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  • Lexi Klinkenberg

Common Décor Mistakes Interior Designers Always Notice

Designing and decorating your home can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it can also be difficult. Between new trends, choosing furniture pieces, and experimenting with paint colors, there are many small decisions that go into styling the perfect home. Even the slightest mistakes can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of a space. To help you avoid making mistakes in your home design, we gathered interior designers from across the country, and from Canada, to share their tips and advice on the most common home decor mistakes homeowners make and how to fix them.

Lack of color

Afraid of choosing the wrong colors, homeowners often default to neutrals layered upon more neutrals which makes for a space lacking in personality and depth. We want our homes to be a reflection of us and to be full of life. A simple fix to elevate the space is to incorporate color with accessories such as throw pillows, art, rugs, window coverings, and of course, freshly painted walls. A simple rule of thumb is to stick to 3 main colors: one dominant and two accent colors and when used throughout the home, it will feel cohesive and intentional. Choose one room to experiment with and explore with the colors that make you happy. Adding color is one of the most cost-effective and impactful changes that will make a house into a home. - Erica Manthe, Circus Designs

Not incorporating low lighting

Since most new homes have lots of recessed cans, clients often think that’s enough, when in fact, every room needs layers of light. We recommend adding low lighting like lamps and wall sconces, dimmer switches, and soft white bulbs so every room has a combination of light sources. - Melinda and Suzanne, North Shore Nest.

Buying everything all at once

Everyone tends to want to fill their home immediately rather than take time to find pieces that truly speak to them or have a story behind them. Shopping local & buying vintage are both great ways to add unique style to your home that will be conversation pieces for years to come. - Guest House

Artwork mounted too high above furniture

This problem occurs when the homeowner wants to accentuate the ceiling height but doesn’t always read well in a space. Artwork that is grounded by a credenza or piece of furniture should be mounted about 4-8 inches above furniture. It may sound too low but try it out, I bet you will be happy with the end result. - Julia Longchamps Interior Design

Not considering scale and proportion

Scale is of the utmost importance when creating a visually balanced space. Too many small and same-sized items on shelves looks messy and cluttered, we don’t want that. Don’t be afraid of larger-sized pieces and assorted shapes, because the intriguing blend of varying scale is what we want! And, never underestimate the value of negative space between objects and clusters - this is a sure game-changer. -Catherine Yuen Interior Design

I often see homeowners use incorrect use of scale when installing furniture, accessories, lighting, and/or beautiful kitchen and bath finishes. The use of negative space and flow is just as important as the choices you make for your project. In many cases, furniture can be crammed into a space or items may not be the correct size in proportion to the dimensions of the room. A way to avoid making this mistake is to hire a well-recommended designer, even if it’s just for a strategy session, to help you pull your choices together in the proper scale to fit your room or project. Having that professional eye can save you money and help you create that beautifully scaled space you’ve been dreaming of.

Getting stuck in a one-track mind

If your goal is to achieve a modern look they think everything should be matching exactly or contain all straight lines. This is not true, adding some curves will add interest and will still look clean and modern! It can even be in accessories, mirrors, lamps, or vases.

Forgetting about the big picture

Homeowners often fail to look at how the entire home works together. This takes a couple of different forms: either the entire house is decorated exactly the same or the rooms are designed so differently that the home feels disjointed and chaotic. When decorating, it's important to take a step back and look at the big picture. You want the rooms to feel cohesive, but you don't want the whole house to feel like it was bought from the same catalog. A good way to combat this is to draw inspiration from different places and to keep one thread the same throughout every room, like an accent color or a hardware finish.

- HDco Agency

Wrong lamp sizing

As apartment locators, we see a lot of interiors— and one common mistake people make is not paying attention to the size of your lamps and lampshades in relation to the room and other pieces of furniture. Nothing will make a luxury apartment look like a dorm room faster than two tiny lamps on either side of a huge mattress. On the other hand— large statement lamps (that don't overpower the space) can create a chic, expensive look. - AptAmigo

Incorrect use of paint

If your room is small, paint the moldings the same color as the walls (use a satin or high gloss finish) it will make them disappear and create an expansive feel to your room.

Using small floor tile in small spaces

There is a misconception that small tile makes a space look larger. Actually, small tile usually creates a busy floor making a space feel smaller. The larger the tile the larger the space. Therefore in a small bathroom try to go with larger tiles that are rectified so you can use 1/16"-1/8" grout joints. Also, the grout color should be similar to the tile for a more uniform look. Make sure you clear this with your tile installer first because of construction issues. For example, older floors in historic homes may not be able to take larger tiles due to the joists underneath shifting too much. - APK Designs

Not taking the backsplash to the bottom of the cabinets or the ceiling

Too often homeowners just run a strip of tile around the top of the countertops and call it done. But a beautiful backsplash tile can have the wowsy splash that many kitchens need. Running your backsplash to the bottom of your cabinets, or preferably, all the way to the ceiling will make a true statement. - Arrange Interior Design

Choosing vessel bathroom sinks

Vessel sinks are mostly dysfunctional in homes because we see them installed way too high 99% of the time. While people use them commonly in powder rooms as a statement piece to impress their guests, they end up never being the correct ergonomic height, they make a mess and waste your counter space with awkward nooks and crannies. The best approach to fix this mistake is to opt for under-mount sinks or wall mount clay sinks that are aesthetically pleasing and make for a much cleaner look. - Sabsa Interiors

Overlooking storage options

Homeowners are always so focused on the look and feel of the space and often forget about how much storage they really need. Storage in a home is the key to a well organized and functional space and should be incorporated wherever possible. Added custom millwork/cabinetry and closet organization are great places to squeeze in a few extra storage solutions. - Danielle Molnar, Accentrix Design

Thinking less is more

A common mistake in the wallcovering industry is running short on material, which could be prevented if you allow for adequate overage. Otherwise, you risk having visible dye lots issues, delays, and additional time for the installer, so do yourself a favor get your space professionally measured, and embrace any leftover material.

- Jennifer Block, Maya Romanoff

Originally Published on Redfin

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