Everyone wants a Pinterest-worthy home. And to get such a look, you may swap out your couch for a sumptuous sofa, or your floor lamps for tasteful sconces. But most people don’t realize that upgrading your abode—especially when you turn 30—has less to do with what you don’t have and more to do with what you do.
For instance, getting rid of your vertical blinds is a far more chic move than simply covering them up with trendy curtains. Or that pulling down all of your unframed posters—even if it results in stark, barren walls—is an instant way to boost your home’s style. So read on, and learn what décor pitfalls you should purge from your home, stat. You’ll be gracing the pages (or likely just the social media feeds) of Architectural Digest before you know it. And for more super savvy décor advice, learn the 20 Things No Woman Over 40 Should Have In Her Home.
A tiny rubber grape that someone could mistake for the real deal is never acceptable. You know what else also isn’t? An oversized, totally fake peach that will serve as nothing more than a functionally useless dust magnet. And for more great decorating advice, learn How the One and Only Nate Berkus Decorates His Walls.
It seems that, every few years, the powers that be insist upon the incipient comeback of macramé. Don’t believe it for a second. Best case, this frilly fabric will be cool for one more year, maximum, before it’s labeled as a serious faux pas (beginning the cycle anew).
Big Fake Plants
A small fake flower can be charming. But please leave the large fake plants to doctor’s offices and bank waiting rooms. Not only are they ugly, they literally only exist to gather dust. And if you’re looking to upgrade your own pad, but you’re short on dough, check out these 52 Ways to Be Smarter With Money in 2018.
Bean Bag Chairs
Are you a child? Because if you’re not, you should put away childish things, such as bean bag chairs. Instead, invest in an actually comfortable chair—one you can work in—by checking out out the 15 Best Office Chairs of All Time.
Word decals have a perhaps unearned reputation; whenever people deploy these accents, it seems they depict the most inane statements. (We’ve had enough of “Live. Laugh. Love.“) As such, even if you’re quoting Kant, this looks inevitably comes across as tacky.
Neon Bar Lights
Unless these vivid lights are handled with extreme taste (as in: A supremely stylized retro-chic bach pad), leave them where they belong: At the bar.
Checkered Bathroom Tile
Checkered bathroom tile always seems like a good idea when you’ve had a few drinks. Why? Probably because it’s so reminiscent of a pub bathroom. Once you sober up, you’ll realize that it just makes your bathroom feel like a cold, clinical space. And for more lifestyle dos and don’ts, don’t miss these 20 Questions You Should Never Ask on a First Date.
Vertical blinds are an unfortunate remnant from a bygone era of tasteless design. They’re also horrible at letting light in, when open, and cast unwanted shadows across any room. The less said about them, the better.
Bookshelves are meant to hold stuff. (Even if that stuff doesn’t happen to be a full-blown personal library.) Enough said.
Weapons on the Wall
It’s immature, at best. (And scary, at worst.) Put them away—for good.
An Abundance of Mason Jars
Mason jars have their time and place. (Keeping produce preserved during the off-season.) Utilizing them as decorating accents is not it.
It’s only okay to tape posters to your walls if you live in a college dorm. Or if you’ve shacked up with five other recent grads in a pint-sized, starter apartment. Actual grown-ups, however, should go ahead and spring for frames. For more on this matter, bone up on the 40 Items Every Man Over 40 Should Have in His Home.
Giant Stuffed Animals
These are only appropriate if you have kids. If you don’t, they are extremely inappropriate. Maybe you won one at a raffle or fun fair and now have no clue what to do with it. There’s a simple solution: Donate them to your friends’ kids.
Sex Toys As Home Decor Accents
Yes, some people think it’s hilarious or stylish to decorate their shelves with their personal playthings. (I’ve personally seen more than one living room decorated like this.)
Still, other people point out how the Ancient Romans believed that decorating everything with flying male genitalia was a good luck charm. Spoiler alert: You are not an Ancient Roman. Out of courtesy for anyone who may visit your living room, keep these in your bedroom.
Want to banish sex vibes from your bedroom for all eternity? Equip your bed with these puritanical-era fabrics.
This majorly creepy décor faux pas is best relegated to last century—even if you’re doing it “ironically.” A dead squirrel in a cowboy outfit is not a cool or funny thing to own.
From lip-shaped chairs to lip-shaped mirrors, the lip motif is everywhere in decorating. Some people even think it’s sexy. A truly sexy option would be a sumptuous, robust sofa done up in rouge upholstery, implying lips without outright putting them in front of your face.
Wicker Armchairs Indoors
They work on a veranda. They work next to water (pool, lake, or beach). That’s it.
Bright pinks can work great as vibrant splashes of color. Off-pinks (like lavender or lilac) can work as muted balancing hues. But pastel pink mostly just looks sad and old-fashioned. In the worst designs, this shade has a cheap highway motel vibe.
Nostalgia is nice, just not when it comes to appliances. That’s when it merely becomes kitschy and inconvenient—in other words, takes up too much space in your kitchen. Unless you have a cool, ergonomic fridge in mind—the kind of fridge that looks retro but actually works well—skip this option entirely.
On paper, the futon sounds like a marvel of ergonomic décor. In reality, however, it’s little more than an emblem of your indecisiveness. Do you want a sofa or a bed? Pick one. And if you’re decorating with the idea of frequent houseguests in mind, pick up a pull-out sofa.
Ferns are great plants. But as elements of home décor, they look old-school and unimaginative. A banana tree works better. Or even an unfussy split-leaf philodendron.
Stuff With Excessive Paw Prints On It
I get it, you love pets. But there is something nauseatingly twee about paw prints everywhere. Instead, a single tile with what looks like a stray paw print could be a cool addition to your kitchen floor. Or, an artsy coffee table book about hunting dogs can be a nice touch.
Hollywood Mirror Lights
There’s something very 1990s about them—but not in the good, downtown-Manhattan-sitcom way. Plus, more often than not, these eyesores are blindingly bright.
Decorating’s version of fast fashion is great for getting you through your 20s. But by the time you hit 30, it’s high time to upgrade to some quality furniture that won’t fall apart every year or so—stuff you can take with you for the rest of your time.
A Freestanding Tub
These tubs can look very midcentury cool. But freestanding tubs also take up an enormous amount of space—and they also happen to use up way more water than regular tubs. Tread with caution when considering installing one.
It’s always great to show off your skills and talents. But sports trophies from a long-ago time don’t count as decoration—and never will.
Pillows With “Sassy” Sayings
Leave these to memes. You want comfort from your pillows, not sass. Also, on top of everything else, these things tend to be cheaply made.
Huge Designer Prints
Yes, fashion brands are a major force in the modern world, but overstating their significance just comes off as tacky. Stick to subtle designs instead. And for more on the omnipotence of fashion, read up on The 10 Most Powerful Fashion Brands on the Planet.
A Mattress on the Floor
Come on. You’ve grown up. It might have been sexy chic in your 20s, but by now, it’s time to get a bed frame. (And maybe even a headboard.)
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