Five Interior Design Trends That Turn Off Buyers

Styling a property for sale is a markedly different task to designing a home for everyday living.

While an open bathroom with rose gold tap-ware might rate highly on Pinterest, this can be deal-breaker for potential home buyers seeking a practical and timeless property.

“Having these statement features work perfectly well for your ‘forever home’, but don’t work so well when it comes to sale time,” says Tammy Nathan of Styling Properties.

Elaborate, contemporary bathrooms like this beauty, designed by Gervais Fortin, are tricky to sell to everyday buyers.

Elaborate, contemporary bathrooms like this beauty, designed by Gervais Fortin, are tricky to sell to everyday buyers. 

Steer clear of the following buyer pet peeves when preparing your home for sale.


Elaborate, contemporary bathrooms might be all the rage in design magazines, but this interest is rarely mirrored in the property market.

When inspecting a home, most buyers look for practical, low-maintenance bathrooms.

Managing director of RPM Real Estate Rodney Morley says a constant buyer turn-off is “the new trend of open showers immediately adjacent to baths”.

“Every time you have a shower you need to wipe down the bath,” he says.

This same sentiment applies to the positioning of bathrooms in every corner of the house – who has time to clean them all?

Buyers agent for Good Deeds Property Buyers Michelle May, says 2½ bathrooms (a main bathroom, ensuite and separate toilet) is sufficient for a four-bedroom home.

“Rather than squeezing in yet another bathroom, use the space for a study with storage or a well-designed spacious laundry instead. Your buyers will love you for it,” May says.

Photo credit: via Vogue Styling


Blush pink may be the colour of the moment, but too much runs the risk of alienating buyers.

“We would advise you to use it sparingly,” says Sara Chamberlain, director of The Real Estate Stylist.

“It’s important to understand that males and females are different in how they react to a space. Typically, a style that is too frilly, too pink and too sparkly will be isolating to some buyers, and you never want to cut out part of the market.”

Instead of painting a pale pink feature wall in the living room, try injecting splashes of this colour through decor items than can easily be updated.

“You can bring in the latest trend through decoration – cushions, homewares, accessories – that a buyer knows can be changed,” Nathan says.

Design by Mesh Design


Once a largely industrial material, concrete floors are a huge trend in residential interior design.

While designers tend to appreciate the minimal, modern aesthetic this material creates, the same cannot always be said of home buyers.

“They suit a particular buyer. Young families, for example, may not find this family friendly,” Chamberlain says.

“They can be cold and noisy and will turn off some buyers.”

However, polishing the concrete floors may improve your home’s appeal with other demographics.

Not only do they create a brighter look, they are also easy to clean, highly durable and energy efficient.

Photo credit: Image via Stadshem


Before you add that Scandinavian-style floor lamp to your online shopping cart, consider whether it’s really in keeping with the style and era of your home.

Styling your home with impulse decor purchases can detract from its overall feel and create an overly “themed” look that confuses buyers.

“We know that there are some key design trends on the market such as glamour, ‘scandi’, monochrome or industrial, however you cannot style an entire room in one theme and another room in another theme,” Chamberlain says.

“We always aim to create synergy between rooms and pick one style that suits the property’s features, and still make it balance so it’s not thematic.”

Buyers generally respond favourably to homes that showcase a cohesive look, so try to stick to the one style.

Photo credit: Beacon Lighting


Statement design features such as pendant lights can deter buyers who prefer a timeless, uncomplicated style.

“We are really seeing an overuse of pendants lately,” Chamberlain says.

“We love a pendent light, but they often hang low which limits future design and artwork spaces. They can also quickly date a space, so choose wisely.”

An overload of pendants can also be expensive to maintain.

“Too many in one space and you spend all day flicking on switches and buying fancy bulbs,” Chamberlain says.

“Keep it fresh and make an impact with a classic choice that suits the architecture.”

Article by: Amelia Barnes / Domain Reporter

Photo Credits: Beacon Lighting, Stadshem,  Lunchbox Architect, Vogue Styling, Alexandre Parent