Interior Designers Share The Most Underrated Design Styles

Breakfast Room Midcentury Chairs Interior Design
Not every design choice is the same. These underrated styles often add something unique and unexpected to a space.

While every interior designer has their own style, there are many styles that are universally accepted as chic: cloud sofas, Carerra marble countertops, accent mirrors, Eames chairs, and cane furniture are good examples of this. On the other hand, there are design choices and pieces of furniture that might not be getting their due. These underrated styles often add something unique and unexpected to a space. I recently spoke with several interior designers to learn what styles they think are underrated and should be considered more often. Their picks aren’t only surprising, but they might make you rethink how you’re decorating or renovating your home.

Fringe Pillows Rattan Furniture

According to the designers, one throwback that is gaining in popularity is fringe due to its versatility.

Skirted Furniture

Melanie Hay of Melanie Hay Design Studio shares that she loves skirted furniture because it is an effective use of design. “Skirted furniture has the wonderful effect of softening a space, grounding the room in a way, and it keeps things from looking too formal. A skirted sofa or set of armchairs is an obvious pairing with tight back and showood furniture, but one particularly underrated skirted furniture piece is the skirted table,” she says. “Whether it’s a side table in a living room, entry table in a foyer, or bedside table, a skirted table is incredibly versatile. It brings a soft touch to the room and provides an opportunity for hidden storage underneath.”

Hay also thinks skirting is a great way to hide a table that doesn’t quite work with the other pieces in the room or perhaps has slightly damaged legs. “Top it with a piece of marble or glass and the effect is transformational. Adding custom details with decorative tapes and trims is another option to elevate the piece, or you could use heavy-weight solid linen for a more contemporary and casual yet elegant look. Think John Saladino, Italian country estates, even California coastal vibes— skirted furniture is a wonderful addition to any space.”

Fringe

Fringe is a very specific design choice and a stylish embellishment that is currently falling back into favor. “Fringe is so underrated right now! I think it will grow rapidly in the coming months, from sofas and chairs to being used in accent pieces. The options are limitless,” says Chaya Krinsky of TOV.

Butcher Block Kitchen Countertops

Want a different but classic look in the kitchen? Try butcher block for countertops.

Colored Trim

Looking to add a pop of color to a space? Consider adding some color trim. Kate Lester of Kate Lester Interiors says that “Colored trim is such an underrated design trend in my opinion! Choosing a color for your windows and door trims, instead of plain white, will add interest and contrast, especially if you keep the walls white instead!”

Butcher Block Countertops

While most of us think stone countertops such as Carerra marble and quartz are the only way to go, a butcher block can be a great alternative to create a more striking look. “An underrated design choice is butcher block countertops in kitchens,” says Sarah Stacey of Sarah Stacey Interior Design. “I love using them as an accent on an island because they are soft-looking and warm up a kitchen. Materials in a kitchen are typically hard and cold.”

Pink Paint

Pink is an extremely bold design choice and is a great way to make a big design impact without adding another piece of furniture or spending a lot of money. “Choosing pink paint is so underrated. Potted Shrimp by Farrow and Ball is my new favorite blush, especially for a powder room. It’s so fresh and soft— the most perfect color for a small space,” says Hilary Matt of Hilary Matt Interiors.

Plaster

Pink Hued Interior Design Accent Pieces

Looking to make a statement? Trying going with a pink hue as opposed to a classic white or grey.

Many decades ago, plaster was a popular material for walls because it has a rich-looking aesthetic and provides excellent sound insulation. “Plaster is one of the most underrated design finishes of our time,” says Sarah Solis of Sarah Solis Design Studio. “The material offers a simple finish with a timeless profound effect. A plaster wall carries emotion, creating a story and personality that paint cannot parallel.”

Campaign Style Furniture

Interior designer Kevin Francis O’Gara shares that he has always felt that campaign-style furniture is underrated. “It’s a traditional design style that dates back to the furniture of World War I that needed to be carried from camp to camp, and has clean lines and sharp metal bracket detailing that make it easy to pair with anything!”

While you can find vintage pieces, O’Gara says it’s okay not to shy away from copies as well, depending on budget and availability. “I love vintage or reproduction campaign furniture for that perfect balance of new and old style,” he says.

Parsons-Style Decor

Simple but fresh and clean, Parsons-style pieces are a great addition to any modern or contemporary home. “Parsons-style decor including the signature chairs, trays, and tables is something I can always count on,” says O’Gara. “Whether I’m working on a more traditional or contemporary space, the clean lines of this style invented by Jean-Michel Frank are absolutely timeless.”

Author

I am a writer, design expert, host of the podcast Bougie Adjacent, and comedic performer. I am absolutely fascinated by all aspects of décor and design. It once took me six months to choose a soap dispenser and I can’t even remember what it looked like. I like bright prints, southern exposure and any location you can call a “village or town.” There are currently over 100 episodes of House Hunters on my DVR.

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