5 mistakes you’re making when decorating your kitchen

5 mistakes you’re making when decorating your kitchen
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A colorful kitchen.
A colorful kitchen.

  • Robert Gigliotti and Ethan Gaskill went viral on TikTok for sharing their home decor “icks.”
  • They told Business Insider that kitchen decor doesn’t need to be overly curated.
  • It’s time to ditch taking on too many DIY projects, they added.

It’s no secret that working from home has become far more commonplace since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All this time at home — alongside high interest rates and a bleak housing market — has led to a focus on home renovation and decoration projects, with a 2024 Opendoor survey reporting that Americans spend an average of $1,599 on home decor annually.

And while so much of the internet has shared tips and hot takes on using that money to incorporate the latest design trends into your space, LA-based content creators Robert Gigliotti and Ethan Gaskill have taken a different approach.

The friends and collaborators have struck a chord on TikTok by sharing their least favorite home decor trends in a viral series called “home decor icks.” The videos have highlighted everything from their dislike of food-themed decor and washable rugs to retro appliances and “quirky” art prints.

Gigliotti and Gaskill are not designers, but have self-taught eyes for design fostered by family experiences: Gigliotti’s mother flipped houses while he was growing up, and Gaskill’s mother was a real-estate agent and his father built custom homes. Together, their strong opinions have resonated with TikTok users to garner more than 3.5 million views.

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“I think because, once again, this is a lot of stuff we’ve done ourselves, or we grew up with siblings that have done this, or parents, it’s all things that people kind of agree on or relate to in a way, that they can kind of laugh about,” Gaskill told Business Insider.

Gigliotti added, “We’re not just saying, ‘Don’t get this ugly chair. You’re pathetic.’ We’re trying to find ways to make everyone’s life easier and have a space that’s lasting, that’s better for the environment because we’re not throwing things away, making people happier.”

Business Insider spoke with Gigliotti and Gaskill to hear more about what they think you should avoid when decorating kitchens, from overzealous DIY projects to perfectly curated countertops.

You don’t need to keep all your appliances out on display.
Kitchen appliances.
Kitchen appliances.

“You don’t need a Ninja CREAMi ice cream maker on the counter, an espresso machine, a microwave, an air fryer,” Gaskill said.

“Obviously, not everyone has the storage for everything, but I think people just keep all their appliances out all the time and it takes up all your counter space,” he added.

Space permitting, leave out your most used appliances, like a coffee maker and toaster oven, and save the rest for when you actually need them.

Everything doesn’t need to have its own “design moment.”
Yellow toaster and other kitchen items.
Yellow toaster and other kitchen items.

From squiggle outlet covers to lemon-yellow toasters, everything can be a curated design moment, but for Gigliotti, that doesn’t mean everything should be.

“Things don’t need to be a focus, so if you have a microwave, just get one that blends into the space. It doesn’t need to be hot pink with cups placed on top of it and cookbooks,” he said.

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“Just have a microwave and it is what it is. I use my microwave every single day, but I’m not making it the highlight of my space,” Gigliotti added.

This also means you can skip purchasing fake vintage or retro appliances.
Retro refrigerator.
Retro refrigerator.

Continuing with the theme of unnecessary design moments, one of Gaskill’s “icks” from the duo’s first video was fake vintage or retro appliances.

Instead, just stick with something classic like stainless steel that will never go out of style. Add pops of color and personality elsewhere where they can truly shine.

Taking on too many DIY projects can be costly and actually make your kitchen look worse.
Colorful backsplash.
Peel-and-stick tile may not be worth your time or money.

One of the major themes Gigliotti and Gaskill stressed was the idea of working with what you already have.

“I think when a lot of people try to band-aid things they don’t like, that’s when it starts to almost draw more attention to it in a negative way unless it’s done so well,” Gaskill said. “Most of us are still learning. I mean, not all of us are professional remodelers, so a lot of times it’s not done very well, and then that’s when it becomes more of an eyesore.”

“It’s like, you should have just left your white refrigerator white instead of painting it or putting peel-and-stick stuff all over it,” he added. “Just let things be what they are, embrace it, and then aspire for something different in your next place.”

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Over-styling your bar carts and open shelving can make your space appear too staged.
Bar cart.
Bar cart.

“When it’s overly styled, with six cookbooks stacked there and then a little jar that you’re never going to use and never touch, I think that just doesn’t look lived in,” Gigliotti said.

Instead, prioritize functionality and authenticity when styling by adding whatever it is that you actually use frequently, whether it’s dishes like cups and bowls, or various utensils.

“I think our generation is now, all beige, beads cascading on a tray on your coffee table with pampas grass. It’s just like, if you’re using a wooden spoon every day and it’s functional for your kitchen, that’s going to look so much better when it’s authentic,” Gigliotti said.

Ultimately, their favorite inspiration is personality-filled homes from movies like “Julie & Julia” and “Practical Magic.”

“The house from ‘Practical Magic’ is so cozy, and it just feels so rich and it has so much character to it,” Gaskill said. “I aspire for that to be how my home is. I don’t want people to come in, and it looks like a CB2 catalog. I want it to feel like, ‘Oh, this is Ethan, this is his home.'”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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