These Are the Seven Living Room Products the Pros Want You to Stop Buying
While we believe that all the spaces in your home deserve equal attention, the living room is kind of special. It’s where all of your decor comes together as you welcome guests into your home, and where you and your family wind down together at the end of a long day.
When January arrives, along with all those sales, you might start to think about redecorating it. But an overstuffed, overwhelming living room isn’t all that relaxing, which is why it can be helpful to have a plan when you head into these sales.
“As December comes to a close and January ushers in a new year, the natural tendency for reflection and change emerges,” says Jessica Dorling, principal designer of Dorling Design Studio. “Clients often confide in me about a desire for a home transformation — something that they have wanted to do for years, but have never had a clear starting point.”
Andi Morse, founder and principal designer of Morse Design, notes that if you start shopping sales without a plan, you may end up buying items for your living room that are the wrong dimensions, don’t work with your overall look, or are still overpriced, even on sale. To pare things down and go in with a bit of curation in mind, we asked three designers to weigh in on what your living room doesn’t need, so you won’t go overboard when redecorating for 2024.
Matching Furniture Sets
Laura Williams, owner and lead designer of ATX Interior Design, believes that while buying a set of matching furniture pieces is an easy way to ensure complementing items, it actually tends to create a living space that lacks character and visual interest. So matching sets is definitely something you can skip during this year’s sales.
“By utilizing different materials, colors, or patterns that coincide well with one another, the room quickly feels more inviting and cozier,” Williams points out.
Excessive Throw Pillows
Throw pillows are great, but eight of them on a couch? That’s just too much, and designers agree. “Throw pillows do so much for a space. They add warmth and coziness, allow for you to add another element of color or pattern, and give the opportunity to change the color palette with the season,” Williams says. “However, going overboard with too many throw pillows can become overwhelming and, in fact, even uncomfortable! Finding the sweet spot of two to four throw pillows on a couch, two on a bench, and one per accent chair is typically my max.”
“I don’t love fans in the living room,” Morse says. “I really don’t like them anywhere. They are noisy and take away the opportunity to make a statement with lighting. If you have to have fans, I like them to stay in the bedrooms.”
Dorling says that having a large curio cabinet filled with a vast collection of small knickknacks can detract from the inviting atmosphere you aim to create in your living space. “Whether you’re going for an open and airy feel or a more intimate and moody ambiance, the trend for 2024 and beyond suggests moving away from filling the living room with bulky, functionally outdated furniture solely for the purpose of showcasing numerous small items,” Dorling adds. “Instead, consider a more curated and minimalist approach to furniture and decor.”
Morse says that in general, she’s not a fan of recliners of any kind — “not in chairs or even the newer models of sofas.” Score one on sale if your partner can’t live without one, but know that recliners aren’t really in line with the trends these days.
“I feel like you are so limited by this look, and they tend to be bulkier than a standard sofa,” Morse says. “It definitely limits the creative potential.”
Because Dorling “firmly believes” that natural light is the cornerstone of any great design, bulky, heavy drapes just don’t have their place in modern living rooms. Although they may be marked way down, skip the weighty drapes this year.
“Dressing your windows in a way that invites abundant natural light is key,” Dorling says. “Consider using natural fibers like cotton, linen, and other natural materials to achieve an open and refreshing feel.”
Decor Pieces Without Meaning
“It’s important to not have too many knickknacks that just fill a space to fill a space,” Williams advises. “I adore decorating with meaningful pieces that share the homeowner’s life journey.” In other words? Don’t buy more knickknacks simply because they’re on sale.