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

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.

As an interior decorator, I love unique pieces that create a cohesive home. However, there are some items I wouldn’t personally recommend to those looking to customize their space.

Here are 10 things I would never have as an interior decorator. 

Cheaply made throw pillows don’t last.
Well-made throw pillows will have a quality insert and a removable cover.

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

However, a cheaply made pillow without a removable cover will get gross quickly. 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.
Faux-leather furniture can easily get scratched or torn.

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 a serving tray, and keep it away from direct sunlight, moisture, and pet nails.

Soft-sided organizer cubes don’t excite me at all.
Soft-sided organizer cubes should be left in the dorms.

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.
There are better alternatives to hairpin-leg furniture.

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 office chairs can be impractical and harmful to floors.

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 neighbors will thank me.

Replace artificial boxwood wall decor with large-scale artwork.
Boxwood wall decor is fine for photos, but not for real life.

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.
Exposed-bulb lighting isn’t aesthetically pleasing.

Often used in farmhouse, industrial, and minimalist interior design, exposed bulbs have their places. However, I find that 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 you should consider how often 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.
Homing into an overdone theme, like the farmhouse aesthetic, can seem impersonal.

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

Good design whispers, and themed decor shouts. Often, these pieces appear 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, including light wood and woven textiles.

Faux-sheepskin fabric pills and holds on to loose fibers.
Recent interior-decor trends are pushing furniture, blankets, and pillows with faux sheepskin.

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 with twill, knits, or chenille upholstery.

Geometric shelves tend to be clutter collectors.
It can be difficult to figure out what to put on a geometric shelf.

Geometric-metal hanging wall shelves are everywhere in mainstream design. Though they signify a modern and minimalist 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 baubles 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 Home Goods.

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

Read the original article on Business Insider


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