- Insider asked interior designers which decor trends rarely look as good in real life.
- Even though they may appear clean in photos, all-white rooms call for a lot of upkeep.
- Painted kitchen appliances and cabinets hardly hold up to common wear and tear.
Contact-paper countertops reveal imperfections.
"In reality, it will take a great deal of time and precision to apply the contact paper perfectly," she explained. "The most likely result is a finish that has bubbles and maybe even creases."
Though she added that these flaws are less noticeable with the marble design than with the butcher-block pattern.
Pallet furniture may not be very comfortable.
Pallet furniture — minimalist pieces mainly made of wood — may look creative and relaxing, but Andra DelMonico, lead interior designer at Trendey, said to approach the trend with caution.
"On social media and in pictures, pallet-wood furniture looks creative and comfortable with its large seating areas and plush pillows thrown on top," DelMonico said. "However, in real life, these sofas and chairs aren't that comfortable."
These pieces don't include springs like traditional furniture and lack support since many people buy pillows instead of seat cushions with a firm interior.
Don't skimp and paint your kitchen appliances.
Instead of painting refrigerators and turning them into creative canvases, DelMonico recommended splurging on a colored appliance.
"If you want a colored, large kitchen appliance, just commit and buy one. Don't try to paint your current appliances," she told Insider.
You'd need to prepare and prime the surface before adding any paint, and even then, a brush or sponge can leave a streaky finish. Plus the coat likely won't hold up against scrubbing and cleaning in the long term.
Dark spaces can have noticeable flaws.
Dark, moody bathrooms are trendy, but photos don't always reveal how difficult the upkeep can be, according to Hillary Stamm at HMS Interiors.
If you are going to opt for the trend, be mindful about where you include it.
"In children's bathrooms or any spaces that get heavy traffic, this can be a poor choice, as any nick or dent will show quickly," she explained. "A month after installation, we have a dented and banged-up, albeit new bathroom."
Accent walls are not always a good fit.
"While these can photograph nicely, oftentimes it really throws off the balance in a room when you're actually in it and can make the room feel unfinished and unconsidered," Brayton said.
You can still make a statement with other forms of art or unique decor.
Shabby-chic sofas require a lot of maintenance.
Pieces that look lived-in, shabby-chic sofas can be challenging to take care of, according to Morgan Blinn, interior designer at Rumor Designs.
"Shabby chic sofas are all over TikTok right now. The worn-in look is great in photos, as they are staged for the moment, but in real life, this style sofa takes a lot of upkeep for something that is marketed to be 'effortlessly' chic," Blinn explained.
The cushions on these pieces often slip, so you'll likely need to consistently readjust them. Though some higher-end products include straps to keep them in place.
Mismatched dining chairs tend to look more confusing than chic.
"Mismatched dining chairs are a cool idea in theory and can look fun and eclectic in pictures, but they tend to look messy in real life," Atkins said. "It just looks like you are living in a shared college living space where everyone brought their own chair."
Instead, opt for a matching set that fits the aesthetic of your space.
Painted kitchen cabinets usually look "too good to be true" in pictures.
He said usually the trend looks "too good to be true."
"Oftentimes photos of people's DIY projects are taken right after they finish their project," Shaffer explained. "In the case of painted cabinets, they'll quickly start to peel, the dry paint will show bumps and drip lines, and will eventually lose their shine as grime and dirt start to collect on the improperly finished surface."
Reupholstering furniture might not be worth the hassle.
Shaffer told Insider that reupholstering furniture rarely ends up being as easy and seamless as it looks on social media.
"Shoving cushion filling into a vintage seating piece will turn into a mess, and I can guarantee you that about five minutes into the project, you'll get frustrated and end up discarding the entire piece and fabric," Shaffer said.
Even though he said reupholstered pieces "definitely look fabulous," he instead recommended buying a new sofa or chair, or hiring a professional to do the job, if your budget allows.