18 Tacky House Décor Items You Need to Avoid

Curating décor for your home can be tricky; trends come and go, and you end up collecting pieces that don’t always complement each other. To create a welcoming, elegant space, make sure you avoid these 18 items that often look tacky.

Plastic Slipcovers

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Once a staple to protect furniture, plastic coverings on sofas and other soft furnishings create a sense of outdatedness. If it’s important to preserve your furniture, consider investing in fabric slipcovers. According to Home & Texture, “the covers available today can elevate your living room while preserving your furniture.”

Neon Beer Signs

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Typically used in bars and taverns, when these signs are used at home, they can feel commercial and unsophisticated. The intense colors and bright lights can clash with other, more tasteful elements of your décor and disrupt the ambiance of the room.

Taxidermy Overload

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If taxidermy is your thing, then a single piece can be a statement or conversation starter, but overdoing it can leave your room feeling cluttered and more like a museum than a welcoming living space. It may also be off-putting to some guests.

Inflatable Furniture

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Popularized in the 1990s, inflatable furniture may seem like a fun choice, but it often ends up looking cheap and temporary. Neither comfortable nor durable, you’re better off investing in quality, compact furniture that saves space while providing long-lasting style.

Matchy-Matchy Furniture Sets

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Matching furniture sets lack character and individuality and make your room feel more like a showroom than a lived-in space. Homes & Gardens says, “Putting together your own selection of furniture rather than using a single design and fabric for different seating elements will bring an interior designer’s touch to a living room.”

Fake Plants

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While you may struggle with keeping the real thing alive, fake plants often look unrealistic and end up collecting dust in your home. Instead, opt for hardy plants that require minimal care to add vibrancy to your space—plus, you’ll improve the air quality of your home.

Excessive Collectibles Display

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Showcasing a few curated collectibles can add personalization to a space, but excessive displays often look cluttered and overwhelming. You could try rotating a few pieces to keep the space interesting and also allow each item to be highlighted.

Mirrored Furniture

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Popular in the 1980s, mirrored furniture is thought of as glamorous but often ends up looking cheap in modern homes, especially if there are too many pieces in one room. On top of this, the mirrors are high maintenance and show fingerprints and smudges easily.

Giant Wall Clocks

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According to Living etc, “In small spaces especially, a large wall clock can take up precious wall square footage, which could be taken up by more elegant living room wall decor.” Instead, opt for smaller, more subtle pieces that complement other décor elements without overshadowing them.

Mismatched Picture Frames

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While using vintage or subtly different frames allows you to put a curated look together, when the frames are too different in color, style, or size, they can create a disjointed or chaotic look. Look for frames that harmonize with each other to make sure they don’t detract from the artwork or photos they’re displaying.

Novelty Lamps

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Overly quirky designs can become quickly dated and stand out from the rest of the room rather than integrating with existing décor. Instead, try to choose lamps that offer functionality as well as a timeless style that complements the room.

Light-Up Toilet Seats

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Light-up toilet seats may look interesting, but they can come across as gimmicky and detract from the clean aesthetic that gives bathrooms a relaxing feel. Instead, opt for simple, high-quality toilet seats that complement the design of the bathroom without introducing unnecessary novelty features.

Overly Ornate Curtain Tiebacks

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Ornate tiebacks can make your space feel dated, especially if their style clashes with more modern or minimalist décor. Instead, try tiebacks that match the curtain’s style and the rest of the décor in the room to ensure they enhance rather than detract from the overall aesthetic.

Faux Bookshelves Wallpaper

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Inauthentic wallpaper, such as faux bookshelves, can make a space feel less genuine, which will undermine your efforts to create a cozy atmosphere. Actual bookshelves with a curated collection of books will have a much more personalized look.

Mass-Produced Inspirational Quote Art

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Generic, mass-produced word art lacks personal relevance and originality in your home. Elle Decor says, “Instead, it’s worth it to take the time to choose something more meaningful that speaks to your aesthetic.” Try choosing something from a local artist or even DIYing some art yourself.

Ceramic Figurines in Excess

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A collection of ceramic figurines can quickly become overwhelming in a space, creating clutter and detracting from a room’s sense of harmony. Without a cohesive theme, these figurines can feel outdated and kitschy, so try to just display a few sentimental pieces that complement the rest of the room’s décor.

Door Beads

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Door beads are used to create separation between spaces, but they provide minimal privacy or noise reduction and often end up in a tangled mess. Instead, consider adding a door curtain that matches the room’s style while being more functional than beads.

Fake Fruit Arrangements

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Inauthentic and often cheap-looking, bowls of fake fruit can detract from the overall appeal of a space. As with faux plants, they often collect dust and don’t provide the vibrant feel that the real deal does.

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