Although it is true that everyone has different taste, it is also true that there are people out there who have categorically terrible taste. Some ideas never go out of style, while others were never in style to begin with. It won't stop people from trying though. Whether fashion or decorating, some people have no sense.
While there may not be any hope for those poor souls, here are some tips to avoid falling into an interior design nightmare:
Floral patterns just, everywhere
Flowers are very pretty. We get it, really. You want to add a splash of nature to your home, give it the illusion of a jungle or a garden. But most floral patterns are so nauseating, your guests would rather get lost in the actual jungle than look at them. That isn't to say you can't have a nice accent piece tastefully decorated with flora. But far too often we see excessive and clashing floral patterns strewn all over a home: couches, wallpapers, curtains. You lose your statement when that statement is a floral assault on the eyeballs.
Accent chairs that look like modern art
House guests shouldn't have to wonder if they're in your home or a museum. Nor should they ask you how to sit in your chair. You may think your corkscrew furniture looks cool, but are you really going to lounge around in it while your body is twisted into positions yoga instructors will find uncomfortable? Also, no chair needs a roof. Pass on the funky shapes and focus more on comfort. If you really want one statement piece, buy actual art.
Fifty shades of beige
Latte, eggshell, ivory, pearl…come on. They're all white or beige. Yes, white brings brightness to a room and can give it a sense of elegance, but do you know how boring it is? For that matter, do you know how hard it is to clean? There is a reason white carpeting is a terrible idea. Beige is just as bad as white, if not worse. It isn't quite white, nor is it brown. It can make your home look like the inside of a sack. And in the lighter shades, your guests might not know if your couch is supposed to look that way or if it is old and stained from years of use. Gross.
Always show ready but not guest friendly
You want nice things in your home, but at what point does it become too much? One of the pains of selling a home is having to keep everything spotless and perfect at all times. Essentially you are making it look like no one really lives there. So why live like that all the time? You should be comfortable in your home, especially if you have a family or host dinner parties. It's OK for things to not be spotless and, well, for your house to look homey. Make people want to sink into your couch, not sit on the very edge, straight backed stiff.
Matchy matchy matchy
Surprise! Your shoes don't have to match your purse, and your couch doesn't have to match your curtains. Sure you want a cohesive look, but having everything with the same patterns or colors makes all of your belongings bleed together and nothing stands out. Instead of cohesion you get chaos. Or worse, boredom. It is possible to have your consistency while still giving your eyes variety to look at.
Going too much with the flow
Trends are usually attractive, but rarely practical. They also don't usually last long, so think twice before you jump on board with whatever a magazine or TV show has said is the latest craze. You may regret it later. Remember waterbeds? Plastic furniture covers? Instead of changing to fit what others tell you is trendy, find what fits you.
Halfhearted painting job
If you are going to paint, commit to it. It isn't as simple as throwing a different color on top of another. A timid paintjob is worse than a bad one. Painting is a commitment and needs to be followed through. Adding one layer of a light color onto a dark color will result in a muddled mess. If you do the opposite, you still won't have the right shade you are looking for. Take the time, be patient, and be thorough. Doing trim? Make sure you are using tape to get those clean lines. You may think that people won't notice, but even if that is true, do you want to feel ashamed or embarrassed by your home? Do it right the first time and you won't have to worry.
Too bare, or too cluttered
Decorating is a balancing act. Too much and you'll be drowning in knickknacks. Too little and your home feels like a cave, all echoes and emptiness. The trick, really, is organization. You may have a lot of stuff, but it doesn't have to be obvious. Invest in storage units that double as furniture as well as organization tools for your kitchen and closets. Only leave out what you feel you need, keep the rest hidden away safely. You don't need a whole wall of pictures when a carefully selected handful would suffice. Edit and make good judgement.
Windows are a huge part of a home's atmosphere. They provide natural lighting and can make small places seem larger. That is why one of the greatest design offenses is leaving your windows completely bare. It doesn't matter how tasteful the rest of your home is; sparse windows will leave it looking unfinished. But keep your editing eye working; improperly decorated windows can end up doing more harm than good. The idea is to enhance your design, not take away from it.
Artificial plant life
So you're a plant killer and decided it would be easier to have fake plants that won't die on you. You get the visual appeal of greenery and growth without the hassle of taking care of another living thing. But fake plants get real dust and really don't do anything for you. There are plenty of plants that are hard to kill and will benefit your home. And really, it is not a crime to have the occasional bouquet of flowers around to brighten the room and give off a pleasant scent. They may not last more than a few weeks, but that's fine. That is much more preferable to an old and musty fake plant that collects more dust bunnies than under your couch.
Designing doesn't have to be that difficult. All it really takes is a clear vision and some common sense. If you avoid too many extremes and trends, you will end up having a home that expresses who you are in both fashion and function.