Five Tacky and Overdone Summer Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

May 01, 21

Five Tacky and Overdone Summer Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

by Elizabeth Burton

Summer is hallmarked by hot weather, refreshing dips in the pool, countless
ice cream cones and road trips with friends and family. Many of us harken back
to childhoods spent outdoors for those two blissful months -- playing with our
peers in sprinklers or at water parks and drinking in all the season had to offer.
Because it recalls the nostalgia of childhood, summertime home decor can
skew a bit kitschy, overdone and childish without the right balance of colors,
textures and shapes. If you plan to give your home a summer refresh come
June, follow below for five summer decorating mistakes to avoid in 2021.

Five Tacky and Overdone Summer Decor Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

#1 Fussy or Frilly Seating that Can’t Really Function

grandma chic

Grandmillennial -- or “Grandma Chic” -- interior decorating is a major style
trend for 2021. With its delicate lace, floral patterns and wicker furniture, the
style is particularly well-suited for Spring and Summer. However, some
wicker, rattan and cane furniture can be incredibly uncomfortable. Similarly,
chairs with looped or lace elements can be delicate and difficult to maneuver
without fear of harming them. Instead of risking damage to your vintage
furniture or the discomfort of your guests, consider the advice of Farima Alavi
and H. Camille Smith in their article 35 Biggest Decorating Mistakes and
Solutions for HGTV. Alavi and Smith write that choosing “style over
‘sitability’” is never a good idea as “dining chairs' entire purpose is to be sat
on.”
As such, choosing “dining chairs based solely on a trendy style — instead of
comfort — is a definite no-go.” Instead, shift special pieces of furniture -- e.g.
antiques and others better suited to admiring than actually using -- into
corners of the room where they can feature as a decor element rather than a
functional furnishing. Encircle your dining room table or kitchen bar “with
cushy, upholstered chairs” that will “encourage your dinner companions to
linger a little longer.”

#2 Silk Flowers and Fake Plants that Make Spaces Seem Stuffy

fake plants

Many of us are familiar with the emotional and physical healing powers of
houseplants. They offer us something to take care of and root for -- no pun
intended -- as well as delighting us with reminders of the great outdoors. In
short, watching peace lilies and philodendrons grow to their fullest potential
indoors is incredibly rewarding. Somehow -- while similarly vibrant and
eye-catching -- fake plants and silk flowers just cannot measure up to the real
deal. They might not wilt on your front porch or kitchen table during the
summer, but they also will not offer much to love. In her article Fake Plants
Are Evil—You’re Not. Grow Real Ones for Sunset Magazine, Heather Arndt
Anderson explains why living houseplants are worth it and fake plants fall flat.
Anderson writes that fake plants are a major decorating faux paus because they
“are always destined for landfills; they’re not recyclable and they sure as heck
aren’t compostable.” Furthermore, fake plants eschew the most valuable
element of real houseplants in favor of artifice. Heather Anderson writes that
“‘if you think about the ideology behind fake plants, it’s one that values
appearance over nurtured growth.’” Lastly, most guests will be able to tell the
plants in your home are fake as their colors fade and their leaves appear either
more matte or waxier over time.

#3 Tired Farmhouse Home Decor that Trends Shabby Instead of Chic

farmhouse home decor

Whitewashed shiplap walls, blanket ladders, random nautical elements and
rustic fake wood have littered homes across the nation for the last decade as
homeowners scramble to cobble together a “farmhouse vibe.” While country
decor is cute for historic homes -- or those actually situated in the country --
and rustic interiors work well for mountain cabins, farmhouse design has
become a bit passe over the last couple years. Perhaps the worst offender of
this trend is identified by Taylor Davies in her article Tired Trends in Home
Decor for The Spruce. Taylor Davies writes that “shabby chic, the early '90s
decor trend known for whitewashed furniture and faded floral prints has
definitely seen its day.” Though trendy Grandmillennial interiors pull a few
elements from the Shabby Chic style -- in perhaps a more authentic way --,
the “ultra-feminine style of [shabby chic] decorating has been pushed aside
for a more modern vibe, more crisp lines, and a masculine influence.”
Maintain the throwback feel of farmhouse design without the dated elements
of long-gone shabby chic by transitioning towards a boho chic interior instead.
Davies notes that boho chic interiors are the “less frilly and much more
eclectic” cousins of shabby chic design. The style is “Inspired by the bohemian
culture of the '60s and '70s,” offering it “retro roots [while] managing to feel
fresh again due to its mishmash of bold patterns and colors and its
globe-trotting spirit.”

#4 Mason Jar Centerpieces or Porch Lights that Feel Cheap Instead of Curated

mason jar

In her article “Joanna Gaines guide: Tacky items and decorating mistakes to
avoid” for Women Advance, writer Emile Bartow offers readers advice from the
Fixer Upper designer herself. While Gaines is partial neither to French country
design or tiles countertops, she is especially offended by an abundance of
mason jars in the home. Quoting Gaines, Bartow writes that mason jars are
great for “pickling food...storing jam...and maybe a cold drink on a hot
summer’s day.” However, while “mason jars are fantastic multitaskers, but
they have no place in your home.” Gaines begs homeowners and decorators
alike to put down the mason jar -- avoiding “trying to make a lamp out of a
mason jar” or “sticking a flower in it and calling it a vase.” Worst of all --
Gaines tells Bartow -- is when homeowners “try to make an ‘artistic’
centerpiece out of it.” Instead, pick out a vintage ceramic vase or glass tumbler
in which fresh local flowers can shine.

#5 Coastal and Nautical Decor Ideas and Elements Combined in One Space

confused decor
In her article “13 Summerhouse Décor Mistakes—and How to Fix Them” for
Mansion Global, Catherine Romano warns against leaning too far into either
nautical decor or coastal design elements. However, worst of all is trying to
combine the two in a single space without rhyme or reason. She writes that
“summer homes can become catchalls for the pieces that didn’t work in the
primary home...but if something wasn’t working in your main house, it
probably isn’t going to in your weekend retreat either." Blue and white walls,
sea glass chandeliers, rope ottomans and sailboat figurines do not all belong
together in your living room or master suite -- even if they share a similar
origin or theme. Instead of falling prey to kitschy coastal color palettes,
Romano recommends opting for unexpected “warm colors like reds and
oranges [which] complement the outdoors…enhance the views by day and [add
interest] at night." Rather than filling your home to the brim with touristy
nautical decor elements, choose pieces that actually mean something to you.

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