Before we outline our 10 Interior Decorating Mistakes (and how to avoid them at all costs!), please note one important thing first and foremost: design is highly personal. There is not one sole rule that everyone should follow or disobey, in fact, it’s the opposite! Our homes should look different because they reflect our unique personalities, colour preference and lifestyles. This is what makes interior design so interesting! That being said, there are however, a few mistakes that people make and we would highly suggest that you do your best to avoid them to create a stellar interior.
Whether you’re about to decorate a new home or are looking into a room refresh, here’s a checklist of decorating mistakes that you should avoid to help you find success during the process:
AVOID RUGS THAT ARE TOO SMALL
This is a very common mistake that we see time and again: throwing down a small rug in the centre of a large room will firstly, make your room appear to be smaller, but also looks a little weak. Understandably, large area rugs can be expensive, however it is often better to go without a rug altogether than affect the harmony of a space. In fact, most interior designers suggest starting from the ground up! When you consider your rug choice as a starting point in terms of its size (and colour!), the rest of your room should fall into place.
Ideally, a rug will at least touch all the furniture, but we would suggest quickly reading how to measure a rug for your room to understand how to integrate one perfectly into any sized room.
AVOID OVERLOOKING THE ENTRYWAY
When people first enter your home, they are immediately confronted with your front entrance. Ensure your entryway not only exhibits your personality, your style but also makes your guests feel welcome! More importantly, consider how you want to feel when you come home after work and style the space according to colours that make you smile and accessories that remind you of happy memories but also bring function, such as a bowl for your keys, an umbrella stand and so on.
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE, STRICT STYLE
Sure, a dedicated design style will help guide you during the interior design process, but it will also confine you to just one aesthetic that may feel uninspiring to look at! To avoid this, create a visually interesting mix of periods and styles for an unexpected approach that’ll afford you more freedom to work with.
AVOID PUSHING FURNITURE AGAINST YOUR WALLS
While you may think that pushing all your furniture against the walls will make your room appear larger, this is incorrect. In fact, when you arrange furniture away from the walls in strategic, conventional and attractive groupings, you allow your space to harmonise and create natural divisions and flow. Consider your furniture layout, since it will really help define your room! Be deliberate and practical with your furniture placement to keep the environment well-appointed.
AVOID BUYING EVERYTHING FROM THE SAME SOURCE
While furniture items tend to be sold as sets in retail, this often dulls the charisma of a space. It can actually have an adverse effect and make your space look and feel like a catalog rather than a well lived-in home. Instead, mix and match beloved pieces to keep things interesting from a variety of shops, artisans and designers!
AVOID KNICK-KNACK OVERDOSE
Just because you have a mantlepiece, a shelf or a table surface, does not mean everything has to have something on top! Even the cleanest, most design-savvy spaces will seem cluttered when artefacts and ‘knick-knacks’ overtake surfaces. While we all love to travel and bring home momentos of our trip, this does not mean you need to display them all the time. Choose what you buy and choose wisely where you keep your knick-knacks. While they may be cute and funny to look at, they aren’t attractive for visitors, collect dust and affect the harmony within a space.
AVOID USING FAUX FLOWERS
Faux flowers are simply dust-catchers, and they also look.. well – fake. If you love flowers, rotate fresh blooms through your space and try a flower subscription to ensure you are receiving fresh selections bi-monthly. Or get creative with fresh, real items such as fresh lemons or pears! After all, it’s not what you have, it’s how you use it!
A TELEVISION IS NOT A FOCAL POINT
You may enjoy gathering around your television for a cozy night in, but avoid using it as a major focal point in any room. In fact, the more concealed the better! There is nothing sophisticated about the look of a television. At best, we recommend you use cupboards and bespoke media units to help house a wall mounted TV such as in the image below to ensure it is integral to the design, rather than a feature. You may also consider playing loops of short art films or a photo album while it’s not in use to create ambience.
AVOID RELYING ON OVERHEAD LIGHTING
Deciding on how you wish to light your home should be a carefully considered element of your overall design. It is one of the most drastic decorating mistakes to avoid layered lighting. Many people rely on the cold and clinical feel of standard overhead lighting but you can introduce warmth, personality and ambience with dimmer pod lighting, pendent lighting, wall sconces, table lamps and floor lamps. When you position these at different heights and for different functions, you can adjust each lighting source according to your preference!
AVOID ‘AVOIDING’ MULTI-PURPOSE PIECES
While most of your home will revolve around how things ‘look’ and ‘feel’, avoid avoiding pieces that have a multi-purpose capacity. Examples of this include a bed or window seat with storage underneath, space-saving pocket doors, built-in storage units, a well thought-through panty and so on! When you incorporate multi-purpose pieces in your home, you will be making the best use of a space with both practical and aesthetic elements.