I’m an interior decorator. Here are 10 things I would never have in my home.

A blue throw pillow with a red X and arrow pointing to it; A blue striped bin with an X and red arrow pointing to it

As an interior decorator, I’d never have cheap throw pillows or soft-sided storage cubes in my home.Shutterstock; Ellen Reidy/Shutterstock

  • As an interior decorator, I condemn trendy pieces like impractical pillows and impersonal shelving.

  • Faux sheepskin upholstery isn’t as durable as other fabric choices that deliver better results.

  • Buy furniture that transitions with you and suits your lifestyle instead of trendy pieces.

Cheaply made throw pillows don’t last.

throw pillows couch

Well-made throw pillows will have a quality insert and removable cover.Shutterstock

Throw pillows are arguably some of the most-used items in a living space and are crucial to cohesive decorating.

However, a cheaply made pillow without a removable cover will get gross fast. You probably wouldn’t go six months without washing your bedsheets so opt for throw pillows with washable, removable covers.

High-quality pillow inserts are a comfort investment but you’ll be able to swap out covers when you need to wash them and as your taste changes.

Faux-leather upholstery isn’t as durable as it may seem.

A brown faux leather couch in a living room

Faux leather furniture can be easily scratched or torn.Iglenas/Shutterstock

Though vegan alternatives can be great, from what I’ve seen, faux leather is not a durable alternative to its genuine counterpart.

Faux leather is made with plastics and may be resistant to cracks and scratches but over time, it’ll start to deteriorate. Faux leather won’t stretch and soften like the real thing so I wouldn’t recommend investing in it if you want comfortable, durable furniture.

If you love the look of leather and want to be cruelty-free, accent your space with the faux stuff instead. Utilize it on something that doesn’t get a lot of wear and tear, like a side-table base or serving tray, and keep it away from direct sunlight, moisture, and pet nails.

Soft-sided organizer cubes don’t excite me at all.

Soft storage cubes underneath a bench

Soft-sided organizer cubes should be left in the dorms.Ellen Reidy/Shutterstock

Though most college students own a soft-sided organizer, this storage solution should stay in your freshman dorm.

As a decorator, I wouldn’t call myself organized after dumping handfuls of miscellaneous junk into those flimsy boxes.

Take the opportunity to get a beautiful storage solution that enhances your space. A cute sideboard or thrifted cabinet will look better and last longer than pop-up cardboard and cloth boxes.

I find hairpin legs to be too wobbly on mass-produced furniture.

Hairpin-leg stools

There are better alternatives to hairpin-leg furniture.Dan Jardine/Shutterstock

With the rise in popularity of mid-century modern decor comes the hairpin leg. Though I love their simple yet modern look, I never encountered a hairpin-leg piece that doesn’t wobble.

To me, hairpin legs are overdone and trendy and aren’t as versatile as wooden legs across decor styles.

I would invest in furniture that can transition with your design tastes or something that isn’t as commonplace as the hairpin.

Desk chairs with plastic wheels can damage your floors.

Plastic wheels on a swivel desk chair

Plastic wheels on office chairs can be impractical.Vera Aksionava/Shutterstock

Almost all affordable office chairs have plastic wheels. I’ve seen plastic wheels ruin floors, especially hardwood ones, and they make a horrible sound when you roll away from your workstation.

You could opt for a plastic mat to go under your chair but those don’t exactly look chic. Instead, try replacing those plastic destroyers with rubber wheels.

Rubber wheels are easy to swap out and aren’t too expensive for a big upgrade. Your floors and downstairs neighbor will thank me.

Replace artificial boxwood wall decor with large-scale artwork.

A boxwood wall with a bulletin board in it

Boxwood wall decor is fine for photos but not for real life.bauhaus1000/Getty Images

Unless you’re under the age of 17, I think it’s time to retire the cute boxwood-wall decorating trend. It looks good in photos but not in real life.

This dust-collecting greenery becomes faded in the sun and isn’t even nice to run your fingers over.

If you want to bring in more of the outdoors, consider large-scale art featuring greenery, a wall decal, or textile pieces instead of plastic shrubbery.

Exposed light-bulb fixtures are harsh on the eyes.

An exposed bulb lamp with a geometric wire surrounding it

Exposed-bulb lighting isn’t aesthetically pleasing.Creative Rabbit/Shutterstock

Often used in farmhouse, industrial, and minimal interior design, exposed bulbs have their place. However, I find exposed bulbs don’t mesh in most homes and if done wrong, they tend to (literally) become an eyesore.

They usually showcase the bulb rather than the fixture, and how often do you want to stare straight at a light bulb?

These fixtures limit the kind of bulbs you can use, and with smart lighting on the rise, you might want fixtures that hide the hardware and highlight good design.

Themed decor does not express sophisticated design.

Rooster salt and pepper shakers

Honing into an overdone theme, like the farmhouse aesthetic, can seem impersonal.scottiebumich/Getty Images

Unless you actually have a beach house, mountain cabin, or farmhouse, resist the themed decor. Unimaginative decor like starfish lamps or rooster clocks might seem charming but isn’t sophisticated.

Good design whispers and themed decor shouts. Oftentimes, these pieces can be overstimulating, impersonal, and mass-produced.

For example, if you want your home to feel like an airy cabana, use a beachy color palette and find furniture made with materials associated with those places, like light wood and woven textiles.

Faux sheepskin fabric pills and holds on to loose fibers.

Faux sheepskin blanket on a chair

Recent interior decor trends are pushing furniture, blankets, and pillows with faux sheepskin.svetikd/Getty Images

Faux sheepskin is a tricky fabric that will require special care and usually only stays beautiful in pet- and child-free homes. For the majority of us, faux sheepskin is a nightmare because it collects hair and fluff and becomes a matted mess after washing.

Though faux sheepskin adds an interesting texture, its high-end sister fabric, bouclé, would be worth the extra cost. Otherwise, I recommend incorporating texture through twill, knits, or chenille upholstery.

Geometric shelves tend to be clutter collectors.

Geometric shelves on a green wall

It can be difficult to figure out what to put on a geometric shelf.Japan_room/Shutterstock

Geometric metal hanging wall shelves are everywhere in mainstream design. Though they signify a modern and minimal design, people often rely on them as an easy way to fill a blank wall without planning for what will occupy those shelves.

In my opinion, a random floating circle with a few bobbles on it does not make for impactful decor. I suggest a more personalized approach when decorating your home.

Artwork or large framed photos look better and create less clutter than shelves with dust-collecting trinkets. You only have so much space in your home to express yourself so don’t waste it on meaningless space fillers you got on sale at HomeGoods.

Click to keep reading other things interior designers say they would (or would never) have in their own space.

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