I'm a home stylist — but these are my regret buys

No judgment

Sunny, boho lounge with wall art and throw pillows in soft terracotta shades
(Image credit: @bohohousegoals)

You know the feeling when you flip back through your pics and wonder WTH you were thinking wearing that? Big yikes! Sure, it might have been "trending" at the time but in hindsight, you'd probably never pick it again.

It's not just fashion either. As an interior stylist, everyone assumes that I've always got my seasonal interiors "wardrobe" on point. It's a lot of pressure y'all — especially when you live in a small apartment rental like I do. 

So just to keep it extra real here, I thought it would revisiting my most memorable (for all the wrong reasons) apartment buys. None of us are perfect — phew for that! — so you'll want to refrain from copying my biggest apartment decor regrets. Instead, learn from my mistakes and take note of the lust-list solution buys I recommend.

Regret: White bedding

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Controversial I know, as everyone else bar me seems to love this minimalist neutral! But I'm just not an "everything bright in white" kinda gal. I tried it and failed miserably, as proven by the mischievous morning coffee-in-bed stains! Sure, white bedding looks fresh, but it also kinda just reminds me of sterile hotel rooms (and trust me, I've stayed in quite a few dodgy ones for various location shoots). And growing up, the mothership would always complain about makeup marks on the sheets, and white towels for that matter — so maybe I'm just traumatized.

Solution: Playful patterns

Tufted lilac bedlinen with tactile shams in relaxed styled scene

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

Yep — I'm all in for cocooning in dreamy designs that bring pattern, tactility, and energizing color to every wake-up. And if you have a "cozy" apartment boudoir like me, patterned bedding is an easy way to inject some personality into a boxy space that can't fit a whole lot in beside the sleep room essentials. Patterned designs also mean that you can easily switch up your look depending on mood or season. I like to mix and match my shams and layered throws so that everything's not too matchy or pattern-overloaded. That's my kind of keeping it fresh!

Regret: Budget chaise sofa

It's always tricky when figuring out where to put your sofa in a snug lounge. I was so adamant that I HAD to have a chaise design in my quirky layout that I lost sight of what would serve the space and my comfort the most. And being on a budget let's just say the options were slim and pretty grim. Regardless, I rush-purchased a "quick delivery" sectional option that looked cute-ish online (I'm a stylist — I should have known how imagery works). 

Fast forward, and I'm now stuck with a sofa I truly dislike. The neutral upholstery does not beg to be touched, the seat depth is non-existent, and overall, it's just a bit gross. My bad for also missing the small print that mentioned the seat pads arriving vacuum-packed and totally un-plumpable.

What I shoulda, woulda, coulda done, is to forget the chaise and invest in a gorgeous, quality two to three seater, and an individual storage ottoman-footstool-coffee table. Lessons learned.

Solution: Tactile layers

Gorgeous boho living room with chunky, tactile throw and throw pillows on sofa, with textured rug, and natural floor pouffe

(Image credit: Busa Designs)

Cover it up! That's how I've tackled my sofa faux pas — with layers of boho throw pillows and snuggly, tactile blankets. It actually looks inviting now, and it's about as comfortable as it's going to get! I've made it bearable, well until the next sofa sale that is.

Regret: Desk ladder

This was a great space-saving solution in theory for WFH, but in reality, its sharp edges, narrow proportions, and angular blockiness made it anything but comfortable and functional for productivity. And actually, its leaning action meant that it still hogged too much space. I think I used it twice before giving it to a friend. 

Solution: Vanity table desk

Cute, retro design dressing table x desk in rattan and terracotta, with tasseled drawer knobs

(Image credit: Oliver Bonas)

I've traded in the prementioned elbow knocker for a double-duty, super cute, and compact desk-cum-vanity table design, complete with neat little storage drawers, a generous work counter, and rounded edges that don't want to harm me. 

Regret: Rustic wood dining table

I'm not one for EVERYTHING new — I always like to mix in some thrifty pieces and vintage finds to give my nest character, authenticity, and individuality. So when I found a bargain rustic-style dining table on FB Marketplace, I thought I was onto a winner. The thing is, my kitchen has laminated wood effect flooring and pine wood style cabinetry (not my choice), so this extra addition of yet more wood, as authentic as it was, was overkill.  

Solution: Modern silhouette

Fresh dining nook with round white pedestal table, spindle dining chairs ans statement natural chandelier

(Image credit: @furnishedbyanna)

So to break up the tonal woody terror, I've swapped in a simple silhouette in a freshly painted finish. And I've mixed in some delightful, mix-and-match Etsy spindle dining chairs for personality.

Regret: Faux fur pelts

At one stage I might have gone a bit OTT with these fluffy picks. I had them on the floor, draped across seating, and in every neutral and fun pastel shade out there. Snuggly yes, but overdone. It's safe to say that the sheep are out, and the bouclé teddy is in.

And let's face it, they're a nightmare to vacuum, some designs can look cheap, and they evoke a sense of dated, farm-style "roadkill" — not quite the aesthetic I was going for!

Solution: Southwestern style rugs

I'm a bit of a boho soul, so Southwestern style ticks all my boxes. Think a desert palette, tactile trimmings, and nomad-inspired patterns on statement rugs that narrate a story through your home.

Content Editor

Holly is a Content Editor at Real Homes, and has previously worked at Future Homes brands including Country Homes & Interiors and Livingetc. She has a background in interior and event styling spanning a decade, which previously took her from coast to city and beyond to Australia. 

Holly loves working with creative minds and discovering fresh, indie brands, and is a firm believer that no home can have too many cushions, unruly blooms or decorative details of happy

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