Design Trends to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Design Trends to Avoid When Selling Your Home

  • Joe Brasil
  • 05/18/22

Updating your home is the easiest way to add value to your investment, especially if you are planning on putting it back on the market.

One of the most beautiful things about it is that there is no one way to do the project. You can explore many different upgrades, from painting the house a new color to sprucing up the garden. It all depends on your vision and your end goal of selling the home for a great price.

That said, not all renovations leave a positive impact on your home. In fact, some of these projects can take away from the inherent beauty and potential higher market value of the property. This can work to your detriment not only as a homeowner but as a would-be seller.

Now that you know the best remodeling projects that will boost your home’s value, it’s time to learn more about the design trends you should avoid when selling your home.

Table of Contents

10 Design Trends to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Trends come and go. Some, however, like Mid-Century Modern furniture and neutral-colored finishes, have become beloved design staples. But the following design trends have unfortunately worn out their welcome.

Floor-to-ceiling Accent Walls

Adding an accent wall is one of the easiest ways to zhuzh up any part of your home. However, it can be easy to go overboard with this type of project.

This is especially the case if you decide to go bold and use patterns like damask and chintz or bright colors like firetruck red and cotton candy pink. Instead of being an accent, it becomes a distraction to buyers. This makes them a decorating trend to avoid especially if you want to attract homebuyers fast.

If you really want to add a focal point to your home or at least make an empty wall look interesting use paint in bright yet safe shades. These include fresh greens, buttery yellows, and calm blues. For wallpapers, big trends this year include painterly neutrals, murals, and garden/nature motifs.

Open Shelving Everywhere

One design trend that has become so ubiquitous in recent years is the open shelf system. It has sprouted everywhere, from bedrooms to bathrooms, and even kitchens.

Don’t get me wrong: open shelving has its merits but only in places like your study and living room, where books and framed art pieces can be repurposed as decorative materials.

Where they don’t belong are in places such as kitchens, where they essentially function as dust and grease traps. Open shelves also don’t do well in bathrooms, where they expose your towels and other items to heat and humidity.

If you still find yourself wanting that open-shelf look, get glass-front cabinets. These give your kitchen and bathroom an airy and fresh vibe while offering protection for your cooking and eating utensils and other household items.

Matchy-matchy Furniture

When decorating a home, people are often advised to make things consistent. This usually includes getting furniture and fixtures that mesh well with each other in order to bring a cohesive look to their spaces.

Some, however, take this advice quite literally. It’s not uncommon for people to order matching furniture sets from big box stores. While this can be convenient, it also has the unfortunate effect of making rooms look like set pieces straight out of design books and outdated furniture catalogs.

Unless you are planning to market your home as a museum or furniture catalog-themed sideshow attraction, it’s best to leave matchy-matchy rooms in the past where they first gained prominence. They can become very distracting to buyers. Worse, matchy-matchy furniture and rooms can turn buyers off.

If you really want to achieve cohesiveness and consistency in your space, get items that have similar not identical! elements to them. This means picking out textiles that come in different shades of the same color or by choosing furniture that echo other elements in the space without totally replicating them. By doing this, your home will have a more storied, collected, and layered feel to it, making it even more attractive to potential buyers.

Too Much White

White is a good choice for most interiors, but only if you don’t overdo it.

In general, painting your walls white and getting furniture in this color can bring a sense of space and cleanliness to your home. It also acts as a perfect backdrop for more colorful items such as artwork and household plants.

However, choosing the wrong shade of white and filling your space with too many white items can easily make your home look sterile, cold, and clinical. This is exactly the opposite of what you want to achieve in order to attract homebuyers.

If you can’t stay away from white but don’t want to make your home feel cold, try to choose different shades of white, preferably those with warm undertones. This helps liven up a space and make it look welcoming to visitors and potential buyers.

To further avoid the “surgical suite” look in your home, opt to paint one wall in a complementary color. This provides a counterpoint to the starkness of the space, making the room homey and grounded.

