Home Décor Disasters

June 12, 2018
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BRITISH ‘INTERIOR DESIGN CRIMES’ REVEALED: Toilet rugs, taxidermy and avocado bathrooms named worst home trends of past 50 years

London, UK – 12 June, 2018


  • Whatever were we thinking? Toilet rugs, taxidermy and avocado bathrooms are among the worst home design crimes from the past half century
  • National poll tracking our taste violations shows 1970s was the worst decade for dodgy décor, closely followed by the 80s
  • Public voted on a shortlist compiled by leading experts in interior design including Wallpaper*, Ideal Home, House Beautiful and more
  • Daniel Hopwood, Former President of the British Institute of Interior Design, is available for interview
  • Appearances matter: six out of ten Brits admit to judging others on their interior design choices, while almost three in ten (29%) rate having good interiors above a clean house
  • Almost half of Brits (47%) have redecorated in the past year and bossy partners are a key motivation for why we redecorate
  • Survey to celebrate the launch of Samsung’s new QLED TV, which features the ability to blend in with the décor of the home1, also reveals the BEST innovations in home design


Don’t try this at home! Toilet rugs, taxidermy and avocado coloured bathrooms – the once commonplace fixtures in our homes – have been crowned the biggest furnishing fails of the past 50 years in a survey of home design disasters.


Other style slip-ups identified by the survey to which we now give the brush-off include floral ‘chintz’ furniture, waterbeds and Artex.


The research was commissioned by Samsung to mark the launch of its new QLED TV range featuring a unique Ambient Mode technology, which enables the TV to blend seamlessly into the home environment1 thereby eliminating at least one home décor headache – a large, ugly blank screen.


A panel of design experts from publications including Wallpaper*, Ideal Home and House Beautiful created a shortlist of the worst interior design trends spanning a period of half a century, which was then put to a public vote of 2,000 UK adults to discover the ultimate home-fashion faux pas.


The top 25 WORST home horrors from the past 50 years:


  1. Toilet rugs/furry toilet seat covers – 44%
  2. Taxidermy – 39%
  3. Avocado bathrooms – 32%
  4. Floral ‘chintz’ furniture – 28%
  5. Waterbeds – 25%
  6. Artex walls and ceilings – 25%
  7. Carpeted bathrooms – 25%
  8. Rag rolled walls – 23%
  9. Tribal carvings, masks and wall hangings – 23%
  10. Stone cladding – 19%
  11. Animal print anything – 19%
  12. Inspirational quote art stenciled on the walls – 19%
  13. Carpeted or textured walls – 19%
  14. Beaded curtains – 19%
  15. Living room bars – 19%
  16. Bidets – 17%
  17. Round beds – 17%
  18. Professional family portraits – 15%
  19. Shabby chic anything – 15%
  20. Shag pile carpets – 14%
  21. Wicker furniture indoors – 12%
  22. Wallpaper borders – 12%
  23. Curtain pelmets – 11%
  24. TV cupboards – 11%
  25. Stenciled walls or decals – 11%


The results suggest that our national taste when it comes to interior design is constantly evolving and that some decades fare better than others when it comes to trends standing the test of time.


The 1970s was voted the worst decade for dodgy décor in the half century under review, according to 38% of Brits. Some of the biggest design crimes of the period included avocado-coloured bathrooms and flying duck wall displays. This was followed by the 80s (22%), characterised by features such as toilet rugs and pink bathrooms, and then the 60s, with 19% of Brits taking issue with design trends that included psychedelic patterns, lace doilies and clashing colour schemes.


The study also suggests that popular TV makeover shows such as Changing Rooms and Home Front are partly to blame for some of the tragic trends such a rag-rolled walls and stencilling which have long been consigned to the dustbin of interior design history.


One of the main interior design quandaries identified in the study revolved around how to display or conceal technology in the home.  Indeed, whilst TV cupboards were cited as a key design crime, the appetite to conceal large scale home technology in a stylish way was identified as a key modern-day trend. The majority of those surveyed (60%) believed that huge black TV screens on walls were an eyesore as they stood out too much from the rest of the room.


Not surprising then that invisible technology was named amongst the top 5 best loved interior design trends in recent years alongside open plan living, rustic styling and chic Scandinavian style furnishings.


The top 5 BEST interior design trends:


  1. Open plan living (66%)
  2. Rustic furnishings e.g. distressed wood, bare floors (49%)
  3. Scandinavian/mid-century style furnishings (48%)
  4. Invisible technology (37%)
  5. Heritage paint and wallpaper (36%)

Robert King, Vice President Consumer Electronics, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, said: “We have never been more focused on the look and feel of our homes, and as large TV screens become more popular, consumers want technology that can almost become invisible and fit in with their décor choices. The new Samsung QLED TVs give you just that – with its ability to seamlessly replicate its surroundings so for the first time ever, your TV will blend beautifully into your living room”.


Daniel Hopwood, President of the British Institute of Interior Design, said: “I have lived through the 70s, 80s and 90s and seen interior design trends come and go and it’s fascinating how our tastes have evolved over time. Toilet rugs, rag rolled walls and TV cupboards should all be consigned to the dodgy décor history books.


“It’s interesting to note that six in ten of us think the days of displaying huge black TV screens on walls are dated.  As an interior designer I have spent my career trying to hide ugly big black televisions from ruining the style of peoples’ living spaces. Modern technology, like the Samsung QLED TV, featuring Ambient Mode, can enhance the aesthetics of a room, as it blends in with the décor, effectively banishing ugly black screens from the living room”.


Further findings revealed that cleanliness was ranked as the feature which matters most to Brits (47%), followed by interior design (29%) and size (15%). More than six in ten (64%) admit to having made judgments about people simply on the basis of their home interior.


Samsung’s research also revealed almost half of Brits (47%) have redecorated in the past year and a quarter of Brits (25%) redecorate parts of their home at least once a year. When it comes to the key motivation for redecorating, more than half (55%) cited boredom with current look, while one fifth (19%) said they have felt pressured to redecorate by a partner or family member and one in ten said to impress their guests. Meanwhile, 7% of Brits have lived with the same dated interiors for more than 10 years.


The new QLED TV from Samsung signposts a revolution in TV design that matches our increasingly sophisticated interior design tastes – it can blend in with the décor of the home or display imagery when not in use1, effectively banishing the ugly black screens which have dominated our living rooms for so long.



To find out more about Samsung’s QLED TV, visit http://www.samsung.com/uk/tvs/qled-tv/highlights/

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