Interior Designer Shares What She Would Never Have in Her Home

  • Insider asked an interior designer about what things she wouldn’t have in her home.
  • Tiny accessories or gallery walls with small pieces can add clutter to rooms. 
  • Instead of wall-to-wall carpet, opt for hardwood flooring throughout your space.

Insider spoke with Cathy Hobbs — a celebrity interior designer and owner of home-staging company Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes — to find out which trends and styles she’d never have in her own space.

Dried, artificial flowers can make a home feel dated 

Dried, gray-ish fake flours in lit up shelf

Other dried plants can work better.

Dzmitry Kaprusynka/Getty Images


Although greenery — including faux options — can add life to your space, Hobbs stays away from artificial dried flowers when designing her home. 

“These often feel dated and old-fashioned in a modern decor scheme,” she told Insider.

She instead suggested opting for artificial palm leaves, grasses, or succulents. 

The designer stays away from framed posters

When incorporating artwork into your home, don’t simply frame inexpensive posters. According to Hobbs, that look can bring down your space.

She said you can opt for an inexpensive wall hanging or framed photograph if you can’t afford canvas artwork. 

You won’t find acrylic or plastic decor pieces in her home

Hobbs stays away from acrylic and plastic furniture or accessories, even though they’re inexpensive.

“Not only do these materials often crack, but they also tend to look ‘milky’ over time,” she told Insider.  

She recommended looking for a durable alternative, such as a material that’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.  

She avoids gallery walls full of small pieces

A neutral-toned living room with a gallery wall of art

Gallery walls aren’t always great for anchoring your space.

Photographee.eu/Shutterstock


Although creating a “wall of tiny things” — or an eclectic gallery wall — may be an easy way to fill up blank space, you won’t find this decor choice in Hobbs’ home.

Instead of a wall with frames and mirrors of various sizes, the designer suggested going for big, bold pieces to better anchor your space. 

Small pieces and accessories can look like clutter

Similarly, home accessories, accents, and other items that are too small often create visual clutter, according to Hobbs. 

She instead recommended picking out larger decor pieces that’ll help to ground your space without being a visual distraction. 

Hobbs doesn’t overcrowd her bookshelves

Living room with sofa, art, and clean wooden bookshelf

Keep space open on your bookshelf for a minimalist look.

Photographee.eu/Shutterstock


Even though bookshelves are great for storage, don’t overfill them with all of your books and trinkets. 

Hobbs suggested leaving some shelves empty for a minimalist look.  

She avoids the ‘overworked’ look in home offices

According to the designer, there’s no reason to leave your workspace cluttered when you’re not using it. 

“Clear the clutter, and opt for a workspace in which work can be tucked away when not in use,” she said. 

You can choose a desk with drawers or stow your items in bins.

Blank walls in long hallways are a wasted decor opportunity

Hobbs makes sure to add design elements to long hallways and will sometimes use mirrors to elongate them. 

“Hallways seldom have windows or get much light,” she explained. “Adding mirrors can help make these narrow spaces feel wider.” 

She swaps out wall-to-wall carpeting for hardwood floors 

White kitchen in home with hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are a popular choice.

Breadmaker/Shutterstock


The designer avoids wall-to-wall carpeting, despite how it can create a seamless look.

“The reality is that for many, wall-to-wall carpeting sends a visual signal of ‘outdated,'” Hobbs told Insider. 

She said it’s in your best interest to opt for hardwood flooring since most homebuyers prefer it. 

Bright and trendy furniture can go out of style

Although bright colors are certainly fun for main furniture pieces, Hobbs told Insider that it’s best to stay neutral. 

“Instead of selecting furniture that may feel trendy, opt for those that will stand the test of time,” she said. “Gray and cream are great foundational colors when selecting primary pieces such as sofas.”