Minimalist interiors with all-white furnishings have been trending for years, but the style is hard to maintain.
“All-white decor is not practical, especially in homes with children and pets,” Fragali told Insider. “This style can be hard to keep clean and pristine.”
Opting for accessories and furniture in neutral colors may help you achieve a similar aesthetic without the sky-high cleaning bills.