I’m an interior designer. Here are 10 things I would never have in my home.

A blue throw pillow with a red X and an arrow pointing at it;  A blue-striped container with an X and a red arrow pointing at it

As an interior designer, I would never have cheap pillows or soft-sided storage cubes in my house.Shutterstock; Ellen Reidy/Shutterstock

  • As an interior designer, I condemn trendy pieces like impractical cushions and impersonal shelves.

  • Faux sheepskin upholstery is not as durable as other fabrics that give better results.

  • Buy furniture that changes with you and fits your lifestyle rather than trendy pieces.

Cheaply made throw pillows don’t last long.

throw pillow couch

Well-made pillows have a quality insert and a removable cover.Shutterstock

Throw pillows are arguably one of the most used items in a living space and are vital to a cohesive decor.

However, a cheaply made pillow without a removable cover quickly becomes gross. You probably wouldn’t go six months without washing your linens, so opt for throw pillows with washable, removable covers.

Quality pillow inserts are a comfort investment, but you can swap out the covers if you need to wash them and if your tastes change.

Faux leather upholstery is not as durable as it might seem.

A brown faux leather couch in a living room

Faux leather furniture is easily scratched or torn.Iglenas/Shutterstock

While vegan alternatives can be great, I don’t think faux leather is a permanent alternative to its real-life counterpart.

Faux leather is made from plastic and can resist cracks and scratches, but it will deteriorate over time. Faux leather doesn’t stretch or get softer than real leather, so I wouldn’t recommend investing in it if you want comfortable, durable furniture.

If you love the look of leather and want to be cruelty-free, accent your space with the faux stuff instead. Use it on something that doesn’t get much wear and tear, like an end table or serving tray, and keep it away from direct sunlight, moisture, and pet nails.

Soft-sided organizer cubes don’t excite me at all.

Soft storage cubes under a bench

Soft-sided organizational cubes should be left in dormitories.Ellen Reidy/Shutterstock

Although most college students own a soft-sided organizer, this storage solution should stay in your college dorm.

As a decorator, I wouldn’t call myself organized after throwing a handful of different junk into these flimsy boxes.

Take the opportunity to get a beautiful storage solution that will enhance your space. A cute sideboard or thrift cabinet looks better and lasts longer than pop-up cardboard and fabric boxes.

I find hairpin legs too wobbly for mass-produced furniture.

Hairpin leg stool

There are better alternatives to hairpin leg furniture.Dan Jardine/Shutterstock

With the rise in popularity of mid-century modern decor comes the hairpin leg. While I love their simple yet modern look, I’ve never come across a hairpin leg piece that doesn’t wobble.

For me hairpin legs are over the top and trendy and not as versatile as wooden legs in different interior styles.

I would invest in furniture that can go with your design tastes, or something that isn’t as commonplace as the hairpin.

Desk chairs with plastic wheels can damage your floors.

Plastic wheels on a rotating desk chair

Plastic wheels on office chairs can be impractical.Vera Aksionava/Shutterstock

Almost all affordable office chairs have plastic wheels. I’ve seen plastic wheels ruin floors, especially hardwood floors, and they make an awful noise when you roll away from your workspace.

You could opt for a plastic mat to put under your chair, but these don’t look particularly fancy. Instead, try replacing those plastic destroyers with rubber wheels.

Rubber wheels are easy to swap out and not too expensive for a major upgrade. Your floors and downstairs neighbors will thank me.

Replace faux boxwood wall decor with large scale artwork.

A boxwood wall with a bulletin board inside

Boxwood wall decor is good for photos but not for real life.bauhaus1000/Getty Images

If you’re not under 17, I think it’s time to ditch the cute boxwood wall decor trend. It looks good in photos but not in real life.

This dust-gathering green fades in the sun and isn’t even pretty to run your fingers over.

If you want to bring more of nature in, consider large format art with greenery, a wall decal, or pieces of fabric instead of plastic shrubs.

Exposed bulbs are uncomfortable for the eyes.

An exposed lightbulb with a geometric wire surrounding it

Lighting with exposed bulbs is not aesthetically pleasing.Creative Rabbit/Shutterstock

Often used in farmhouse, industrial and minimalist interior design, exposed bulbs have their place. However, I find that exposed bulbs don’t mesh in most homes, and when done wrong they tend to become (literally) an eyesore.

They typically showcase the lightbulb rather than the fixture, and how often do you want to stare straight at a lightbulb?

These lights limit the types of lightbulbs you can use, and with the advent of smart lighting, you may want lights that hide the hardware and highlight good design.

Thematic decor does not express a sophisticated design.

Hahn salt and pepper shakers

Embracing an over-the-top subject, like farmhouse aesthetics, can seem impersonal.Scottiebumich/Getty Images

Unless you actually have a beach house, mountain cabin, or farmhouse, resist the themed decor. Unimaginative decorations such as starfish lamps or rooster clocks may appear charming but are not sophisticated.

Good design whispers and themed decor calls. Often these pieces can be over-stimulating, impersonal and mass-produced.

For example, if you want your home to feel like an airy cabana, use a beachy color palette and find furniture made from materials associated with those locations, like light wood and woven textiles.

Faux shearling fabric pills and holds loose fibers.

Faux sheepskin blanket on a chair

Recent interior design trends are pushing faux sheepskin furniture, blankets and pillows.svetikd/Getty Images

Faux sheepskin is a tricky fabric that requires special care and usually only stays beautiful in pet and child homes. For most of us, faux sheepskin is a nightmare because it collects hair and lint and becomes a matted mess after washing.

Though faux sheepskin adds interesting texture, its upscale sister fabric, bouclé, would be worth the extra cost. Otherwise, I recommend incorporating texture through twill, knit, or chenille padding.

Geometric shelves tend to collect clutter.

Geometric shelves on a green wall

Figuring out what to put on a geometric shelf can be difficult.Japan_room/Shutterstock

Geometric metal wall shelves are everywhere in mainstream design. Although they signify a modern and minimalist design, people often rely on them as an easy way to fill up an empty wall without planning what will take up those shelves.

In my opinion, a randomly floating circle with a few pom poms is not an effective decor. I suggest a more personal approach when decorating your home.

Artwork or large framed photos look better and create less clutter than shelves of dust-collecting trinkets. You only have limited space in your home to express yourself, so don’t waste it on meaningless space fillers that you can find at HomeGoods.

Click here to read more things interior designers say they would (or never would) have in their own spaces..

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