12 Common Décor Mistakes & How To Avoid Them!

  • Are you trying to decorate your home as quickly as possible?
  • You’re not expanding your personal style to fit the aesthetic of your home?
  • You’re accidentally disrupting your open floor plan?
  • You don’t prioritize accent lighting?
  • You’ve accepted the lampshade that came with your lamp?
  • You bought all the décor for your house at once?

Between selecting furniture, experimenting with paint swatches, and positioning art, there are hundreds of small decisions that go into styling the perfect space. Even the slightest misjudgement, like hanging artwork too high or choosing paint in a gloss rather than matte finish, can have a surprising effect on a room.

 Few know this better than interior designers, who have seen their fair share of fabulous (and, yes, mediocre) homes. We called on 12 leading tastemakers to learn about the most common home décor mistakes and how to fix them.


1. Having only one light source!

  • Lighting is one of the most important parts of a space. If you want to avoid it being either too bright or too dim.
  • “We always recommend choosing warmer tones for rooms with earthy tones, and lights that are whiter for bold and metallic themed rooms.”
  • Bring in at least three lighting sources to provide for ambient and task lighting.
  • Try your lighting at different times of the day.
  • Switch out your bulbs to dimmable LEDs.

To create ambience you need to have layered lighting sources, such as:

  • Ambient lighting– for overall illumination (e.g. pendants, recessed lights, track lighting, floor lamps)
  • Task lighting– illumination for a specific function (e.g. pendants, table lamps, vanity lights, desk lamps or under-cabinet lighting)
  • Accent lighting– illumination for certain objects or architectural features (e.g. recessed and track lighting, specialty lighting, and wall sconces).

2. Adding Too Much Stuff!!

  • Cluttering up the space is a knock-on effect of either not measuring the space or lacking any concrete plan for cleaning and organizing.
  • The result can be oversized furniture that makes a room feel overcrowded and cramped, or too much furniture making a space difficult to move about in.
  • Adding too many decor accessories (both large and small) can easily make a room look cluttered and messy, which probably isn’t what you’re going for.
  • Storage is king! The more you can put behind closed doors, the better.
  • If you don’t have a lot of built-in storage, use stylish basketsto disguise clutter.

3. Not Measuring the Space before Adding Furniture!

  • Almost every interior designer agrees that a lot of people aren’t considering the proportions and size of a room before adding various furniture pieces.
  • Taking measurements of a room is imperative before buying anything.
  • You also need to think about the clearance around an item as well.

A new coffee table might fit between a couch and wall, but only leaves 24″ of walking space. Ideally there would be at least 36″ for a lesser-travelled path. “These clearances will vary based on size of the furniture and its use.”

4. Using the Wrong Size Rugs!

  • It’s also important to choose the correct size rug for the room.
  • One of the most common mistakes designers see is rugs that are too small for the space.

Here are some general guidelines to help you choose the right size rug for your room:

  • Living room and family room rugs should be big enough to fit at least the front feet of all furniture on the rug. If you are able to use one large enough to include all the furniture completely, even better.
  • In the dining room, your rug should be large enough to allow all dining chairs to be pulled out from the table and still have all four legs on the rug.
  • Bedroom rugs should extend a minimum of 2 feet from the side of the bed. A good rule of thumb is 8’ x 10’ for a queen bed and 9’ x 12’ for a king bed.

5. Choosing the Wrong Size Furniture!

  • Many people believe that if you have a large home, you should fill it with large furniture.
  • The ideal space will have a mixture of different sizes, shapes, and heights. Imagine your home as a cityscape and create an interesting “skyline” by filling it with tall and short and large and small pieces. This will add interest and variety and help draw the eye around the room.

When selecting furniture of varying sizes, you should also take proportion into consideration. A tall chair next to a low coffee table will look awkward and feel out of proportion. Always measure both the space where the furniture will go and the pieces near it to ensure you get the size right.

6. Choosing Paint Colours before Furniture & Fabrics!

Most interior designers agree that the paint colour should not be the first thing you pick and settle on. Before you choose the colour you want on your walls, get an idea of the colour furniture and accent pieces you want. It might seem easier to paint your home before you move in or before you fill it with new furniture. But this decorating mistake results in walls that don’t relate to anything in your home. And with all the thousands of paint colours available, it’s much easier to match your paint colour to your décor than to find furniture that coordinates with your walls.

7. Hanging Art at a Wrong Height!

Position art at the eye level approximately at about 55” to 60’’ from the ground. Hanging it too high or too low will make your space look a little weird.

9. Hanging Curtains Too Low!

Most people tend to hang curtains just above the window frame, which doesn’t do much to a home’s overall interior design. Instead, hang your curtains right up to the ceiling to heighten the space and make the windows appear larger. Make sure your curtains kiss the floor too, regardless of how wide and tall your windows are.

Position hanging rod approximately above 6’’ of the window level or go all the way up to the ceiling. It is also important curtains touch the floors to give the space more dimension and create the illusion of bigger space. Also in case of a smaller window, stacking the curtain next to the window instead of only covering the window will make it appear larger.

10. Things Are Too MATCHY-MATCHY!

Avoid buying matchy-matchy furniture, as it tends to look too uniform and boring. Matching furniture sets removes diversity of design and exudes an uncreative feel. Mix old and new, different styles and colours and materials for a more eclectic and dynamic aesthetic. Every individual furniture piece should add something unique so don’t be lazy.

Some people mix and match to their heart’s content; others go the other way and take decorating schemes too seriously. It’s fine to try and coordinate some of your furniture, but just add in a few splashes of colour to break it up.

11. Not Budgeting Properly!

Many people fail to realize just how important establishing a solid budget for your design project is. And unfortunately, this is one area that can actually make or break your entire project. If you don’t budget carefully, it’s easy to overspend on a few items and be left with no money for the end of the project.

The first is to determine how much money you have available and are comfortable spending on your interior design project. Then you get to make your “dream list”. This is a list of everything you want to do in your home. While you may not realistically be able to do everything on the list, it gives you a place to start.

Once you have both of these things ready, you can establish your scope of work. If you’re hiring a designer, this is the time to meet with them and they will help you form the project parameters. If you are doing the project yourself, you will have to get quotes for contractors and calculate the cost of the furniture and supplies you will need to complete the project. Make sure you leave a little extra room in your budget to allow for contingencies.

12. Not Following Your Own Personal Aesthetic!

If you scroll through interior design websites, you’ll notice the photos of the most luxurious rooms all have one thing in common. The furniture, decor and lighting are all usually high-end designer brands and it’s been perfectly placed and accented to showcase the room in its best light.

When trying to decide what you like, rooms such as these can serve as valuable inspiration. But copying someone else’s design choices to the letter is a mistake, because you’ll end up with a cookie cutter replica with none of your own personality. It’s better to ask yourself what you admire about the rooms – is it the colours, the textures, the materials, the lighting, the era of the furniture?


PRO TIP: Don’t Decorate With Anything That You Can’t Maintain.

You can decorate your space all you like but don’t lose sight of the fact that you will have to maintain it too. For example, it is great to have plants as a part of your decor. But maintaining plants takes effort. And keeping them alive is the least of your efforts; they need pruning to stay in shape. If you cannot invest that kind of time and effort in your indoor garden, it will turn into a jungle and make your home look dark and cluttered.

Now that you have learnt these, you can be sure to avoid the basic interior design mistakes in your home. If you found this useful, also read how our designers can help you through these blunders.

Send in your comments & suggestions!!!