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10 Decor Trends to Skip

Just because it's trendy doesn't mean it will work for everyone. Here are some popular design ideas, reconsidered.

Photo: Monica Buck

They weren't always wrong. Many of these trends looked great in a glossy photo but translated poorly to everyday life. Others are already on the way out. Still others are just utterly, inexcusably hideous. To help you take the guesswork out of updating your decor, we took a hard look at some of the hottest recent trends and whipped up this list of the bad, the ugly, and the better-in-theory.

Trend #1: Antlers
Why Skip It: When the antlers craze hit, it hit hard. Mounted horns earned countless shelter mag centerfolds. Eventually, the trend spread to include objects fashioned out of antlers, from chandeliers to toilet paper holders. These days, they feel almost cliche. In short: Anything this hot was destined to become so not.

Trend #2: Taxidermy
Why Skip It: A few seasons ago, hipsters inexplicably embraced mummified mammals and petrified peacocks as part of the Gilded Age revival. This was not a look that worked for most people -- even (cough) the hipsters. Other components of this shudder-inducing trend: decorative monkey skeletons and those somber ancestral portraits where the eyes seem to follow you around the room. Rule of thumb: Anything that looks like the set of the last Tim Burton movie is a no.

Trend #3: Inspirational Sayings
Why Skip It: "Keep Calm and Carry On" is an admirable sentiment, but it's become the '00s equivalent of those "Hang In There, Baby" cat posters from the '70s. In other words, it's time to let it go. Also included in the "do not want" category? Lettered wall decals with homespun homilies about friendship, clouds, or dreams. Put it this way: Not everyone wants to learn a lesson every time they drop by.

Trend #5: Decorative Buddha Sculptures
Why Skip It: Sure, they're jolly, and their little bellies are hard to resist. But Buddha decor, part of the "Zen Retreat" trend that made family rooms all over America resemble the inside of Gwyneth Paltrow's yoga studio, is now pretty passe. In short: Buddha statues are religious symbols, not kitschy garden gnomes.

Trend #6: Ghost Chairs
Why Skip It: We know. We love them too. But they've lost their novelty, their ability to surprise. Plus they scratch easily. Out of all the trends on this list, we're most hoping these make a quick comeback. Until then, let them vanish into the night -- or at least the attic.

Trend #7: Poufs
Why Skip It: Poufs came on the scene as niftier, hipper replacements for cubed leather ottomans, but they too have seen their day, thanks in part to an influx of homemade versions. We're usually in favor of DIY decorating, but we'd be happy if we never saw another lumpy, newspaper-stuffed pouf. Besides -- most adults prefer to sit higher than a foot off the floor.

Trend # 8: Accent Walls
Why Skip It: When all-white rooms were in fashion, one brightly painted or wallpapered wall was a great way to break up the monotony. But now, with bolder paint colors the norm, accent walls have less purpose and can break up the flow of a room. Plus, what was once an unpredictable pop of color is now, well...predictable.

Trend #9: Boutique Hotel Chic
Why Skip It: The stiff minimalism, the dull neutrals, the oppressive uniformity. Where's the personality? Do we all really want to look like we live in a W hotel suite circa 2002? Conclusion: Modern luxury is all about ultra-unique pieces, so ditch the cookie cutter.

Trend #10: Black Chalkboard Paint
Why Skip It: In theory, rooms painted to resemble blackboards have an old-timey, one-room schoolhouse- style awesomeness. In reality, they're dusty repositories of half-erased stick figures and long-forgotten shopping lists. Plus, everyone you know already jumped on this trend, so stick a fork in it. Exception: We think chalkboard paint in unexpected colors still has legs.

-- The Nest Editors

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