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40 "Tacky" Home Decor Trends That Are Actually Fine

Patterned Sofas

Patterned Sofas

Choosing a cute patterned sofa is a great way to liven up your living room, especially if you stick to just one or two colors for the rest of your home decor. Just pair neutral-colored pillows and throws to go with it so your color scheme doesn't get out of control!

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Originally, we were left reeling from the pattern sofa phase of the ‘80s and ‘90s, where every sofa sat on was an out-of-control pattern. Since we’ve given this trend a break, we can revisit it with a more refined eye. Pattern is great, using pattern on something with so much presence in a space is risky. As long as the sofa is the focal point the design, this trend is fine.

Animal Print Accents

Animal Print Accents

Not all animal prints are created equally. Zebra print IS tacky and the only acceptable time to decorate with zebra print is while you're living in a college dorm, maybe.  Leopard print, however, is for mature adults who still want a bit of flare. Leopard print is timeless.

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We would stick with the classics when it comes to anything animal. Bear fur, mink, leopard, and ostrich should be fine if used sparingly. A fur throw, an ostrich throw pillow, that sort of thing. If you’re using animal print on a larger item, consider using a washed out version of the print so that it’s a little more subtle.

Cheesy Photo Frames

Cheesy Photo Frames

It might be considered childish to have photo frames with funny sayings or wacky decoration on the edges, but who cares? Those photos are your memories and if you want to remember that moment in a wacky frame, that’s up to you! You do you boo boo, we support you!

Photos of friends and family are one of those things we all hold close to our hearts. If you’re someone who likes to show those photos with pride in frames scattered across your home, consider using a fun frame every now and then. Not every frame should be the crazy one. Maybe the main photo in a cluster should have the fun frame, everything else should be more streamlined.

Shag Carpet

Shag Carpet

Shag has gotten a bad rap because people were literally obsessed with it in the '70s and carpeted entire rooms with it. Even their bathrooms! However, a nice, neutral-colored shag rug can add a touch of glamour to any room, especially on hardwood or cold tiled floors. 

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Shag is a frame of reference. Everyone knows what it is and knows where it comes from. Adding a bit of shag in a room immediately adds some character to the space. Not to mention, it really feels nice and soft on your bare feet! We would suggest keeping shag out of major high-traffic areas in the home, only because it is a dirt trap.

Monochromatic Color Scheme

Monochromatic Color Scheme

You really like blue? Decorate exclusively in blue. You're Type A and love everything looking white and clean? Go for it. No one says you have to mix colors and patterns. This is your home, decorate accordingly. (Plus, the more white in your home the airier it will look.)

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Monochromatic color schemes really make it easy for you. Although, you may find yourself obsessing over the perfect shades to mix and match. The good thing is, as long as it’s in the same color family, everything should work fine! Monochromatic schemes work great for enlarging a space. The expanse of color lengthens walls and draws the eye to all areas.

Silk Flowers

Silk Flowers

For some reason, everyone and there is obsessed with buying fresh flower for their home. We understand they smell good, and there’s nothing quite like a vase full of fresh flowers. But you know what? Real flowers die. And they die quick. Silk flowers, however, are forever!

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Silk flowers are great for those of us who have real jobs and can’t spend our day sorting, arranging, and misting those beautiful blooms. For living areas, think about changing out an arrangement seasonally. If you’re crafty, you can do it yourself, or pay a florist to do it for you!

Cat Decor

Cat Decor

Showing your love of cats has never been easier since being a crazy cat lady became trendy. It may seem tacky to have cat figurines, paintings, and patterns all over your home, but if you watch out for clashing colors and patterns then, this trend can also be quite tasteful. 

If you’re one of those crazy cat people, cat décor can really speak to you and your feline friends. There are tons of iconic cat themed décor that have honestly became staples in the home. Like the cat eyes wall clock. You can even have ceramic statues of your cats to decorate shelves. But we can’t guarantee they won’t get knocked off by your real cat.

DIY Decor

DIY Decor

Maybe your DIY decor won't look as high-end as something you bought at Crate & Barrel, or even Target. But it's a great feeling to be able to tell your guests that the starburst mirror they think is so beautiful was actually hand-crafted by you. It adds a nice, homey touch to your home.

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Doing things yourself adds a whole other level to your home. It’s a personal connection and touch to your home that speaks to who you are. Also, by tacking your décor yourself, you can make it exactly what it needs to be. So, no more fretting about if it will match your space! You know it will because you made it that way.

