In a world of Instagram and influencers, it’s easy to fall into a trend spiral. But while the style tides bring new trends in as quickly as they go, that doesn’t mean you have to ditch all the things you love! In fact, we say: embrace 'em.
We turned to some of our favorite interior designers and decor experts to find out which trends they refuse to give up, no matter what the fads are saying. Whether you'd call it bougie, basic, cheugy, or cringe, here are scoffed-at trends that we love all the same.
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Just in time for autumn, design team Erin McCarthy and Mindy Turitz of Merinda Studio admit they will be pulling out these pieces, which have become a seasonal staple.
"Our guilty pleasure design go-to is a sheepskin rug,” McCarthy and Turitz say. “They make any space so cozy and textured. You can find them practically everywhere in amazing colors, faux, real, large, or small. They are great for chilly wooden floors in the winter and can be tossed over a chair that has seen better days. We consider them a guilty pleasure because they are so prolific. You can even find miniature ones for a dollhouse."
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British interior designer Portia Robbins admits that her favorite bougie accent is the neon pink sign currently hanging in her dining room. Custom-designed with the phrase “You Can’t Sit With Us,” it’s the perfect dash of fun in a room meant for social gatherings and parties.
It also fits her general aesthetic. “It’s a quote from the movie Mean Girls, and I find it perfectly playful, even if a little garish for some,” Robbins says. “I’m a movie geek and have lots of little nods to some of my favorite movies around my house.”
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While gallery walls are nothing new in the design world, they do seem to come in and out of fashion fairly quickly. Robbins admits that for a while, she really disliked them, but she’s come back around.
“I have fallen in and out of love with the gallery wall many a time!” Robbins says, before adding some caveats. “It’s one of those things that can’t be forced and has to be executed with thought and personality. When someone attempts an eclectic gallery wall, you can tell if they’ve simply bought all of the pictures in one go rather than gathered and curated them over time.”
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Steph Briggs, celebrity interior designer and co-founder of La Di Da Interiors, admits that she has a thing for animal prints—and most specifically, leopard print. “I adore it!” Briggs says. “I’m bordering on the obsessive; from cushion covers, candle holders, coasters, mugs, throws, and rugs.”
But while leopard print might be trendy, it’s also so diverse that it’s hard to go stale. "Leopard print comes in a variety of colors and fabrics, which helps to keep it fresh,” Briggs says. “There is a leopard print fabric or accessory that will go with pretty much any color scheme. It’s an all-year-round pattern that can scale up or down depending on the piece.”
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Amy Donato, senior marketing manager of Glidden, says she is a proud and permanent fan of all things glittery.
“I will forever love sparkle. If it sparkles, I’ll buy it,” Donato says. “I realize this look can come off ‘cheap,’ but there is a tasteful way to do it. You can add a little sparkle to your space by adding a throw pillow with a little hardware detail around the edge, a decorative dish that has a shimmer coating to it, or a small end table with metallic-coated legs. Small elements on pieces will catch the light and add a little more special interest to your pieces. A little sparkle can go a long way!”
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This one is a fairly new trend, but it’s one we should all embrace, because as Donato says, “Greens are absolutely everywhere right now.”
So is green the new Millennial Pink? It just might be, Donato says: “I was never particularly into greens before, but now I love them. Greens allow you to feel the benefits of nature, like being balanced and rejuvenated, so incorporating them into your home makes a ton of sense and explains why we’re craving that color family right now.”
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This is one of those trends that looks incredible on Instagram, but it can be hard to pull off at home. Donato thinks the appeal of Rattan is all in how you style it.
“When I see a rattan piece on its own, it just looks like patio furniture to me,” Donato says. “But when I see it incorporated with a cool throw rug, next to an over-stuffed couch, and surrounded by house plants, I love the serene, chill vibes. Maybe I’ll tiptoe into the trend with a cool rattan light fixture…”
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Anna Ambrosi, interior designer of Into the Garden Room, tells us that chintz is a great example of a trend that keeps dying and thriving at breakneck speed. “It was so dated up to a few months ago and now it’s in full hype," she says.
