Trends to avoid in your living room – 5 features that have divided experts

These are the trends to avoid in your living room – for a social space that won’t fall out of style

colourful living room with patterned wallpaper, ottoman and sofa
(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber/ Kate French)

While we regularly report on them, we aren't huge fans of trends for the sake of them, which is why we just as often report on those to avoid. And living room trends to avoid are those we want to draw your attention to most. 

Your living room is likely to be the place where you spend most of your time (whilst awake), so it suffers from more wear and tear than other rooms. It is also as much for unwinding as it is for socializing – meaning it is the space where your guests will spend their time, so it comes under a ton of scrutiny, too. 

All of this means the living room is usually the most frequently decorated space in a home, so it’s important to ensure any living room trends you indulge in remain timeless, stylish, and up-to-date, where possible. 

While some styles work effortlessly in some spaces, there are others that, designers warn, are less successful in most living rooms. These are the living room trends to avoid, according to interior designers.

Here are the interior design trends to avoid, according to those in the know. 

1. Whole-story open-plan living spaces

Open plan living room with white walls, pink chairs and pocket doors

(Image credit: Robert Sanderson / Future)

The debate as to whether you should break up open-plan living room remains ever controversial in the design world. However, Trouvaille Home (opens in new tab)'s designer, Anne Rainey Rokahr, suggests that the craving for open-plan is over – and it is time to reintroduce separate zones to your living space. 

The designer suggests that open spaces are 'overused and overstated at this point', meaning you should move away from an open-plan living room and create more private areas that are beneficial when working and socializing. 

'While some of the trends may stick around in small ways, interior specialists are moving away from [open spaces]. After the lockdown stage of the pandemic, many also realized we needed separate rooms in our homes, and I think we'll begin to see fewer and less open space layouts,' she says. 

If you love open-plan but want a compromise – after all, it's not always practical to break up open-plan rooms – consider broken plan living room ideas or clever zoning techniques with color, lighting and furniture placement.

2. Distressed farmhouse style

farmhouse living room with cream sofa and vaulted ceiling

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

The classic farmhouse aesthetic has influenced many homes in some way, but realator Gunner Davis from Coldwell Banker Realty (opens in new tab) explains that farmhouse living room ideas may put off potential buyers – and should, therefore, be avoided. 

'The faux-distressed furniture of the classic farmhouse theme makes it look like the room is worn out in the current housing market,' he explains. 'Instead of attracting potential buyers, it repulses them. The equipment and furniture used in the theme are also in question now because of their durability,' he adds. 

Instead? Go for farmhouse decor that's much crisper and smarter.

3. Complete minimalism 

Beige living room with minimalist decor and Berber rug

(Image credit: Matthew Williams / Future)

There is a lot to admire about minimalism. This cool, clean style draws from simplicity to create a simple space that will struggle to go out of fashion. However, Brendan Kwinter, a designer from Kwinter Designs (opens in new tab), suggests that going completely minimalist may be a mistake. 

'For 2022, people should avoid most in their living rooms is absolute minimalism,' Brendan says. 'Some minimalist qualities are okay but make the space your own.' The expert explains that, instead of following the trend entirely, you should have an area that is more designated for relaxation instead of a room that appeals to a fad. 

'Make the room more layered and significant to your tastes. Don't be afraid to tell a story with your interior; it should represent you,' he adds. 

4. White furniture that can't withstand the pace

White living room with pops of color in Georgian townhouse in London

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

When searching for white living room ideas, it can be tempting to look towards crisp furnishings that will introduce the hue to your space. However, as striking as these white pieces are, they can appear dirty and outdated with time. 

'While I love using a white sofa in my design, most people don't take the proper considerations in mind. Then, immediately regret the decision when their beloved dog jumps up with muddy paws and ruins their investment piece,' says Rebekah Correll, a designer from Transparent Interiors (opens in new tab)

If you're thinking about buying any white furniture, Rebekah says that you should ensure your performance fabric is over 30,000 rub counts. 'Avoid the beautiful linens – although enticing, this material is not durable. It will crumble and stain easily. It is best used on a slipcovered piece or an item that rarely gets used,' she adds.

5. Patterned wallpaper – if you are selling up

patterned wallpaper with pattern upholstered chair and yellow curtain

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber/ Kate French)

We love wallpaper, we love pattern, we love color. Of course, some designs will always have a place in our living rooms, however, Gunner Davis urges you to consider your living room wallpaper ideas carefully if you are moving house – or your print may devalue your home. 

Gunner explains that younger generations of house buyers are particularly put off when viewing houses with patterned wallpaper as it does not attract Millennials or Gen Z. So if you're thinking of selling your home, it is important to take your walls into consideration. 

Are sectionals out of style?

Sectional living room ideas have become more fashionable than ever recently thanks, in part, to the increased amount of time families spend at home watching movies. You can ensure yours stays in style by choosing a neutral upholstery fabric that won't date and can be decorated around, and by ensuring it is easy to clean or remove for laundering.

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.