Eccentric Patterns

Eccentric Patterns

Just like with fashion, forget the stupid rule that you can't mix and match patterns. Mix as many patterns as you want! Especially if you have neutral-colored furniture, your throw pillows and blankets can be whatever pattern or color you like. At least your home won't be boring!

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The beauty of these neutral walls and big furniture pieces is having the ability to explore with color and pattern in your swappable elements like throws, pillows, and rugs. We go neutral on everything else because they can support these bold patterns, so use them! Express yourself and liven up your space with some patterns.

Recliners

Recliners

Are recliners ugly? Yes. But they're super comfy, so what's more important to you? Plus, recliners with cuter patterns and builds are starting to come out, so it's not totally hopeless to find one that doesn't ruin your living room's aesthetic with a clunky, overstuffed, chair monster.

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Now days, if you’re willing to drop a few coins, you can find tons of decent recliners that just look like regular chairs. Reclining technology has come a far way from the crank handle of the past. Now there are wall-saving recliners that can be put against a wall and still recline. Also, you can find recliners that can be put in the middle of the floor without showing ugly split backs and mechanical parts.

Frosted Glass

Frosted Glass

If you just really don't like the idea of your storage being on display, invest in frosted glass cabinets. Frosted glass is also a great option for showers, too! There for awhile it was looking like frosted glass was going the way of glass blocks, so we weren’t quite sure how it was going to last.

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Frosted glass was one of those things we had to stew on to decide if they were tacky or here to stay. If you can, stick with plain frosted glass, the textured glass is a bit too much. But either way, they’re still a great option for when you want that open-air look without showing all your storage areas. We’re saying frosted glass is totally fine.

Hanging Plants

Hanging Plants

While it may be easier to place plants on shelves and counter tops, hanging plants from your ceiling is just plain FUN. Plus, it's a great solution if you have cats or dogs who eat everything in sight. Several kinds of plants need room to grow, especially vine plants. 

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Let those vines hang down and grow to their little hearts’ desires. Another part of this trend that’s super fun to explore is the hanging basket itself! There are tons of different types of hanging pots and baskets. From macrame to more modern pieces, there is no shortage of looks to chose from. You can even get crafty and make your own!

Oak Cabinets

Oak Cabinets

In a black-or-white cabinet world, it's perfectly fine to have a nice set of oak cabinets. As home decor gets more and more "modern," oak cabinets are seen as outdated; but with the right knobs, backsplash, and appliances, oak cabinets can be every bit as chic.

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For years we’ve been bashing oak cabinets and they’re usually the first things to go when you’re flipping a house. Oak was everywhere for years! On the walls, the floor, the cabinets and even the ceiling! We got a little tired of seeing it, but now that it’s all gone… maybe we want it back? You know what they say, you never know what you’ve got till it’s gone!

Throw Pillows

Throw Pillows

It’s easy to bash on people who love to decorate with throw pillows, especially when the patterns and colors clash with the rest of the decor. However, even a mountain of throw pillows can be cute—as long as you leave some room on the couch for people to sit on.

We love throw pillows because they’re fun! They’re one of the only things we’re allowed to explore colors and patterns on, so you know what? We’re going all out. Buy as many as you want, every chair, sofa and bed needs a throw pillow. Just buy a few rope baskets to store them when guests need a place to sit.

White Decor and Furniture

White Decor and Furniture

I will never forget the time I walked into a furniture store and asked the sales clerk to point me to the white dressers. He gave me a strange look and told me that the only white furniture they had was for children, as adults only buy dark wood. But one look on Pinterest, and you'll know this dude is dead wrong. 

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Don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't buy for your home; white furniture and decor is always chic. People will sneer and say that in one year that white furniture will look dingy and stained, that may be true for them, but you do what’s best for you! White furniture is a classic. It’s fabulous, crisp and clean.

Fringe Accents

Fringe Accents

Fringe may be a bit outdated when it comes to fashion, but it's just now becoming a major trend in home decor. Decorate your walls with fringe tapestries of all different colors! Fringe can be used on several different things, not just wall hangings, so see what you can find.

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Fringe, like shag, reminds us all of a time that’s come and gone. This material is a bold texture, it makes the perfect throw pillow to break up the mundane. From leather fringe to fabric, we’re loving all of it. Putting fringe In a place where people can get their hands on it lets people play with it without pulling your decorative wall hanging out of the wall.

