As fun as keeping up with interior design trends is, sometimes decorating ideas, motifs, and finishes just don’t have the staying power that you’d ideally want them to, especially if you plan on investing significant time, money, and energy into your decor. “Just like the fashion industry, home decor fads come and go,” explains Roxy Te Owens, founder of Society Social furniture. “Truly timeless designs and materials are rooted in history and can be found in stylish spaces throughout the course of history.”
Curious about what trends might not stand the test of time? From terrazzo finishes to ball-shaped pillows and beyond, here’s what a few of our interior designer friends had to say about what might not be here for the long haul. Before you scroll through though, it’s worth noting that each of these trends can be incorporated into your home in a low-risk way, and if you really love something, you should go for it!
You probably swooned when you saw Mandy Moore’s terrazzo floors when her home makeover was revealed last year—after all, they were gorgeous. But while terrazzo provides an eye-catching finish in a space, designer Cagney Krzywosinski of Hyphen & Co. says you may regret employing it as a more permanent feature in your home. “Instead of incorporating terrazzo floors or countertops, introduce terrazzo in furniture pieces or accessories,” she says. “Try a terrazzo coffee or accent table or even a planter for a more cost-effective alternative that’s easier to replace should this trend dwindle out.”
2. Trendy Bathroom Tiles
Geometric patterned cement tiles and graphic bold colorways are all the rage right now, but it’s possible that their popularly will wane before too long. “Once you start introducing trendy colored tiles and patterns in a bathroom scheme, it will only take a few years before they begin to look dated,” says designer Christopher Maya.
Consider sticking with a shape that’s a little more timeless like a subway tile, and if you want to go bold, choose an edgier finish like a shimmery zellige or an artsier installation configuration like a herringbone pattern. If you have your heart set on a trendy tile, Maya says you can make it work by painting the walls and ceiling in soft, neutral shades to subdue the look of your space on the whole.
3. Modern Farmhouse Decor
If you’re a fan of modern farmhouse style interiors—think barn doors, shiplap walls, and industrial accents, it’s easy to see why. This Joanna Gaines-inspired look, when done well, is super homey, warm, and welcoming. That being said, designer Kevin Isbell says to be cautious of going overboard with this look in your space. “Unless you live in an actual farmhouse, too much of this decor can look ridiculously out of place in an urban apartment,” he says.
The fix here? Go for modern farmhouse accents if you want to, but don’t oversaturate a single room or space with every rustic touch you can find. “Limit yourself to one element, such as shiplap, and leave the rest for the actual farm,” says Isbell.
4. Fast Furniture
For as enticing as the prices of fast furniture and decor can be, designer Liz Caan says these pieces aren’t doing you, the environment, or your pocketbook any favors in the long run. “Home decor products that are made quickly and cheaply aren’t sustainable or built-to-last,” she says. “A good investment piece is worth saving up for and something you won’t regret in five years’ time.”
Designer pieces can be pricey, so no need to break the bank for items. Buying budget vintage or secondhand furnishings is a nice alternative to fast furniture, when and if it’s possible.
5. Bubble-Shaped Sofas
When it comes time to pick out a new sofa for your home, Maya suggests avoiding trendy, bubble-shaped styles and sticking with couches that have clean, classic lines instead. “Rectilinear shapes will age more gracefully than sofas with over-scaled arms,” he explains.
Of course, not all is lost if you have a bubble-shaped, curvy, or futuristic-looking sofa that you’re attached to. If you start to tire of it, “Have it recovered in a primary color and repurpose it in a kid’s or teenager’s room to create a whimsical mood,” Maya says. You can also mix your bubble-shaped sofa with boxier furnishings to help balance out those killer curves.
6. Backless Barstools
For as space-savvy as backless barstools may be, designer Genevieve Trousdale of Circa Genevieve points out that they aren’t very practical in the kitchen or otherwise. “Backless barstools only allow you to perch, so you can’t spend a lot of time in them,” she says. “If you want to be in the middle of the action in the kitchen, it’s better to find something with a back for support and a swivel so you can easily get in and out of them.”
If you don’t have much room for stools, Trousdale agrees that backless designs probably are the way to go. “Just make sure you have some comfortable dining chairs nearby,” she says. That way, you have another spot available for eating, working, and other activities that might last for longer stretches of time.
7. Rose Gold Metal
Rose gold certainly is still an eye-catching element to add into your home, but according to designer Kevin Dumais, your best bet is to keep these shiny pink pieces to a minimum if you’re decorating for the long haul. “Rose gold metal should be treated as jewelry for your home,” he says. “Use it as a decorative accent on your dining or coffee table and be willing to depart with it as the trend changes.”
If you love rose gold, the good news is there are items out there that make this finish look timeless and not too trendy. You could try a classic floor lamp or a simple, streamlined side table in rose gold, for example. It’s also worth considering traditional copper instead. Copper has all the warmth of rose gold without the pink undertones, which makes it easier to mix with other furnishings in a room.
8. Uniform Design Styles
Variety is the spice of life, which is why Trousdale says you should employ an assortment of aesthetic styles when outfitting your home. “Mixing styles creates personality and tells the story of your life,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to pair a beloved piece of modern artwork with an eclectic piece of pottery that you discovered on vacation—they’ll work together if they are meaningful to you.”
9. Large Wallpaper Patterns
Wallpaper makes a bold, splashy statement, but you have to be careful what kind of design you choose, especially if you spring for a pricey permanent paper. Certain wallpaper pattern fads are fleeting, and scale is more important than you might think when pulling a room together. “If a space isn’t large enough, large-scale wallpaper designs will be hard to pull off,” Krzywosinski says.
This doesn’t mean you can’t go big with wallpaper. There are plenty of eye-catching, simpler, and smaller designs that won’t overwhelm a room that’s short on square footage. And if you do want to go with a wallpaper with an oversized print in a power room or elsewhere, stick to an otherwise natural palette to offset this larger-than-life feature. Better yet, temporary wallpaper is less permanent and often more cost-effective to install than traditional paste-the-wall or pre-pasted options. So consider peel-and-stick papers for any motif that feels super “of the moment.”
10. Ball Pillows
Cute or not, Dumais says ball-shaped pillows aren’t designed to stand the test of time. “Pillows make great decor pieces because they are comfy and easy to change out—unless it’s a ball,” he says. “It’s hard to stick a ball in your linen closet for a season or to find a fresh cover for it, and they aren’t that comfortable.”
Still want to decorate with them? No problem. “Stick with one or two at the most and maybe in a chunky knit fabric like a bouclé or shearling, since those fabrics tend to work well on curvy shapes, and these pillows look best if you exaggerate their playfulness,” he says.