What is Cheugy Home Decor? Experts Reveal Outdated Home Décor and Design Trends

Updated on September 16th, 2021

Do you own inspirational throw pillows? Is your room decorated with chevron prints? Or maybe you have shiplap on your walls. If you answered yes to any of those, your home interior may just be “cheugy”. From name brands and music taste, to clothing trends and home decor, this new term is a catch-all word broadly used to describe something or someone’s relevance.

Cheugy home decor includes shiplap and word art

What does cheugy mean?

So what does cheugy (pronounced chew-gee) even mean? This term, as you’ll learn, can be difficult to describe but easy to identify. Gaining popularity on TikTok, Gen Z has coined the buzzword “cheugy” as a word to describe outdated trends, specifically targeting common styles and preferences among millennials. Whether it be interior design trends, obsessions with certain TV shows and movies, or wearing certain clothing brands, the term is only meant to poke fun at the generational differences.

Is your home decor cheugy?

Now you may be wondering if your interior design and home decor fall into the category of “cheugy”. Ultimately, your style and taste need to reflect what you like and what makes you happy. The key is surrounding yourself with pieces that you love instead of avoiding items you’d otherwise like because they might be considered “cheugy”. 

Trends are always changing, and something that’s categorized as “cheugy” today may not be tomorrow. We asked experts from Vancouver, CA to Miami, FL, to reveal outdated decor and design trends that so many of us are guilty of.

Cheugy home decor trends

Barn doors, shiplap, and word quotes

To me, cheugy home decor is cookie-cutter, unoriginal, and trendy for the sake of trendy – things you see in every Pinterest post or decor Instagram feed. My least favorite cheugy decor trends are rolling barn doors (who wants to use the bathroom in a barn?), shiplap (expensive and overused – try a wallpaper accent wall instead), generic word quotes (better to check out Etsy or art fairs for cool finds by local artists). It’s more fun to develop your own style than follow trends – I’d recommend getting a few design books, perusing local vintage shops, and finding unique elements that you truly love. – Bonnie Bryant Creative

Televisions are a thing of the past

Goodbye television, hello happiness. As media becomes ever-present and overly accessible, focusing a living room around a large TV media center has begun to feel clunky and distracting to socializing in shared spaces. Instead of a television, centering attention on artwork or a natural view will help quiet the mind, drawing attention to the people in the room instead of the screen. – Sarah Barnard Design

Contrasting color on kitchen islands is a cheugy home trend

Instead, keep color simple and uniform. Add interest and warmth by layering with textured backsplash, wood accents, and mixed metals. – Reed & Acanthus Interior Design

White cabinets with brown kitchen island

Farmhouse-style homes and decor

I feel that the over-done house style “farmhouse style” is outdated. I also recommend avoiding too much shiplap and chunky throws. Instead, I suggest a soft, neutral palette with loads of texture and choosing items that reflect you and your family. Pro tip: you can’t go wrong with a good pop of color. Think emerald green, and dreamy, caramel tones. – Jessica Holmes, Holiday, HSH Designs

Candles with paraffin, VOCs, fragrances, and synthetic dyes

Candles with toxins in them are outdated, as well as unhealthy. We understand how comforting it is for clients to use candles to create a welcoming vibe in their home, so we suggest candles that are healthier, such as beeswax ones. Ingredients we recommend staying away from are paraffin, VOCs, and synthetic dyes and fragrances, to name a few. – Samara Interiors

Inexpensive materials and finishes

I see a growing appreciation for quality craftsmanship, materials, and finishes as well as a desire to be more thoughtful about how we consume resources. This aligns our client’s desire with ours in avoiding the temporary and disposable in favor of designing and selecting pieces that last. – Mark Cravotta, Cravotta Interiors

Motivational word art is cheugy home decor

We declare all that is “Live, Laugh, Love” as cheugy home decor. We will even throw in the wordy tea towels, and those “Eat” kitchen signs too, for good measure, of course. – Gardella Design

