We’re all guilty of them – decor choices, which, in hindsight, were not such a hot idea after all. Like most things in life, home decorating involves a learning curve, and sometimes you need to get it wrong before you finally figure out what works and what doesn’t. Having said that, it’s always useful to be able to avoid those common home decorating mistakes and take a shortcut to interior design heaven.
1. The Wrong Paint Colour
This is one of the most common mistakes we make when decorating our homes. All too often we select a colour because we like it, not considering whether it’s actually going to work in the context of the space it’s been chosen for. Always test a variety of colours on the wall, taking into consideration how much natural light the room gets as well as the rest of the decor.
2. Ignoring the Hallway
Of all areas of the home, it’s the entrance hallway that’s usually the first to be neglected. At best it remains an empty space, at worst it ends up a dumping ground for coats, shoes, umbrellas, dog leads… By ignoring your hallway, you’re missing the opportunity to wow your guests. Make a design statement in the hallway, and then follow this through with the rest of your home.
3. Getting the Scale Wrong
Sofas that are too large for a room, rugs that are too small, or a straight out mishmash of furniture – large, small, and everything in between – that has simply been plonked in a space without any thought or planning. A room’s furnishings require balance, otherwise it will feel competently off-kilter. It’s perfectly fine to mix furniture and other accessories of varying sizes, but you should consider if their differing proportions will work together as a whole within the space.
4. Not Lighting a Room Correctly
The correct lighting can make all the difference to a space, but it’s something many of us get wrong. When it comes to artificial light, we tend to put all the focus on a single light source, which results in the room being insufficiently lit. Instead, make sure your room has three points of light. For example, have table and floor lamps as well as the ceiling light, but vary the brightness with soft bulbs and dimmers so the room is not flooded with too much light – the lighting should appear ‘layered’.
5. Just For Show Furniture
Who hasn’t bought a stylish/trendy/quirky piece of furniture only to realise after a few days that it’s horribly uncomfortable to sit in, or just isn’t in any way useful for its intended purpose – yes, that radiator chair seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it gathers dust in a corner. Remember, your home is not a show home, you have to live in it, and so any furniture you add should be practical as well as attractive or interesting in some way.
6. Trying to Make Everything Match
We have a tendency to try to make the decor in a space match up for fear of it looking like a confused mix of unrelated items. But you should approach decorating a room in much the same way you would an outfit – select furniture, accessories, and finishes that, while individually might be quite distinctive, together complement each other and actually create something cohesive. The interior above offers a nice combination of individual and matching items.