Decor Disputes: What Are Your Decor Pet Peeves?

Decor Disputes: What Are Your Decor Pet Peeves?

My decor pet peeves fall into 3 categories. The first one makes me shake my head in wonderment; the second gives me the willies; and the third makes me wish I could enact decor 'laws'. 

The first is the silk flower garland above the cabinets deal. As a matter of fact, ALL decor above cabinets should really be given a second--and third--thought. Seriously, what a way to make cleaning up there even MORE tedious. 


Also cellophane left on lampshades. I get it. Really, I do. People don't want their lovely, expensive lampshades getting dirty. But, seriously? BTW it is a fire hazard; there's a label right on the shade that says to remove the cellophane before using it. 

For the 'willy' category, I give you fuzzy toilet seats. No. Just. No. As a matter of a fact, the 'contour' rug needs to be reconsidered too.


Another one that gives me the willies is dusty plants. Usually people cite the 'faux' variety as the big offenders here, but real plants collect dust too. Faux or no, they need to be clean.

Now for the biggie, the thing that makes me want to throw down a gavel and send people to decor jail. Oh, it's gonna be controversial too.

Wallpaper. Yes, wallpaper. I have stripped too much of it in my lifetime to make it palatable. Sloppy, wet wallpaper shreds all over the floor, me up to my elbows in paste residue--yuck. Oh, oh, oh! And then, THEN when it's finally stripped, and I'm at the point where when I'm putting a fresh coat of paint on the wall all the while praying to the Decor Gods that I've prepped it well enough that the paint will stick properly....yeah, I hate that part too. And you know what? Even the cool, pretty stuff we see out there these days...that's gonna have to come down eventually too. Styles will change or the pattern will start driving the homeowners insane, probably sooner rather than later.  Nope, it's just not worth it in my book.

So, those are a few of my decor pet peeves. How about you? What decor choices  drive you over the edge?


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G on Oct 30, 2013:

Big frustration for me are places that scimp on the closets and other storage spaces.  Even in a small space, a little thought can create some storage.  

Also as an aside - fuzzy toilet seat covers work great for outhouses if you live in a northern/dry climate.   You can take them off and wash them in the middle of the winter - unlike foam seats that are popular.   ...design constraints are a bit looser for an outhouse.  :)

G on Oct 29, 2013:

Big frustration for me are places that scimp on the closets and other storage spaces.  Even in a small space, a little thought can create some storage.  

Also as an aside - fuzzy toilet seat covers work great for outhouses if you live in a northern/dry climate.   You can take them off and wash them in the middle of the winter - unlike foam seats that are popular.   ...design constraints are a bit looser for an outhouse.  :)

Pat L. on Jun 18, 2013:

My pet peeve is more of a design issue, than decor.  It pains me to see kitchens with a stove that doesn't have a cabinet and ample counter space on both sides of it.  Never end a bank of cabinets with a stove.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

me on Sep 10, 2012:

My pet pieve was already noted but just to reiterate, I hate Hate HATE the greenery over the kitchen cabinets. I know plenty of people that have that, but it's outdated and I'm not sure who ever told us it was ok originally anyway.

I also hate the overly gaudy deep colored " traditional" furniture that looks like someone ripped off the a decor challenged home owner who saved up to buy a first bedroom set. just because some ad said this ginormous oversized carved wood bed topped with maroon, brown, gold (etc) colored old school patientPaisley bedding, was imported, antique or worse "classy", does not make it true. The man in the back of the truck is lying to you...Especially if you live in a house built more recently than the 15th century. You know I'm talking to you if you just looked at your bed and had to ask if your set falls into this category...burn it!

Rob O. on Feb 12, 2012:

I agree with the wallpaper gripe - that stuff should be outlawed altogether!

There's a really fine line with the above cabinet stuff. A little bit looks fine, but it can start looking pretty junky pretty easily.

A biggie for me is homes that look magazine-ready. How the heck do you have children in the house and still maintiain this pristine look, complete with fragile kncik-knacks down at the kiddo level? Coffee tables adorned with crafty tchotchkes, ripe for breaking and/or ingesting by inquisitive toddlers. Pristine linens and pre-set table ready for upscale dining, again readily available for fumbly little finger to get sticky and/or drop on the floor. As the Dad of a 5 yr old, I discovered long ago that ANYTHING under the imaginary 3' horizontal line that runs throughout the house is fair game for my son - and that line is perpetually inching up closer to 4' as he keeps growing like a little weed!

Jenée on Feb 11, 2012:

First my disagreements: I do like plants or minimal decor above cupboards in a kitchen. It adds decor without cluttering up the counter (which I can't stand). Also, I'm about 80/20 against wallpaper. There are some situations (especially with the newer textured ones) when I think it looks fantastic.

My biggest pet peeve (and I know I'll be in the minority here) is the distressing of a newly made-over piece of furniture. I get it if the decor is rustic but otherwise, I just don't understand why someone wants to intentionally make a piece of furniture look worn and in need of repair. I'm not so keen on glazing most of the time either.

