Interior Designers Share Trends Not Worth the Money

by HomeDecorBeauty


Undoing an all-black look can be expensive.

Black walls are difficult to paint.

Mobz/Shutterstock


Interior designer Pamela O’Brien told Insider that the trend for black cabinets and walls is hard to get right and requires considerable effort to eliminate.

“While black cabinets and walls can be striking and moody, all that black and dark can feel depressing in the end,” says O’Brien.

Colors are often difficult to mask, so you may need to spend money to replace the cabinets or hire a professional painter if it doesn’t look good.

Open shelving can be cheap to set up, but difficult to maintain.

White kitchen open shelving with cups, plates and vases

You need to organize open shelves more often.

Pixel Shot/Shutterstock


Open shelving has been strong over the years, but this design choice requires discipline and regular maintenance.

“If you’re willing to carefully organize your dishes every day, this can be a great look,” says O’Brien. “But if you need to store various items that don’t look good, cabinets and doors are a better option.”

She adds that open shelving often doesn’t hold as much as traditional cabinets, so you may need to look for extra storage.

Swag light fixtures can make a room look messy and unfinished.

Swag light fixtures hanging from wooden beams in white room

Swag lighting can be difficult to achieve.

Krkd Lath Pwng Kha/EyeEm/Getty Images


Susann Goerg, interior designer and founder of happyhomes design, told Insider that swag lighting—light fixtures with visible wiring and a hanging mechanism—is difficult to achieve.

“Often, your regular swag lights end up looking unintentional and giving the space an unfinished look and feel,” says Goerg.

Instead, designers recommend trying swing arm wall sconces or tall, arched floor lamps.

Indoor bushes can be expensive and cause pest problems.

bathroom with lots of windows full of plants

More plants can increase the humidity in your space.

brizmaker/Shutterstock


Bringing live greenery into your home is an easy way to make a room feel homey and fresh, but it can also be expensive in a number of ways.

“For most people, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on exotic plant varieties,” O’Brien said. “Furthermore, they require a lot of maintenance and can harbor pests.”

Too many indoor plants, especially in poorly ventilated spaces, can put your home at risk of pest and mold problems due to humidity.

Seats that look good but aren’t comfortable are not a good investment.

Egg chair with cushions and lamp hanging in living room

Hanging chairs are not always the most comfortable.

New Africa/Shutterstock


Personalized seating, like a curved sofa or hanging chair, can add drama to a space, but often at the expense of comfort.

“Today, every piece of furniture needs to be functional and comfortable, not just look,” says Goerg. “Make sure to state that the sofa makes sense for your space and is actually comfortable.”

You’re likely to replace glamorous but unusable furniture earlier than more traditional styles, so it may feel like a waste of money.

Stylish patterned tiles can quickly become obsolete.

White and grey kitchen backsplash with different patterns and yellow kettle and apples on the counter

It’s best to choose a solid color with an interesting tile layout.

Vladpp/Shutterstock


Resurfacing a floor or backsplash is a long-term investment, so Goerg recommends geometric or vintage tiles that pass bright patterns.

“Over time, tiles that look outdated can affect the value of your property,” Goerg told Insider. “Ask yourself if you’re still going to love this pattern in six or eight years, and if it really elevates the style of your home.”

Instead, designers suggest opting for solid-colored tiles or eye-catching but versatile subway, chevron and penny layouts.

Leather cabinet pulls are not practical.

light brown leather cabinet pulls on light wood

Leather handles are particularly unsuitable for kitchens and bathrooms.

Getty Images


Leather cabinets and drawer pulls can add character to a room, but often seem more durable and functional than they are.

“Leather stains easily when it comes into contact with wet hands, sticky hands, cosmetics, oils and food residues,” says Goerg. “They also loosen over time, so you may end up replacing them with more durable replacements.”

If you decide to use leather handles, choose to install them on bedroom or hallway furniture rather than kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

An accent wall is rarely a good idea.

Striped accent wall in living room with blue furniture

An accent wall can make a room feel unfocused.

KUPRYNENKO ANDRII/Shutterstock


Painting or wallpapering a single wall in a different way than the rest of the room can confuse the overall style.

“A random, unbalanced accent wall with a loud pattern or color can often make the style of the room feel unfocused,” says Goerg. “These walls rarely have the desired effect.”

Goerg recommends customizing the ceiling with paint or wallpaper rather than painting the accent wall.

The ups and downs of wicker tend to be expensive.

Living room with wicker chairs and coffee table

You can often reuse willow conditions as outdoor furniture.

Pixel Shot/Shutterstock


Interior designer Luciana Fragali, owner of Miami-based firm Design Solutions, told Insider that wicker furniture isn’t worth the cost.

“Wicker makes a comeback every decade or so, but when it’s not in fashion, it becomes an expensive eyesore,” Fragali said. “It can also be uncomfortable, which is impractical for living spaces.”

However, unwanted indoor willow conditions can often be reused as patio furniture after being sealed and reupholstered with all-weather fabric.

Murals can limit the future value of your home.

Bedroom with orange bed and yellow floral mural

Murals may deter future buyers.

Pixel Shot/Shutter Shock


If you are considering moving in the next few years, you may want to hold off on installing the mural.

“When it comes time to sell, the mural will be the only thing buyers will be concerned about,” Fragali said. “They seemed like a good idea at the time, but quickly became outdated.”

Instead, she recommends investing in bold accessories or creative woodwork.

All-white trim often comes with high cleaning costs.

Living room with white walls and two large white couch

You can choose neutrals that are easier to clean.

Roman King/Shutterstock


Minimalist interiors with all-white furniture have been trending for years, but the style is hard to maintain.

“All-white decor isn’t practical, especially in a home with kids and pets,” Fragalli told Insider. “This style is hard to keep clean and pristine.”

Opting for neutral-colored accessories and furniture can help you achieve a similar aesthetic without paying high cleaning bills.

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