Why De-Influencing Might Be the Best Decorating Approach

If you’re tired of seeing a new viral TikTok home decor trend every other day, de-influencing could be for you.

Spending any amount of time online means you know what it’s like to be inundated with trend after trend and constant product recommendations every time you open any social media app. From beauty techniques to breakfast ideas, creators and brands seemingly work overtime to try to get you to buy what they’re selling—and whether we’re aware of it or not, it can be mentally and financially draining to keep up. Existing on the internet and avoiding getting influenced may sound counterintuitive, but it’s possible with a change in outlook.

midentury modern living room gray palette arched lamp wood tones
Annie Schlechter

The anti-trend known as “de-influencing,” a term (ironically) popularized on TikTok and other social media platforms, refers to shifting your focus away from trends and toward cultivating your own unique style instead. It’s a mindset that keeps you aware of when you’re being influenced, so you can stop spending money and time chasing trends that probably won’t last.

“[It’s] a response to the societal pressures to ‘keep up’ by constantly purchasing what is popular at the moment, regardless of your own tastes,” says Living Spaces interior designer Jessica Harris. “De-influencing also encourages consumers to invest in high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time instead of items that will break down and need to be replaced over and over again.”

When it comes to the home, there’s always a new “core” to try or a trendy decor piece to add to cart (re: the cloud couch, mushroom lamps, the coveted Anthropologie Gleaming Primrose Mirror, etc.).  When these styles or items fall in line with your personal style, there’s nothing wrong with trying it out in your space—but if the only reason you’re interested is because your favorite influencer posted about it, you may want to reevaluate.

Dana Gallagher 

Harris points out that trends have always existed—we can use them as inspiration, and they can even serve as a way to evolve our tastes. It can get a little problematic, however, with the constant exposure and overturning cycle social media pushes, plus the ease of breaking our budget on something we might not even like in a month or two.

“The simplest trick to stop yourself from being influenced by a trend is to ask yourself if you would’ve loved the piece you’re looking at just as much a year ago,” she says. “If the answer is no … then you probably won’t like it in a year when the trend has passed.”

To de-influence your home, it’s important to know the design elements you genuinely love and reflect your personality. If you’re still trying to establish your style, experiment with smaller decor pieces in a smaller space (like a minor kitchen refresh). Once you find it, commit. 

How you furnish and decorate your space usually differs room to room, too, so be sure to take functionality into consideration. 

“You should start by determining the purpose each room serves,” Harris says. “For example, if you have a dining room: Is this space mostly used for formal occasions, or is it a place where you and your family eat daily? Do you enjoy using your living room for cozy nights in or for entertaining? Asking yourself these questions will help you establish your needs, and from there, you can focus on making purchases to fit those needs.”

Stick with classic styles for larger purchases like couches and dining sets, and feel free to indulge in whatever “core” is taking over TikTok with smaller decor pieces. De-influencing isn’t necessarily about avoiding all trends or never changing it up; it’s more about making decisions and purchases regardless of trendiness. Harris recommends focusing on bringing in different textures, especially natural ones, to make the space look more interesting and elegant. Avoid playing with multiple bold colors at once, as your feelings toward them can change. Harris also suggests looking for materials that age well and will last for years—a timeless leather sofa in a simple cut, for example.

“I think consumers should remember that trends are a cycle, and if you try to follow all of them, you’ll exhaust yourself and your budget. My mindset toward trends is that they’re inspiration, not a shopping list,” Harris says. “If you break down what you actually like about the trend, you can find new design elements to experiment with—which are much more timeless than the trends themselves.”

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