5 outdated home decor trends interior designers want you to kiss goodbye in 2024, and what to do instead

Don't waste your time or money on these outdated home decor trends — take it from the pros

A living room with contemporary decor, bold colou palette, luxurious textiles
(Image credit: Getty Images/nicolamargaret)

Someone had to break the news of the outdated home decor trends that are getting the boot in 2024. It's a new year, and it's time to make some adjustments, right?

We're looking forward to an interior refresh and shaping our space to our needs, but that means some things can't stay. We spoke to interior designers about styles and pieces shoppers should avoid, so you'll want to take note. 

As you begin to compile a list of the latest small space interior design trends to try, here's what to nix, according to the pros, and what you should consider instead. We have a feeling you're going to be relieved with these revamps. 

No matter the part of the house you're laser-focused on in 2024, we've got you covered. From outdated entryway trends to outdated small bedroom trends, all angles of our abodes need a little glow-up every now and then. And don't worry, we also spoke to the pros about all-encompassing outdated small space interior trends to ditch and what to replace them with. 

1. Ditch single-purpose furniture, try chic storage options

A white and wood kitchen island with a bar cart next to it and lots of plants throughout the room.

(Image credit: Getty Images/Josep Gutierrez)

Prices are only increasing, and it's important to make every inch of your space worth it in terms of style and function.

"With the cost of living leaving consumers wearier than ever, value for money, multi-functional, utilitarian furnishings that offer more than just their initial use are in," says Sam Greig, interior designer at Swoon. "In 2024, I am looking to see multi-functional furniture take on a more stylish appearance."

Let Sam assure you that storage pieces for small homes have not only become practical, but they're also adorable. It's just a matter of taking your time browsing and knowing where to look. 

"Think chic ottoman beds with hidden storage, decorative sideboards with additional cupboard space, and glamorous bar carts that double up as side tables," he adds. "Functional doesn’t have to mean frumpy."

Additionally, if you're looking for places to save vs. splurge, make sure you're investing in furniture that can withstand the test of time. Designers agree that you'll be better off opting for quality pieces. If you're looking for a place to start, we've gathered the best furniture stores to buy chic and affordable fixtures for your apartment that are also durable. 

Sam Greig

Sam Greig is an interior designer at Swoon, a leading online design-led furniture brand on a mission to create distinctive designs to keep forever.

2. Ditch symmetry, mix and match instead

A white bed made up with symmetrical light sconces and pillows

(Image credit: Getty Images/Martin Barraud)

Small space decorating ideas don't necessarily play by the rules. Now is the time to switch things up. Don't worry if the pieces aren't identical — they shouldn't be, if you ask the pros. 

"Gone are the days when a feature wall had to be uber symmetrical, or bedside tables need to match," Sam says. "In 2024, it’s time to embrace natural variation and more relaxed layouts to create a sense of spontaneity in every space. Introduce variety into your interior by mixing shapes, sizes, heights, and textures."

No more matching nightstands, identical throw pillows, etc. Consider this your cue to get a little creative. 

3. Ditch bold paint colors, try gentle hues

Neutral living room with patterned white wallpaper and stone wall framing central round coffee table and wooden console

(Image credit: @thistle.harvest)

The Pantone Color of the Year is Peach Fuzz, and overall, other small space color trends are gravitating towards relaxed tones, whether it'd be neutrals for a Scandi design or a nature-inspired hue for calming colors for a small bedroom

"Lean towards timeless wall trends like linen whites, soft neutrals, muted greens, and gentle blues that you can pair bolder accessories with to keep on trend without having to invest time and money to repaint," says interior designer Nicole Cullum, founder of the Color Caravan

Light walls will allow you to play with rich shades and vibrant patterns in other parts of the room, but designer Artem Kropovinsky warns not to overdo it unless maximalism is your thing. 

"Use bold patterns sparingly," he says. "They're great for accents, but a lot of it can be overpowering."

But if you really do have your heart set on adding a variety of shades, the experts told us how to use the 2024 colors of the year without paint. Win!

Nicole Cullum
Nicole Cullum

Nicole Cullum is an interior designer, color expert, and professional organizer in Taos, New Mexico. She is the creative founder of Color Caravan, a charming hand-painted line of wallpaper, textiles, and home decor.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.

4. Ditch designated WFH areas, go multifunctional

Multifunction breakfast bar with white kitchen island, wainscotting on wall, beaded paneling with wallpaper inside, red shelving unit, bar stool, trio of black pendant lights, white painted floorboards

(Image credit: Little Greene)

We're always interested in hearing how to refresh a small office, but according to Anna Karp, CEO and co-founder of the renovation firm, Bolster, home offices will look at little different in 2024. 

"With the rise in remote and hybrid working, there's an increased focus on creating flexible spaces that can adapt to different needs throughout the day," she says. "The focus is shifting to spaces being multifunctional, rather than dedicating square footage to a single-use."

Consider it a more organic way to incorporate a corporate mindset into your space without completely taking charge of one area. 

Anna Karp
Anna Karp

Anna Karp is the co-founder and CEO of Bolster, a design and build firm changing the home renovation game with transparent project costing.

5. Ditch uniform backsplashes, add a focal point

Large terrazzo tile backsplash in a stylish modern kitchen with wood cabinets Credit-Pluck

(Image credit: Pluck)

Subway tiles are gaining traction and show no signs of slowing down, but these tiles and other types of backsplashes are getting an upgrade in 2024, according to Houzz senior editor, Mitchell Parker. 

"To visually break up expanses of tile, some designers on Houzz are now installing a slab of stone or quartz behind the range or cooktop, while keeping the surrounding backsplash areas tiled," he says. 

Oftentimes, that slab will match the kitchen countertop to gently steer your eyes towards a focal point. Added bonus? It's easy to wipe clean. (And, in case you were curious, here's how to avoid feeling overwhelmed with small kitchen clutter.)

And if there's something that you've incorporated into the design that you can't get anywhere else, even better? Originality is in.

"Initially gaining prominence at European design shows, we’re seeing custom features and personalized elements showing up in the most popular U.S. photos on Houzz," Mitchell adds.

Mitchell Parker
Mitchell Parker

Mitchell Parker is a public relations specialist at Houzz, which is devoted to architecture, interior design, and decorating. Mitchell regularly talks with top-rated residential construction and design professionals on Houzz to report on everything from their inspiration to how they work most productively with homeowners using Houzz Pro. He can often be seen on the video series Houzz TV Live, reporting on the latest home remodeling and design trends.

Ready to get started? We know we are. 

"With a wealth of expert insights surrounding what to steer clear from in the new year, it’s time say goodbye to outdated interior trends and designs, and revitalize your home with a fuse of popular designs, personality, and classic design principles," Sam says. 

Challenge accepted. Now, if you don't mind, can you pass us the toolkit? 


What are outdated home decor trends in 2023 and 2024?

Above all, interior designers agree that an outdated home decor trend would result in spending money on pieces that lack quality and functionality. Additionally, trends that deviate from an organic, personalized style — like matching furniture sets and stark white — are on their way out. 

What are some interior design trends 2024 has in store?

According to design experts, there are a few things we're going to see in home decor in 2024: vintage accents, pastels, nature-inspired pieces, a less-intense maximalism, and the use of multi-functional pieces.

Now that you have a handle on styles, it's time to get yourself organized. We asked experts for their best, most efficient small space organization ideas so that every inch of your home can be used the way you like. You can't have a stylish place that's messy — that is definitely a no-go for the year ahead.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.