8 Décor Trends That Are Better in Theory Than in Practice

Décor Trend Mistakes
Nicole Franzen

It's always tempting to try the latest décor trend blowing up on Instagram or Pinterest. From the Pantone color of the year to the minimalism movement, there is no shortage of new decorating ideas to test out in our homes. That said, as we've learned with the proliferation of #PinterestFails, there is no shortage of recipes, DIY attempts, or decorating projects that didn't turn out quite as anticipated either.

To help you learn from other people's blunders (instead of your own), we turned to our Instagram followers and asked them to share the décor trend mistakes they tried that turned out to be better in theory than in practice. Should you paint your walls white, hang a gallery wall, or layer your rugs? Scroll through to find out—we listed our favorite decorating mistakes along with easy fixes for each one.


"I tried layering rugs in my last apartment and nearly killed myself tripping over them in the dark. Never again for this klutz!"

Instead, try:

A single flatweave rug with a rug pad that will keep everything in place (yourself included).

white kitchen—design mistakes
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design


Farrow & Ball Mahogany $N/A

"White walls. They are not large, black dog–friendly."

Instead, try:

Painting the lower half of the wall a darker color—you'll add visual interest, hide the doggy scuff marks, and still have that light and airy feeling on the upper half of the wall. It's what we call a win-win-win.

black and white dining room—design mistakes
Alyssa Rosenheck


Blu Dot Rule 2 Door/2 Drawer Console $2799-2899

"Minimalism is something I'm often drawn to on Pinterest, but I can never really make it work in my home because I can't bring myself to rid my house of family pictures and my extensive book collection."

Instead, try:

Lots of closed storage for all the extra clutter. This console from Blu Dot is minimal in style, so you can have your cake and eat it too.

living room ideas—design mistakes


Juniper Books Penguin Classics $130

"Turning all my books with the spine inward on my bookshelf so that it has that monochromatic, minimalistic feel. It didn't look as good as the photos, and my father asks me every time he visits why they're turned that way and how do I find my books."

Instead, try:

Books with beautiful spines, like the Penguin Classics from Juniper Books. As for your less-attractive books, there's always closed storage or you can just embrace the patina of a well-loved book. Otherwise, if you want a truly minimal look, swap to a Kindle.

minimal living room—design mistakes
Alyssa Rosenheck


The Shade Store Roller Shade $285-455 $242-387

"Anything that should be sewn but that's fixed with a 'no sew' method, like pillow covers or curtains with hem tape. I tried them all with no success."

Instead, try:

Shades or curtains from The Shade Store—a trick we learned from Nate Berkus. They come to your home and measure, so you'll never have to alter your window treatments.

blue sofa—design mistakes
Katie Martinez Design


"Our gallery wall! No bueno."

Instead, try:

A single large piece of artwork that can fill up your blank wall space. It might seem like a higher investment at first, but unless you are a seasoned gallerist, the result will likely be much more impactful and elegant.

eclectic dining room—design mistakes
Katie Martinez Design


Farrow & Ball Calke Green $N/A

"I tried to replicate the feeling of a green Kelly Wearstler library in my office and ended up with a pea green room I hate. I still haven't repainted yet."

Instead, try:

A more muted green that will both act as a neutral and feel more timeless. Remember: Paint colors always look brighter on the wall than on the paint swatch, so always go for a more grayed-out version of what you actually want.

modern kitchen—design mistakes


Dash & Albert Samson Oak Indoor/Outdoor Rug $12-1854

"Lovely, thick handwoven wool rugs. They didn't work well with my cats."

Instead, try:

Indoor/outdoor rugs are extremely durable and work well with animals with sharp claws. Getting a rug with a contrasting organic pattern or texture can also help hide imperfections.

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