Ah, your twenties: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. While this pivotal decade ushers in a lot of firsts—like your first grown-up job and your first apartment—it also had its fair share of trial and error. (Hey, we’re not judging, that’s what your twenties are all about!) Needless to say, those classic twenties mistakes can definitely make their way into your home décor.
Whether you brought your college dorm décor into your first grown-up apartment (again, no judgement) or were just starting to find your design footing, there’s a good chance your first brush with decorating was nothing short of cringe-worthy. By the time you hit 30 years-old—and hindsight is 20/20—you’re likely itching to make some serious changes to your space. The first step? Getting rid of those “what was I thinking” home décor pieces.
To help, a handful of design experts share the five items everyone should toss out by the time they turn 30 years old. Regardless of your budget or interior design style, we can confidently say we’ve all moved on from these decorating woes.
1. Discard Unloved Hand-Me-Downs
“Be purposeful and intentional about your style and the pieces you choose to put in your space. Creating a grown-up space means you’re making real design decisions not just using with what’s free or only $7 at IKEA. Create a space that reflects you as you collect pieces that you love. Hand-me-downs and free furniture are great when you love really love the pieces and can layer the space with other accents that reflect your personality. Your space will never feel like your own adult home if it’s full of free stuff from everyone else’s.” —Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy
2. Hard Pass On The Posters
“In your twenties, it’s time to ditch the posters and invest in framed art to decorate your walls. Art and frames don’t have to be expensive either. You can pick up small prints at local markets or on Etsy and frame them with standard size frames from Target, IKEA, or EQ3, a few of my favorite places for affordable, ready to hang frames. Create your own gallery wall mixed with prints, photos, or framed mementos.” —Alessandra Wood
3. Lights Out on Outdated Fixtures
“Outdated light fixtures! Many of us are hopping from place to place in our twenties, but once you have found a home that’s more permanent, it’s time to swap outdated light fixtures with ones that show your style. Lighting has the power to transform a space, so invest in lighting you love [and a good electrician]!” —Marie Flanigan, interior designer
“Swap string lights for ambient lighting with wall sconces or floor lamps.” —Darla Bankston May, interior designer
Many of us are hopping from place to place in our twenties, but once you have found a home that’s more permanent, it’s time to swap outdated light fixtures with ones that show your style.
4. Thank You, Next, Door Mirrors
“We're here to say goodbye to over the door mirrors! You know, the ones you buy for your college dorm room or hide behind the back of a closet door? Mirrors are a great category as there are a variety of high and low options on the market, which makes it easy for you to upgrade and find a stylish, adult-approved alternative. If you're looking for a full length mirror, opt for a statement piece that could stand alone and act as a piece of art, or style a smaller decorative mirror at eye level above a console or credenza” —Roxy Te, founder and creative director of Society Social
5. Farewell, Futons
“Futons are great pieces of furniture that are relatively cheap and allow you to have an extra space for guests to sleep when visitors come to town. But by age 30, it's really time to get rid of this piece and trade it in for something more sophisticated for your space. I suggest the Twilight Sleeper Sofa from Design Within Reach to add an elevated touch to your living room without losing the practicality of transforming into a bed. “ —Liz Caan, interior designer