“Don’t Be Tempted By Any Of These.”: 14 Popular Interior Design Trends You Should NOT Get In Your Home, According To A Professional Cleaner

“Don’t Be Tempted By Any Of These.”: 14 Popular Interior Design Trends You Should NOT Get In Your Home, According To A Professional Cleaner

Buying a home is a pretty big deal, and so is deciding what to put in said home. While it’s easy to get caught up in aesthetic trends, are some features and fixtures actually more trouble than they’re worth?

Kate Croukamp, a 45-year-old professional home cleaner and co-owner of Mates Rates, a cleaning company based in the Gold Coast of Australia, has the answer. Kate recently shared this viral video on the educational Clean Like A Pro TikTok account she co-runs with her husband. In Kate’s video, she shares the home renovations she would NEVER get in her own home as a professional cleaner. “Don’t do it, don’t let anybody convince you otherwise. Do not get these in your house. Trust me, you will regret it,” Kate says.

“Don’t Be Tempted By Any Of These.”: 14 Popular Interior Design Trends You Should NOT Get In Your Home, According To A Professional Cleaner“Don’t Be Tempted By Any Of These.”: 14 Popular Interior Design Trends You Should NOT Get In Your Home, According To A Professional Cleaner
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

Kate then launches into which renovations she advises against and why:

“These [shutter] windows. They take three times as long to clean.”

glass shutter windowsglass shutter windows
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“Trench drains. Oh my god, they are absolutely foul. Disgusting, hate them. They stink, gross. Don’t be tempted to get this.”

A screwdriver next to a clogged shower drain filled with hair and debris, with text expressing disgustA screwdriver next to a clogged shower drain filled with hair and debris, with text expressing disgust

A screwdriver next to a clogged shower drain filled with hair and debris, with text expressing disgust

Damaged wall and pipes with cobwebs; text overlay states 'they stink gross'Damaged wall and pipes with cobwebs; text overlay states 'they stink gross'

Damaged wall and pipes with cobwebs; text overlay states ‘they stink gross’

@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“Built-in bins in your kitchen. Yuck.”

Man tying up trash bags in their  kitchen binsMan tying up trash bags in their  kitchen bins
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“These fancy cupboards, for your spices or anything. You know what? You cannot get behind there to clean anything out, and it will drive you absolutely nuts.”

a roll out spice rack drawer with crumbs and debris left in the insidea roll out spice rack drawer with crumbs and debris left in the inside
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“Mirrored splash backs. Don’t do it, don’t be tempted. You will regret it.”

mirrored splashback with grimemirrored splashback with grime
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“Dark kitchen cabinetry. They will show every single fingerprint, smear mark, food splatter, everything. They are very unforgiving.”

Upper half shows dark kitchen cabinetry with streaksUpper half shows dark kitchen cabinetry with streaks
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“These so-called soft touch kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinetry. These— they break so often. They either won’t open, or the slightest little brush against them, and they will pop open.”

Hand opens a cupboard with a built-in organizer, in a kitchen settingHand opens a cupboard with a built-in organizer, in a kitchen setting

Hand opens a cupboard with a built-in organizer, in a kitchen setting

@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“High gloss tiles. Oh god, no. Don’t. Unless of course, you enjoy mopping every day.”

the tiles are reflective after being cleanthe tiles are reflective after being clean
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“These baths with the gap up against the wall. Nope.”

bathtub with text overlay commenting on the tub's design near a wallbathtub with text overlay commenting on the tub's design near a wall
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“These vertical blinds. No, no no. Just, no.”

Dirty vertical blinds with text overlay saying "these vertical blinds no no no"Dirty vertical blinds with text overlay saying "these vertical blinds no no no"
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“And another big no is these [horizontal] blinds. The amount of dust that these gather is will drive you nuts. … There is just dust for days that gather on these blinds.”

Person dusting blinds with a caption about the amount of dust gathered on themPerson dusting blinds with a caption about the amount of dust gathered on them

Person dusting blinds with a caption about the amount of dust gathered on them

Person cleaning window blinds with visible dustPerson cleaning window blinds with visible dust

Person cleaning window blinds with visible dust

@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“Some carpet is like vacuuming Velcro. Everything sticks to it. So, find a way to check before you commit.”

carpet rake is getting out extra hair and debris from the carpetcarpet rake is getting out extra hair and debris from the carpet
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“Another ridiculous cabinetry is these corner lazy Susan things. Again, you cannot clean underneath without removing the whole thing.”

