There’s a huge difference between decorating for your own pleasure and spiffying up your home to sell. If you’re staying put and pining for a purple bathroom, go for it! The resale value of your eclectic tastes don’t apply.
However, if you might put your place on the market in the next couple of years—and hope to fetch top dollar—then you’ll need to tone down what you want and ponder what the masses want instead. Because while pea-green appliances might appeal to you and be oh-so-trendy right now, will they make future home buyers swoon … or recoil in horror?
We know, it’s hard to tamp down and “blandify” your personal style, but it’s a must. So, lest your Pinterest whims get the best of you, here are some “hot” home decor trends to avoid if you hope to sell anytime soon.
Bold, almost kitschy wallpaper has been a big trend lately, especially in small bathroom spaces. We’ve seen tropicals, animal prints, cacti, geometrics, and just about every other kind of pattern in bright colors and metallics. Whether or not this trend has peaked (and we’ll leave the debate about whether wallpaper in bathrooms makes sense for another day), it’s a no-no for someone getting ready to sell.
“It’s better to not overdo it with bold, bright patterns, even though these may be in style for now, particularly for wallpaper,” says Jamie Williams, founder of Studio JW in Brooklyn, NY. “When selling, you want to highlight your home’s positives, and inspire potential home buyers to use their imagination to envision themselves in your home.”
2. Intricate tile
Bold-patterned cement tiles are popping up everywhere from Instagrammable restaurants to hip backsplashes to bathroom floors. This is exactly why you should avoid them.
“The pattern may be on-trend, but will become outdated soon and turn buyers off,” says Williams.
Strong patterns will also catch a buyer’s eye in the online listing photos of your home, and not in a good way, explains Dawn D. Totty, an interior designer in Chattanooga, TN.
You want buyers to see potential in your space, not be distracted by divisive tile choices. Totty recommends keeping the patterns to a minimum in your listing photos even in nonpermanent items like duvets and furniture for just this reason.
“Bold prints and patterns on walls, bedding, and rugs will stand out in a big way in your online photos as well as during a home tour,” she says. You want people to remember your great house, not your bright bedspread.
Too much purple or yellow
Yes, purple is the color of the year and “Gen Z Yellow” is trendy, but use these colors with caution.
“Purple walls will only appeal to a small niche of people,” says Totty. Color is key for resale value, she explains, and that color should be a neutral paint in eggshell finish.
If you absolutely can’t live without bold bright colors, purple or otherwise, “a few colorful pillows are perfectly fine,” says Totty. And luckily, the pillows come with you, so you can take your colorful palette with you to your next home.
Too much cold white
Wait, you may be thinking we were supposed to go neutral, and now we’re supposed to avoid white? What gives?
“If your home’s architecture and interior is ultramodern, you want to make sure it doesn’t come off as too cold or uninviting,” explains Williams. “The sleek, European, monochromatic palette is fashionable, but can lack conveying a warmth and coziness that a home buyer wants to feel when looking for their next home.”
That doesn’t have to mean repainting, if you’re already all-in on the all-white trend. Williams recommends adding warm tones and texture with accessories, pillows, throws, and other accent pieces.
Overdoing it on the brass and copper
Copper, brass, rose gold, and other warm metals are having a moment. But like all moments, they will pass and these metals will cease to be appealing. Choosing premium bathroom or kitchen fixtures in these trendy, bright metals? Probably not a great idea. Brass especially can be a love-it-or-hate-it look, and hating it is the last reaction you want a buyer to have to anything in your home.
Instead, choose more neutral metals like stainless steel, chrome, or nickel for fixtures, and get your brass on in your accent pieces, lamps, or kitchen accessories.
Anything but stainless-steel appliances
Yes, stainless-steel appliances have been the go-to for years, and yes, someone is always trying to argue that stainless steel is on its way out, but 72% of people who remodeled their kitchens in 2017 went with stainless steel. Unless your kitchen has a design element that demands a different color (or you’re springing for a Smeg), stainless steel is the “neutral” of kitchen appliances.
A statement door that makes too much of a statement
A clean, fresh, colorful front door upgrades your home’s curb appeal and gives a welcoming and happy first impression. But make sure you pick the right color. For years, statement doors have been trending in fun colors: teals, yellows, bright blues, oranges, and greens. According to Totty, though, buyer favorites are black and red.
It’s hard to want to shell out your hard-earned cash for renovations that aren’t to your taste and you’re not going to enjoy, but comfort yourself with the fact that your restraint will pay off when it’s time to find a buyer. And once you move into your next home where you plan to stay put, feel free to paint over all those neutral walls with any color you want!