Covering Everything in Terrazzo

One of many decorating trends to avoid is the overuse of terrazzo.

First introduced in the United States during the late 1890s, terrazzo was especially favored by builders and architects at the height of the Art Deco movement in the 1930s.

Terrazzo has since had a revival, with celebrities like Mandy Moore using the material for their floors and countertops. Although it looks gorgeous and eye-catching, it can also make any space look dated. Many people have even noted its look as being reminiscent of office space a huge no-no when selling a residential property.

If you still want to add this material to your home, consider using it in accent pieces such as coffee tables, planters, and similar objects. This way, your home’s prospective buyer can easily swap them out when the trend eventually dies down. Remember: terrazzo is still good. Just don’t overuse it.

Using Quirky Tiling

Replacing your home’s flooring is an easy way to increase your home’s value, especially if you use premium materials like solid hardwood, laminate flooring, high-quality vinyl planks, and ceramic tiles in classic finishes.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for garishly colored and crazy-cut tiles, which often present headaches to buyers who will see it as something they will need to rip out and replace. And since buyers like move-in-ready homes, they might move on from your property.

Opt for classic materials like white ceramic tiles or plain hardwood planks, which can be easily dressed up with rugs and carpets. But if your home already has these tiles from the very beginning (especially if you have a Spanish Colonial property), decorate the area without upstaging the floor. Keep it understated and elegant.

Splurging on Built-in Aquariums and Other Living Decor

It can be very tempting to add built-in decor like large, wall-mounted aquariums in a home. After all, these can make a space look expensive and even function as unique, living, space dividers.

However, a built-in home aquarium requires constant maintenance and can be costly to remove two factors that are likely to turn many buyers off from your property and two factors that make it one of many decorating trends to avoid.

If you really want to achieve that ultra-luxe living divider look for your home, consider going with a large standard fish tank, which mimics that aesthetic without any of its issues. Plus, if your home’s new owner doesn’t take to fishkeeping, the tank and its related equipment can be easily sold off without any hassle.

Another way to go about it is a synthetic plant divider. Although it’s not exactly alive, the best ones look like real plants.

Adding Swimming Pools and Outdoor Hot Tubs

It may come as a surprise to some, but swimming pools and hot tubs are just two of many decorating trends to avoid.

Contrary to popular belief, adding a swimming pool and hot tub to your property is not the best way to increase your home’s overall value.

This is because built-in swimming pools and hot tubs require constant maintenance, easily eating into the new owners’ budget. Furthermore, homebuyers with children might consider these fixtures as safety hazards, causing them to check your property off their list of potential homes.

Splurging on Exotic Plants and Extensive Landscaping

It’s no secret that landscaping can improve your home’s curb appeal and increase its overall value. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to splurge on plants just to make your space look good for buyers.

This is because one’s taste in plants just like furniture, paint finishes, and textiles is entirely subjective. As the home seller, going beyond manicuring the yard, laying down mulch, and adding a few flowering bushes will be a waste of funds.

If you really want to add an exotic touch to your home, try planting them in pots and planter boxes instead. These can be packed up and shipped back to you quite easily in case the house’s new owners don’t find them appealing.

Converting Your Garages Into Living or Office Spaces

Another project considered to be one of many decorating trends to avoid is the conversion of garages into living and office spaces.

While this might seem like a reasonable project to undertake, given the surge in work-from-home arrangements in many cities, converting your garage into another living or working space isn’t exactly the wisest of ideas.

This is because when people search for houses with a garage, what they’re looking for isn’t an office or an additional living space. What they’re looking for is a garage that can actually house cars and store bulky, off-season items.

If you really have to use your garage as an office or as an additional living space in the meantime, just make sure that any furniture you add can be easily packed up and taken away when it’s time to move and sell.

How to Avoid Design Traps When Selling Your Home

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement that comes with redesigning your home. After all, there is a certain rush that comes with picking items and projects that can potentially make your home look better than ever.