Corner cabinet with a wire shelf rack with dirt underneathCorner cabinet with a wire shelf rack with dirt underneath
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“And the worst of all, these oversized gas ovens and cooktops. They look beautiful in the showroom, but don’t do it. You do not need an oven this size. Thankfully it seems like they’re going out of fashion, and people are choosing a more sleek oven, normal size, 600 mil. Don’t go for one of these 900 mil ovens where there’s a million different pieces to it.”

very large oven with the metal grates on topvery large oven with the metal grates on top
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“There’s hidden little compartments everywhere. After a while, honestly, it just looks like crap…”

sticky grime on top of an oven sectionsticky grime on top of an oven section

@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro

“…and the amount of work it takes to keep one of these ovens clean, it’s not worth it. Don’t do it.”

Close-up of a dirty gas stove burner with text about the effort required to clean itClose-up of a dirty gas stove burner with text about the effort required to clean it
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

“Don’t be tempted by any of these things that I’ve shown you,” Kate concludes in the video.

As a person with zero generational wealth who may never own a home, I still took notes! And I’m not the only one. Kate’s video currently has over 1.4 million views, and thousands of people flooded the comments, many to confirm that the features she mentioned are indeed a nightmare to clean.

Two comments on a video expresses regret about a past DIY project, while another jokes about trench drains' inventionTwo comments on a video expresses regret about a past DIY project, while another jokes about trench drains' invention
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com
Two user comments on a social platform discussing interior design and cleaning considerationsTwo user comments on a social platform discussing interior design and cleaning considerations
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com
high gloss tiles look gorgeous for about 45 secondshigh gloss tiles look gorgeous for about 45 seconds
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com
you listed every pet hate of mine, absolutely nailed ityou listed every pet hate of mine, absolutely nailed it
@cleanlikeapro / Kate Croukamp from Clean Like a Pro / Via tiktok.com

I reached out to Kate to learn more about her cleaning expertise, and it’s pretty extensive. She and her husband Jack have been running their cleaning business since 2008, and have serviced thousands of homes. In 2020, they launched Clean Like a Pro as both a creative outlet and to educate others on the ins and outs of cleaning different spaces. “Not everyone was raised being shown how to clean,” Kate told BuzzFeed.

“I believe cleaning is rarely taken into consideration when people choose what fixtures and fittings they put in their homes,” Kate explained. “Expensive can often mean more difficult to clean, less practical than more affordable options, and not necessarily longer lasting either.”

This, paired with the trends Kate kept seeing in her clients’ homes, inspired her to share her thoughts on TikTok. “We clean a lot of newer built homes, and many of them have the same fixtures and fittings. We also noticed that many of the items I listed are extra dirty, proving that yes, they are difficult to clean. This is why they aren’t being cleaned as often as something that is much more practical.”

Modern kitchen with built-in appliances and marble backsplashModern kitchen with built-in appliances and marble backsplash

Nicky Dowling / Getty Images

Kate told BuzzFeed that her video garnered a “huge,” response, and while many agreed with her, there were also some naysayers. “Some people didn’t agree with some things I listed, saying, ‘Just clean it more often.’ Well, yes, that is obvious. That’s my point. Life is busy. Why add more work to our already hectic life with home fittings that require cleaning more often and are difficult to clean? There are so many beautiful options that do not require as much upkeep.”

But if the features and fixtures Kate mentions in her video are such a pain, why are they so popular? Kate told BuzzFeed, “[It’s] purely based on what is in magazines, what is on home reno TV shows, and what the salesperson wants to sell. How to clean it and how often to clean it probably rarely come into the equation when making these choices.”

Person in hard hat and dust mask using a sledgehammer on a wall for demolitionPerson in hard hat and dust mask using a sledgehammer on a wall for demolition

HGTV

In terms of the features she would add to her home as a professional cleaner, Kate shared, “Larger floor and wall tiles mean less grout, darker carpet is better than lighter carpet, built-in oven and ceramic stovetops, and shallow and wide window and door tracks. These are all so much easier to clean, and they still look great.”

Overall, Kate’s biggest piece of advice for anyone looking to build or renovate their home is this: “Practical first, always. Ask yourself, how will this look in 10, 15, 20 years from now? Will it date? Is it just a fad?”

“Practical doesn’t always equal ugly, she continued. “There are plenty of options available. It doesn’t have to be either/or. You can have both.”

To see more of Kate’s cleaning content, you can follow her at Clean Like a Pro on TikTok and Instagram. And if you’re located on the Gold Coast, you can book her services through Mates Rates.