Common Mistakes to Avoid While Decorating Your Home

Beautifully decorated living room

Whether you’re decorating your new home for you and your spouse after the kids have moved out or figuring out the design for your very first family house, you’ll always make mistakes. Sometimes, you think a speckled rug will look really good under a chic, dappled table, and that’s a mistake you have to make to learn from. Here are some common home décor mistakes which can avoid.

There are, however, plenty of decorating mistakes that you can research your way out of and thus never have to make yourself. Bad interior design has some key distinctions that, if you’re aware of them, you can avoid entirely.

Dark Furniture in Small Rooms

If you’re just learning how to interior design, dark furniture in small rooms is probably the biggest mistake you want to avoid. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, dark furniture in a small room makes it feel claustrophobic and tiny.

Dark furniture absorbs light and, to the human eye, shrinks spaces. In a theater room or a large, open-plan living room/kitchen, that’s not a big deal. In a small guest bedroom or a tiny mud room? That can be a death sentence.

Dark Furniture in Small Rooms

If you’re looking for room decorating help, opt for lighter furniture in your smaller rooms. It’s like two sliders that are opposite each other: if the room gets smaller, the furniture should be lighter, and vice versa. Some home décor mistakes can be hard to avoid; this one is not. You just have to be getting the right furniture for the right rooms.

Low and/or Bad Lighting

Low and/or bad lighting is a different problem than dark furniture in small rooms, but it can often lead to the same issue: making rooms feel cramped and cluttered. Lighting is what shows off all of your cool décor choices, so you want to make sure that your lighting fits each of your rooms.

Consider the difference in how you would light a dining room compared to a living. For a dining room, you probably want lighting that is dimmer to make the room feel fancier. You want ambiance, like the lighting a chandelier provides. A dining room should feel comfortable but nice, so get the lighting to match.

Beautiful chandelier in dining room

On the other hand, you want a living room to be incredibly adaptable. A well-lit living room should be able to switch from well-lit and functional to ambient and moody with the flip of a switch because you never know what circumstances you’ll need your living room to handle. For this, consider a pairing of lamps and ceiling lights. With that pairing, you have a variety of lighting options for a variety of occasions.

Low and/or bad lighting is number one on the tacky home décor mistakes. It can single-handedly kill a home décor aesthetic, so make sure you avoid it! Figure out what rooms serve what functions and how you can best match that function with good lighting. Good lighting is your best friend.

Crowded Decor

Have you ever heard the idea that an outfit has ten points, and you have to divide those ten points across the pieces of the outfit without going “over budget?” If you’ve got a seven-point bright yellow polka dot top, you don’t also wear a six-point hot pink and bright blue striped bottom. 

Room décor is the same as outfit planning. Every room has ten points (maybe we can say one hundred, for the sake of more precise point allocation) and you need to divide those points across your décor wisely because crowded décor looks messy, and messy looks bad.

Rug in living room

 Let’s say you find a rug you absolutely adore. This rug is a solid twenty-one-point rug. You now have seventy-nine points left to decorate the rest of that room.

This obviously isn’t an exact science (you’d be hard-pressed to find furniture and décor that notes how many “points” it’s worth) but it is a good way to think about room décor.

Similar Height Furniture Side-by-Side

The final tip is very simple but very effective, and it might not even be something you’ve consciously considered before: don’t put furniture or décor that is almost the same height side-by-side.

It’s hard to describe why exactly this is something you should avoid, but if you doubt it, give it a test. Put a desk and a table that are similar heights next to each other and see how it looks.

The benefits, however, are easier to enumerate. Variation in the height of pieces next to each other creates more variety for the eye. It creates dynamic landscapes in your décor that allows for more creative and interesting décor, as well.

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