Design trends to avoid — according to the experts

4 years ago
4 minutes

We often give you interior design tips to help revolutionise your home, but how about the things to avoid?

Well, Architectural Digest decided to find out by asking an array of top and well-respected architects and interior designers what their most hated design trend is.

So before you go out and buy a collection or paint a feature wall, see what the experts have to say on what they think you should avoid — and either heed their advice or ignore it.

Robert Couturier

“Contemporary art collections that have been accumulated with ears rather than eyes.”

A graduate of the École Camondo in Paris, Robert Couturier quickly established his own practice when he moved to New York in 1981. His practice now is renowned as one of the best decorating and architectural firms in the world.

His hatred of certain contemporary art collections is understandable. It’s easy to get drawn into something abstract that is only good according to the seller or a passerby. If you don’t like it yourself, don’t buy it!

(credit: mymodernmet)

Ashly Hicks

“Feature walls where only one wall of a room is given a dramatic patterned treatment, ruining the spatial harmony of the interior.”

Having started his design journey at the age of 15 Hicks, now 56, mainly designs architecture and interiors in Europe, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He divides his time between designing residential interiors and designing his fabric and furniture lines — so you have to take his word for it when it comes to style.

Indeed, feature walls are a risky business. They can bring an otherwise drab room to life. But getting a colour or a pattern wrong on one wall can have it looking like something from Alice In Wonderland.

(credit: chicagolandhomestaging)

Drew McGukin 

“Macramé! Lately, it has become way too “Brooklyn” in that army-of-sameness kind of way.”

McGukin graduated from The New York School of Interior Design in May 2010, and kicked off as lead designer in his own New York-based firm in October 2010. He served on the Board of Directors for ASID NY Metro from 2009-2011, while simultaneously sitting on the 2011 Student Advisory Council for ASID National. 

So, there’s no denying his talent! But his hate for Macramé is an odd one. 

What is Macramé? It’s a form of textile produced using knotting techniques and hangs well in a gallery wall or above your favourite reading chair. The fact that it can be home-made can bring a contemporary feel to a home, especially in one with light colours or with plenty of plant greenery around.

(credit: FTD)

Charles de Lisle

“Waterfall countertops. They come across as heavy-handed Modernism and have become far too trendy.”

San Francisco-based Charles De Lisle's learnt his trade exploring factories near his father’s woodworking shop for inspiration and, after starting his own office in 2008, has become world-renowned for his designs on custom fabricated furniture, lighting, decorative arts, interior projects, and landscape projects.

His disgust for waterfall countertops seems to stem from their popularity in recent years. Indeed, most new-build apartments have these installed as standard. Perhaps this style is getting saturated and will struggle to stand the test of time?

(credit: archcitygranite)

Natalie Kraiem

“Edison light bulbs. I like retro-inspired light fixtures, but the bulbs have to go.”

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Kraiem had an eye for design and elegance from an early age. In 2005 she brought this to New York and, after learning her trade at FIT and Parsons School of Design, she now runs NK Interiors — creating a luxurious portfolio.

She would have come across her fair share of retro Edison bulbs. These vintage light fittings refer to carbon, early tungsten-filament lamps, or modern bulbs reproducing their appearance.

The colour temperature emanated from an Edison bulb is often the biggest pull to these, bringing a warmth that other fittings fail to bring.

They are, however, fragile and less energy efficient, producing less light than regular LED bulbs. So perhaps follow Kraiem’s advice and find another way to add warmth to your home. 

(credit: trendir)