Real Estate Pros Say These Design Trends Don’t Work
June 17, 2019
Real estate professionals know how to look at houses from a buyer’s perspective and can spot decor trends that are likely to turn their clients off. “I am selling space, and I need to be sure that the spaces are not distracting and that the buyer does not have to work too hard to take in the overall size, proportion, and scale of a room,” Robin Kencel of Compass told Apartment Therapy.
Some of today’s most popular design trends could prove to be less than ideal for your buyers. Real estate pros tell Apartment Therapy which interior design trends they believe won’t impress potential buyers—and may even make them want to pass on a home, including:
Colorful kitchens. The trend toward bold colors in the kitchen, rather than just white or neutral colors, is catching on. But real estate pros don’t believe that most buyers will warm up to this hot trend. Bright kitchen cabinets and appliances—in hues of reds, greens, or blues—can be polarizing, they say. “When that owner goes to sell his/her [home] years down the road, the next owner will likely reject that customization and will have to rip out and install a new kitchen, even if the cabinets and appliances are in great condition,” June Gottlieb, an agent with Warburg Realty, told Apartment Therapy. Gottlieb believes neutral appliances and cabinetry still are the true favorite of home buyers.
Taxidermy. The art of stuffing and mounting animals on the wall may offend some buyers. “While it might be natural for a decorator to include taxidermy into the room decor, I always recommend removing any once-living animals from a room before the house gets listed,” Kencel says. “I have seen buyers physically recoil and refuse to enter a room that has taxidermy in it.” The same thing applies to fur accessories and animal skin rugs; some buyers may be sensitive to their use as well.
Bold contrasts. The black-and-white trend in home decor is catching on, but real estate pros told Apartment Therapy they don’t believe it works when showing off a home for sale. “While some might like this bold look, it is really not for everyone,” says Kathryn Landow of Warburg Realty. Black-and-white marbled entries, accessories, and color blocking in cabinetry can prove to be a little much. Any use of the black-and-white trend is best kept to decorative accents, real estate pros say. Those are much cheaper to swap out than tile or marble flooring or kitchen cabinetry.
“The Most Controversial Design Trends, According to Real Estate Agents,” Apartment Therapy (2019)
Updated: October 15, 2021