- Insider asked interior designers about the home-decor choices people will likely regret.
- Experts said white carpet, dark wood, and patterned tiles are flooring options to rethink.
- Low-hanging light fixtures, bamboo furniture, and open shelving can be impractical.
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“They’re beautiful, but they also chip and stain easily,” he said. “Choose quartz instead. They have options that look just like marble. Or if you want a natural look, choose granite.”
“Some modern furniture companies — particularly those from Italy — have seating that is way too low to the ground,” Cangelosi said. “If you or someone you know becomes pregnant, it’s virtually impossible to get in or out of the seat without help or rolling to the ground. Same thing if you have guests who are elderly or infirmed in some way.”
Instead, look for pieces with a standard 18-inch (46cm) seat height.
“I recommend choosing more subdued and neutral-colored tile,” she said. “Then bring in your bold colors and patterns with accent walls, shower curtains, towels, and wall art. These are much easier and less expensive to change out.”
If you’re set on a trendy tile pattern you’ve already picked out, Welling suggested using it for a small area of backsplash instead of the whole floor or shower.
“If you really want that look, skip the wall-to-wall carpeting and get wood floors instead, and get some white area rugs that can be sent out to get cleaned periodically,” Cangelosi told Insider.
If you go this route, look for rugs with stain-resistant properties, especially if you have children, pets, or frequent guests.
“Someday, in the not-too-distant future, it will look dated. If you’ve ship-lapped your whole house, it’s going to be expensive and very time-consuming to change back,” she told Insider. “For those who can’t live without shiplap, I recommend installing it on a single accent wall or possibly the fireplace to make a big impact.”
“It never looks or feels exactly like wood, and it can even get very slippery and dangerous depending on the price point,” she said. “Plus, if it gets damaged, it can’t be refinished, just replaced.”
Instead, the designer recommended spending the extra money on real wood floors for better long-term value. If you’re looking for a more sustainable option, choose bamboo or reclaimed wood flooring.
Opt for more durable flooring, especially if you have kids, pets, or frequent guests.
“Vinyl plank is the most popular flooring choice right now, and it’s what I chose for my current home,” Welling told Insider. “It’s waterproof and very durable, which is perfect for my kids and puppy.”
Ditch the wall-to-wall carpet and instead opt for wood, stone, concrete, or tile floors. You can always achieve a carpet feel with accent rugs.
“No one wants to dust their plates before they use them, and if they are close to the stove, they can collect grease and dirt as well,” Modica said. “Plus, if you have cats, you are asking to be woken by a huge crash in the middle of the night.”
The designer said that cabinets with glass doors are a more practical option for showing off your kitchenware.
“You can get away with hanging fixtures a bit lower over kitchen islands and dining tables, but even then, there is a limit,” Modica told Insider.
Ideally, she said that fixtures should be hung between 7 feet (2.13m) and 7-feet (2.13m), 6-inches (15cm) from the floor. If they’re hanging above a table or counter, they should be no lower than 3 feet (0.91m) above the surface.
“They need a ton of water to fill them, and you need to run cleaner through the jets and internal plumbing regularly,” Modica said. “A lot of them are also really loud when they run, which is the opposite of the relaxing bath experience you want.”
Instead, consider purchasing a large, deep tub for a comfortable soak.
“While it is nice to bring the outdoors in, it can become overwhelming as everything grows,” she said. “Plus, it may attract bugs.”
Burt suggested growing herbs or decorating with faux plants to cut back on maintenance.
“They look cute in a little boho SoHo apartment in the city, or in a green space of your home to curl up and read a book with a cup of coffee, but for large pieces of furniture, I think they’re a little impractical — you hear every movement,” Murray said.
Instead, use the material sparingly, like in a small tabletop piece of decor or a plant stand that will go untouched.
“Terrazzo stone is having a huge moment right now,” she said. “It is gorgeous, but a way to avoid regretting the trend is to invest in accessories, like planters made of terrazzo, instead of installing floors or countertops.”