7 TikTok Hacks That Design Experts Hate

diy project

Morsa Images / Getty

Whether you only log onto TikTok here and there or can barely pull yourself away from the video sharing app, you've likely come across more than a few home decor related clips posted by users from all across the globe. However, it turns out that many of the DIY hacks that have garnered intrigue on the app aren't as universally beloved by pro designers. We spoke with experts who shared their true opinions about seven design hacks made famous by TikTok.

DIYing Foam Furniture

DIYing foam furniture is a popular—and pretty straightforward—TikTok hack and involves individuals spraying foam atop furniture or mirrors to create a bubbly or cloudy look. However, designer Malka Helft is far from on board. "Not only does it look messy and unpolished, but it is also toxic and flammable, and I would imagine over time it would start to fall apart or shed debris—what a nightmare to deal with!"

Designer Kelsey Haywood had similar thoughts. "DIYing foam furniture makes me nervous," she commented. "The sort of bouclé effect is nice, and while the intention is good, I can’t imagine how you keep it clean. The function on this doesn’t stand up for me!"

If it's the off the beaten path look you crave, Helft encouraged scoping out thrift stores and flea markets. "There are plenty of ways to get unique furniture that stands out without going to this extreme," she noted.

DIY Fluted Furniture

Fluted furniture can cost a pretty penny when purchased directly from a major retailer, so many DIY enthusiasts have tried their hand at supergluing wooden dowels to existing pieces to achieve this on-trend. Helft expressed mixed feelings about such projects. "In essence, this is basically just building furniture from scratch, which may be more work than is worth it," she noted. Designer Lauren DeBello believes that projects like this are "best left to the pros." She explained, "DIYs like this often require power tools that can be dangerous in the hands of someone with less experience, leaving you at risk of injury."

Helft urged consumers to take a closer look at more affordable, ready-made items on the market. "I love DIY but you can get some cutting edge, trendy pieces these days from IKEA, Urban Outfitters, and West Elm without breaking the bank—or your back—making furniture!" 

DIY Squiggle or "Blob" Mirror

Funky shapes and textures are having a major moment on TikTok, and the squiggle or "blob" mirror is no exception. Crafters simply take a plain mirror and add clay in a loop-like shape atop the frame. For designer Eleanor Trepte, this tactic is a no. "It just looks messy and will not add much design impact to the room—if anything, it will take away from other great pieces of art or furniture you have in your space."

DIY Tile Tables

Covering existing tables with pieces of tile to create a geometric design is also quite popular on TikTok, but once again, Trepte prefers to steer clear. "Tile is an incredibly difficult material for furniture—clunky, heavy, and prone to chips and breaks."

Designer Danielle Chiprut is also hesitant about going all in with tile. "I absolutely love tile on almost any surface, but tiling every inch of a table may be taking this trend too far," she stated. "The piece ends up feeling very heavy, and the idea of cleaning the 2"x2" tiles feels daunting." Designer Marie Cloud agreed. "Just go buy a table and call it a day. Oh, and be sure to grab one that will not be out of style within a year or so!" Tulip-style tables are one of our fave timeless pieces.

DIY Textured Art

This technique involves taking a plain canvas (or painting over thrifted artwork) to make one's own abstract piece, oftentimes using spackle or another similar material to add texture. Designer Andi Morse cautioned that this type of project can take a wrong turn quickly. "If you are not experienced, this could turn out not only cheap and messy, but could look like a young child created it," she noted. "You almost have to be a professional painter or have it in your bones to get a painting you would be happy with to hang on your walls. This could be a huge disappointment if not done correctly."

Instead, we suggest trying your hand at a collage or another type of mixed media piece that won't leave you comparing yourself to the pros.

DIY Painted Arches

This straightforward hack involves creating an arch-shaped wall mural in the color of one's choosing. Designer Emma Thayer commented that this look is so popular that it will soon look dated and suggested an alternative. "There are a lot of other ways to accent a space or create a unique headboard—wallpaper can be a great option, even a temporary peel-and-stick, and recovering an inexpensive fabric headboard is super easy, too," she said. "Both of these techniques are even easier to update than the painted arch wall, and you can take the headboard with you if you move!"

DIY Windowpane Mirror

This hack involves piecing together smaller mirrors with black electrical tape to create an oversized, leaning windowpane-shaped mirror. Thayer is also less than impressed by this DIY. "The windowpane mirrors hack is a cool concept, but the completed projects I've seen leave a lot to be desired," she noted. "In some cases, electrical tape is used to 'trim' the mirrors, which will not look good in person and will start to deteriorate. In others, the project is pretty labor intensive and requires several power tools the average DIY-er doesn't have access to, nor experience with."

Instead, Thayer advises shopping secondhand sites for a stylish mirror that will stand the test of time. "Vintage or secondhand items can have really great stories behind them, and they'll be far sturdier and more timeless than this TikTok hack."