10 Overdone Decorating Trends

These trends are starting to look tired.

Interior of contemporary bedroom
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The decorating world has no laws carved in stone and no rules that can’t be broken – other than, “If you love it, go ahead and do it.” There are no decorating police issuing tickets for bad design. Having said all that, there are decorating guidelines and tricks that make it easier to create an appealing room, and although they don’t change nearly as quickly as clothing fashions do, there are decorating trends that come and go, leaving behind outdated, tired looks.

Just think back on rusty orange shag carpeting, cutesy geese wearing blue bows wallpaper border through the kitchen, or an emphasis on blonde wood: all once the height of style, all outdated now.

The following ten trends are on that list of one-time decorating musts that have peaked and started their slide towards decorating don’ts. If you have one or more and love them, there’s no need for a change. But if you’re actively looking to update your bedroom’s appearance, leave these items on the store shelf.

Chevron Pattern

It’s bold, it’s contemporary, it’s a bit edgy, and it’s everywhere. It’s chevron, and while it is a great way to add some lively interest to a room, so are many, many other patterns. Why not give classic stripes or polka dots a whirl, or swap out stale chevron for something equally bold, yet far fresher, like basketweave, zebra print, or a geometric design?  

Mirrored Furniture

A touch of Hollywood regency glitz and glam adds romance and richness to a room, it’s true.

But the line between classy and tacky can be a fine one, and too much mirror definitely crosses that line, and shows off every fingerprint and smear of dust, as well. Instead of a mirrored dresser or nightstand, why not choose a newer style made from wood with touches of metal? You still get the interest of shine, but without yesterdays’ overdose of reflection.

Mass Production

Visit your local HomeGoods or similar store, and you’ll find shelves crowded with mass-produced tchotchkes. Many of them are admittedly cute, but every room cries out for some individuality. Instead of cookie-cutter assembly line, add an artisanal treasure or two to your bedroom, and separate yourself from the crowd. In the age of Etsy, artists with lovely handmade wares to sell are no further away than your keyboard.  

Gallery Walls

While a gathering of small photos or pictures works beautifully on a stairwell or behind the living room couch, it’s a busy look for the bedroom. Instead, hang one large picture in a position of honor. That’s more dramatic and yet easier on the eyes. Consider a painting, a print, a photograph, or a tapestry or quilt.

Too Much Gray

A gray bedroom would have been unthinkable not that long ago, but these days, it’s quite common. While gray’s new status as a classic neutral isn’t going anywhere, it’s time to pare it back a bit. Avoid the danger of cave-like gloom by complementing gray with other colors or plenty of white.

Beige and Brown Neutrals

Beige, tan and brown neutrals are classics, of course, and never really out of style. But even classics have their rises and falls in popularity, and currently, these earthbound neutrals are on the downside.

Get current with today’s whites, pastels, or rich jewel tones instead.

Solid Color

Solid stretches of color are safe and work well with contemporary decorating styles such as minimalism or midcentury modern. But the tide is turning back towards using lots of pattern in a room. Watercolor florals, strong global looks, classic stripes, tartan, animal prints, or geometrics are far more interesting than a room filled with solid bedding, window treatments, accessories, and flooring. Feel free to mix and match: as long as you tie patterns together with color and scale, they will look just fine.

Matched Furniture Sets

Yes, it’s easy and safe to walk into a furniture showroom and buy a complete matched bedroom set. Unfortunately, it’s also boring, and at odds with today’s trend towards a more individual, thought-out look.

Instead of matchy-match, choose pieces that complement each other, but aren’t an actual set. Or try a piece of furniture not originally intended for the bedroom in a new way: a small console table as a bedside table, or a desk at the foot of your bed.

Overdone Themes

It’s fun to have a decorating theme: coastal, Mediterranean, southwestern, or whatever else you love. But as with anything else, too much of even a good thing can be bad for you. Stick with your favorite theme, but give it new flavor by adding in a diverse spice of contrasting and complementary accessories and furniture. Eclectic style is very current.

Chilly Metals

Silver and chrome have been riding high for a long time now, but the tide is slowly turning in favor of warmer metals. Copper has been quite popular for the past couple of years, and now gold and brass are edging into the mix. While it’s perfectly fine to mix these three metals, be careful not to go overboard -- something very easy to do when decorating with metallics. Just a few touches of metal per room are enough.