5 outdated small space interior trends to ditch in 2024 — and what to do instead

Avoid these outdated small space interior trends, as explained by our design experts, and try their five tips to update

A living room with a large window, a white light, a beige couch with pillows, and a wooden round table with decorations on it
(Image credit: @domandecors)

Knowing which outdated small space interior trends to avoid is useful for anyone living in a more petite home. They can be tricky to style, and the wrong designs can easily make them look drab, dated, and gloomy. Nobody needs that, right?

Whether you're looking to redecorate for the new year, or just love to know what's in and what's out, we've got you covered. We've chatted to design experts about which interior trends to nix, and why.

You may already have a list of the latest small space interior design trends, but having in mind ones to the ones to steer clear of is just as important. This way, you won't waste your dollars on dated decor.

If you're living a small space and want to know the outdated home decor trends to avoid, we have the full run-down with the five trends to say goodbye to, as well as a round-up of great buys for what you can do instead.

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

1. Swerve neutral tones, try vibrant jewel tones

A living room with patterned wallpaper, an orange couch with pillows on, the corner of a pink velvet statement sofa with wooden legs, and a coffee table with decor on

(Image credit: Victoria Sanders Design)

Yes — we gasped, too. Neutral tones such as whites and beiges are go-to small space paint colors, as they’re so easy to decorate around, but are on this year's chopping block, our experts say.

“Such color schemes, initially aimed at creating an illusion of larger spaces, now lend a rather drab appearance to the room,” says Ricky Allen, interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper

A picture of Ricky Allen in a suit
Ricky Allen

Ricky Allen is the interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper, experts in high-quality wallpapers and murals, using non-toxic, odorless, and environmentally friendly materials.

Instead, he says this year will likely usher in a preference for bold and vibrant hues. “These will infuse distinct character and vitality into these spaces.”

One key small space color trend is using saturated jewel tones, which can quickly be done through decor like throw pillows, as well as peel-and-stick wallpaper. Think amber oranges, sapphire blues, and emerald greens.

2. Ditch overcrowding, try multifunction pieces

A spacious living room with a tall large window, a beige couch, coffee table, and seating

(Image credit: H&M)

While at one point taking a maximalist approach and throwing every furniture piece into your room was in vogue, this is certainly not the case anymore. Minimalist lovers, rejoice.

Ricky says, “Contrary to the belief larger pieces optimize space utilization, they often create a cluttered and cramped aesthetic.”

“Who needs a room so jam-packed with furniture you can barely move?” adds Riley Annen, interior designer and owner 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.

In 2024, she says we'll be choosing space-saving furniture. Try using storage ottomans and lift-top coffee tables. These are both favorite small space storage solutions here at Real Homes as we love combining function with style.

3. Avoid non-recyclable materials, try secondhand

A dining area with a glass table, brown chairs, and a white bookcase with deep blue accents

(Image credit: @domandecors)

Paying attention to our planet is increasingly important, and therefore, a lack of sustainability in design and decor is taking a hike.

Ricky explains, “One trend being phased out is using non-recyclable materials like plastics in furniture and decor, which is detrimental to the environment.”

Because of this, interior designers are now leaning towards sustainable and eco-friendly materials like bamboo. They’re also encouraging people to look at secondhand furniture stores when revamping their homes, as these can be filled with hidden, unique treasures.

You can also find a piece and upcycle, turning a Facebook Markeplace table into a chic side table, or upcycle an old desk with lollipop sticks for an outstanding and budget-friendly refresh.

4. Ultra-modern aesthetics

A living room with a large window, a white light, a beige couch with pillows, and a wooden round table with decor on it

(Image credit: @domandecors)

Last year, ways to make small spaces look luxe took hold of apartments and smaller rentals, thanks to the quiet luxury decor trend.

“Modern aesthetics took the interior design industry by storm and have maintained a stronghold in many spaces,” explains Ivo Iv, home improvement expert and founder of Decor Home Ideas.

A black and white picture of Ivo Iv, a man wearing a black shirt against a black background
Ivo Iv

Ivo Iv is a home improvement expert and founder of Decor Home Ideas. He loves inspiring people with interior design ideas and showing them the practical steps to make these happen. 

It’s now time to vary these a little. “Try varying modern aesthetics with classic elements such as dark woods, wall art, or even adding vases to your space,” he suggests.

By playing with softer textures and shapes, you can add personality to your home while maintaining a chic, sleek, aesthetic. Swish, swish.

5. Ditch symmetry, try variation

A pink living room with a white couch, rattan table, and curved mirror on the wall

(Image credit: @domandecors)

This year is all about throwing design rules — such as symmetry — out of the window. Ivo says, “Many designers hold symmetry in high esteem, but in 2024, it’s time to embrace creative and spontaneous design.” 

Gone are the days of aligning your side tables perfectly — this was always too much effort, anyway. Ivo suggests creating a natural variation for a well-rounded, relaxed layout. “Try different shapes and materials.”

Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust until you’re completely happy. It’s your space, so you’ve got to love it.


What are the outdated small space interior trends for 2024?

The outdated small space interior trends for 2024 are overusing furniture, too much symmetry, neutral colors, ultra-modern aesthetics, and unsustainable materials.

Are dark colors an outdated small space interior trend for 2024?

Dark colors aren't an outdated small space interior trend for 2024, however neutral colors are being spurned in favor of bold, jewel tones.

While it's always smart to be on top of outdated trends, if you've spotted a style you really love on our list, don't make a beeline to get rid of it. Your place has to work for you, and if a style showcases your personality, and you adore it, keep it in. We won't be judging anyone for indulging their likes.

For those who are keen to remove any dated decor, you can do this gradually by working through each room. Start with outdated living room trends, as this is the room people see the most, before considering outdated entryways or out of vogue small bathroom trends.

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.