I'm a Gen Z interior designer. Here are 4 trends I absolutely love and 4 I think are dated.

  • As a Gen Z interior designer, I see lots of trends that I think are timeless and a few I don't love.

  • I can't get enough of thrifted furniture, the checkerboard pattern, and bold lighting choices.

  • On the other hand, I'm not a fan of stark-white decor, pot lights, or animal print.

As a Gen Z interior designer, I love helping people utilize the latest trends to create a cozy space.

Since studying interior design in the US, Florence, and London and graduating this past summer, I've even built a social-media following by sharing several of my favorite Gen Z-approved decorating tips.

Here are some of the Gen Z trends I think are timeless, and the ones I recommend that you ignore.

I love how Gen Z uses color.

Green cabinets and neutral countertops in kitchen
Mix neutrals and colorful hues together.brizmaker/Shutterstock

Incorporating colors is one of the least expensive and most impactful tools for designing your space.

My favorite trick for creating a timeless space is using neutral-colored bigger furniture, like a couch, and adding brighter hues through smaller, easily interchangeable elements. I like to add colorful pillows, throw blankets, plants, table lamps, and artwork.

I've noticed that Gen Z is especially loving dark greens, lively blues, and cheerful pinks. The right hues can truly make your space look spectacular and, if you're someone who likes to switch up decor, swapping colorful accessories is the most convenient way to create a fresh look.

Secondhand furniture is the way to go.

Thrifted wooden chest with glassware on top
I love the look of thrifted, well-made furniture.Nana_studio/Shutterstock

One of my favorite trends in interior design right now is appreciating previously loved, secondhand furniture.

You can get good-quality, beautiful pieces for cheap through Facebook marketplace, on furniture exchange sites, and at estate sales. Keep your eye out for upholstered chairs, dressers, coffee tables, and dining chairs.

If older pieces of furniture make you want to shudder and run the other way, I encourage you to give them another look. Examine the quality and design and consider potential.

You can also update older pieces to make them spectacular: Take off lacquer and showcase a natural-wood finish or slap on a coat of paint and use some modern, fun fabrics.

Bold lighting choices are your best friend.

A room with a large boho-style light fixture
I've seen Gen Z using oversized lighting fixtures.Andreas von Einsiedel/Getty Images

Think of lighting as your way to quite literally let your space shine. Right now, I see more Gen Zers choosing bold, interesting lighting choices.

Whether it's oversized chandeliers in the entryway, sweeping floor lamps in the living room, or bathroom backlighting that makes you look like a supermodel, I'm here for it all.

Lighting is quite literally another form of art so be bold.

I can't get enough of checkered patterns.

Black-and-white checkered kitchen backsplash and flooring
I think the checkered pattern is the new stripe.alexandre zveiger/Shutterstock

One of my favorite trends is the checkered pattern because I think it's a fun way to add a sense of playfulness to a room. I'm a big fan of checkered carpets, pillows, and flooring in an entrance.

I'd argue that the checkered pattern is timeless not only because it has a long history on game boards, but also because there can be so much variation in the actual pattern. Unconventional colors and wavy designs are especially popular right now.

In my opinion, the checkered pattern is an elevated stripe.

On the other hand, I can't support cheaply made, mass-produced furniture.

Dirty, cheaply made mauve couch
Mass-produced pieces can wear quickly.Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock

Apart from a few pieces here and there, I want to say goodbye to mass-produced, cheaply-made furniture. In addition to looking cheap, many mass-produced pieces are not made to last.

In particular, I'd suggest staying away from high-traffic furniture that can deteriorate fast. For example, a cheap sofa will sag in time and coffee spills can stain a cheap table.

I'm done with stark-white decor.

red x over white kitchen with gold accents
Stark-white rooms can look sterile.hikesterson/Getty Images

Stark white has reigned supreme in the design world but, in my opinion, it's on its way out. Though stark-white walls can make a room look large and clean, they can easily make your space appear sterile and harsh.

Opt for softer whites, and combine them with warmer elements like natural wood and soft textures like blankets, rugs, and window treatments.

Walking into a room with pot lights makes me feel tense.

Living room with overhead pot lights and red arrows pointing to them
Pot lights don't add much warmth to a space.BM_27/Shutterstock

At some point, designers fell in love with pot lights but I'm just not a fan.

Pot lights, or recessed lights on the ceiling, are a great way to illuminate an entire room but they often fail to be warm and inviting.

Be sure to vary the type of lighting within your space. This could be through table lamps, cabinet backlighting, or even installing lighting within art pieces. I promise that you'll see an instant, dramatic change in your space.

I'm ready to say goodbye to animal print.

A brown-and-white cow print sofa
In my opinion, animal print often looks tacky.Marko Poplasen/Shutterstock

I've never been a fan of animal print — well, let's ignore that one year of my childhood when I was obsessed with "The Cheetah Girls."

There are so many interesting patterns and prints you can use in your space but for me, a zebra stripe just doesn't cut it. I think animal print can often make your space look tacky.

If you're looking for a pattern, I'd opt for something more cheerful, like checkers.

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