Oh, and I'm totally on board with getting rid of all the knick-knacks.

vegas710 on Feb 09, 2012:

I would be happy to see evey single sign/vinyl decal that says "Live, Laugh, Love" burned.  My apologies to those of you who have them, we all have our "things".  In fact, I have the small painted wood sign that says, "Always kiss me goodnight".  I got it before I had seen it every-freaking-where else and because it was a running joke with my husband.  So, I'm not innocent in any of this.  Live, Laugh, Love just seems so trite and generalized and overdone.
I hate wallpaper, even the cute stuff, even used in moderation.  For me it's like wall-to-wall carpet, I KNOW it's gonna have to be removed one day and I can't bear the thought.
I also have always and will always hate fake plants.  ALL fake plants, any variety. And brass.  I hate brass.  And floral print furniture. 

Apparently, I'm way snobbier about decor than I realized.

EiceBleu on Feb 09, 2012:

Wallpaper should be a war crime according to my husband. I agree.

Katy on Feb 08, 2012:

I'm so totally with everybody here! Preachy sayings make me crazy; too-muchness makes me itchy. That said, I do love when you can really see a personality in a place. I used to drive around and take photos of houses that were painted (outside) in crazy or strange ways. Not that I would actually encourage anybody to do something like that, but I like the way people sometimes say, "Hey! This is ME!!"

Jenn on Feb 08, 2012:

Vinyl stickers of awful quotes!!! ARGH! Or "inspirational" (read: tired) quotes hung on 2x4's and hung above doors. Also, it annoys me when a man and woman share a home, but the woman has decked every room in too-girly patterns/artwork/etc. (VERY girly pinks, flowery stuff everywhere--not actual flowers, but flowery prints, that kind of thing). I second Matt E about people getting decor items that are just for market value--unless you're actively trying to sell your house and having people tour it regularly, stop (besides, don't most people see a potential new house as their own little blank canvas anyway? Or maybe that's just the cool people... ;)).

Oh, and too much stuff that's obvs just for decorative value and is taking up space for no real purpose. I like the challenge of finding stuff that's practical and pretty all at once.

Oh, and TOO MUCH BEIGE. Or off-whites, or washed out color schemes in general. Throw something bright in there! You don't have to go crazy, but have some personality, jeez.

Anonymous on Feb 07, 2012:

My personal peeve is huge collections of things, displayed all together. I have a grandmother who is positively addicted to knicknacks. In her living room, instead of bookcases, she has three floor-to-ceiling glass display cabinats full of miscellaneous stuff. No matter how attractive the individual items might be, the overall effect is very cluttered and stuffy.

Simone on Feb 07, 2012:

Mounted animal heads (The real kind, not the hip and oh so trendy ones you see everywhere now). They creep me out. It feels like they are staring at me with their dead glass eyes. 

Stephanie on Feb 07, 2012:

I'm with Laura.  Figurines drive me insane.  It's not really collections in general, I think a well placed collection of lovely things can add loads of character and charm to a room.  This does NOT apply to figurines.  I honestly cringe and try to hide my horrified expression when I walk into a house filled with figurines and/or dolls (YES. dolls.  Terrifying dolls on display all over the living room... I have nightmares about it).  That is my number one decor pet peeve.  Figurines = tacky clutter.

Laura on Feb 07, 2012:

Collections of figurines, all made by the same company, in a glass cabinet specifically designed for showing off collections of figurines. *shaking my head* I just don't get it.

Ayshaday on Feb 07, 2012:

I believe everyone is entitled to their own decor POV.  That said, pictures/artwork hung too high make me cringe, dried flowers on stems (not flower petals/potpourri) in a vase are depressing, and the last one is simple...clutter.  It sucks the energy out of a room.


Matt E. on Feb 07, 2012:

I have but one decor pet peeve: people that do stuff for no other reason than because it is popular (i.e., for resale value). There is nothing I hate worse than someone buying stupid granite countertops just because everyone else has them. Considering how uncreative most people are, I guess it is just too much to ask that they actually develop their own taste and style even if that is a green toilet and gawdy wallpaper. 

DesigningMom on Feb 07, 2012:

I basically think to each his own. If those in the household are happy with it's decor, and it's not unhealthy for any of them, then all is good. BUT, and as you can see it's a big BUT, it ought to be a crime to paint over beautifully grained wood.

Anonymous on Feb 07, 2012:

Hear, hear! The decor I find hideous is screamingly loud wallpaper with heavy curtains and the room crammed so full of crap that no one can move. Clutter with too much color!

Anoushka on Feb 07, 2012:

I love this article! Crystal figurines in various shapes, fake flowers of any kind (no matter how believable they are), and the worst is the faux "rustic" look painted on walls to make them look old (maybe that's more in restaurants). 

Michelle Glauser on Feb 07, 2012:

Cheesy statues (think bears with hearts and the like) and sayings all over the place.

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