Across the country, there are probably landfills filled with peach toilets, mint green sinks, fake wood paneling and mauve balloon shades.

They represent decorating trends that have come and gone. Long gone, in fact.

These once popular, but now banished home-decor styles, are just a few of many offenders that Lincoln Journal Star readers mentioned in a very unscientific poll on the subject.

The winner -- or should that be loser -- by a pretty good margin was odd-colored porcelain bathroom fixtures.

Coming in second in our poll was fake wood paneling. Third place went to wallpaper borders.

Our list of the seven deadliest decorating sins included those three, plus the color mauve -- a purple-pinkish hue that dominated the 1980s; puffy balloon shades and other swaggy valances; velour-covered anything; and plastic floral arrangements.

Turns out there were plenty of other inferior interior trends that our readers would like to see banished, too.

Here were some other “deadly” choices they named:

* Shag carpet -- especially mentioned were green and orange and orangey brown. Also in the carpet category: indoor/outdoor carpet.

* A variety of wallpaper styles, including “velvet” wallpaper (which is probably flocked), large florals and “tacky patterned full wall” wallpaper.

* Kitchens that are “country blue.”

* Mirror walls.

* Sponge-painted walls.

* Stenciling and more specifically script stenciling. “People need to stop with the words on the walls.”

* Macrame hanging lamps, wall art or hanging plant holders -- pretty much anything macrame.

* Avocado fixtures or decor and “basically the entire '70s color scheme.”

Nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to interior design. Yesterday’s hottest trend eventually may become a new home buyer’s most hideous spot in the house.

So how do you avoid these decorating deadly sins in the first place?

Stick with classic designs for large pieces of furniture, such as your sofa or dining room table and anything more permanent, such as bathroom fixtures, said Kay Maxwell, co-owner and ASID designer at Paul Daniels Interiors.

If you are attracted to something that may be merely a passing fad, have fun with accessories, Maxwell said. Get pops of a trendy color with pillows or inexpensive lamps.

She agreed with readers who felt that the colors mauve and blue paired with ruffles and ducks -- deemed “country” in the 1980s -- is one of the worst past decorating sins.

“Primitives, which are true country classics, are nothing like that,” she said.

And although flocked wallpaper made the list of “sins,” it is slowly coming back in vogue, Maxwell said. Because she remembers it the first time around, Maxwell is not a fan this time.

“It gets dusty and is hard to hang,” she said.

Anything that is “supposed to look like something else,” is probably not going to have staying power, Maxwell said. She included laminates that are made to look like granite; paneling that is supposed to resemble wood but isn’t made of wood and any other “faux” finishes.

When Maxwell finds herself facing these bygone trends in a client's home, she always is respectful.

“Our homes are very personal and a lot of love has gone into the decorating,” she said.

Instead she asks, “Tell me what you have in mind to change?” and “What is your budget?” The answer to those questions usually leads to a discussion of what the client is looking for, Maxwell said.

If you are starting out in a new space without the aid of an interior designer, do some research with home-oriented magazines, HGTV shows and internet blogs like

If in doubt, check out You won’t see anyone pinning a balloon shade to their “Homestyle” boards.

Reach Kathryn Cates Moore at 402-473-7214 or at