Common Decorating Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

Common Decorating Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

Decoration and Design
How To
By Mateos Glen Hayes June 25, 2022

Interior design is a complicated art, and so when it comes time to decorate the inside of your home it is perfectly natural to come up against difficulties. In truth, it is normal to run into walls both proverbial and literal over the course of remodeling a home. Unexpected challenges regularly pop up, and overcoming them means understanding some basics of interior design and aesthetics.

Fortunately, when decorating mistakes do happen this is not the end of the world as any mistake can be fixed and improved upon with enough time and hard work. Plus, bearing in mind the basic rules and concepts of interior design will help you avoid common interior design mistakes.

As such, doing some research and homework will make all of your home renovation projects much easier and will allow you to have a drama-free process. The interior design mistakes we are discussing here are straight from the experts themselves, and so can be easily applied to homes of all sizes and types. 

How to Fix Interior Design Mistakes

Most mistakes won’t require rebuilding to fix.

Most mistakes won’t require rebuilding to fix.

There are a few different ways to come upon a solution to your interior design woes if you just can’t seem to get a certain detail just right. One of the main ways to begin solving an issue with your decor is to simply do some more reading. The research will allow you to learn the standards for whatever design you are trying to implement and this can help to make any decorating mistakes you’ve made more apparent.

Additionally, it is possible to improve your interior design problems by simply making a few small changes. For example, if you find that the interior of your home is just a bit too dark, you can try several things including getting rid of dark heavy window treatments, removing dark lampshades, or even buying lighter fabrics for your furniture upholstery. Such measures will help to incrementally improve your design as you work to repair the mistake.

Sometimes it may not be so easy to detect what has gone wrong precisely and so in that kind of scenario, it can be quite helpful to simply take things step-by-step.

Basic Rules For Decorating

Some common principles ensure interior design success.

Some common principles ensure interior design success.

One preventative measure you can take to ensure that you don’t fall into home decor mistakes in the first place is to simply follow a set of interior design rules. These maxims can help to guide the design process, making things simpler and calling attention to the most common errors. Following basic rules when it comes to furniture placement, lighting position, creating layers to your design, and having a design centerpiece will all help to create a pleasant aesthetic.  

Common Interior Design Faux Pas

Of course, the most straightforward way to avoid a mistake is to know about it. Here are some of the top design mistakes we’ve seen in homes. 

Up The Wall

Putting furniture against the wall makes things feel cramped.

Putting furniture against the wall makes things feel cramped.

As with outdoor living spaces, furniture placement inside your home can be one of the more challenging and exhausting aspects of home interior design and that’s not entirely surprising. Aside from the fact that it can be difficult to visualize your design physically implementing it, furniture is heavy, and moving it around repeatedly gets tiring fast.

As such, it can sometimes be tempting to just move your furniture into the first layout you chose and leave it at that. However, if you chose to do something intuitive such as put your living room furniture against a wall it is worth reconsidering that layout. Pulling your furniture away from walls will create a more spacious feeling as well as make a space more intimate. 

Using Only One Kind of Light

Lighting is a crucial yet often understated detail in home interior design and it deserves more love and attention. Too often we see people content to add many of the same type of light, thinking that brightness is the greatest asset and leaving it at that. Don’t get us wrong, having a brightly-lit interior space is crucial, but it is important to have a variety of lighting solutions to achieve this.

Using only one kind of light source is a decorating mistake that leads to inefficient lighting where one area is much brighter than others. It also makes the whole space look unnatural. A variety of different lights such as overhead, ambient, lamps, and scones will work better. 

Buying Low-Cost Centerpiece Furniture 

Having too many lights or not enough leads to strange lighting.

Having too many lights or not enough leads to strange lighting.

While it is super tempting to skimp on costs when you’re redoing the inside of your home, there are some components that you shouldn’t spare expenses on. Centerpiece furniture is one of those components that absolutely should not be below cost. Centerpieces, such as accent chairs, are the items meant to catch your eye; and they set the tone for the entirety of the design.

If you were to get a large couch as a centerpiece that is cheaply made and looks tacky that will make your design, in general, come off that way as well. The better choice when decorating houses is to not skimp on centerpieces, but save money on lesser details (end tables for example) if you really need to save money. 

Not Enough Greenery

Another mistake when it comes to decorating dos and don’ts is not having enough houseplants. Indoor plant life is a relatively easy way of adding color and individuality to a design, as well as imbuing it with texture. As such, it is a good idea to consider investing in some houseplants for your home rather than leaving things blank and featureless. Fixing this error is as simple as adding a few low-maintenance indoor plants or trees. Lemon trees are a delightful no-fuss choice, and maidenhair ferns are a good option as well. 

Too Many Throw Pillows 

Throw pillows are pretty but too many will get in the way.

Throw pillows are pretty but too many will get in the way.

Much like over-decorated rooms, too many throw pillows in a living room or bedroom can actually make things less comfortable because you have to constantly move them around to be able to sit or lie down on your couch or bed. They may be pretty to look at but it isn’t worth it to have too many, especially since it will make your home less usable and therefore less practical. Sometimes it is better to choose function over form, and this is one of those times.  

Skipping Measurements 

When you are in a rush to get things done or like to complete your decor decisions on a whim, you might be tempted to skip measurements and just get on with the process. Especially skilled handymen might even be able to get away with not making measurements from time to time. But in general, skipping taking measurements is a bad idea and is asking for trouble.

It really only takes a few centimeters of ambiguity for major decorating mistakes to happen that will add cost and time to your project. For most interior design projects the best case scenario is to have the entire space measured and mapped out on a blueprint. This will give you a much better idea of what you’re doing and make mistakes far less likely. 

Artwork Too High 

It is hard to tell if a painting will sit at the right height.

It is hard to tell if a painting will sit at the right height.

This one can be quite annoying but it is relatively common so don’t sweat it if it happens to you. It is hard to determine the right height for an artwork that you want to hang on your wall because you can’t tell what the best height is while you are trying to hang it up. It is simply a matter of being tricked by perspective, and the best way to get around this problem is to preplan. In other words, measure how you think the painting will sit on the wall and where the nail will be, and then mark things off.


Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes