April 14, 2024

Building Architectural Universes

Designing Spaces, Inspiring Lives

40 Most Outdated Home Decor Styles

6 min read
1

All Whites and Grays

modern kitchen room interior
Wachirawut Priamphimai / EyeEm//Getty Images

Apparently white kitchens are on their way out, in favor of bold, bright colorful kitchens. According to the latest 1stDibs trend report, when asked about the most on-trend hues for 2023, white received the most dramatic decline in popularity (down 10 points from last year to 14 percent) and light gray received the fewest votes overall (just 5 percent). “The decline in white and gray reflects our ongoing desire to make our homes, in which we’ve all come to spend more time, feel special and layered,” says Anthony Barzilay Freund, 1stDibs’ editorial director. “Patterns and colors, particularly those that evoke nature, are visually interesting and also feel emotionally reassuring, at once retro and of the moment.”

2

Animal Prints

home office
Tom Merton//Getty Images

Not only are we ditching white-on-white in favor of warmer, happier tones, but we’re also moving on from animal prints in favor of more biophilic patterns and tones, says 1stDibs’ Barzilay Freund—particularly zebra. “Before there was cowhide, there were zebra rugs,” he observes. “They gave rooms an exotic flair in the ’70s, but the animal print rug tends to look more cheesy than worldly in 2022.”

3

Mass-Produced Anything

mock up frame posters in scandinavian style living room3d rendering
Wa Nity Canthra / EyeEm//Getty Images

“Soulful spaces are emerging as a form of self-expression and historical nostalgia like never before,” says Pinterest’s home and design creator management lead, Jeremy Jankowski, who tells us that Pinterest searches on eclectic and vintage interior design are up a whopping 850 percent. “It’s part of an effort to be sustainably minded, but matched with a general interest in creating spaces that tell a story.” Goodbye, quick, cheap (impersonal) trend pieces. Hello, one-of-a-kind vintage treasures.

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4

Rose and Gold Hardware

property interiors
John Keeble//Getty Images

This just in: Rose gold and gold fixtures might also be a thing of yesteryear. “It’s more about spring and less about bling,” says 1stDibs’ Barzilay Freund. But if you just installed a shiny new set of drawer pulls, don’t fill out that return order just yet. We anticipate that this prediction might take more time to be a bona fide trend.

5

Boho B

clothes hanging on a hangers near a mirror at home
Maria Korneeva//Getty Images

Here’s an unpopular opinion: We’re finished with boho style. While this eclectic style has gained massive interest (hello, macramé wall hangings and plants, plants, plants), the experts say this design style has reached its peak. One thing we won’t miss? The excuse it gave everyone to be more cluttered.

6

Sliding Barn Doors

best design trends around the world
Tara Striano

It’s possible that the sliding barn door with exposed metal hardware may never truly diminish in popularity, but perhaps we’re easing off the gas pedal of this farmhouse style as #cottagecore come and gone. However, if you recently installed your own sliding door, we can’t deny that the rustic and even industrial look is a fabulous (and functional) focal point for any space.

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7

Boxy Furnishings

the rookery, holiday cottage scotland
Andreas von Einsiedel//Getty Images

It’s hip to be curved. Think Mara Brock Akil’s rosé room seating and Todd Raymond’s Paolo Ferrari chaise. The heavyset, quadratic sofas that were a product of the ’90s La-Z-Boy era have fully taken their bow as we embrace a ’70s resurgence that involves low seating and seductive shapes.

8

Pastels

green bathroom
Generistock//Getty Images

Pastels have arguably never gone out of vogue. That is, until 2020 when a pandemic hit and we needed more happy—bold happy. So while one might have previously opted for a muted green for fun detail, we’re now going color happy with a no-holds-barred emerald or bird-of-paradise green.

9

Carpeted Bathrooms

empty bathroom of luxury house
moodboard//Getty Images

OK, we aesthetes are collectively notorious for favoring style over function, but this is just beyond illogical. With enough water-damage situations, this trend has had its short heyday and can remain in our distant memories for the occasional good laugh.

