6 Things Interior Designers Would Never Buy

And neither should you.

Designing a room is only half the battle. In addition to planning a space, interior designers have to source the materials to turn their designs into reality. During this shopping segment of bringing an imagined room into reality, designers have multiple considerations to keep in mind. Look and function are essential to balance, while factors like quality, scale, and character can’t be overlooked, either.

All things considered, the trick to landing yourself the perfect pieces to fill a space is not only knowing what you’re looking for, but also what you’re not looking for. According to some of the South’s top interior designers, some furnishings are better off staying in decor stores rather than making their way into your home. So, a do-not-shop list can be just as important as a shopping list.

Meet The Expert

Accounting for taste and reliability, and fueled by years of experience, these designers do not recommend buying any of these home furnishings. While some of the denounced items are matters of the designer’s personal taste or indicative of outdated styles, others are cautionary for quality control. The choice of whether to go ahead and purchase them is all yours, but don’t say these designers didn’t warn you.

Antique Reproductions

In Southern households, heirlooms, antiques, and vintage furnishings are part of what make the house a home. However, unless they’ve been passed down from Grandma, quality antiques can come with a steep price tag. Still, interior designer Lindley Arthur says that she would never buy—or recommend buying—a faux antique.

“As an antique dealer and also a designer, I could never purchase a reproduction antique for a project—especially a chest,” says Arthur. “There is simply no recreating the quality, or the beauty of the wood grain and original hardware.”

If you’re looking for an antique look without an extreme antique budget, Arthur recommends a Louis Phillippe commode, which she says is “still beautiful, but a little easier to find and usually the least expensive.”

Matching Furniture Sets

When on the prowl for furniture, another shopping no-no, according to interior designer Rayana Schmitz, is buying a matching set. While a one-and-done set for any given room excels for ease and was in style once upon a time, this designer now says that she would never buy one because they end up looking too uniform.

“We are looking to create unique, personalized, and visually interesting spaces that reflect our clients’ individuality and that will never be achieved with a matching set,” says Schmitz. “We would instead suggest mixing styles by selecting furniture pieces from different design styles and eras, this will help create an eclectic yet harmonious look.”

Rather than a matching set, Schmitz also recommends investing in a few statement pieces and custom furniture that are unique and will fit the space ideally.

Related: 6 Outdated Interior Design Trends—And 6 That Are Making A Comeback

Oversized Reclining Chairs

Even though so many dads around the South are enjoying their LA-Z-BOY recliners in the living room corner at this very moment, designer Casey Sanford says that she would never buy one for a client’s main living space.

“Although I’m sure they are comfortable, they are not aesthetically pleasing or easy to incorporate into the design of a space,” says Sanford. “We want the design of a room to flow naturally with all elements working in harmony. These chairs are usually bulky, out of style, and difficult to coordinate with other upholstery pieces.”

Luckily, there’s an alternative, assures Sanford: “We love a masculine, comfortable, leather touch to a space, and have encountered clients who do not want to part with their comfortable leather recliner, but there is a better way to go about it. There are beautiful, comfortable, and customizable options through vendors like Wesley Hall, where you can have the best of both worlds!”

Particle Board Furniture

Designer Monika Nessbach prioritizes quality and longevity when shopping for furniture. For this reason, she avoids particle board furniture like the plague. If you’re looking for furniture that will last for the long haul, Nessbach doesn’t recommend purchasing particle board as it’s “poor-quality,” “mass-produced,” and “lacks uniqueness and character.” Instead, furniture in more solid wood and metal materials is better to rely on.

Too-Trendy Furniture

With longevity in mind, Nessbach also recommends steering clear of furniture that is likely to go out of style sooner rather than later. Save trendy inclusions for smaller details that are easier and less expensive to swap out once they lose their appeal.

“I tend to gravitate towards unique and handcrafted pieces that tell a story and add depth to a space,” says Nessbach. “Also, classic pieces (which do not have to be traditional in style) have a timeless charm and provide longevity to a design.”

This doesn’t mean that Nessbach condemns any and all outside-the–box furniture choices, though. While trendiness should be avoided, she still appreciates a good conversation piece, “which can add extra spunk and personality.”

Related: 13 Things That Make Any Home Look Dated

Quartz Countertops

It’s not her first choice, but Schmitz admits to having used quartz in the past for countertops. Still, she doesn’t recommend it for the future and avoids it in the present. Too prim and perfect, this man-made stone doesn’t compare to the natural stuff, says Schmitz.

“Nothing can compare to Mother Nature’s work, and a natural stone never goes out of style,” she explains. “Embrace the beauty and accept the imperfections that come with natural stones.”

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