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An interior designer with 13 years of experience shares 10 things she’d never have in her home
Decorating your home can be simultaneously fun and overwhelming. Because so many trends come and go, knowing which decor items are worth the investment is more important than ever.
Jennifer Walter, the principal designer and owner of Folding Chair Design Co., has more than 13 years of interior-design experience, so Insider asked her to share the pieces she’d never put in her home.
Canvases with scenic photos or pop art can look more like stock images than home decor.
Walter said low-quality photos and artwork on canvases had faded in popularity for a reason: Many look like stock images or mass reprints.
“While high-end art does, in fact, come on a canvas, it’s those pop-art frogs and scenic sunsets we can’t put in our homes,” the designer told Insider.
As an alternative, Walter recommended looking for reasonably priced artwork on sites such as Etsy, Minted, and Society6. These pieces give rooms a more elevated style. Plus, they usually come framed and ready to hang.
Even though barn doors are popular, they don’t necessarily work in every space.
Though the modern-farmhouse aesthetic has been in style for some time, Walter said you would never find a barn door in her home.
“The barn door seemed to solve all of our woes with its large scale, its ability to cover a wall needing art, and the way it conveniently closes over a door,” the designer told Insider. “However, we’ve never really been fans of the trend.”
Walter’s clients have asked for barn doors in many rooms that aren’t in farmhouses, and she said they didn’t work in all types of spaces.
Tuscan kitchens can look dated and dark inside.
Tuscan-style decor is another trend that needs to be put to bed, Walter said. Think pink terra-cotta floor tiles, focal-point tile patterns behind range hoods, and swirly iron accents.
The good news, Walter said, is that artisan tile is back in a big way.
If you liked the natural look and feel of the materials from the Tuscan era, take a look at Zellige tile,” Walter told Insider. “It’s handmade, comes in a multitude of colors, and has a very age-old look to it.”
Halogen floor lamps can pose fire hazards. Luckily, there are many more glamorous options.
“If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, you probably had a halogen lamp,” Walter said. “You’d throw it in the corner of the room, walk in, and turn its dimmer up to light the room in halogen goodness.”
However, torchiere-style halogen floor lamps can pose major fire hazards, as their 500-watt bulbs’ temperatures can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. The designer recommended exploring other modern floor lamps with glamorous designs instead.
“The floor-lamp game is pumped up right now with amazing new shades in rattan and velvet as well as models with huge shades, making them sculptural statements as much as light sources,” Walter told Insider.