Hadley Freeman on the interior trends she wants to call time on

Hadley Freeman gets on her soapbox to trash talk a few choice interior trends

Headshot of Hadley Freeman on a white backdrop
(Image credit: Future)

Because I spent most of last year house-hunting, I became extremely well-versed in the current home décor trends, many of which are appalling, but one – well, one is more complicated.

The number one trend that really needs to end now is greige walls. Why do so many British people insist on painting their homes in awful muted grey-brown-blah colours? Is it to match the sky outside? Do they think it looks chic? Well, allow me to disabuse that notion now: it does not. It is depressing. I blame paint companies and their weird colour names, although it’s not like they didn’t warn us, naming them things like “Elephant’s Breath.” Have you ever smelled an elephant’s breath? Why would you want to live in that? No wonder people in this country need to drink so much tea to cheer themselves up.

Another big trend is bad rip-offs of Soho House. You know the kind of thing: a bit of exposed brick, mismatched chairs, a wood-topped kitchen island, a giant (unused) pizza oven. Here’s my prediction: this will be to the 2010s and early 20s what monochrome minimalism was for the 90s, i.e., soon to be extremely dated.  

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(Image credit: Future)

And then we come to the statement wall. A while back, a friend made some derogatory comments about the concept of “the statement wall”, which is when wallpaper is on just one wall in the room. I knew what she meant. It smacks of trying too hard, something your mother-in-law might do, along with sticking some pampas grass in the front garden. Except, there was a problem: I have a statement wall, and I love it.

My feature wall is in my bedroom and it’s a fancy wallpaper, which I adore, but because I am not the Prime Minister, I cannot pay for rolls and rolls of hand-painted wallpaper. So I bought just one roll and I put it on one wall behind my bed, and I think it looks fabulous.

But then I went house-hunting and I had to admit that the statement walls I saw did not look fabulous. They looked like another house décor cliché. It was dismaying. I went home, looked at my bedroom wall again and you know what? I still loved it. So that’s when I realised that house décor cliches are like opinions: I only like mine. 

Hadley Freeman
Contributing Editor

Hadley Freeman is an American British journalist. A staff writer for The Guardian Hadley is the author of the bestselling House of Glass (published March 2020) alongside other titles. She has recently moved house, and lives in London with her husband, her kids and, most importantly, her dog.

Born and raised in New York, Hadley spent eight years on the fashion desk at The Guardian, before becoming a staff writer and columnist. She penned her Weekend Guardian column for over five years, until September 2021 when she stopped to concentrate on interviews for the newspaper. Hadley’s work has appeared in publications including Vogue US and UK, New York magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and many others.