I am an interior decorator. Here are 10 things I would never have in my house.

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

  • As an interior designer, I condemn fashionable pieces like impractical pillows and impersonal shelves.

  • Faux sheepskin padding is not as durable as other fabric choices that provide better results.

  • Buy furniture that grows with you and suits your lifestyle rather than trendy pieces.

Cheap pillows don’t last.

sofa cushions

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

Cushions are arguably among the most used items in a living space and are essential to cohesive decorating.

However, a cheap pillow without a removable cover will quickly become disgusting. You probably wouldn’t go six months without washing your sheets, so opt for pillows with washable, removable covers.

High-quality pillow inserts are a comfortable investment, but you can swap covers when you need to wash them and your tastes change.

Leatherette upholstery is not as durable as it looks.

A brown leatherette sofa in a living room

Faux leather furniture can be easily scratched or torn.Iglenas/Shutterstock

While vegan alternatives can be great, from what I’ve seen faux leather isn’t a sustainable alternative to its genuine counterpart.

Faux leather is made of plastic and can be resistant to cracks and scratches, but over time it will start to deteriorate. Faux leather won’t stretch and soften like the real thing, so I wouldn’t recommend investing in this faux leather if you want comfortable, durable furniture.

If you love the look of leather and want to be cruelty-free, spruce up your space with faux instead. Use it on something that doesn’t get much wear, like a side table base or serving tray, and keep it out of direct sunlight, moisture, and nails of animals.

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

Soft storage cubes under a bench

Soft-sided organizer cubes should be left in dorms.Ellen Reidy/Shutterstock

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

As a decorator, I wouldn’t call myself organized after throwing handfuls of bric-a-brac into those flimsy boxes.

Take the opportunity to get a beautiful storage solution that enhances your space. A nice second-hand sideboard or cabinet will look better and last longer than pop-up cardboard and fabric boxes.

I find hairpin legs to be too wonky on mass-produced furniture.

Hairpin stools

There are better alternatives to hairpin 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 piece that doesn’t waver.

To me, hairpin legs are over the top and trendy and aren’t as versatile as wooden legs in every decor style.

I would invest in furniture that can accommodate your design taste or something that isn’t as common as the hairpin.

Office chairs with plastic wheels can damage your floors.

Plastic wheels on a swivel office 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 ones, and they make an awful noise when you walk away from your workstation.

You can opt for a plastic mat under your chair, but these aren’t exactly fancy. Instead, try replacing those plastic shredders with rubber wheels.

Rubber wheels are easy to replace and aren’t too expensive for a big upgrade. Your floors and your downstairs neighbor will thank me.

Replace artificial boxwood wall decor with large-scale artwork.

A boxwood wall with a bulletin board inside

The boxwood wall decoration is suitable for photos but not for real life.bauhaus1000/Getty Images

Unless you’re 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-collecting greenery wilts in the sun and it’s not even pleasant to run your fingers over it.

If you want to enjoy the outdoors more, consider large-scale artwork with greenery, a wall decal, or textile pieces instead of plastic shrubbery.

Exposed bulb fixtures are hard on the eyes.

An exposed bulb lamp with a geometric wire surrounding it

Exposed bulb lighting is not aesthetic.Creative Bunny/Shutterstock

Often used in farmhouse, industrial and minimalist interiors, exposed bulbs have their place. However, I find that exposed bulbs don’t fit into most homes and if done poorly they tend to become (literally) an eyesore.

They usually feature the bulb rather than the fixture, and how often do you want to look directly at a bulb?

These fixtures limit the type of bulbs you can use, and with smart lighting on the rise, you may want fixtures that hide hardware and showcase good design.

The theme decor does not express sophisticated design.

Rooster salt and pepper shakers

Tackling an over-the-top theme, like the farmhouse aesthetic, can feel impersonal.scottiebumich/Getty Images

Unless you have a beach house, mountain lodge, or farmhouse, resist themed decor. Unimaginative decor like starfish lamps or rooster clocks may look charming but is unsophisticated.

Good design whispers and themed decoration shouts. Often these pieces can be overly stimulating, impersonal and mass-produced.

For example, if you want your home to look like an airy cabin, use a beach color palette and find furniture made with materials associated with those places, like light wood and woven textiles.

Faux sheepskin fabric swells and traps loose fibers.

faux sheepskin blanket on chair

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

Faux sheepskin is a delicate fabric that will require special care and usually only looks good in homes without pets or children. For the majority of us, faux sheepskin is a nightmare as it accumulates hair and lint and becomes a tangled mess after washing.

While faux sheepskin adds interesting texture, its higher-end sister fabric, bouclé, would be worth the extra cost. Otherwise, I recommend incorporating texture through twills, knits or chenille upholstery.

Geometric shelves tend to be clutter catchers.

Geometric shelves on a green wall

Knowing what to put on a geometric shelf can be tricky.Japan_room/Shutterstock

Geometric metal hanging wall shelves are ubiquitous in mainstream design. Although they signify a modern, minimalist design, people often rely on them to easily fill an empty wall without planning what will occupy those shelves.

In my opinion, a random floating circle with a few pom poms on it doesn’t make a punchy decor. I offer you a more personalized approach when decorating your home.

Artwork or large framed photos look better and create less clutter than shelves with dust-proof knick-knacks. You only have so little space in your home to express yourself, so don’t waste it on meaningless space fillers you have on sale at HomeGoods.

Click to continue reading other things interior designers say they would (or never) have in their own space.

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