Memory Boards

Memory Boards

Memory boards are a classic way to display pictures, small mementos— like movie stubs, holiday cards, and so much more. Sure, you might not want to have a cluttered memory board in your formal dining room, but your bedroom or craft room is the perfect place to put one up!

There’s nothing better to brighten up your day than a quick glance at a board full of your most cherished memories. If you’re having a bad day, just remember when you had a good one! Hopefully they’re not too few and far between. Memory boards are fun, and crafty. Make your own, and find lots of fun little pins and stickers to go on there too.

String Lights

String Lights

This trendy lighting decor idea gets criticized for belonging only in a dorm room. These sparkly, whimsical lights shouldn’t just belong to college kids! Everyone loves a little ambient lighting, so go ahead and put some string lights around your bedpost or windows, or anywhere else your little heart desires.

If you can find some waterproof string lights, these are perfect patio enhancers. Who says the party stops at sundown? String lights bring a soft glow that isn’t blinding your friends and neighbors at night. You can even buy tall stakes that support your overhead string lights, so you can weave them all over your patio!

Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic

Shabby chic is kind of like cilantro—you either love it or you hate it.  For those who hate it, chill; no one's going to take over your living room and chip all your paint. For those who love it, just make sure you don't get carried away. 

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Distressed furniture is kind of like distressed jeans; a few little rips are cute, but you don't want your jeans to have so many rips they're practically falling off. Shabby doesn’t mean junk yard. Keep your shabby chic elements limited to one or two things at a time. Too much shabby can leave you with a junky house.

Bean Bags

Bean Bags

Bean bags were super cool back in the '90s, but for some reason they are severely underappreciated today.  If you just really don't like them, there are other options, like ottomans and poufs that can be equally as comfy. But it's a great addition for a little reading nook.

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If you have kiddos, these are perfect for playrooms or bedrooms. They’re lightweight and low to the ground so they can easily get in and out of them. A trend that is popping up right now is outdoor bean bags! These are waterproof and can be used around the pool or even in porch areas for lounge seating.

Posters

Posters

Posters of cars or shirtless dudes taped to the wall in a dorm room = tacky. Posters vintage bands or movies framed and placed carefully on a wall = classic.  It's all in the details. Pick a simple frame that supports the poster without taking away from its design. 

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As us ‘90s kids get older, we don’t want to separate from our favorite poster. Now, these tattered pieces of paper are collectibles! Listen, you don’t have to sacrifice your inner child just because you have a mortgage now. Show off your poster, just keep them in matching frames and maybe in a hallway or game room.

Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard Paint
Chalkboard paint was one of the world’s worst “Pinterest” DIY trends we wished would disappear. However, after giving it some thought we realized this trend is perfect for families with kiddos. Chalkboards can be used to keep up with chores, games, and to-do lists. It’s perfect!While we are approving the chalkboard paint, we want to give a word of caution, don’t go too far with this trend. Keep this limited to one small wall in the home. Too much of this can quickly become tacky. We suggest keeping chalkboard paint limited to pantries or small slivers of walls near utility areas.

Visible Storage

Visible Storage

Most people think they need to hide all of their clutter, but there are actually super cute ways of organizing it out in the open. From spice racks to shelving, the possibilities are endless. (Seriously, just look it up on Pinterest; the options will overwhelm you.)

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One of the easiest ways to keep this style from looking too messy is to place items within matching containers. Similarly, if you are displaying plates and dishes on open shelves, keep them the same color to keep things from clashing and looking busy. A collection of brightly colored plates and bowls are a perfect accent for a white kitchen. You’ll also want to purchase higher-quality items; no one will be impressed by your collection of disposable dishware.

Inspirational Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Going overboard with inspirational quote blocks and canvas prints can be tacky, but a couple of quotes that really speak to you can really make a house a home. Motivational quotes can also be great in an office.  A few words of encouragement never hurt anybody, right? 

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Just stay away from the overused shallow words of encouragement like “Live, Laugh, Love” or “The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home.” These tropes are tired, and everyone has heard them before. Let’s move on from these and find some real inspiring words. Lord knows we all need a little encouragement these days!

Faux Fur

Faux Fur

I have absolutely no clue why faux fur became a "tacky" home decor trend, because it's absolutely the perfect way to glam up your living space. with only one item. Between faux fur rugs and faux fur throws and pillows, I'll take everything faux fur, please. Thanks!

