20 Design Trends That Have Jumped the Shark

Whether you love to hate 'em or hate to admit you love 'em, there's no denying some interior moves have gotten awfully familiar. Would you change the channel on these scenes?

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July 06, 2018
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Photo By: Tanya Collins Design

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Wall Decals

Is it a little too easy to 'put a bird on it' these days? Everyone loves a good feature wall — and the impermanence of vinyl is awfully appealing — but some might argue that it's stuck around long enough.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Ironically, the British government's now-famous morale-boosting slogan never saw the light of day during World War Two: It resurfaced (and mutated) nearly 60 years later, and it's now associated with everything from cupcakes to karate. Thank you for your service, Keep Calm and Carry On. You’ve earned a rest.

Rainbow Bookshelves

If you're on the hunt for your long-lost copy of Mao Tse-Tung's Little Red Book, color-coding your library could come in handy. If you're looking to reference just about anything else, heaven help you if you don't have a photographic memory.


With apologies to Ernest Hemingway, big-game hunting went out a long, long time ago. There are kinder and more stylish ways to appreciate nature.


Oh, chevron. How can we miss you if you won’t go away? Bold, graphic patterns are good fun, but this one is awfully ubiquitous. We might need some time apart.

Mason Jars

Wasn’t that barn wedding / moonshine run / time we preserved supplies for the winter great? It was. Now let’s give, say, Erlenmeyer flasks a chance to shine.

Edison Bulbs

We take no pleasure in observing that their industrial edge has dulled, but here we are. Edison bulbs have made everyone’s kitchen feel a bit like the neighborhood coffee bar.

Fiddle-Leaf Figs

Instagram’s favorite interior flora won’t be taken for granted: This plant is scorchingly expensive, difficult to tend in less-than-optimal conditions (it’s native to the tropics and thrives in warm, wet conditions with bright, filtered light) and toxic to house pets. Real talk: If you love something, set it free.

"Millennial Pink"

Style aficionados have proposed that the crowd-pleasing shade might soon lose its crown to another hue ("melodramatic purple," "Gen Z yellow," or "neo mint," anyone?). Though we’ve enjoyed our time in the pink, we’re ready.

Rose Gold

Like millennial pink, rose gold adds a dish of whimsy that, in large enough doses, can leave you with a bit of a toothache (or make your space look like everyone else’s). As an unexpected accent? Love. Everywhere the eye can see? Pass.


Quirky, glitter-covered figurines, glittery DIY wedding decor, glitter-dipped utensils (which are in no way food-safe, incidentally) ... we’ve seen it all. We expect to see much more, really, since once you invite glitter into your life, it’s never, ever leaving.

Living Walls

There’s a very good reason these showstoppers got their start (and look healthiest) in professional and public spaces: They require expert-level maintenance. Leave the floor-to-ceiling greenery to genius gardeners and start smaller with a hanging pocket-pouch system or an array of small containers that produce a similar effect.


Yes, deer, moose and caribou all shed their antlers naturally each winter, so you can find natural (and, of course, look-alike resin) specimens that are cruelty-free. That said, the ultra-woodsy look is best visited at a ski lodge rather than reinterpreted in a big-city loft’s chandelier, no?

Chat Noir Poster

Théophile Steinlen’s undeniably-sexy tour poster advertised a rowdy cabaret and literary salon that thrived for a decade in 19th-century Paris. It’s slinky, it’s French ... and in 21st-century America, it now advertises the time you had just 15 minutes to grab something at the local art emporium.


Done right, a gradual color change can make a wall (or stairwell, or accent piece) pop. Executed in haste — and we’ve seen a lot of projects executed in haste — ombré says, "I ran out of paint, but no big, right?"

Chalkboard Paint

As an art space in a child’s room? Love. As a kitchen feature? If you’re not an actual public eatery, it’s a bit much.

Granite Countertops

Whoa, whoa, whoa, we’re not saying half of America should be on the phone with a contractor. We’re saying granite’s supremacy has gone on long enough, and that quartz, butcher block and concrete deserve the spotlight, too.

Statement Appliances

If you’ve got an outdoor kitchen in the tropics, splash out on that Technicolor fridge. Most of us should probably think long and hard about a four-figure, decade(s)-long investment in quirky color.

Big-Ticket Stove Hood

Like eye-popping fridges, look-at-me stove hoods are a significant investment in a very particular look. In spaces like this, they make sense — and in many, many others, they’re a bit much.

Inspirational Quotes

While our homes are intimate demonstrations of our personalities, of course, it’s OK to tell our guests how we feel and what we believe without committing those sentiments to folk art. Really.