Warning! 3 Interior Design Trends You’ll Regret!



Decorating and furnishing your home is pretty expensive no matter how you slice it. Most of us just can’t afford to do it every 5-10 years. However, did you ever buy something for your home that at the time, you thought was way cool, but 5 years later… you went, huh? What on earth was I thinking?

I remember that I felt that way the first time I saw those pinky pickled kitchen cabinets circa 1991. We loved them when they first came out, right? And now we’re going… it looks like the cat puked on them.

Therefore, in the spirit of warning you that you’re about to go off a decorating cliff, I’ve compiled a shortlist of MUST HAVE NOTS – Three Interior Design Trends that I feel it’s my duty to caution you about. This is stuff that I feel quite strongly is nothing (I fervently hope) more than a fad and if you purchase this item, you will soon grow to hate it and in turn, yourself for not trusting your initial instincts. You know it’s not cool and yet you’re convinced that it’s “just you,” ’cause… EVERYONE ELSE thinks it’s cool.

Well… no, it’s not just you. It’s just that no one is willing to admit that the Emperor is butt neked!




Folks. Listen. Please. This baby is 41″ high and 41″ deep. Someone had this idea to take a wing chair and turn it into a sofa. Like I always say… just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. However, I don’t hate everything about this piece. I do like the fretwork pattern, because I love fretwork. And I like the nailhead trim and I like the white painted legs. And I even like the color. It’s happy. Put it on a pillow or even on a small slipper chair something like this one below and you’ll have a winner.



The profile, is lovely. It should be a chair, not a sofa.


Other version of the flying sofa.



This is a crying shame too, because it’s from my favorite upholstery maker. Fortunately, they have dozens of different styles and most of them are winners. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that these are destined to become relics that our grandchildren are going to laugh themselves sick saying… “oh man… that was so 2014!” Please don’t be a statistic.




Okay, for those who read me all the time… I know what you are thinking. There’s a Greek Key Pattern. And there’s faux bamboo. Yes, normally I love those elements, but this one is Chinoiserie on steroids. Sure, Miles Redd could pull this baby off. But he would paint out the entire room  in the same emerald green color. Is that what you want? If this piece were shrunk [way] down and turned into a cool small chest, then we would have something! My friend and colleague, the extremely talented interior designer, Carla Aston recently posted this on her fabulous blog called Designed.


Yes. It was published in House Beautiful. Yes, it’s even by one of my fave interior designers. (to be clear, this is not Carla’s work) I think that this designer must either really hate her clients, or else she was suffering from a manic episode. I really cannot even look at this, much less go in here to brush my teeth. Imagine it’s the night before your colonoscopy. JUST PLEASE. NO!!!

I love green. In fact, I even love jade— as an accent. Here’s a lovely way to bring in a touch of jade.


Photo via Meredith Heron




Okay. There’s a part of me that thinks that this is kinda cool… And yes… if you got both of these for 150 on Etsy and you don’t live in an earthquake prone zone… hey, go for it. But… please… They are HUGE! And yes… this was very popular in the early 60’s. Just sayin’…

Below is another one. This was also in House Beautiful. And yes… this is an absolutely fabulous room. It’s just that you don’t want your table lamps larger than your chairs. Thank you Ralph [Lipschitz]Lauren. IMHO, this is a mistake. I would’ve chosen lamps a little smaller and chairs a little larger, but this is a very cool room otherwise. Please, please watch the scale of things. In your defense, some manufacturers have gone a bit beserko in that regard.


HMMM… one other thing. Please notice that the two lamps are the ONLY lighting in the ENTIRE room. (save for the picture lamps). I guess the electrician couldn’t make it to hang the chandelier or the editor hated it and photoshopped it out with the palm fronds? Please again, be careful with the lamps AND chandeliers.


Alright. I don’t normally do this, but I cropped out the person’s name. I am not trying to disparage or embarrass anyone and this is actually quite a popular blogger who turned her popularity into an interior design business. I have my thoughts about that… but I’ll keep them to myself. It is nothing against her personally. She seems like a really nice lady on her blog. She debated getting the smaller size. I really wish that she had listened to her inner debater who was warning her that she was getting in over her head. (sorry for the lame pun). The problem for me is that she was glad that she chose the larger size. I know… denial is a powerful motivator. It’s from Pottery Barn. They would’ve taken it back.

I think the thing to watch out for more than anything is OVERSCALE FURNISHINGS. If you drive a Ford Excursion or something like that… this is for you. (unless you have 7 or more children, and then you can drive anything you like).

