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The era of '70s nostalgia has come to an end, as 42% of Americans regret their shag carpets, conversation pits, and wood-paneled walls.

In a recent poll of 2,000 U.S. homeowners, 75% admitted regretting some of their home improvement choices. This study also found that 69% of respondents are embarrassed to welcome people into their homes due to their aesthetic decisions.

Half of the survey participants even shared that some people they've invited into their homes have judged them for how they've decorated their living spaces. We share some other surprising findings from the home improvements survey below.

Home improvement survey infographic


Home Improvement Trends Not Aging Well for Homeowners

In addition to regretting 1970s decor, homeowners also had various other regrets on trends, such as mounting their TVs above the fireplace (40%) or higher than eye level (43%), and 15% regret trying to spruce up their home with a different paint color — specifically, avocado green (53%), eggshell white (49%), and millennial pink (44%).

Survey participants also identified some of the most popular and least popular home improvement trends. 

The most popular trends include:

  • Decorating with live flowers (57%)
  • Reclaimed wood art (54%)
  • Crown/base molding (52%)

On the flip side, the least popular home improvements include:

  • Poured cement art (39%)
  • Chalkboard walls (39%)
  • Applying wallpaper (38%)
  • Framing mirrors (36%)

Many Have Home Improvement Projects Planned for 2023

couple in living room planning renovation


The survey, commissioned by Slickdeals and conducted by OnePoll, also found that 85% of homeowners believe their home is in “dire need” of some remodeling — 78% plan to start home improvement projects this year.

Homeowners plan to remodel an average of three rooms over the next six months. The most common rooms they plan to work on include:

  • Living room (49%)
  • Primary bedroom 48%)
  • Kitchen (47%)

Some of the most common looks people are going for are modern (29%), bohemian (12%), and rustic (7%)

When seeking inspiration, the majority of homeowners turn to these traditional sources: decor/architecture magazines (55%), home improvement apps (54%), and TV shows (50%).

"Changing your home to reflect your style can be done even with a smaller budget,” said Vitaly Pecharsky, head of deals for Slickdeals. “This can start with something as simple as decluttering your home to larger changes such as bathroom vanities and appliances. Tapping into seasonal sales can also help you save.” 

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Staying Within Budget Is a Top Priority

The survey also found that the average homeowner intends to spend around $1,753 on upcoming renovation projects.

But 81% of the homeowners surveyed plan to stay within budget — 9% claim they can get their projects for under $500.

Based on survey responses, the most aesthetically-pleasing minor home improvement projects are basic changes like:

  • Painting walls (46%)
  • Decorating with trinkets and tchotchkes (46%)
  • Buying new throw pillows (45%)
  • Hanging artwork (44%)

More than half of homeowners (52%) admitted considering changing their home’s look because of an item they purchased on sale. 

Surprisingly, 73% said they’d be willing to purchase an item on sale, even if it didn’t match their home’s existing aesthetic.

Pecharsky added, “Finding a sale doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your home’s aesthetic. By checking back regularly with a deal site like ours, you can find the best products at the best prices.”

Biggest Decor Regrets

When it comes to decor regrets, shag carpeting, recessed seating and TVs mounted above eye level took the lead with 43% of people citing these as decisions they regretted.

Modern kitchen design trends such as kitchen islands and peninsulas also made the list: 23% of people regretted kitchen islands and 17% of people didn't end up loving their kitchen peninsula after all.

13 biggest decor regrets chart


Survey Methodology

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American homeowners was commissioned by Slickdeals between March 27 and April 3, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).


Slickdeals Money Staff

The Slickdeals Money editorial team is dedicated to helping readers navigate the personal finance space. We’re passionate about educating our readers on the very best financial tools & products on the market today.