19 Tacky House Décor Items You Need to Avoid at all costs

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By Darryl Henderson

Trying to style your home can be tricky when you can’t tell the difference between quality items and tacky accessories. It’s important to get the balance just right to prevent your décor from looking too cheap. Here are 19 of the tackiest home décor items that you’ll want to avoid at all costs.

Fake Plants

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Real houseplants are a fantastic addition to any home, but fake plants don’t have the same appeal because they look very obviously plasticky. Too many of them can make your home look cheap. Ideal Home advises opting for easy-to-care-for houseplants so you don’t have to worry about maintenance.

Heavily Themed Rooms

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Incorporating themes you love into your home can be a great method of expression, but if you’re creating entire rooms from a singular theme, it can move into tacky territory. Using a theme means you have to keep it updated, or it can easily look outdated – so it’s best avoided!

Word Art Accessories

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If you do want to use word art in your home, it’s better to have one or two statement pieces, as too much cluttering up your space can feel tacky, too. It can also be an improvement if you opt for personalized words instead of the default words you find in home stores.

Plastic Furniture Covers

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If you cover all your furniture in plastic covers—even if you have a good reason for it, such as spills or pet hair—it’s only going to make your home look cheap. It’s much better to opt for a stylish fabric slipcover that can be washed.

Too Much Carpeting

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Having carpet in your home can add warmth and coziness, but too much of it can catapult you into a tacky situation! It’s best to balance out carpet by using hardwood or tile in other rooms rather than wall-to-wall carpeting. Too much heavy carpeting can quickly become dated.

Having Too Many Throw Pillows

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When your home is cluttered with various throw pillows, it can look too uncomfortable and busy. Instead, choose a few throw pillows that best complement your décor. The Spruce advises mixing and matching cover designs to create a more stylish look.

Overflowing with Knick-Knacks

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Placing knickknacks everywhere around your home will only make it look messy, cluttered, and—you guessed it—tacky! Especially if they look old-fashioned, they create inelegant chaos. Instead, choose just a few to display that you really love.

Busy and Outdated Wallpaper Designs

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If you still have your home’s old wallpaper from the 1970s, it won’t provide a fresh, updated look. Older wallpaper designs, especially with busy patterns and graphics, can easily look tacky. Refresh your space by replacing or painting over any dated wallpaper.

Inflatable Furniture

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Inflatable furniture used to be a great solution for a cheap seat or something you’d want to pop in the kid’s room – now, it’s a surefire way to make your home look tacky. That’s because inflatable furniture looks like a temporary solution, so it can leave your home feeling unfinished.

Garish Chandeliers

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One well-placed chandelier as a focal point can do wonders for your home décor, but unfortunately, too many large and outdated chandeliers can look tacky. Even if the rest of your home looks modern, old-fashioned chandeliers will look dusty, out of place, and lacking in style.

Beaded Curtains

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The success of beaded curtains depends on the rest of your décor. If you have modern décor throughout, a plastic beaded curtain will look tacky. According to The New York Times, beaded curtains “can be sweetly hippie or alluring and elegant” if the overall aesthetic is more formal.

Plastic Tablecloths

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Tablecloths can be difficult to get right, but plastic options are one of the tackiest variations you can incorporate. Instead, opt for clean and bright tablecloths that fit with your color scheme and can be easily washed, avoiding busy and old-fashioned patterns.

Outdated Electronics

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Unless you have a particular collection of old electronics for a hobby, having outdated electronics throughout your home, such as an old TV set, a landline phone, and bulky devices, can make guests feel as though they’ve stepped through a time machine.

Too Many Collectibles

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Having too many collectibles on display in your home can result in a tacky mess and an overwhelming space. It’s much better to have a designated room or cabinet just for collectibles or showcase a few select pieces while avoiding over-cluttering a shelf.

Bright and Loud Color Schemes

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Using bright and bold colors in your home needs to be done in a certain way if you want to avoid it looking tacky, which can easily happen when you have clashing colors overcrowding a space. Use bold colors on only one feature wall, or pair with neutral accessories.

Using Fake Finishes on Your Walls

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One way to make a stylish painted wall look tacky is to finish it with a fake texture, such as sponge painting or a fake marble finish. This can look tacky when done improperly compared to using real marble. Instead, use smooth paint and create finishes through textured furniture.

Huge Mirrored Walls

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Having an entire wall finished with mirrors can feel too overpowering and result in a cheapened design. When placed in the correct way, mirrors can add light, space, and character to your home, as Country Living says, so you should use them more sparingly with elegant frames and shapes.

Bowls of Artificial Fruit

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If you want to avoid real fruit sitting out on your kitchen table, plastic fruit unfortunately isn’t the solution, as it only looks tacky. Fake fruit is obvious – and looks unnatural – which can detract from your otherwise stylish space. Switch out fake fruit for fresh flowers to add a touch of color.

Cheap Photo or Picture Frames

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On a final note, it’s amazing how much of a difference frames make in the home when looking tacky versus expensive! Low-quality frames are very obvious thanks to their thin, lightweight nature, no matter what beautiful shot you have inside them. Investing in high-quality frames will help to improve your home’s design.

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