Ugliest House In America Shares How Themed Decor Can Make Your Home Look Tasteless

If you're a lover of the beach, perhaps you've thought about creating a coastal-themed room in your home. Maybe, when considering this, you picture lots of seashells, anchor décor, sand in glass bottles, or images of waves on the walls. All of this would be considered themed décor because it has literal connections with the beach. 

However, when comedian Retta, host of "Ugliest House in America," enters a home with many of these elements, she knows that it's one of the worst spaces she's seen — she calls it "beach décor galore," per Realtor. This is because themed décor can make a design look extremely tasteless. To greatly improve the space, designer Alison Victoria from "Windy City Rehab" first removes all of the shell decorations, "Lifeguard On Duty" signs, and crab statues she can find. Then, she gets to work on giving the home a beachy feeling instead of a cheesy theme.

Below, you'll find some of the main reasons why themed décor ruins the aesthetic of a space. Additionally, you'll discover some ways to create a coastal atmosphere in your home that doesn't look tacky.

Why themed décor just doesn't work

When Alison Victoria enters the over-the-top beachy home (pictured above), she says, "It's a lot. You don't know where to look!" (per Discovery+). This is one of the main issues with themed décor — it ultimately creates a cluttered look that doesn't have a clear focal point. Victoria adds that, while she still wants the owners of the home to have the coastal vibe they desire, "I also need to clear the clutter. We need to clean this thing up!"

In addition to adding an overwhelming appearance, themed décor is like party decorations, per School of Decorating; while fun for a day, these items are not meant to appear timeless. Additionally, party decorations are supposed to be extremely literal — if you have a jungle-themed get-together, you want your guests to feel like they are actually in the jungle. In the home, however, this is not the goal. Instead, you should create an atmosphere that reflects the place you enjoy. Therefore, the theme should never overpower the room.  

How to create a tasteful beachy room

If you want a beachy-themed room, School of Decorating says to think about creating a style, not a theme. A style creates a mood or an overall aesthetic and isn't as limited as a theme. Therefore, incorporate pieces that subtly remind you of the beach to create a coastal home.

Realtor says that when redesigning the overly beachy theme, designer Alison Victoria styles it without using the colors blue or tan. Instead, she provides a modern appearance by mixing green, white, gold, and natural rattan and wood. This demonstrates how you can bring a seaside-inspired atmosphere into your home without using elements that look exactly like the beach.

Coastal Wandering recommends adding driftwood-inspired wooden elements, textured items, rattan furniture, and glass pieces. Natural elements are always a great way to go, both for your style and also to create an inviting feel. Also, consider changes you could make to your lighting fixtures, curtains, and upholstery that could bring in nautical vibes.