3 Things That Make Your Home Look Tacky, Interior Designer Warns

"I have literally never seen anyone’s house look good with these things in it," she warns.

Many people think of home decor as a purely aesthetic feature, but research shows that it makes a much greater impact on your life, influencing your mood, well-being, and more. Your design choices also communicate your interests, personality, and values to your visitors without so much as a word. Sophia deDomenico, co-owner and principal interior designer for BuildD3, says that's why it's so important to send the right message with your home decor decisions—and to avoid features that distract from that message by coming off as "tacky."

In fact, she says that there are three common design mistakes that bring down your home's aesthetic appeal. Wondering if you're making these missteps? Read on to learn which things are making your home look "tacky," and how to turn it around.

RELATED: 10 Home Design Trends That Make Your House Look Dated.

It may sound "harsh," but she's here to help.

Senior married couple holding purchases and walking in a household goods store
Shutterstock

In a recent TikTok video, deDomenico called out the top three ways that people make their homes look "tacky" without realizing it. Aware that it's a sensitive subject, she wrote in the caption, "My goal is not to offend, but to help educate you and improve your styling."

"Before we get going, I know 'tacky' seems like a harsh word, but I'm an interior designer and I have literally never seen anyone's house look good with these things in it," the designer says in the video. "But don't worry, if you have these things in your house, I'm here to help you upgrade. I'm going to give you the solution."

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1
Faux plants

fake plants in modern room
Shutterstock / Anastasiia Chepinska

The first item that deDomenico says to avoid is any kind of fake greenery or flowers. "Faux plants are one of those things that can look great for a moment in a picture, but when you get into a real room with real lighting and real living, it just looks bad," she shares.

If you love the lush, green look of a plant but you're not up for extensive upkeep, she says there are several low-maintenance indoor plants that are hard to kill. In particular, she recommends devil's ivy, spider plants, snake plants, peace lilies, and rubber trees. "They hardly ever need to be watered, and they are very light tolerant, so regardless of your lighting situation [they] should keep in your house," she points out.

RELATED: 8 Easy Houseplants That Don't Need Sunlight.

2
Word signs

closeup of a house-shaped chalkboard with the text home sweet home written in it and a bunch of lavender flowers in a flower pot, against a rustic pale blue background
Shutterstock

Next, the interior designer warns against word signs, another common home decor item that she says is making your home look tacky: "To me, word signs are placeholders. They're something you put on a wall because you have a space, and you just want something to fill it."

Instead, deDomenico recommends replacing these signs with art. "Now this is super personal and specific to everyone's taste, but it's also a reflection of you. Put something in there that you like," she advises.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether or not what you've put on your walls could be a conversation starter. If not, opt for something more personal, such as your kids' art, some family photos, a map of a place you've traveled to or lived in, or anything that feels specific to you. "When you go to fill your walls, you don't want placeholders, you want personality," she adds.

RELATED: I'm a Property Expert and These Are the 5 Things That Devalue Your Home.

3
Accent walls

accent wallpaper in living room
Shutterstock

Finally, deDomenico warns that having an accent wall is another tacky trend that's past its prime. "Look, it's not like the idea of an accent wall is inherently bad, it just makes one side of your room feel extremely heavy and complete while the rest feels unfinished," the interior designer explains.

However, she says that if you're "crazy about an accent wall," there are simple ways to balance it. "For one, get creative with placement and make sure you balance the rest of the room by putting paint on either the remaining walls or the ceiling. Make sure to finish the room with furniture pieces that are the appropriate size, and feel a little more grounded and bigger," she suggests.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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