The Worst Interior Design Mistakes
That You Might Just Be Making

Redesigning and decorating your living space is a fabulous way to see in the new season and give your home a fresh, new lease of life. But wait, before you rush out and buy endless tins of paint, there’s a few things that you really need to know!

How to...
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Charlotte Grainger
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March 18, 2017

While most of us proclaim to know what we’re doing when it comes to home interiors, the truth of the matter is that it’s all too easy to make mistakes.

In fact, from garish room schemes to misinformed design tricks, there are a whole bunch of common errors you’re likely to make.

Before you do anything else, it’s worth learning about this mistakes and, of course, how you can avoid them. Here’s what you need to know:

Mistake #1: Picking out your colour scheme first

If you ask most amateur designers where the start on any given project, they will all come back to you with the same all-too-predictable answer.

Yes, many are under the sadly misguided impression that choosing modern colour schemes is the first step.

While the room schemes you choose will ultimately impact your living space dramatically, don’t make the mistake of choosing them ahead of anything else.

As a general rule, your furnishings ought to dictate your colour palette, not the other way around. So long as you remember that, you can avoid making too many mistakes in this, the trickiest of realms.

 

Image via Home Girl London

 

One of the problems that you will doubtless find if you let the colour scheme lead your room design is that everything, from then on, has to adhere to that theme.

The moment that you commit yourself to a particular colour, specifically a strong, bold one, you will have restricted your decorating scope.

All too many people make this error when they first start out and it can really ruin their interior design style before they’ve begun to decorate.

 

Image via Little Gatherer

 

Instead of breaking this cardinal rule, you ought to think ahead and create a mood board of the styles, colours, and furnishings you desire. Doing so is a genius way to ensure that all the different elements of the room work together in sync.

There needn’t be one prevailing theme. Your room should be a collaboration of the pieces that speak to you and suit your personal sense of style.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Of course, many modern colour schemes put great focus on bold, daring shades. If you’re hoping to pay homage to this trend, you can do so in an understated way.

Highlighting certain elements of the room or, indeed, opting for a feature wall is an intriguing way to use such tones without them appearing too overbearing.

When it comes to choosing colour shades for your bedroom or the best colour for your living room walls, remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

 

Mistake #2: Buying a ‘matching set’ of furniture

Decorating an interior is not about taking the all-too-familiar ‘one stop shop’ approach.

Sure, getting all your furnishings from the same range is an easy way to ensure they complement one another. That’s a given and, frankly, it’s an undeniable truth.

However, you absolutely need to remember that the easiest route is not always the one that gives the best results.

 

Image via Bagoesteak

 

There’s no doubt that matching furniture pieces provide some comfort. The hard work is done for you. You don’t have to spend time considering whether things ‘work’ together since that much is already obvious.

Still, there’s something clinical and characterless about choosing this method. The very last thing you want is for your home to look like a shop window.

It’s not about perfection but adding a sense of individuality to your living space.

 

Image via The Betty

 

To avoid just this problem, we have a rather simple solution. When it comes to choosing your furnishings, you ought to opt for a central theme; one that informs all of your features.

Having room schemes, be they Nordic or vintage, will mean that you can tie each look together without the pieces being identical. Rather than having matching items, per se, you merely need to choose items that have some common ground.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Before choosing your individual pieces, it’s well worth looking at a wide range of styles. You should, of course, have an idea of how the room will appear long before you start investing in pieces. In doing so, you can make sure that there will be one coherence within the space.

Oh, and just as a reminder, be certain to measure the space ahead of time. Trust us, you will thank us later.

 

Mistake #3: Ignoring or neglecting the foyer area

From the minute someone walks into your home space, you ought to make them feel right at home.

The foyer is where you should stamp your own personal brand firmly on your abode. Neglect this key area of your house, and you’re sure to regret it sooner or later.

For some bizarre reason, few people seem to recognise this when it comes to home decor. They focus on the core rooms instead and completely ignore this crucial element of their space.

 

Image via Domino

 

So, where should you begin? Well, you ought to think of your foyer as the prelude to the rest of your home. This area gives guests and visitor a sense of what’s still to come; it’s essentially an introduction to your place.

With that in mind, you need to give little, significant hints of your general home style within this space. For example, if you already have strong room schemes, you may want to pay tribute to them in this area.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

If you’re struggling to make a real impression here, you can do so in numerous ways. You may wish to add similar colour shades to the room as feature pieces or even simply opt for artwork that works with your overall style.