So, what are some interior design trends that are keepers?


Blue and white porcelain – Forever and Always and looks wonderful – EVERYWHERE!


Chinese Chippendale. This is a design from the 18th century by the furniture maker Thomas Chippendale. He did a few different styles, but this one is known as Chinese Chippendale. His chair would’ve been made of mahogany and not painted. But painting it looks fresh. I would not do an entire set of these in a dining room, but how fabulous they would be as end or a pair of occasional chairs!


Mid-Century Modern. This is a style that’s becoming an enduring classic and is also wildly popular as a current trend. The sofa looks inspired by Billy Baldwin and the little gold table is chic and current. The lamps are contemporary and in scale with the rest of the furnishings. A simple, natural fiber rug rounds out the composition. In addition, these pieces mix really well with more traditional furnishings.

Good rule of thumb.

If it was here 300 years ago and it’s still here… you’re good to go. OR, if it’s been around steadily for the last 30 years or so, like the natural fiber rugs. OR, it has come back from decades ago.

I guarantee you [unless you’re a hipster or something] that you will never see avocado green, orange and gold ala the Brady Bunch 70’s.


Ahhh… yes. I don’t know why, but we actually thought this was really wonderful back then. And don’t forget. Mr. Brady was an architect!!!

Does that mean that we can’t do anything new and innovative? Well, sure. Sometimes.

Just don’t expect that you’ll still be loving it 5-10 years from now. The enduring things have already been invented. They might have gone on hiatus, but if they come back, it usually means it’s for a good reason.

BTW… Even if it’s new and funky-ca-razy and you LOVE IT and I mean LOVE IT. Go for it. Even if I tell you that it’s awful. If you love it, that’s all that matters.



PS: Please notice the new [NEON] ;] form below to sign up for the blog, AND other juicy tidbits that I am not sharing with the masses. And when you sign up for the first time, you will get a freebie that you’re not going to want to miss. The posts will come directly to your in box and you can read them at your leisure. [if you happen to have any]  Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

PPS: For current subscribers, I did send you out the freebie in a separate email, however, if you didn’t get it or deleted it or dropped a cup of coffee in your laptop, please just contact me and I’ll be happy to send it to you.


7th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2020 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Louise - October 3, 2016 - 9:37 PM

    I had to tell you, I found you as I was randomly perusing pinterest after 1.5 Cosmopolitans on a Monday night (don’t judge- I have a Senior, Freshman & third-grader), and you are my new best friend. Your advice should be required reading for anyone contemplating buying(& decorating) a home. I can’t tell you how many large Southern city upper-executive homes I’ve been in where the decor succumbed to the “flavor of the moment”. Mercy.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 3, 2016 - 9:54 PM

      Hi Louise,

      Thanks for such a sweet comment. And no, I do not judge. Definitely not when it comes to child-rearing. As a mom who survived the raising of two sons, now young adults, one with AD/HD and the other with high functioning autism, I understand the need for Mom to take care of herself. And sometimes that means brain altering substances. :]ReplyCancel

  • Ann - September 26, 2016 - 2:44 PM

    Oh my! I just bought a vintage faux bamboo China cabinet for a very reasonable price. I thought it would be beautiful painted farrow and balls yeabridge green to accent my navys, browns, and cream. I love your blog and I’ve been reading different posts all morning. I’m addicted, lol. I haven’t second guessed that decision until I read comment number 2. What would the correct way to do a faux bamboo cabinet? I realize this is an older post but I know by fellow readers that we love ALL of your posts! Thanks for any info to clarify!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 26, 2016 - 5:04 PM

      Hi Ann,

      No worries whatsoever! You are absolutely fine! The cabinet in the post is not Yeabridge green. Yeabridge is much softer and more yellow. It’s a great color and will be perfect for your cabinet.

      The other thing is that your cabinet is vintage. Entirely different animal than the big green box masquerading as Chinoiserie. I like the company, World’s Away but I think that piece would be very difficult to work with for most people without it taking over the room.ReplyCancel

  • Carla Aston - May 25, 2014 - 1:20 AM

    Ha ha ha… You crack me up, Laurel! Thanks so much for the shout out. And it was great talking to you this week!!!!

    Love your open and honest approach to blogging. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Something Gorgeous - May 22, 2014 - 11:55 PM

    I completely agree with you on all points, except the one with the oversized light in the kitchen from Pottery Barn…I actually like it oversized. Oh well that’s just me I guess, but I suppose that’s what makes interiors so interesting, we luckily don’t all like the same things! xTReplyCancel