Beware of These 9 Decorating Mistakes

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Beware of These 9 Decorating Mistakes

Decorating mistakes can be easy to make and (sometimes) hard to recognize. Have you ever made changes to a room, only to discover that the space doesn’t ‘feel right?’ You might not be able to pinpoint the reason, but the room doesn’t flow or function as you expected. 

Or, you may be looking to freshen up your home but feel anxious about making common interior decorating mistakes. If that’s the case, learning about some of the most frequent decorating pitfalls can help you to confidently make changes to your home. 

These are 5 of the most common decorating mistakes to watch out for—along with the key to avoiding them. 

Top Interior Decorating Mistakes

  1. Too many furnishings

There are many things you can change about a room but size isn’t one of them (without a remodel). It’s essential that you choose furnishings that fit in your space, without interrupting the flow of the room or sacrificing comfortable walkways for easily moving through the room. 

It’s tempting to add one more chair or a console table to a room, but it’s important to make sure that the room doesn’t become cramped with too many furnishings. If you squeeze couches, side tables, lamps, and sideboards into every last inch of space, you’ll have a room that feels too tight to be livable. 

The Solution: Set a priority for each room. Is it for entertaining? A personal retreat to unwind at the end of each day? A gathering space for a large group of family and friends? Be realistic about the purpose and dimensions of a room, then focus on the most essential furnishings that address your real need.
  1. The wrong size rug

When it comes to rugs, it’s important to get the size right. A rug that is too big can make the room feel sloppy and a rug that is too small looks like an afterthought. 

The Solution: For rugs in dining areas, choose a size that is large enough for your dining set to fit on. This includes the legs of the chairs and enough space to pull the chairs in and out. For living spaces, the rug should be large enough that furnishings (such as the sofa and armchairs) fit at least partially on the rug. 
  1. Poor lighting

Bad lighting ruins a room as easily as it does a picture. Don’t cast your space in shadows or blast it with lights that are too bright. In both cases, you’ll have a room that feels uninviting. 

The Solution: Use lighting layers. A common decorating mistake is to rely on overhead lighting or floor lamps to illuminate a space, but that creates a single source of light that may be functional, but isn’t always aesthetically-pleasing. Instead, you should use a combination of high, mid, and low-level lights to provide illumination from multiple heights and angles. 
Contemporary living room with multiple light sources; interior decorating mistakes, MGSD
Lighting layers seen here include overhead lighting, wall lighting from a pair of sconces, and a pendant light over the dining table
  1. Forgotten focal point

Every room needs a place for the eye to settle. If you fail to feature a statement piece, the room may feel boring at best. Or, the focal point may become something unintended—like the television. 

The Solution: Avoid a de facto focal point by selecting a statement piece. Whether it’s a sofa, mantel, sculpture, or framed art, the point is to intentionally choose an item or two to feature in your space. 
Home office with statement rug; interior decorating mistakes, MGSD
The bold statement rug attracts the eye and is supported by a well-chosen cast of simple, modern furnishings
  1. Going without greenery

It’s no secret that natural and organic materials are a major trend of interior design right now, but the truth is that going green in your living space is more than a passing fad. Adding plants to your space infuses color, texture, and dimension into the room.

The Solution: Even if you don’t have a green thumb, introduce low-maintenance plants with minimal watering and sun requirements into a room. Plants look great styled on a shelf or mantle, as part of a living wall arrangement, or on the floor (or pedestals) for additional height and dimension. Popular plants for interior design include ivy, fiddle leaf figs, snake plants, and more.

Avoid Decorating Mistakes with MGSD

Protect yourself from costly design mistakes with help from an interior decorator, like Michael Gainey Signature Designs. Whether you’re looking to refresh a single space or update your entire home, our team can help you to identify the looks you love and watch out for the design traps that could swallow up your dreams and budget. 

Give our studio a call to explore our solutions, including our featured Fluff and Buff service—designed to refresh and update your space with pieces you already own. 

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