7 things that are making your home look outdated, according to interior experts

Brown velvet corner sofa
Brown velvet corner sofa (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’ve been living in your home for years, or have moved into a new rental, you might have one of these things that are making your home look outdated. 

According to interior experts, certain trends or designs that were once popular are on their way out. In fact, alongside these 7 things that are making your home look cheap, outdated styles will either make your home look dull or overwhelming. This tends to happen when you don’t pick all the details correctly, or get carried away with an abundance of trends that come and go. 

Either way, you want to create a functional, comfortable and visually appealing space to relax and socialize in. What’s more, ditching outdated trends could make a small room look bigger, or give you much needed extra space. After all, the goal is to create an inviting yet beautiful home to suit you. 

So if you want to upgrade your interiors, be sure you don’t have these 7 things that are making your home look outdated, according to interior experts.

Also, be sure to read, 5 mistakes you’re making when rearranging furniture, and avoid these 7 color scheme mistakes you might be making in your home

1. Matching furniture sets 

Matching yellow sofa set

Matching yellow sofa set (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Gone are the days when every piece of furniture had to match, or color co-ordinate with the rest of your interior. While it may have been trendy at the time, most homes ended up looking identical or simply boring. 

Nowadays, designers are recommending to ditch the outdated, matching furniture sets for vintage or second-hand pieces instead. “There are so many advantages to sourcing second-hand or vintage pieces for your home," says Amy Wilson, interior designer for 247 Curtains. "Not only is second-hand a more sustainable option it is cost saving too. There are some incredible furniture pieces available on many of the resale sites, many of which are in great condition at a fraction of the price.” 

If you still prefer a modern style, you can always mix new and old furniture, or accessories to add character and style to your home. “Don’t be put off by vintage pieces that are looking a bit tired or in need of some TLC, as there are numerous inspirational videos for upcycling and refurbishing furniture online,” Wilson adds.

Remember, variation and careful room planning is the key, just don’t do these three mistakes people make on home makeover shows.   

2. A matte-white bathroom 

All white bathroom

All white bathroom (Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it was considered to be chic and modern, the matte-white bathroom is fast becoming a thing of the past. According to interior experts, an all-white bathroom appears too cold and clinical, lacking life or color. “If you’re looking to update your bathroom paint, I’d suggest that terracotta and warmer tones are the way to go,” suggests Paula Taylor, Head Stylist at luxury wallpaper and paint brand, Graham and Brown.“Or, opting for a themed wallpaper is an immediate way to modernize and inject some spirit and personality into your bathroom. We’ve seen a huge spike in popularity for bathrooms painted in dark, warm colours such as deep purple and navy blue. Therefore I can’t see the matte white look making a return any time soon.”

If you’re updating your bathroom on a budget, check out 7 ways to revamp your bathroom for less than $20, but don’t forget these bathroom items you should throw out right now for extra space.    

3. All gray color scheme 

Gray living room

Gray living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Decorating with shades of grey was once the on-trend, ‘contemporary’ color palette. However, interior designers predict this favorite neutral tone may soon fall out of fashion due to it lacking life and sparkle. 

Experts see the move towards more bolder and warmer colors as a great way to spruce up your home interiors. “It’s so exciting to see that people are finally moving away from gray decor and exploring the merits of warmer, bolder tones," Wilson says. "Gray can be quite a draining color palette and is now commonly seen to be outdated. 

"Most rooms will feel instantly warmer and brighter by switching up the decor to terracotta sunshine tones or more decadent jewel tones. If it feels too big, a change to completely lose the grey, then introduce these textures in the form of accessories, such as cushions, lamps and curtains. This is a great way to dip your toe into a bolder and more contemporary color scheme.”

If gray tones are still your favorite neutral though, you can add other variations of color into the space, such as beige, creams or teals to contrast with the gray. If you’re painting a room, check out these colors that make your home look cheap!

4. Pastel-centered colors 

Blush pink wall in bedroom

Blush pink wall in bedroom (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, pastel colors such as blush pink were often used to add subtle color around the home. But according to the experts, these ‘safe’, playful tones make your home look outdated. "We're leaving pastel-centered interiors, in particular blush pink behind," says Sam Greig, Senior Designer at Swoon. "This tone peaked in popularity in 2019, and since then has become extremely overused within interior design. When combined with country classic style furniture, or shabby chic stylings, these tones look particularly outdated and lack the style and pizzaz that we are hoping to bring into 2023.” 

It’s recommended to opt for color bursts of neon pink and bright magenta for a more modern take on the outdated, blush pink. “Using these shades sparingly in a neutral space will help to create a diverse, layered design that inspires an interesting display your guests will be jealous of." 

While accent walls can make a great feature, avoid painting too many accent walls. This can also look outdated and cluttered if done incorrectly. "We recommend choosing one large wall when creating an accent, ideally one with an entryway-facing wall; this makes a solid first impression," suggests Michael Rolland, DIY expert at The Paint Shed. "If you want your accent wall to be subtle and understated then make sure you choose a color that matches other parts of the room."

5. Short curtains are out, full-length are in 

Curtains over blinds in living room

Curtains over blinds in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Forget the days of having fitted, short curtains for our window treatments. Full-length drapes are more classic, timeless and luxurious. “This is a designer top tip that I have been sharing for as long as I have been designing," shares Wilson. “Curtains should, wherever possible, be floor length. Short curtains cut the room in half and end up making the window look smaller and don’t offer the luxury of longer drapes that pool a little on the floor. By pooling curtains we mean allowing an extra couple of inches to your drop measurement so there is a small ‘pool’ of fabric on the floor.”

However, if you’re considering whether blinds are better than curtains, you could potentially opt for both by simply layering the two treatments. “Full length curtains don’t have to cost considerably more if you just pair dress curtains that will frame your window with a roman or roller blind for practical privacy and light blocking.” This gives you the option of having the best of both worlds!

6. Velvet sofas 

Brown velvet corner sofa

Brown velvet corner sofa (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Velvet sofas were once a popular choice for living rooms, offering a plush and luxurious look. However, velvet is now on its way out with interior experts noticing a switch to ‘performance fabrics’ in place of velvet. Research showed more consumers are opting for more sustainable fabrics or easier-to-care-for, natural fabrics such as cotton and linen.

Such performance fabrics do better at withstanding spills, dirt, and daily wear and tear — making the classic velvet sofa outdated and impractical. However, the velvet trend might pick up again with a younger generation who may simply want to add a glamorous touch to a dull room.   

7. Honey oak cabinets 

Honey oak kitchen cabinets

Honey oak kitchen cabinets (Image credit: Shutterstock)

They were once ‘a thing’ decades ago, but if you still have those honey oak cabinets, your kitchen will likely look old fashioned. If you don’t have the budget to rip out your entire kitchen, you can always learn how to repaint kitchen cabinets to transform them on a budget. There are many kitchen cabinet paints, and stain choices available to suit your style, and give it a modern makeover. 

Similarly, the traditional, farmhouse style and furniture feels very outdated nowadays. If you do like elements of the style though, you can always swap furniture out for a modern take on the farmhouse design. 

If you’re selling up and want to get top dollar, these 9 decor tips that can help to sell your house could come in handy. Just be sure you don’t make any of these 5 decluttering mistakes. 

Also, be sure to read, I'm obsessed with home makeover shows — and these are the 3 mistakes people always make. Even if you’re renting, here’s how to decorate a rental property without annoying the landlord.  

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!

  • Jonadenz
    The author should know that the Shutterstock image she used to illustrate Honey Oak cabinetry is actually of Knotty Pine cabinets. The two woods are not even close. It ruined the validity of the article.