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I’m an interior designer — these common decor mistakes are making your home look cheap and tacky

A collage displaying interior decor items, including vases, art pieces, and cushions, against a neutral background.
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In this house we don’t post signs.

Prepare to get the rug pulled out from under you, amateur decorators — these six common household decor choices are making your home look cheap and tacky, according to one professional interior designer.

“These things cheapen a room. I have a running list, but here’s the first [six],” said Julie Sousa, founder of Avante Garde Home in Boston, in a new social media post that’s gaining widespread attention.

Sousa, who goes by @the_avantgarde on TikTok, uploaded the conversation sparking video to the popular site two days ago, snaring more than a quarter million views.

Here is her list of shame.

Fake trees with big leaves

Big fake leaves look cheap, said the designer. ARTFULLY-79 – stock.adobe.com
Big fake leaves look cheap, said the designer. ARTFULLY-79 – stock.adobe.com

You may want to leaf this item out of your home.

The first thing Sousa said people should avoid is fake trees with large foliage.

“The secret to faux trees that look realistic is smaller foliage,” she explained.

“Avoid plastic. Real is always best, but understanding that some areas will not allow for real,” the designer added.

Unframed canvases

Unframed canvases is another item on her list of six no no’s. Angelov – stock.adobe.com
Unframed canvases is another item on her list of six no no’s. Angelov – stock.adobe.com

The next frame of her video revealed the next item on her list — unframed canvases.

“They look cheap because they are cheaper,” she said candidly.

“One of the ways to get the expensive look for less — DIY the frame. But you could also buy mass produced art and just paint right over it,” she added.

Signage

You may want to live, laugh, and leave this next item out.

“Good design will spike your imagination it will make you wonder,” she explained.

“Words do not leave you wondering anything.”

Labels

And speaking of words, close the door on this style if you want your home to look classy.

“You should know where your pantry is so there’s no point of emphasizing it,” she said while showing a photo of the word “Pantry” written above a door.

Toilet mats

A bathroom mat is fine — as long as it’s not around the toilet, she said. leymandesign – stock.adobe.com
A bathroom mat is fine — as long as it’s not around the toilet, she said. leymandesign – stock.adobe.com

This decoration could be sapping your home of its sophistication.

“Mats around the toilet,” she said. “Having a bunch of rugs like this is general, not a good look.”

Not all rugs are an issue though.

“Now people are getting a little bit more creative with their rugs. And if you’re gonna put one at all, make sure it’s one larger rug and not several,” she said.

Yellow shiny gold

Gold furniture with a yellow hue is a no go, she said. 2rogan – stock.adobe.com
Gold furniture with a yellow hue is a no go, she said. 2rogan – stock.adobe.com

This yellow is a little less mellow than it should be. Sousa recommended against gold furniture with a yellowish hue.

“Last is that fake, bright yellow, shiny gold,” she explained.

“It’s understanding that most of us can’t afford giant pieces of solid gold. But if you want it to look a little bit more realistic, lean into the golds that have this orange undertone,” she added.

The Post reached out to Sousa for additional comment.

Some commenters below her post echoed her recommendations.

“As an interior designer…do not do a huge rug in your bathroom! You should be using a mat that you can hang to dry and wash frequently. Otherwise it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and mold,” one said.

“I DESPISE ‘live, laugh, love’ homes. There, I said it,” another added.

Others loved some of the decor she said to avoid.

“My sister-in-law’s unframed paintings are all around my house! Love them,” one said.

“I also disagree with frameless art. I have a ton of frameless art and it’s gorgeous,” another wrote.