Expert reveals interior design trends that are dated

Does YOUR home look passé? Expert reveals the once popular design trends that have fallen out of fashion – from nautical-inspired interiors to wicker furniture

  • Households across the UK spent time in lockdown sprucing up their interiors 
  • But vertical blinds and word art are both on the way out, an expert told FEMAIL
  • Wicker furniture was once chic, but is now an outdated classic best left outdoors

When it comes to our homes, the last thing we want is for visitors to judge them as outdated. 

But unfortunately there are plenty of once popular trends that are now deemed to be passé. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, Zoe Warren, interior designer at, revealed the nine most common home decor trends that result in your home looking tacky or old fashioned, including wicker furniture and magnolia walls.

She also suggested potpourri should now be replaced with on-trend diffusers. Here, the expert reveals the design fads that should be avoided… 

1. Magnolia walls

Move over, magnolia: The once popular colour has had its day, instead go for Scandi white or cool grey for a neutral yet clean finish

The interior design expert said: ‘In the 1980s and 1990s magnolia paint, labelled after the vanilla petals from the same named plant, could be found on almost every wall in every home. 

‘The “buttery” yet neutral blend could be matched with almost every piece of furniture, hence the popularity. 

‘However, this colour is now seen as very outdated. Instead paint your walls in Scandi white or cool grey for a neutral yet clean finish. 

2. Heavy curtains

Forget the fuss: Swap heavy curtains with valances and tie backs for something less formal

‘Heavy curtains used to be accompanied by valances and matching tiebacks, looking bulky and formal,’ said the expert. 

3. Vertical blinds 

‘Vertical blinds may seem like an innocent addition in your home, but they lack style and character,’ insisted Zoe.

‘The plastic beaded chains which tie the strips together make the blinds look unattractive and rather outdated. 

‘Make the switch to horizontal roman blinds or delicate curtains for an elegant look in your home.’

Bye bye blinds! Vertical blinds must go 

‘Recently, these heavy accents have been simplified. Window treatments need to go with the feel of the entire home, a modern home is all about brightness and elegance. 

‘Hang the curtain rods higher than your natural window edge to give the illusion that your windows are floor to ceiling and your room is airy. 

4. Popcorn ceilings

‘Popcorn ceilings refer to the “bumpy” texture also known as Artex ceilings,’ explained the interior design guru. 

‘They are used to turn a smooth ceiling into a statement feature. However, nowadays the speckled design dates the room and can look unappealing. 

‘If the texture isn’t shedding, popcorn ceilings can be painted for a quick refresh. Ensure you follow the correct preparation for a smooth finish. 

‘If you need more of a repair, call in a professional as it may contain asbestos,’ warned Zoe.

5. Potpourri

Zoe suggested potpourri should now be replaced with on-trend diffusers – insisting the former now appears old fashioned. 

She said: ‘Potpourri has been around since the 19th century. 

‘Originally, a home wasn’t complete without several bowls of the scented petals placed around the house. 

‘Now, following the popularity of reed diffusers and air misters, potpourri is outdated and unappealing.’ 

6. Nautical motifs

See you later seaside: Obvious nautical design touches must go, according to the expert

‘Seashells, anchors and navy and white stripes should all be avoided in your home if you want to portray a modern look,’ urges Zoe. 

‘If you really intend on bringing the summer vibes inside, you can do so in a much more subtle way. 

‘Choose a light colour palette which is inspired by your favourite hot country and pair with tassel accessories such as throw cushions. 

‘The decor is better welcomed when the effort is in the small detail, rather than by overpowering and obvious themes.’

7. Wicker furniture

Wave goodbye to wicker: Chairs like this corner one (right) look tacky due to the texutre

‘Wicker furniture – which is a style and method of weaving material – tends to reflect a beach theme, like linen sofas,’ explained the expert. 

‘In the home, they can look tacky due to the texture. The look suits outdoor settings much better than indoors. 

‘But if you are a big wicker fan, rattan – made from a tropical climbing plant with thin, tough stems – is a popular new trend which gives a stylish nod to this outdated classic.’

8. Glass block walls

Once a dated symbol of eighties decor, the glass block wall – square-shaped bricks of the material embedded into the interior – returned in 2019 to contemporary buildings and even the catwalk. But now they’re once again on the out (stock photo)

Once a dated symbol of eighties decor, the glass block wall – square-shaped bricks of the material embedded into the interior – returned in 2019 to contemporary buildings and even the catwalk. 

But now they’re once again on the out, with Zoe saying: ‘They offered a level of privacy and allowed a steady light flow, but innovations have rendered them bulky. 

‘A simple curtain or glass door is more lightweight whilst delivering the same results.’

9. Typography art 

The interior design guru said: ‘Word art is a trend that has been around for years – especially thanks to Instagram, and you won’t be stuck for wood motif options at home decor stores. 

‘However, generic plaques reading “Home” placed around your rooms lacks character and looks tacky. 

‘Take the time to choose something which fits with your decor and overall aesthetic of the room.’

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