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Fur is amazing and chic. It’s been a part of the home since the literal stone age, so we’d say this is about as classic as it gets. The only problem is, too much fur makes your house look more like a fur trading post with a sprinkle of British colonial. British colonial never did a good thing for anyone, so we’d say keep it simple.

Floral Patterns

Floral Patterns

Floral patterns have always had a bad rap for being old-fashioned and old lady, but they're coming back into style! Find one piece of furniture with a bright, retro floral pattern, and it'll really liven the place up. Or, go all out with a bold floral wallpaper!

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Florals are one of those patterns that can be mixed and matched, so if you’re head over heels for florals, find a few patterns that look good together and see what happens! Large floral prints are simple, clean, ways to bring a fresh look to a room with clean lines and simple décor. It’s truly one of the most versatile patterns out there.

Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall

While a gallery wall can look tacky and cluttered when done the wrong way (aka throwing up a bunch of random stuff on a wall with no color scheme or organization), it's a nice, homey touch if you know what you're doing. It's a great way to display family photos, children's paintings, and hand-picked art pieces.

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Our suggestion for pulling off this trend is keeping all frames in the same color but playing with texture on the frame. Also, the contents of the pictures need to complement each other, if not match closely. Pictures that complement each other tie the look together, making these varying sizes of art make sense in tandem.

Using Alcohol Bottles as Decor

Using Alcohol Bottles as Decor

While it is tacky to display an ever-growing collection of wine, tequila, and beer bottles (and again, something that is only acceptable during your college years), there are so many other ways you can decorate with them. Collect your corks in a jar or glass bowl; paint your wine bottles and make them into vases for your fresh (or silk) flowers. There are tons of tutorials on Pinterest!

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Bottles come in so many different shapes and sizes, some of them are super unique! While you’re enjoying what’s in the bottle, don’t throw that left over class bottle away. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can totally overhaul these things to match together, and no one will be the wiser.

Dark Wall Color

Dark Wall Color

Many people are under the false impression that dark walls—like black, navy, or dark green—can darken your space and make it look cold. But it can actually make all the difference between a boring room and an elegant one (especially if you decorate with gold or silver accents). 

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Plus, if you don't want to paint all the walls of one room dark, just choose one. Accent walls are HUGE right now. Dark walls got a bad rap, and it just wasn’t fair. Dark walls aren’t the villainous fiends we thought they were. Sure, dark walls are hard to pull off, but when done right, they actually extend the room, not suffocate it. Color can open up a room almost as well as white. So, if you’re tired of drab neutrals, go dark.

Mismatched Furniture

Mismatched Furniture

You have the comfy, overstuffed recliner in the corner, a hand-painted coffee table, a leather couch, and maybe even an ottoman with a funky pattern. Whatever it looks like, your home furnishings are exactly your style. So what if it doesn’t match? You do you, and I support you fully. 

The days of buying a matchy-matchy set of furniture are OVER. No one wants to see the furniture catalog living room in real life. We want style, class and creativity. Pay attention to the details and make a custom look with your furniture. People will totally think you’re some sort of interior designer if you can pull this look off.

Mason Jars

Mason Jars

People use mason jars for many differnt things like drinking cups or flower vases. This trend has taken off, and now these jars are often painted and covered in ribbon. These quirky jars can easily be a fun accent piece in your home, especially if they’ve been decorated to match your aesthetic. 

At first, everyone in décor was thinking this trend would be here today and gone tomorrow. However, people really took to it. Maybe it’s just because mason jars are so cheap, but this jar décor is here to stay. People have even gone so far as to make light fixtures from these cheap jars.

Cliché Art

Cliché Art

Having prints or posters of world-famous paintings like Starry Night or The Big Wave has been considered unoriginal and tacky for a long, long, time. It shouldn’t matter, though. Those paintings have been loved and admired for centuries, so why can’t you have your own to look at? You can, and you should!

Those same people will judge you for not having cultured art, so who cares what they have to say! Art is art and it should be enjoyed by all. As long as you’re not trying to pass it off as the real thing, there’s nothing wrong with a reprint. It’s perfectly fine, and honestly a lot better than the ridiculous things available in residential wall décor.

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Shot Glass Collections

Shot Glass Collections

Much like having old alcohol bottles lining the shelves, having a collection of quirky or commemorative shot glasses gets called immature a lot. If you keep your shot glasses in a cabinet with the rest of your adult drinkware, you’ll look sophisticated and organized instead. Plus, displaying your commemorative shot glasses is a fun way to show off all of the cool places you’ve been.

