'We Are Done With These Trends,' Say Designers — 5 Outdated Looks To Leave Behind in 2023

As we move into 2024, experts share trends that no longer add value to interiors and need to be shunned

A living room filled with bold colors
(Image credit: SIMON BEVAN/ Future)

Sure, trends come and go, and tastes are personal but over time, with the digital boom, certain design elements become overly done, and at times hyper-obsessions that very quickly reach a peak, become oversaturated, and pass their prime. This is why designers suggest creating interiors that are livable, smart yet relatively timeless.

To this end, we asked top designers to elucidate interior design trends that are on their way out (that we’re hoping will stay there!). Here are 5 elements or ideas that have passed their expiry date and are best left in 2023.

1. Wall-to-wall carpeting

A living room with wall-to-wall carpeting

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth/ Future)

Gone are the days of homes fully furnished with carpets that added permanence in terms of color and texture. Over time, these have lost relevance, with area rugs taking over the scene.

'Plush living room carpet in a wall-to-wall format is outdated,' says Jane Lockhart, founder of Jane Lockhart Design. 'This style was popular in the 1980s through the late '90s but it is difficult to maintain over time. Today, most carpets are area rugs on top of solid surfaces that form the flooring in homes.'

Carpets, especially in high-traffic areas posed cleanliness and maintenance issues. Homes with children and pets create inevitable messes, destroying carpeted flooring with discoloration and odors. Living room carpets especially required regular deep cleaning, costing extra money that could’ve been saved with other flooring selections.

2. Exposed bulbs

wall lights in a small powder room

(Image credit: Benedetto Rebecca. Design: Charles Cohen Designs)

Exposed materials and even lighting had its charm...till some time ago. With homes becoming more and more modern, this staple has been losing relevance.

‘No more exposed bulb wall sconces,' says Los Angeles-based Brooke Spreckman, founder and principal designer of Design Hutch. 'Bathroom lighting especially needs to be even and smooth, and a fixture without a filter around the bulb is going to be too bright.'

Plus in a room where there's constant moisture, it's best to have elements that are safe and accident-free.

3. Too many bold colors

A living room with a bold red chair and blue wallpaper

(Image credit: SIMON BEVAN/ Future)

When it comes to living room colors along with other spaces, there's been a movement toward using bolder tones. But when it comes to balancing them, designers warn against using too many statement-making colors.

‘It's not uncommon to see rooms fully saturated in a single color but to see a strongly colored room highlighted by equally intensely colored drapery or furnishings is a bit more unusual,’ says Louisville, Kentucky interior designer Bethany Adams. ‘I like the challenge of pairing bold colors and making the rooms look cohesive – not crazy.’

4. Tropical patterns

A living room with tropical prints

(Image credit: Soho Management Ltd/ Future)

Tropical patterns have been everyday...for decades. These especially have have gone in and out of favor over the years but presently, may not be ideal for interiors. ‘Personally, I think the patterns that date your home are ones that were selected to follow trends and not because they work contextually in a space,’ says Nick Spain, founder of multidisciplinary design studio Arthur's.

Banana leaf print is his example. ‘Banana leaf prints were being used all over the place in a way that instantly dates a space to me, mainly because oftentimes they don’t feel like they really belong there,' he says. 'If you’ve got an oceanfront home in Palm Beach, then maybe a banana leaf print isn’t half bad, but I’m not sure it belongs in a suburban home in Connecticut.’

With minimaluxe taking over the scene, the decor trend for more subtle prints and patterns is ruling the roost.

A living room with gallery wall

(Image credit: ANNA STATHAKI/ Future)

There was a time when every home had a gallery wall, whether in the living room, hallway or kitchen. But over time, a cleaner, sleeker and neater design aesthetic has emerged, where single, statement pieces of art have taken over walls.

'A sad little tree or a too-small piece of art can hurt the look rather than help it,' says Los-Angeles-based designer Peter Dunham. 'Get the big tree, hang the fabulous art. This is a "go big or go home" occasion.'

Large, single artworks can play with the proportions of a wall and bring the room to life. Mounting artwork is a clever trick for taking up more wall space and it also allows the artwork to truly stand out.

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Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.