I’m an interior guru – vertical blinds and pine furniture make your home look dated and dull

WE all want our homes to look cozy and inviting – but sometimes, despite our best efforts, we end up getting the opposite result.

Offering a helping hand, Kate Conrad, interior design specialist for Madison and Mayfairrevealed the biggest don’ts of home makeovers and the five major mistakes that are making your home look dated and dingy.


Expert Says Pine Furniture Makes Your Home Look Old and DullCredit: Getty
Kate says it's time to ditch all pine and leave vertical blinds in classrooms


Kate says it’s time to ditch all pine and leave vertical blinds in classroomsCredit: Kate Conrad


Vertical blinds are indispensable in classrooms – and according to the genius, that’s where they should stay.

”Reminiscent of stuffy classrooms, it’s time to close the curtains on the vertical blinds.

“Dull design peaked in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and while I’m not overtly against a vintage style, you can definitely do better, like with gorgeous wooden shutters,” he said. she suggested.


Woodchip wallpaper was all the rage…a while ago.

And it’s safe to say that the interior expert isn’t particularly fond of it.

“If you want your home to look like a papier-mâché project gone wrong, then use woodchip wallpaper. ”

Instead, Kate recommended ditching that for ‘smooth, uncluttered walls’ – these, in her view, ‘offer a much more modernist interior that’s easily styled with wall art and picture frames’ .

However, if you want texture, panels are another great option – they’ll provide all the depth you’re looking for without the sticky aftertaste.


No living room is complete without a cozy rug to keep your feet warm – but, according to Kate, you shouldn’t just go for the design you see.

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And here, patterned rugs are a big no-no.

”When I think of patterned rugs, I think of Wetherspoons plates, and that’s not the kind of vibe you want for a fresh, modern home…

“By all means, experiment with (sleek) patterned rugs, but an entire patterned rug can be a little garish, not to mention harder to style with furniture.”


”If you can’t tell, I’m not the biggest pine fan…”

The only good thing about pine, Kate added, is that “thank goodness” the material is easy to paint – “because it definitely needs all the help it can get to look half decent”.

”The way of decorating the interior of the kitchen has thankfully changed for the better, giving way to sleek countertops and completely removing the need for pine. ”


With their colorful and funky patterns, the 70’s style is making a comeback.

But, as far as Kate is concerned, some of her signature looks are set to stick around this decade — colorful bathroom suites included.

“A bathroom should be clean and fresh, not dirty with offensive color palettes splashing across a smaller space with reckless abandon.

”My advice? Stick to white, gray or even black, and instead inject color with a feature wall, prints or subtle additions such as hand towels.”

Leave the patterned rugs to Wetherspoons, Kate thought


Leave the patterned rugs to Wetherspoons, Kate thoughtCredit: Getty
As cheerful as 70s colors can be, it's best to stick to more neutral tones, like white and black.


As cheerful as 70s colors can be, it’s best to stick to more neutral tones, like white and black.Credit: Getty

Betty K. Park