Are you turning off potential buyers with these five interior design trends?

ByRick Schafer

While the home is a great place to express personality and showcase your individual style preferences, your favoured decorating choices may actually affect your home’s selling prospects once on the market.

Make your prospective buyer’s life easier and improve your chances of a great sale by ensuring that you avoid the following interior design crimes!

One: Overuse of pattern and print

When looking around your open home, a client doesn’t want to be faced with a plethora of attention-grabbing patterns and prints. A mix of bold designs can be distracting and prevents prospective buyers from visualising your space as a blank canvas that they could put their own style onto.

This includes the use of heavily patterned wallpaper. While your design may be lovely and well maintained, chances are, it won’t reflect the tastes of the buyer. Instead of seeing a great feature wall, they’ll worry more about the cost and hassle of repainting or repapering the space. This additional work may cause them to look elsewhere.

How to correctly use patterns in your home

Take a look around your home and identify where patterns and prints are present. If you feel that there are too many competing elements, start by reducing this number. Remove heavily patterned wallpaper and replace with a fresh lick of warming, off-white paint. With plain walls, you’re still able to introduce a healthy balance of patterned accessories. Decorative cushions and printed artwork are both great ways to inject a little style into a neutral space and show off just the right amount of personality.

A mix of bold designs can be distracting and prevents prospective buyers from visualising your space as a blank canvas.

Two: Wall-to-wall carpeting

While carpeting feels lush underfoot, it’s not the floor option prospective buyers prefer, as showcased in the results of a US National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) report. The study found that 82 per cent of real estate agents believed that homes with hardwood/timber floors sell faster than those without.

This may be due to a number of reasons:

  • Timber flooring has a timeless appeal, while carpets are often deemed outdated.
  • Hardwood flooring is more long lasting and requires less maintenance.
  • It’s much easier to clean hardwood flooring, while carpets are notorious for trapping large amounts of dust.

Ditch the carpet, reap the rewards

Take the plunge and let your exposed timber flooring stand alone. Buyers don’t want to waste time, money or energy removing carpet, especially if it’s worn or outdated. Furthermore, a hardwood floor acts as a neutral base for your buyer’s desired colour schemes, and you still have the option to adorn in a few attractive rugs if you want to add a cosy touch.

Three: Bold colour schemes

While bright and bold paint colours are a great way to make an impact in the home, they can be overbearing to prospective buyers, especially if they are not consistent throughout the house. Take darker shades for example. If a home features an array of moody hues, buyers may feel that your home is small and unwelcoming.

A simple colour swap can generate better results

While one of the biggest turn-offs for buyers, boldly painted walls are one of the smallest and easiest problems to fix. Instead of choosing flamboyant shades, opt for more practical and inviting colours. This includes warming taupes, pastel pale blues and soft greys. Your fresh lick of paint will not only appeal to a wider range of buyers, it will also help your home look fresher and new.

If a home features an array of darker hues, homeowners may feel that your home is small and unwelcoming.

Four: Overly themed rooms

While there’s nothing wrong with following interior design trends, there’s a fine line between stylish and kitsch. Prospective buyers want to see a cohesive and classic space, not a home with an exaggerated theme – or worse, one featuring an array of different themes.

From Scandi to industrial, it’s easy to get blind-sided by the beauty of these decor styles. However, it’s important to stick to one, and find a balance within it, to avoid creating an overbearing or forced look.

How to use themed pieces without looking gimmicky

Show a little restraint when it comes to purchasing decor pieces and take a moment to work out if it’s in keeping with the style of your home. Adopting just one tasteful theme throughout your living spaces will emphasise the beauty of your home and create a consistent feel throughout.

Five: Garish gold and silver hardware

Although gold and silver are widely associated with luxury, overdoing it on lavish accessories can cause a home to feel garish and eighties-inspired. These materials are either loved or hated and unfortunately, this is a risk that isn’t worth taking when selling your home.

An easy DIY fix 

Don’t let buyers think your hardware is outdated, just make a few inexpensive swaps instead, and always use sparingly. Materials such as brushed nickel are a popular choice for faucets and door handles and help make a home look stylish rather than outdated and try hard.


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