That excitement, however, can cause you to become susceptible to making impractical choices regarding your home’s overall look and value. Here’s how you can avoid the common mistakes home sellers make when designing their homes for sale.

Clean Up First, Design Later

Before you even think about what pieces to get for your space or what projects to undertake for your home, you should make an effort to clear it out first.

Removing clutter and purging your home of anything that isn’t essential reduces it to a blank canvas. This can then help you visualize your space in a more efficient manner.

Cleaning your home can also help reveal things like well-crafted crown molding, sturdy hardwood floors, and other forgotten architectural details that can substantially increase your home’s overall value.

Don’t Believe Everything You See on Social Media

According to a study conducted by Deloitte, 40 percent of adults and 60% of millennials in the US admit to being influenced by social media when choosing furnishings for their homes.

In addition, more and more people admit to buying home decor items just because they think that they will look great on social media platforms like Instagram. That’s based on a similar study conducted by Forbes.

It’s easy to forget that many of the images we see on social media are staged, retouched, and edited to look perfect. This means that getting items just because they look good on Instagram can quickly become a recipe for disaster.

To avoid this, make the effort to visit showrooms and stores in order to see how decor items and furniture look in real life. Doing this allows you to make more practical choices for your home, sparing you from the hassle of shipping items back to stores and asking for refunds because they don’t actually fit your aesthetic.

Take Time to Do Your Research

Don’t rush. Do your research and find pieces that complement your existing furniture. This will yield better results than haphazardly grabbing decorative items from stores.

Aside from that, always try to keep your eyes peeled for quality pieces that can last you for a long time, instead of getting cheap furniture that will be replaced in a few years.

The end result is a space that looks more organized and polished. Once it’s time to sell, you might not even need to hire a professional to stage your home.

Make Your Measuring Tape Your New Best Friend

Picture this: you are browsing your favorite furniture store’s website when the most beautiful, most dazzling carpet you’ve ever seen in your entire life pops up. You immediately add it to your cart, check the item out, and wait for it to arrive at your doorstep.

And then it happens: it arrives, you unwrap it, you roll it out, and then you find out that it’s the wrong size. Cue the heartbreak.

If you want to avoid scenarios like this, you have to know your home’s exact measurements before going to furniture stores online or in person. By doing this, you can find items that perfectly fit your space.

Get Professional Advice

While it may be tempting to keep home improvement projects a strictly DIY affair, it doesn’t hurt to get advice from professionals such as interior designers and realtors. Interior designers have the necessary experience when it comes to sprucing homes up, while Realtors can give you insight into market trends. You can remodel your home based on data about what today’s homebuyers look for in a home.

Furthermore, professionals can point you to the best contractors and suppliers in your area, including furniture and home goods stores that provide the most bang for your buck.

Remodeling and Selling Your Home in Napa? Call Joe Brasil Now!

It’s a well-known fact that remodeling projects can substantially increase your home’s market value. Because of this, it’s very important that you make the best design choices for your home, especially if you have plans to put your property back on the Napa Valley housing market.

When it comes to these matters, don’t hesitate to give me, Joe Brasil, a call.

As one of Napa Valley’s top-ranking realtors, I can provide you with the data and tools you need to remodel and market your home in the most stress-free and seamless way possible.

This includes giving you a comparative market analysis of properties that have been recently sold in the Napa Valley real estate market, an inside look at buyer preferences, as well as a list of potential home renovation projects that will work well for your property.

Ready to get started? Schedule a confidential real estate consultation with me by calling (707) 319-1887 or by sending me an email at [email protected].


Work With Joe

Joe Brasil is an unrivaled Napa real estate expert. From finding amazing, luxury homes for sale in Napa, getting clients the most out of their St. Helena property sale, or setting you up in Yountville, you can rest assured that your expectations will be exceeded. Work with Joe today and make your Napa real estate dreams come true.

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