The worst interior design trends of all time revealed – how many are you guilty of?

As decided by the British public
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  • Getting swept up in the latest interior trend can be very easy. Over the decades our homes have been filled with a myriad of different trends. Some so good that they resurface every few years, while the very worst interior design trends are now buried in attics and cupboards.

    You’re not alone if you regret the interior decor of your past, with the majority of Brits saying that they dislike the interiors trends of previous decades. From forums to surveys the great British public have spoken, and some might surprise!

    Related: The 13 worst garden trends of all time revealed – how many are you guilty of?

    Worst interior design trends of all time

    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 following ‘worst’ interior design trends are according to the internet (not us!) Usually, we all do the very British thing and keep our judgment of other people’s homes to ourselves. But not when the internet asks. One Mumsnet user opened the floodgates, simply asking others what their ‘interior design pet hates’ were. What followed was an onslaught of thousand of comments tearing past ‘hot trends’ apart.

    Also a new study by Wren Kitchens revealed further interior trends we would all rather forget. From waterbeds to carpeted walls, read on to see what the UK public has deemed the worst interior design trends of all time.

    Just remember, don’t shoot the messenger! We’re merely passing on the news…

    1. Inflatable furniture

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    Image credit: Donald Iain Smith / Getty

    Claiming the top spot as the worst interior trend of all time, on the Wren survey, was in fact inflatable furniture. Remember those neon inflatable chairs and sofas no teenager was without in the 90s? No? You might want to leave it that way. The bubble has has well and truly burst on this trend.

    Including waterbedsIn the 80s one in every four mattresses sold was a waterbed. However, since then the industry has all but dried up.

    2. Taxidermy

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    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    No explanation needed really. Even when faux, taxidermy it is not a favourite among the British public.

    3. Toilet seat covers

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    Image credit: Gwendolyn Plath / Getty

    The UK public gave this bathroom accessory a 3.9 score out of 10. Unless you are a fan of a fluffy toilet, we can’t help but think they were being a little generous.

    4. Popcorn ceilings

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    Image credit: pharut / Getty

    Sometimes called a stipple, stucco or acoustic ceiling. All we can say is there are easier and nicer ways to add texture to a room than all over the ceiling. And from a practical point of view, textured ceilings are a NIGHTMARE to remove.

    5. Carpeted Bathrooms

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    Image credit: Frederic Lewis / Staff / Getty

    It was a hot trend in the 60s and 90s designed to make bathrooms appear more luxurious. However, the practicality of a carpeted bathroom has been a source of constant debate among the Ideal Home team. Even during lockdown the debate was raging when a certain Hollywood actress revealed her surprising bathroom flooring choice.

    Read more: Demi Moore’s bathroom has got everyone talking – and not necessarily for the right reasons!

    6. Artex walls and ceilings

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    Image credit: ShaunWilkinson / Getty

    These textured walls were all the rage in the 1970s. However, after the 2000s the swirly design fell seriously out of favour. Not only was it hard to repair, but up until the mid-1980s it was made with asbestos. Talk about a bad trend.

    7. Beaded Curtains

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    Image credit: Caroline Arber

    Beaded curtains are a bit like marmite, you either love them or hate them. Since the 60s these curtains have enjoyed enduring popularity throughout the decades, particularly in the 90s. We hear they’re due a resurgence.

    8. Glass block bathroom windows

    Worst decorating trends of the decade

    Image credit: Getty Images

    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.

    9. Quotes on walls


    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    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’ or obey other, let’s face it, cheesy sayings. While it might have been fun for a while, this love affair is officially over.

    One Mumsnet user says, ‘I do not need to be told to ‘bathe’ in a bathroom. Nor ‘eat’ in a dining room.’ The biggest dislike was undeniably the word ‘love’, which was mentioned numerous times. ‘Trite quotes about families or love or brainless spirituality’ also came up a few times as well as ‘any twee signs that say how sassy and independent you are, or how you seize the day and dance in the rain.’

    10. Rustic hearts

    Worst decorating trends of the decade

    Image credit: John Keeble/Getty

    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.

    11. Bean bag chairs

    Worst decorating trends of the decade

    Image credit: in4mal/ Getty

    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…

    12. Animal hide rugs

    Worst decorating trends of the decade

    Image credit: alabn/Getty

    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.

    13. Carpeted or textured walls

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    Image credit: Horst P. Horst / Contributor / Getty

    Thanks to the 70s carpeted walls is a thing. Great for soundproofing and warmth, but that’s about it.

    14. Acrylic furniture

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    Image credit: Fuse/Getty

    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.

    15. Nautical accessories

    Worst decorating trends of the decade

    Image credit: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty

    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.

    16. Vintage frames… with nothing in them

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    Image credit: Matt Cant

    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.

    17. Mason jars

    Worst decorating trends of the decade

    Image credit: Linda Raymond/Getty Images

    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.

    18. Shiny flooring

    Kitchen with shiny lino flooring

    Image credit: Stewart Grant

    More than anything, on the forums, people hated shiny flooring. Especially cheap, shiny flooring. You know what we’re talking about. The Lino-style flooring of yesteryear that looked permanently wet.

    One user on Mumsnet said, ‘Cheap laminate just looks like cheap laminate, horrible stuff. After erroneously installing cheap laminate in my house in the 90s, like everyone else, I vowed to never let that stuff [in] my abode [ever] again.’ Ok then…

    Related: Could the most popular interior trends actually be devaluing your home?

    How many of these interior design trends were you guilty of?

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