Adding wallpaper borders is cheugy home decor

While wallpaper has definitely made a comeback, the practice of using wallpaper borders is a trend we would rather see stay in the past. With today’s simplified and “less fussy” approach to living in our homes, the “less is more” adage rules the foundation of today’s decorating applications. – Kelly Tivey Interiors

“Cheesy” displays in your kitchen

I try not to put too much emphasis on what is trending and instead focus on what really resonates with the client and fits the style of the home. That being said, cheeseboards leaning against the backsplash have certainly had their moment and have appeared in nearly every kitchen photoshoot that has been done in the past year (including mine). It’s time to find something new for styling. I love to use artwork, handmade ceramics, unique salt & pepper shakers – anything that reflects the client’s life or can be useful in the kitchen. – Alison Haltom, Owner of Design for Living

Almost anything gray

As a designer, I don’t typically follow home trends. Although at times a new trend becomes embedded in a culture and has staying power. Take the color gray as an example, its popularity came to be in the 2009 recession – it is very popular 11 years later. Will the color gray ever go away? – Jeanne Finnerty Interior Design

Living room with gray walls and gray couch

Large damask patterns, floral repeat patterns, leather patterned wallpaper

We are seeing large damask patterns, floral repeat patterns, and leather patterns going out of fashion for wallpapers. Large wall murals of chinoiserie, tropical, floral, natural marble, or stone finish wallpaper are becoming trendy. – Apourva, CEO of Life N Colors, a leading wallpaper designer

Wall-to-wall carpeting and espresso-colored cabinets

It’s pretty passé; and I don’t think it’s coming back even for just sanitation purposes, not to mention the development of modular carpet tiles. I believe espresso-colored kitchen cabinets are cheugy and are not going to last much longer than the caffeine high. – Lily Z Designs

Sticking with the grey palette

Ditch your boring grey colour palette: Greys can be a great backdrop and easy colour selection for interior decor. However, 2021 has seen a shift away from the neutral/cool grey palette. Over the last decade, cool greys have been a go-to choice for paint, and even furniture for most. It is easy, practical, and ultimately seen as a clean airy look. I say ditch the boring cool grey palette and bring on the colour. Going big and bold is better nowadays, and we have noticed that more and more of our clients prefer having more colour and warmth in their homes. Nothing says inviting like a bold dark colour in a small space to create a statement or conversation. – Melissa Lepage, Senior Interior Decorator at Courtney Turk Interiors

Purchasing “fast furniture”

Cheap, fast factory-made furniture became popular in the mid-’90s is a cheugy home trend that you’d typically toss after a few months of use or the next time you moved. This has become outdated and a thing of the past. Now that there are “performance fabrics” that are stain-resistant, and can withstand heavy-duty wear and tear, homeowners are seeing the value in investing in custom-designed furniture that they can enjoy for years to come. Plus they can have beautiful functional furniture that can become collective pieces that can be passed down or refurbished to tell a unique story and reduce waste and money. – Monique Nicole

Cheugy home decor includes gallery walls with trinkets incorporated

Gallery walls that are too filled in with tchotchkes, or too many items that don’t match in scale or theme will feel like the early 2000’s and will not be the chic expression of your personal style that you’re hoping for. Opt for a similar type of frame with a thought-out color pallet for photos. Or do a mix of different frames, but all black and white photos. Avoid home decor that’s cheugy and hire a professional artwork hanger in your area will also help ensure your gallery wall has a designer touch. – Mountain Home Collective

Accent walls

There are so many new, fresh design trends that we can let go of the ones that should be lost and forgotten. One trend we need to let go of is cool gray, especially on walls. That color always reminds me of battleships. Also, stop it with the shiplap and barn doors since you weren’t raised in a barn. One last tip: accent color walls need to go. You did this in college so don’t do it at home. Painting a room one color allows you to be chic from start to finish. – Kevin Hall Interior Designer

Julia is a part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate and design trends. Her dream home be a charming beachside home with lots of light.
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