The idea is that this space should be at once welcoming and comfortable. It should entice people in and intrigue people with small trinkets and ornaments.

When you decorate your home next, spend a little time considering how you can bring this rich area to life.

 

Mistake #4: Allowing your clutter to be visible

There’s a difference between your abode looking somewhat ‘lived in’ and just a cluttered mess. If you fear that your home may fall sharply into the latter category, you need to do something bout it before it’s too late.

Clutter grows and grows until it takes over your living space and creates a whirlwind effect within your home. Needless to say, that’s the very last thing that you want.

If you’re struggling with space, you need to take charge and make some changes before you even think about decorating.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

At the end of the day, how you choose to style your home space is entirely irrelevant in the light of clutter.

You can opt for the most creative, stunning theme you can conjure, but it simply will not shine through all that mess.

If your home is more ‘secret hoarders’ than boho chic, it’s time to consider your storage options.

 

Image via Jess Soothill

 

If you’re hoping to create a better-rounded look, you need to follow a two-phase plan.

First of all, it should go without saying that you need to throw out things that you no longer need. If there are trinkets, accessories, or everyday items that just have no purpose, get rid of them.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that they are taking up precious space that could go to better use. Set aside some time to really evaluate what you have in your home and do away with the unnecessary items.

 

Image via thethreelivesof

 

Once you’ve completed that first phase, you can move on to the fun part. Hurrah!

Now that you’re certain that everything in your home should be there, you ought to choose how to store or, if you wish, display it.

There’s no harm in showing some of your clutter off, but as with all good things, it must be done in moderation.

Getting ample storage, in the form of shelving, Ottomans, or cupboards, will do you more favours than you know now.

You can also put a few choice pieces on show. Choose things that express your personality. This is your space so it needs to start looking like it.

 

Mistake #5: Hanging artwork too high on the walls

No abode is complete without some intriguing artwork adorning the walls.

Now, we’re not about to sit here and tell you what pieces you should be buying. Oh no, art is the most subjective of things, and what you choose is entirely your prerogative.

However, one thing we can advise on is where you should be hanging your art and mirrors.

 

Image via lindsaywallerwi

 

 

Positioning these pieces too highly on the wall is problematic for a number of reasons.

You may think that doing so helps you draw attention to the height of the room, but it can actually have the opposite effect.

Indeed, many people believe that high-hanging pieces create an optical illusion. In reality, they merely look out of place and a little odd.

Hence, you want your art pieces to be at eye level at all times.

 

Image via Etsy

 

As with all rules, there is one grand exception. If you opt for a gallery wall, you can have complete free reign when it comes to the position of your pieces.

Some of the most modern colour schemes allow for this style of wall decoration. That is to say that you can get away with almost anything should you choose this quirky little feature.

Mistake #6: Overdecorating a small living space

Finally let’s address the rule you’re probably all breaking without even realising it. When you first glimpse an empty space, your natural urge may be to fill it up a much as possible.

After all, you may think, a home needs to be brimming with furnishings and decorations, right?

Wrong!

Filling every single inch of your home with something or other is a grave mistake and one that you really should avoid at all costs.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Don’t fear open spaces as they can actually benefit your home more than you know.

Leaving a little room here and there allows your abode to look complete without it seeming too cramped.

When you see a little white space in your home environment, be brave and just let it be.

Some of the world’s most professional interior designers use space as a genuine feature of the room, rather than a problem that needs to be solved.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

While there’s a whole lot to be said for making the most of the room you have, you don’t want to overdo it.

Planning is the key to getting the right balance here.

You need to consider the room schemes in your home and make sure that you use the space in the best possible way.

Drawing out a rough floor plan (to scale) will allow you to design a room with enough space and furnishings.

Of course, you don’t have to be ultra strict and stick to this sketch, but it will give you an idea of the room you have.

 

Image via Pinterest

 

 

There isn’t one rule to stick to when it comes to furnishing your home and a great deal will rely merely on what looks right.

For that reason, it will be well worth your time checking out a few different decor designs before you settle on one that suits you.

Don’t be afraid to move things around and see what works for your living space. After all, you need to feel comfortable in this environment. In the end, that’s all that really matters.

So, what do you think? Have you made any of these mistakes? If so, is it time to make some changes? Let us know!

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte is a freelance writer living in Sheffield, UK. Her interests include gender issues, kittens and the Gilmore Girls. In her spare time, she also writes poetry and drinks copious amounts of red wine and coffee.