“I think chintz is one of those comforting patterns that sometimes you need to go back to,” Ambrosi says. “It’s all about softness and nature, and these are two things that this busy world sometimes lacks. To me, this is probably why we cyclically feel like refusing it. [We’re] willing to affirm a very tidy, absolute aesthetic ... to then come back to it, looking for a welcoming space to be embraced.”Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Ambrosi also has a softness for mixing metals—a trend that, by her estimation, hasn’t truly been back since the seventies.
“For a long time, there has been a strong preference for either a total silver or total gold look. It is undoubtedly easier to get a look right with a strong guideline, and it might be the best way to grant a cohesive look to a scheme,” Ambrosi says. “This is exactly why, though, mixing metals is so interesting. It's risky! Personally, I think there are, or there should be, no guidelines here. It should be a free-spirited mishmash of your personal taste, as this is what will make it unique."
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Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs admits to a newfound interest in buffalo check. “I used to really dislike it, but one day it kinda grew on me,” she says. “Now I love to use it in unexpected places. I currently have an accent buffalo check throw blanket draped over my son's bed.”
She’s even started to brainstorm other fun ways to use this trend that she’d previously ruled out: “I could see a buffalo check accent wall in a cabin, kid's room, or even a laundry room! How fun and unique would that be? Buffalo check would also make for a killer backdrop for an eclectic gallery wall.”
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Charleston-based interior designer Laura Boyd knows that designer nurseries might not be practical, but it’s a trend she adores. “I have to say, I will never get over how much some clients are willing to spend on designer nurseries—super custom rooms that children will inevitably outgrow,” Boyd says.
“From ornate valances in over-the-top fabrics to designer cribs, a fully bespoke nursery can seem so frivolous, but so delicious all at the same time," she says. "Who doesn't love a gorgeous baby's room completely done up to a tee?”
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Opting to go big with wallpaper can feel like a bold mood, but this is another trend that Boyd is fully behind: “Bold, statement wallpapers will always be showstoppers that transform a room. Good papers definitely cross into bougie territory with their often European origin/price tags and the additional installation fees, but they are always worth it.”
Curtis agrees: “I love quirky wallpaper, something you might see in Grandma’s house but a hip fresher version. I could easily get carried away here.”Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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Interior Designer Olga Hanono tells us that, while she’s not a minimalist, she can fully appreciate the trend: “In recent times, I’ve learned to enjoy and embrace peaceful spaces, like a zen garden or a Japanese ultra-modern hotel lobby. The quieter the space, the quieter the mind gets, and sometimes I really enjoy meditation and calmness.”
While she personally isn’t ready to take the plunge into complete minimalism, she relies on the basic principles to offset her trendier pieces. “Have a neutral material palette, regardless of fashion trends, historical moments, or design style," she says. "[Then], go wild with art pieces, pillows, rugs, and accessories. Those pieces add character to a room, and we can constantly change them around our home to a different spot and have a dramatic effect.”
If you find yourself with a house full of trend pieces that designers are declaring over, don’t panic.
“You can absolutely rework your space to make it feel new and bring it up to date,” Robbins says—and that's because, thankfully, style is ever-evolving.
“Scandi interiors can be evolved into a more Japandi direction with the addition of some sleek black elements and some more polished details," she says. "Maximalist interiors can be pared down into a grandmillennial style, which holds on to the busy vibe but feels fresher and a bit more coordinated. Those who went for a [relaxed, eclectic] interior can refresh their space into a more California Casual direction by getting rid of the global patterns and upping the neutrals.”
The real lesson here is to realize that no matter what’s in style, don’t let the trends pull you away from your authentic self. “Only purchase pieces that genuinely speak to your personality and lifestyle,” Robbins says. “When you stay authentic to your genuine likes and dislikes, you will always be able to refresh and rework what you have over time, regardless of trends.”