5 Home Decoration Trends That (In Reality) Don’t Work


It’s a classic case of Instagram vs reality: You’ve redone a room based on something you saw online, but the result was less than you’d hoped for. Unfortunately, once a room is decorated, you can’t swipe back.

If you’re about to embark on an interior makeover, don’t be fooled by photos. What looks good in a picture doesn’t necessarily work in real life.

Here are 5 popular trends that in reality just don’t work, and what to try instead. And as a bonus, we’ve included 10 timeless home decor trends to try the next time you’re itching to redecorate.

1. Fail: All-White Everything

White on white is big on social media, and that’s where it belongs.

In reality, white everything is not only super unpractical (hello red wine) but it looks like a blank canvas waiting for some character.

Fix it: While white is a great base for keeping things bright and fresh, incorporate other colours and materials like pastels and natural wood or black and marble. Using accent colours can help soften the clinical harshness of an all-white look.

Some timeless looks which use white well include Scandi and nautical.

2. Fail: Minimalistic Style

The idea of living simply with minimal clutter sounds like a healthy way to live—but is it sustainable?

Designing your home with a minimalistic approach often means getting rid of souvenirs, gifts, trophies, and other beloved treasures. Basically, it’s like swiping away all those fond memories and starting new.

While it may look good on Instagram, we’d rather keep our favourite bits and pieces collected along the way from this journey we call life.

Fix it: We’re not promoting hoarding but a stylish and timeless way to keep your favourite things is by going for the bohemian or eclectic look. Select your decor thoughtfully and avoid going overboard, and you’ll master a minimalist look without sacrificing personality.

Need help making decisions? Try the theory behind the popular book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo: if it brings you joy, keep it. If not? Let it go.  

3. Fail: Block Colour Trends

Remember when retro yellows and oranges were a thing? Well, millennial pink, lavender, and emerald green are the big block colours of the moment – and they have a use-by date.

Going full throttle with ultra trendy themes is ultimately going to end up out of fashion, and you’ll end up with a big price tag on another renovation.

Fix it: A neutral colour pallet is the best base to work with. You can still add decorative bursts of colour with the seasons, just without the hefty repaint fee. If you want to incorporate trendy colours, do so with decor that isn’t permanent, like pillows or curtains.

4. Fail: The Gallery Wall

You know those odd photo frames with different photos scattered across a feature wall? They look good in photos. In reality, a gallery wall can be a mess.

It’s not as simple as collecting all the odd frames and photos you’ve got stashed in the garage. Picking the right frames and pictures to contrast yet compliment each other at the same time is just the beginning.

Hanging them up straight, within equal distance and in a carefully planned order to look striking (not messy) requires a unique interior design skill.

Fix it: If you want an arty look, stick to one large art piece to create a clean statement wall. Rustic frames with classic images give a timeless look with a clean-cut impact.

5. Fail: Matching Furniture

Why do furniture stores always try and sell goods in a set? Not only does it take away the fun in designing your own look, matching furniture is repetitive, formal and downright old-fashioned.

It may be a convenient one-stop shop, but matching furniture can quickly overwhelm a room and you may quickly tire of the look.

Fix it: There’s old-fashioned, then there’s vintage. Instead of going for a ‘great deal’ on cookie-cutter furniture, opt for unique pieces that complement each other and create character.

Vintage pieces are timeless, so check out the second-hand store and see what you’re working with.

10 Timeless Home Decor Trends

Some trends will never go out of fashion, because they simply work. Go with what feels right to you, and you won’t wind up wanting to change it six months later. Here are 10 of the best home decor trends to last the long run.

1. Neutral walls
2. Vintage furniture
3. Leather couch
4. Colourful artwork
5. Nautical colour palette
6. Wooden furniture
7. Stainless steel appliances
8. Built-in shelves
9. Indoor plants
10. Natural stone features

Home decor is personal, so this is one place you don’t need to follow trends. After all, your home should be a reflection of your style, not what’s popular with other shoppers. Keep it simple and meaningful, and your home decor will outlast the flavour of the month.

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