We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
Decorating your home is such a personal thing and, if you love it, you can’t really go wrong. However, over the years there are trends that we can all get swept up in before realising that, actually, they weren’t such a great idea after all. The worst decorating trends of the decade saw us doing rather unusual things in the name of interior styling. Including hanging empty vintage frames and using mason jars for EVERYTHING you can think of around the house.
Decorating inspiration: Home decor trends 2020 – the key looks for updating our interiors
It seemed we loved everything chevron, and even started stencilling unsightly prints all over our drawers and cabinets in the name of ‘shabby chic’.
Keep scrolling for a lighthearted look at the trends we hope don’t re-emerge too soon…
The worst decorating trends of the decade
1. Live, love, laugh
Word art became increasingly popular from the mid to late 2010s and, at one point, you could barely enter a home without being told to ‘live, love, laugh’ (not necessarily in that order) or obey other, let’s face it, cheesy sayings. While it might have been fun for a while, this love affair is officially over.
2. Glass block bathroom windows
The mid-century modern trend is still going strong in many areas, particularly in the furniture department. But some nods to the era haven’t been quite as successful – we’re looking at you glass block bathrooms. Whether in the form of windows or shower screens, it’s more eyesore than eye-catching.
3. Bean bag chairs
There was a time in the 2010s when bean bag chairs started replacing accent chairs and armchairs for extra seating in the living. While the aim was relaxed and informal luxe, it didn’t quite click and the result is more student dorm. Also, has anyone actually tried getting out of one? They’re best left to funky offices or outdoor seating, in our opinion…
4. Rustic hearts
We started seeing twig accessories popping up everywhere with the rise in the shabby chic trend. They had their place at the time, but are perhaps now more twee than trendy. Especially if you’ve had the misfortune to snag an item of clothing on one.
5. Furniture stencils
Another hangover from the shabby chic trend was the rise in people deciding it was a good idea to get creative with stencils and their furniture. Newsflash: it wasn’t. Stencilled drawers and cabinets will now instantly date a room.
6. Mason jars
Ok, these might not be the most offensive thing on the list, but the explosion of mason jars being use in suburban homes decor schemes reached fever pitch in the mid 2010s. They were used in myriad ways, from candle holders to vases to makeshift light pendants and terrariums.
The worst decorating trends of the decade wouldn’t be complete without a chevron shout out. In the mid-2010s our homes were saturated with chevron print. It featured on everything from rugs and cushions to wallpaper and, while it was fun and funky at the time, it became a little overwhelming.
8. Chalkboard walls
Well into the 2010s, thousands of people decided that it was a good idea to create chalkboard areas, ranging from framed chalkboards to entire chalkboard feature walls. While it might have seemed great for fun art attacks or organising rotas, it ends up simply looking, well, a bit messy really. Especially when you tried cleaning off the old chalk marks.
9. Acrylic furniture
The trend for plastic, acrylic furniture surged in the 2010s and was seen in everything from table nests to dining chairs. At the time, it was seen as contemporary and chic, but it soon ended up looking more cheap-chic, even when the price tag said differently. And for that reason, it’s now made it to a coveted position in our worst decorating trends of the decade roundup.
10. Nautical accessories
Do you live in a beach house or in a coastal property? If the answer is no, a penchant for obvious nautical accessories should probably be kept to a minimum. The trend really surged in the 2010s and, while a stylish nod to nautical is fine – think stripes and soft blues – going overboard (see what we did there?) is not only out of context at inland properties but is also overkill.
So if your home is drowning in accessories like seashell ornaments, anchor-print cushions, rope knots, star fish wall hangings and life rings, it might be time to ‘wave’ goodbye to them.
11. Vintage frames… with nothing in them
Remember when everybody started taking photos of themselves at weddings appearing alongside friends with empty vintage frames? While that was funky and fun, the trend migrated to our interiors and suddenly vintage frames with no art of pictures in them started appearing on feature walls. This is one trend we can’t see coming back.
12. Animal hide rugs
A cowhide rug was, for some reason, seen as the ultimate cool accessory from the mid 2010s. As we enter a new decade, a focus on looking after the planet and being a more thoughtful, conscious, kind and caring consumer has emerged. Let’s leave the skins where they belong – on the animals themselves, rather than on our floors.