Shot glasses are seemed juvenile because some people are just no fun! Everyone needs to loosen up and have some fun! It’s ok to take a shot, and there are only a few things you can buy to commemorate a vacation. So, if you’ve got a stocked bar at home, you should totally collect these things. As long as you’re not storing them obnoxiously, it’s all good.

Photo Strings

Photo Strings

Just like string lights, this decor trend gets bashed for looking tacky and childish. However, photo strings are the perfect way to show off pictures in a casual, fun way—and it’s super easy to change out the photos for new ones without having to bother with frames! It's also sort of boho, so we'll take it!

There’s something a little vintage feeling about this trend. Maybe it’s the polaroid’s but we love the easy breezy feeling of hanging our pictures on the wall. Match these with some string lights and you’ll really feel cozy! This trend is perfectly fine, and it’s not just for college age girls. It’s pictures, everyone should show them off!

Naked Windows

Naked Windows

I know, I know – curtains can make a room. But you can make an even bolder statement without them! Curtains are one of those things that have been grandfathered in to everyone’s home. It’s just expected that you just buy curtains for every window. But do you have to? What if no one can see in your windows, then why would you need them?

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Unless you’re up to something suspicious, what do you have to hide? Curtains block precious natural light, and that’s not a good thing. So why should you need them if you don’t need to hide the inside of your home? There’s nothing better than a nice and airy living space, and bare windows are the only way to get that.

Vinyl Wall Decals

Vinyl Wall Decals

We’ve all seen the wall stickers saying “Live, Laugh, Love,” and we’re also all aware of how cliché that phrase has become. Whether or not you’re a fan of those inspirational quotes, you can get a huge variety of vinyl wall decals from full-color images, artsy line work, or even your favorite animal to decorate your home. It’s your house, you can do what you want!

As long as you’re not pulling anything too extreme, a subtle wall decal never hurt anybody. So, we’re making the claim that we owe this trend another chance. On one condition, make up some new inspirational sayings with some substance. We’re tired of the same old shallow sayings that never helped anyone. 

IKEA Furniture

IKEA Furniture

IKEA gets a bad rap for selling starter furniture that’s affordable, but what’s wrong with that? IKEA has a lot of fun, kitschy items mixed in with even more practical, standard furniture. There’s truly something for everyone’s tastes, and you get the added life experience of putting together your own furniture. 

IKEA has spent years perfecting the design of shippable furniture, while It’s a running joke about how long it takes to put together, it gives normal people access to a style of furniture most wouldn’t be able to have in their own homes. For that, IKEA deserves to overrule it’s tacky reputation.

Sassy Sayings

Sassy Sayings

People like to hate on having fun, quippy sayings splashed around your house whether it be on posters, throw pillows, or as wall decals. But if you’re sassy, why shouldn’t you express it in your home? Keep calm and decorate on girl boss! Leave a little sparkle wherever you go!

Life is too short to be borking. Live a little and enjoy it. If seeing that sassy saying in your home gives you the confidence to rock your day. Do it! There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed of the little things we do to hype us up. You should definitely keep your sassy self on fleek at all times!

Signs

Signs

Decorating with signs can be definitely be tacky if you just throw them up on the wall without any regard for color scheme or organization. Road signs, vintage signs, and even custom-made signs can be great ways to spice up any decor—as long as you know what you’re doing, and not stating the obvious. 

The signs that are tacky, however, are those useless signs that state the obvious. We don’t need a sign in each room to tell us what it is. Unless you live in a government building, we guarantee it’s not that hard to figure it all out. Everyone knows what a kitchen and a bathroom look like. These state the obvious signs are what happens when people with no taste just need something to throw on a wall.

Hollywood Mirror Lights

Hollywood Mirror Lights

These lights get called tacky all the time, but who doesn’t want to feel glamorous when they look at themselves in the mirror? The bright, funky bulbs are a great way to get good lighting for doing your hair and makeup while making you feel like an old hollywood movie star. 

What’s wrong with bringing a little vintage glamour to the home? There’s nothing better feeling than taking time to place every hair just right. When you get ready, you should feel like a star, and that’s what these lights help with. Yes, a ring light does a much better job, but everyone in design should know their references. So, pay respect to the old school!