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10

Midcentury Modern

cape cod house renovated with a mid century modern vibe
The Washington Post//Getty Images

A few years ago, midcentury modern was all the rage. And while the craftsmanship, clean lines, and understated elegance of this unforgettable aesthetic will always weave their way into various design sensibilities (viva Bauhaus!), it appears we’re moving away from the dictum of modernism for the funky geometric shapes and psychedelic designs of the ’70s.

11

Blobby Furniture and Squiggly Everything

overhead view of a colorful curvaceous pool with amorphous blobs extending from it
Owen Humphreys, Courtesy of Jupiter Artland
12

Open-Floor-Plan Living

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Brittany Ambridge

When it comes to spatial awareness, open-plan living spaces like this Brooklyn loft offer many benefits: the illusion of added space, an abundance of square footage for easy foot traffic, and marvelous entertaining opportunities. That said, the forced openness can lend itself to decreased privacy that may have grated on some of us amid the height of lockdown. Perhaps some of us learned that walls can be necessary for a healthy marriage.

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13

Tile Countertops

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Tile countertops were all the rage in the 1970s, but if you’d like to keep your space current, it’s best to leave this trend behind. Plus, it’s difficult to clean, so avoid the stress and stick with statement marble or stone.

14

Terrazzo Unrestrained

kitchen countertop with sink for mockup, 3d rendering
wuttichaijangrab//Getty Images

Ok, don’t get all worked up just yet. We’re not saying Terazzo is totally out; but an overindulgence of it is. If you don’t want your home to take on the aesthetic of an office building, stay away from this much terrazzo. It was a popular design choice in the U.S. between 1930 and the 1990s, and while it’s made a big comeback in recent years, we’d wager that it’s going to quickly go back into “dated” territory soon.

15

Tiffany Lamps

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This is a tough one, but in most cases, your best bet is to do away with this famed light fixture. A Tiffany lamp tends to look either too fussy or reminiscent of certain bars trapped in the ’80s. While the stained glass is lovely, the light they put out can be dim, too. Plus, there are a slew of other lighting styles on the market that can easily add a a touch of elegance to a room.

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16

Millennial Pink

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Yes, it’s time to accept that millennial pink is no longer on-trend. For a fresh look, consider hues like yellows or muted green tones, which can work well across a range of design styles.

17

Word Art

love decorations, ribbon, roses and card on desk
Robert Daly//Getty Images

Do you really need a giant wooden plaque hanging on the wall? From “Family” to “Love” to “Home,” there are plenty of generic phrases and pieces of word art available—but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you. Instead, it’s worth it to take the time to choose something more meaningful that speaks to your aesthetic.

18

Linoleum Flooring

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Whether it’s used in a kitchen or dining area, the practicality of linoleum might be worth foregoing for something less tacky like wood or tile.

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19

Futons

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Now that your dorm days are over, it’s time to toss your futon. Instead, opt for a traditional sofa style such as a loveseat.

20

Fast Furniture

outdated home decor trends
Getty Images

You’ve probably heard of “fast fashion,” which refers to clothing that is a factory-made, much cheaper version of what’s currently on the runway. The equivalent in home decor is “fast furniture,” which is an inexpensive design that you essentially buy knowing that you’ll toss it in a few seasons…or the next time you move. These easy-to-assemble (and even easier to afford) designs really blew up in the mid-1980s and have been going strong since.

Although it can be a great way to save money, there’s a reason that antiquing and repurposing old furniture has been having a major moment. Recycling and reusing existing decor allows you to reduce waste and also collect pieces that are special and have their own story.

Headshot of Rachel Silva

Rachel Silva, the Assistant Digital Editor at ELLE DECOR, covers design, architecture, trends, and anything to do with haute couture. She has previously written for Time, The Wall Street Journal, and Citywire.

 

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