Whether you live in a city apartment or rural dwelling, the living room is likely the most versatile area in your home. Think about it: It's an ideal space for both family time and solo relaxation. It can also serve as an office, guest room, or playroom — or all of the above. Needless to say, as a multi-functional space, the living room deserves a makeover every now and then.
To ensure your next makeover is thoughtful and current, consider removing (or skipping) certain elements that have phased out. Ahead, learn about outdated living room trends — plus what to choose instead.
1. Wallpaper Borders
Though wallpaper is still in, wallpaper borders are outdated, says Nisha Varma, interior designer and founder of NV Luxe Interiors. "[A wallpaper border] doesn't allow for a continuous design and cuts into the focal point of the room," explains Varma. Instead, she suggests installing wallpaper from the floor to the ceiling — or from the chair rail to the ceiling — to allow for a continuous design.
2. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
"Another outdated trend is wall-to-wall carpeting," Varma tells Hunker. "As plush and comfortable as it may [be] on the feet, it brings the basement feel to the main floor," she says. To make your living room cozy yet timeless, Varma recommends opting for wood or heated porcelain tile floors and placing a rug on top.
3. Matching Furniture
"Gone are the days of matching living furniture sets," interior designer Melody Vaughn tells Hunker. Here's why: "In this new era of remote learning and working, living rooms have been forced to become multi-functional." As a result, living room furniture needs to be chosen based on comfort and durability, rather than extreme coordination and matchy-matchy looks.
4. Windows With Blinds
According to Varma, "Windows with built-in blinds inside them are really outdated." Consider replacing the blinds with motorized solar, roller, or sheer shades, which Varma likes for their functionality and versatility. With these options, she says, you can control the motorization right from your phone — and finally say goodbye to those hanging strings from built-in blinds.
5. Symmetrical Layouts
When it comes to hosting guests, more folks are ditching the living room and moving to the dinner table, shares interior designer Pandora Taylor. This has caused symmetrical living room layouts to phase out, she notes, as these configurations are more elegant and ideal for hosting — rather than relaxation. The result? "A more haphazard, mismatched approach in the living room is now popular," says Taylor, noting that it has become a space of family comfort and expression.
6. Great Rooms
"Since we've all been home with our families [during the pandemic], I've noticed many of my clients are looking for spaces that are less interconnected," shares Teri Moore, interior designer and founder of T. Moore Home. She says that people want privacy away from the televisions, cooking, and other family activities that often happen in the great room, which is typically a combo of a living room plus family room and/or kitchen. This has sparked the resurgence of the formal living room, notes Moore.
7. Wall Art Galleries
Once upon a time, wall art galleries with small frames in different styles were all the rage. But according to Merccy McInerney, interior designer and founder of The Space Project Co, this living room decor trend has phased out. "This trend will be replaced by a larger piece of art or print with a [wood] frame," she says. This will allow people to create a statement without cluttering their wall space.
8. Sectional Sofas
According to interior designer Kerry Vasquez, sectional sofas are no longer current. "Clients usually want to maximize comfort [while being] able to seat as many guests as possible," she explains. However, when it comes to a sectional, you lose a corner and the chaise as potential seats, she notes. Vasquez is seeing clients ditch the sectional for two comfy sofas facing each other, complete with luxe lounge chairs.
9. Brown Leather Sofas
"Brown leather sofas were in when [the television show] Friends was around," says interior designer Stephanie Barba Mendoza. But these days, people are opting for more interesting pieces with personality and flare. This includes sofas with blocked color fabric, stripes, and chintz, according to Mendoza.
10. Midcentury Decor
After several years of ruling the design world, midcentury modern is showing signs of heading out, shares Joy Archer, interior designer and founder of Wilder Joy Studio. She notes that it's set to be replaced by more colorful and contemporary styling. "Expect a move away from solid velvets and a renewed interest in playful patterned textiles on upholstery," explains Archer.
Kirsten Nunez is a journalist and author focusing on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, PopSugar, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in Beacon, New York.