Home decor trends that have not aged well

By Kelly Leighton | Aug. 13, 2018 | 4 min. read

One of the best parts about moving into a new home is being able to decorate it in your style.

But it goes without saying that not everyone has the same taste. Your fellow Realtors® weighed in on the biggest offenders they have seen while touring homes throughout Pennsylvania.

“Through my 33 years in business, I have seen wallpaper slowly disappear, but yet, many homes still have some in many rooms, and it is frowned upon by nearly all buyers. The worst decorating example I have ever seen was a property that I sold two years ago that had black and gold flocked wallpaper with a nude women pattern in the master bedroom. The wall-to-wall carpeting was bright red and the curtains were gold metallic-looking fabric. There was a sitting area in the bedroom with an accent floor-to-ceiling mirrored wall, red fur chairs and ottomans and black shiny furniture. This theme was extended into the adjoining master bath with red and gold wallpaper, black bathtub, toilet and sink with a red vanity and gold fixtures. The tub surround was bright red ceramic tile and the shower curtain was gold metallic looking fabric which matched the curtains in the master bedroom,” said District 7 Vice President Dot Rhone.

District 8 Vice President Adam Conrad agreed with ditching wallpaper, regardless of what design is on it. “Just get rid of it,” he said. He also said that covering a house in wallpaper murals that aim to make the house look like an actual jungle is not the best idea. Yes, he really saw that.

The current trend of DIY and Pinterest-crazed decor doesn’t always end up looking as intended. “There are DIY fads, often inspired by Pinterest or HGTV, such as ship lap walls, packing crate furniture and many decorative painting ideas or decals. These fads come and go quickly. And they are usually more difficult to do well than they appear. About 10 years ago, there was a big fad for paint finishes that looked like faux suede or rough stucco. These walls are frowned upon now. But at least they are easy to paint over,” said District 2 Vice President Christina Cardone.

Other Realtors® continue to see sellers try to make their homes more valuable with upgrades that most buyers don’t like. District 1 Vice President Al Perry said wall-to-wall carpeting is not an update a seller should make.

“People continue to install wall-to-wall carpeting in renovations and upgrades to their home. This type of carpeting may have been perceived as an upgrade at one time, but that time has passed. Unless you are installing carpeting for your own preferred use, don’t spend the money. More and more buyers don’t like it and for others, they want or need to avoid the allergens that carpet may hide. I’d rather see prospective sellers remove their current carpeting and refinish the wood flooring below. If the wood below has areas of discoloration or mild imperfections, don’t worry about it. The new finish will give those imperfections a face lift and can add character to the home, especially if it’s older housing. If the floors below the carpeting cannot be refinished, consider installing new hardwood floors, if it is in your budget. If it’s not in your budget, there are stylish laminate flooring options available in a similar budget as new carpeting. The warmth and style of carpeting can be added by using area rugs in living and bedrooms,” he said.

However, some of today’s trends may be lasting. Rhone said she has seen an increase in open floor plans in home, a trend that may be here to stay.

While you may see some pretty interesting decor, it’s important to remain professional. “I, myself, have made this mistake and have been corrected. Most people think that if they don’t give the address or name names, there’s no harm. We generally don’t have permission to share photos of other people’s homes. It is a violation of the owner’s right to privacy. And I don’t think it’s very professional. Would we want our clients or anyone who is considering selling their home, to think that by allowing real estate agents to show it, photos of their home might be posted on Facebook inviting humorous comments? And yet many agents aren’t thinking about it from this perspective,” added Cardone.

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