Our homes are one of the many parts of our lives where we can express our unique tastes. Within the walls where we eat, laugh, cry, work, nurture, grow, and sleep is a space that’s ours to create. Shift the furniture around. Color the walls. Hang wild art and display keepsake mementos. As I see it, the only mandate when decorating our homes is that we adhere to what we truly love—even if that means leaning into or avoiding any of these outdated home décor trends for 2022.

Yep, there’s the crutch: There are décor elements that go by the wayside. Ask any interior designer “what’s a look that you’re so over?” and they’ll likely pause and say something like, “I’d be thrilled to never see [fill in the blank] in a living room again.”

It makes sense, given that we’re often shifting and calculating what we wear to match the latest sartorial breeze. Our homes are just as subject to fall into a dated crutch. But what exactly are those snags? I asked three design experts for their take on the top outdated décor trends to reconsider in 2022. While some of their answers surprised me, all of them got me excited to shift, paint, and even donate a few things.

But just like any “rule,” these are meant to be broken. Take from here what speaks to you and leave the rest. It’s your home. Heck, I still pair my skinny jeans with all the “wrong” footwear—and I love it.

Feature image courtesy of Liana Levi.

Image by Claire Huntsberger

Outdated Trend #1: Fast Furniture

Here’s a sobering fact: The EPA estimates that Americans generated more than 12 million tons of furniture waste in 2018 (the most recent year reported), nearly 10 million tons of which went to landfill. That’s reason enough to live with less. And it’s inspiration to rethink mass-produced, poor quality furniture items, believes interior designer Liz Lipkin. We’re likely to ditch the fast-and-quick pieces in a few years, “because they don’t hold up, or they become outdated,” she says. 

Consider Swapping for: Vintage

Image courtesy of Hayley Pannekoecke of Kip&Co.

The next time you’re considering that super cheap coffee table, take a beat. Lipkin suggests going vintage and antique shopping. “In addition to having more character and being a lot more fun to shop for, antique furniture was built to last. Buying vintage saves money in the long run and reduces your environmental impact.” This is a total win-win.

Outdated Trend #2: All-White Kitchens

There is an undeniable freshness to an all-white space. Clean and neutral, it’s a palette that complements any and all décor inclusions. Yet, washing every wall in this hue is playing safe these days, say Lyndsey Scott and Wendy Robinson, co-founders and principals of How We Haven. “All-white kitchens can feel very sterile and flat,” believes Scott. “Having little diversity and void of personality, they lack the ability to evoke an inspiring emotion.”

Consider Swapping for: Mix Tones

Photo by Danae Horst.

The fix? Let the rainbow shine in this room. The same goes for different materials and finishes. “Right now, we are seeing a lot of mixed-toned kitchens,” Robinson tells me. “A blending of white and colored cabinets with wood islands creates more interest with the texture and color.”

Outdated Trend #3: Shiplap

There was a time when I would have put shiplap on every wall. The look is textured, inviting, and warm. Of course, it still is, however more contemporary options warrant a look today. “Shiplap is overdone,” say Scott and Robinson. It’s been too many places and graced too many surfaces.

Consider Swapping for: Vertical Lines

Photo by Nikole Ramsay.

For a current and refreshed vibe, Scott and Robinson believe you don’t have to totally part from shiplap. Flip it—literally. Install it vertically. Doing so brings the eye upward, making a space feel more expansive. The design duo also recommends trying a slat wall as another way to add some depth.

Outdated Trend #4: Signs

I love a good reminder. Something that marks where I am or nudges me how to feel. (You know the ol’ lipstick-on-the-mirror affirmation? It’s still a winner, in my book.) But the hanging of certain phrases in the home needs a rethink, say Scott and Robinson. “You don’t need a sign to tell you that you are in the kitchen or the bathroom,” implores Scott, who believes all farmhouse decor is gently fading.

Consider Swapping for: European Farmhouse Aesthetic

Photo courtesy of Las Perelli.

Now, this is not to be confused with the more global rustic look. According to Robinson, European farmhouse style, which boasts vintage furniture, patinaed tables, utilitarian pieces, and lots of books, is “on-trend right now.”

Outdated Trend #5: Accent Walls

Is it non-committal? A partial fix? A quick dose of décor interest? Whatever the accent wall is to you, Lipkin says it’s time to “put it behind us.” That’s right. Confining a gorgeous color to only one dimension limits its potential and is very in the past, believes the designer.

Consider Swapping for: Coloring Every Wall

Photo by Molly Winters.

If you have a proclivity to wash only one wall in a color, consider all the others walls. “It’s time to level up and give the whole room the attention it deserves,” says Lipkin. Painting an entire room completely transforms the look, feel, and total vibe of a space. So does wallpaper, continues Lipkin. “If you love it, set it free on all four walls.”

What décor trends are you ready to leave in the past?

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