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  • Tracy Struthers

From Shiplap to House Plants, Everyday Homeowners Share Their Biggest Pet Peeves.

In the age of Pinterest and the never ending HGTV home makeover shows, we are all just trying to do our best to design a home we love coming home to. When working with my clients, helping them choose the right paints, room layouts and finding the perfect pieces, it can be tricky designing for the real world, as it is impossible to live up to the expectation of the HGTV series perfection. Off camera, I guarantee that even Joanna Gaines' house doesn't look like it does on television. Us designers do have our own pet peeves of that really grind us. For me, curtains being too short, area rugs being too small, and macramé (there is just no excuse for macramé).

I'll admit, a lazy Sunday afternoon sporting my favorite plant lady t-shirt and Roots sweatpants, binge watching a home-makeover show, is a real treat. I thoroughly enjoy the unveiling of such incredible spaces that these designers create. Have you ever wondered if other homeowners share some of your same thoughts, with current trends and designs? A recent submission on Reddit, published a survey done with real homeowners, on their input about today's interior design.

They were asked:

What are some of your biggest design pet peeves?

(The names of the commenters are slightly altered to protect their privacy, but actual comments not changed)


Everything is IKEA.

Everything is grey and white.

TV's above fireplaces

Open shelves instead of cabinets. Totally impractical in the real world.

Way too many houseplants.

Gallery walls.

Décor with words on it.


When they design a house for large families, and all the couches are white. They won't be white for long.


The idea that home interiors should aspire to look like a hotel, without quirks or personality. Anything dated is considered a good enough reason to remove things, rather than finding ways to adapt/design around them.

Formerly Craze

Light fixtures with bare Edison bulbs, or Edison bulbs inside clear glass, placed at eye level. It's a ticket on the glare express to strain town. I also cringe at layered rugs, it's like fingernails on a chalk board for me.

Regret To Inform

My pet peeve is mosaic tiles, especially in Kitchens. They make the kitchen look cluttered and they're often a pain to keep clean. Oh and any writing stenciled on wall.



Barn doors

Vessel sinks

Mixing metals

Massive sectionals way too big for living space.

Cab Sauve

Beige. Anything beige.

Neutral color scheme. I love color. To me it takes much more knowledge and talent to put together a bold, colorful room than it does to design a room of whites and beiges.

People who buy buy pieces from designers and sites for Anthro, West Elm, Urban Outfitters, and then go "look at my incredible designs". Don't get me wrong, I own a rug or two from West Elm, but most of my things in my space are second hand/consignment/ vintage. If I could afford to buy everything from Anthropologie, (or actual furniture designers) of course everything would be perfect. I feel inspired when I see people who have built their homes with used furniture/DIY/original pieces. Not when I see people who spent $15k on the entire Anthro catalogue.


Open shelving or just open storage in is not going to look at neat IRL, not for me at least.


Most of my pet peeves are functionality or practicality related. Giant sinks with no divider. It takes mountains of water to fill and where do you dry your dishes? A sink or stove in an island or peninsula when there is counter space available. Couches against walls perpendicular to TV, forcing people to crane their heads to watch. Fancy laundry room with massive folding stations, don't pretend you don't dump your laundry on the bed or dining table to fold up.


Open concept! Worst design trend ever. Kitchens are separate for many reason, smells, mess, noise.

Groovy Ghost

"Farmhouse chic" UGH

Handwritten Signs

I hate it when people insist on having 2 bathroom sinks. I'd much rather have extra counter space. A lot of times when there's dual sinks, they barely fit and there's not much counter space. I only use the sink to brush my teeth, but I have way more stuff I'd like to store on the counter.

This is Moniker.

Faux anything.

The word "pop" - designers use.

Chopped pillows. Stop chopping your (&#@@!%#) pillows.


Too many antiques.

Fake metal backsplashes and ceilings.

Red walls, gives me bad vibes.

Shabby Chic


When people don't hang the art, just have them framed and piled on top of the credenza, leaning against the wall.

Also, the trend of arranging books with pages facing out instead of the spines. Like how are you supposed to be find the book you're looking for.

Over accessorize coffee tables. Like why do you need 4 different stacks of books, wooden beads, big bowls and other artifacts to clutter.

Alyssa Rosenhack


Everything matching, things that look "too perfect" and intentional. Homes should make sense for living.

I have many feelings about this, lol.

Acrylic (especially white) cabinets. I just hate it. Fills me with fury

Cabinets without handles/knobs of some kind (sometimes these could look good, but I generally really dislike them. Also, not good for families with younger kids bc there’s no way to keep a child from opening them)

Completely white kitchens

Completely white countertops

Usual white subway tile 95% of the time (I like it sometimes, but it’s way overused)

Beige, and brown generally. I’ve lived in a desert for the past 14 years and EVERYTHING here is brown brown brown. I call it 50 shades of brown because that’s ALL THERE IS, INSIDE AND OUTSIDE. Can you tell there’s rage here? There’s plenty of it. I just really hate beige.

I hate when people insist on having 2 bathroom sinks. I’d much rather have extra counter space. A lot of times when there’s dual sinks, they barely fit and there’s not much counter space. I only use the sink to brush my teeth, but I have way more stuff I’d like to store on the counter.


Fully open showers or showers that can’t be enclosed with a curtain or something. I’m sorry, but I’m not getting water everywhere for “aesthetic".. Also, that means whenever the AC kicks in, whatever part of you isn’t directly under hot water is going to feel cold because you couldn’t trap the heat at all around you.

Bar stools and chairs made out of hard materials that aren’t actually comfortable. If you are for some reason against a cushion, could you at least make sure your butt isn’t hurting? What kind of person deliberately buys seats that aren’t comfortable to sit in?

Well, that was interesting, right? Do you also share some of these same pet peeves as well?

Designers, kitchen companies, and home builders could take a lot of cues from listening to how everyday homeowners feel about trends and styles. After all, they are the ones who are living in these homes.

Feel the same? Love to hear from you.

Tracy x


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