Quarantine Produces ‘Horrors’ of Home Design

REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged & Sold blog counts down some of the cringeworthy decorative choices people are making while hunkering down at home.
Cat hiding behind curtain

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Homes are meant to be a source of comfort and refuge. But as if 2020 hasn’t been horrifying enough, some skin-crawling home decor trends have emerged this year—and designers hope they’ll be forgotten quickly. Last Halloween, REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged & Sold blog highlighted some of the most horrifying design trends of all-time. (Furry toilet seat covers still give us the chills!) For this year’s spooky holiday, the blog counts down some of the biggest decorative frights in a terrifying year.

Mason jars with plants

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10. Mason Jars

Crafty people, inspired by Pinterest, have been collecting mason jars like they’re as rare as toilet paper in a pandemic. This signature farmhouse aesthetic encouraged a range of DIY design projects, including filling mason jars with flowers, candles, or candy. They clutter countertops with forgettable decor. Interest in mason jar designs has plunged 40% since its 2015 peak, according to Living Spaces. Nowadays, save the mason jars for storing jam.


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9. Chalkboard Walls

DIY chalkboard walls or chalkboard wall paint first graced children’s rooms as a cute and whimsical accent. Then, unfortunately, the aesthetic started edging into other spaces in the home. Designers want to erase this now-outdated trend from memory. Reserve walls for paint, not scribbles.



Macrame hanging on the wall

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8. Macramé

This 1970s throwback began a renaissance via Bohemian-style tapestries on walls, known as macramé, and fringed edging on furnishings. But most of us prefer to leave the past in the past—especially when it comes to the decade of disco— and, alas, fringe once again is being sent back into its time capsule.



Pink bathtub

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7. ‘Millennial Pink’

Millennials may have been unfairly blamed for going overboard with pink; others have made this mistake, too. But it’s when the trend started popping up in the bathroom, with pink sinks and tubs, that homeowners started to say, “Enough is enough.” As older generations know well, colorful bathrooms can lead to regret. Don’t let history repeat itself.


Antlers wallhanging

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6. Antlers

Many designers attempted to modernize taxidermy. White, brass-trimmed, fake deer wall mounts started surfacing on walls. Designers now say they look kitschy.




Chevron wall pattern with plants

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5. Chevron

That continuous “V” pattern can make your eyes do funny things if you stare at it too long. And with more people hunkering down at home during the pandemic, chevron has really become a sore sight for the eyes. Chevron-patterned accessories—rugs, pillows, and linens—are being cast aside for more toned-down patterns.



Gray sofa in gray room

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4. Gray Interiors

The gloom and doom of 2020 has been depressing enough, with a continuous train of bad news. Do we really want our interiors to make us feel gray, too? All-gray interiors—floor-to-ceiling paint, along with gray furnishings and cabinets—make us long for vibrant color pops, like in blues, greens, or yellows, that bring us hope.



Faux fur chair and table

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3. Furry Furniture

Faux sheepskin chairs, sofas, and furniture coverings had their heyday in college dorms, and they even adorned the interiors of luxury homes for a time. But no one ever warned us how matted these pieces can get after use. No one should ever have to comb their furniture—period.



Wallpapered ceiling

© Emily Gilbert

2. Wallpapered Ceilings

Metallic wallpaper on the ceiling looks chic in magazine photos and TV design shows. But in reality, wallpaper on a ceiling is a terrible idea. Wallpaper has proven to be a short-term fad that comes and goes through the years. Save yourself the trouble of putting it up—and then taking it down in short order.



Wall shelves filled with clutter

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1. Cluttercore

Some homeowners have embraced a lived-in look while spending more time at home during the pandemic. But there’s a reason minimalism has worked before. Social media tried to tell us “cluttercore”—a backlash to Marie Kondo’s decluttering movement—was in vogue. Instead, cluttercore dictates stuffing every shelf and wall space with knickknacks. It’ll bring you greater comfort, cluttercore enthusiasts say. Let’s get real: Clutter is never cool, even in a pandemic.