6 outdated living room trends to steer clear of in 2024, and what to do instead

These are the outdated living room trends to avoid, according to our interior experts, who've shared alternatives to try

Outdated living room trends are so yesterday. Here are three pictures of living rooms, one of a pink living room with a couch and wall art, one with a purple couch and blue table, and one yellow one with a green couch
(Image credit: @lindsey_isla / @domandecors)

Knowing what outdated living room trends to avoid will help you make style-savvy decisions when redecorating. While it's important to follow your personal aesthetic likes and dislikes, some designs can make a home look outmoded and unchic.

We've spoken to design experts to get the lowdown on exactly what these are — and spoiler alert, there are some serious surprises in here. 

Whether you're compiling the latest small space interior design trends before zhuzhing your space, or you're on the hunt for decor ideas, these outdated living room trends are ones to cross off your list right now.

Want to know what outdated home decor trends to avoid? Starting with the living room is a smart idea, as this is the area guests will see the most. 

As well as scoping out no-gos, we've also asked our design experts what you can do instead, and have rounded up buys to help you with these.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Ditch big accent pillows, use sparingly

A living room with yellow walls, a white ceiling, a colorful rug, green couch, and a coffee table with decor on it

(Image credit: @domandecors)

It can be easy to throw accent pillows onto your couch and hope they make your small living room look cozy. Don't worry — we're all guilty of doing this.

“Accent pillows are getting bigger and bigger and they're starting to make rooms look cluttered,” says Seymen Usta, interior design specialist and founder of Seus Lighting.

A picture of Seymen Usta, wearing a white and black shirt and standing in front of a gray background
Seymen Usta

Seymen Usta is an interior design specialist and the founder of Seus Lighting — one of the largest home decor lighting retailers in Northern America.

He says bulky pillows may look inviting initially, but they can easily take over the space and make it appear crowded.

Instead, choose just a couple of complementary throw pillows, and place these sparingly on your couch. Trust us — your couch will still be comfy without looking like a pillow fort.

2. Ditch big furniture, try multifunctional items

A white living room with cream and brown furniture and black blinds

(Image credit: @aloftlife_)

Adding every furniture piece you own to your small living room are officially out, people.  

“I have found oversized furniture pieces such as bulky couches and large coffee tables have become outdated,” says Jonathan Faccone, interior designer and founder of HALO Homebuyers.

A picture of Jonathan Faccone in a black shirt
Jonathan Faccone

Jonathan Faccone is a design expert, real estate investor and developer. He is the managing member of Halo Homebuyers, a real estate home-buying company based in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

He continues, “These pieces take up too much space and can make a living room feel crowded and cluttered.”

Instead, people are being more thoughtful with the pieces they choose to decorate with. “Homeowners are now leaning towards multifunctional pieces for versatility,” says Riley Annen, interior designer and founder of Companies That Buy Houses.

Riley Annen, a white woman with brown hair and green eyes smiling
Riley Annen

Riley Annen is an interior designer, real estate agent, and founder of Companies That Buy Houses. She has more than 10 years experience finding houses with great potential and making them look gorgeous.

Pieces to seek out instead could include lift-top coffee tables and storage ottomans, which are also both handy small space living room storage solutions

3. Ditch monochromatic color schemes, try earth hues

A green living room with a pink couch, green marble table, and wooden console table

(Image credit: Divine Savages)

When designing modern small living rooms, monochromatic colors are often used to create a cohesive look with minimal effort.

“While neutrals will always have their place, homeowners are becoming more adventurous with the use of color,” explains Riley. The popular and playful maximalist decor trend has contributed to this.

She says jewel tones, earthy hues, and bold accents are gaining popularity because of this, which all help inject personality and vibrancy into living spaces.

4. Don't accentuate every wall, create one focal point

A pink living room with a pink couch with throw pillows on and a wall with three framed colorful wall art prints. The ceiling is darker pink and is painted down onto the top few inches of the vertical walls

(Image credit: @lindsey_isla)

While decorating your walls with bold colors can make a statement, this can also have an adverse effect. Interior design specialist Seymen adds, “This can create a dark and heavy feel to a room, which can make a living space appear smaller,” 

Instead of accentuating every wall, he suggests using just one bold color, peel-and-stick wallpaper or hanging up a few wall art prints.

“This will create a focal point and add interest without overwhelming the space,” he adds.

Keep the other walls neutral and you’ll have a perfectly balanced room. Easy decor wins? We love to see them.

5. Ditch matching furniture sets, try to mix and match

A pink living room with a burgundy couch and a blue coffee table with a plant on it in front of it

(Image credit: @domansdecor)

In a similar way to monochromatic colors being out, matching furniture sets are also fading away. “These can make a living room look too uniform and lacking in personality,” says Jonathan.

Riley says, “Instead, people are embracing a mix-and-match approach, combining various textures, materials, and styles for a curated and personalized aesthetic.” 

She adds this eclectic blend creates a more dynamic living room. 

A top tip from us? Don’t be afraid to shop at secondhand furniture stores to find unique items no one else will have.

6. Ditch dark or heavy curtains, try sheer or light

A living room with a gray couch, coffee table, and large windows

(Image credit: @sundayharris)

In the evenings, shutting black or brown curtains and creating a cozy atmosphere can be a dreamy experience. Unfortunately, during the daytime, this can have the opposite effect.

Jonathan tells Real Homes, “The use of dark, heavy curtains is becoming less popular, as they can make a room feel closed off and dark.”

He says people are now embracing natural light and opting for sheer or lighter-colored curtains to brighten up small living rooms. This is also a clever way to make a small space appear bigger — useful for anyone living in a little rental or apartment.


What living room furniture is outdated?

Outdated living room furniture includes bulky pieces, matching furniture sets, and furniture pieces all the same color.

What living room decor is outdated?

Outdated living room decor includes too many throw pillows, dark curtains, and monochromatic decor pieces.

Even though these outdated living room trends have been nixed by design experts, if you have any of these trends in your home and love them, so long as you're pleased with the finish, you do you! 

If you want even more advice on switching up your space, these tips for modernizing a small living room will help make your home look more current. For some celeb inspiration, we love Troian Bellisario's stylish and comfortable living room.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.