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7 Common Interior Design Mistakes + How to Fix Them

Residential and Commercial Interior Designer for 10 Years MFA in Interior Architecture at the California College of the Arts in 2010

Mistake One - Choose a Paint Color without Getting a Sample

The first design mistake you might be making in your home is choosing a paint color without getting a sample and testing it up on your walls. If you're picking a paint color in stores with their lighting and not bringing back a little sample to test on your walls, you could easily end up with the wrong color and bring on more work for you to do. So if you're painting anything in your home before you decide on the color and sheen, make sure you take home a little sample size of the paint and try it on your walls and see what the color looks like in your space.

I usually pick up a few different colors, sometimes the same color in different sheens to really test out what it's going to look. Like on the walls, in that space, the windows and the lighting in your home will drastically change the color that you're seeing in stores. This will absolutely save you time and money, when you're working on your project as well when you test out the paint color. You can see if it's kind of picking up different undertones and it really gives you a chance to see that paint color with the other existing elements in your space. So maybe the color is bringing out different tones that you didn't expect. This is the opportunity for you to see that before you commit to painting the entire space so don't make the mistake of picking a paint color in stores. Make sure you bring it home test it out in different lightings see what it looks like at night and see what it looks like during the day. So you get a really good idea of what it's going to look like throughout the entire day, let me know down below in the comments if you pick up paint samples, every time you go paint a wall or if you just eyeball it. If you haven't tried out paint samples definitely, give it a try. I think you'll really love the process. Every time I think I’ve made my decision from my little paint chip, I put it up on the walls and it's not what I expected so I highly recommend this. It really makes a big difference and you will be so much happier with your paint decision if you go through this process.

Mistake Two - Keep All of Your Furniture and Decorative Elements at the Same Height

Another common design mistake that you might be making is keeping all of your furniture and decorative elements at the same height. If you don't have height variation in your space, things tend to look flat and short and just lack interest. So by adding in tall plants, tall floor lamps, tall mirrors, wall art and giving that variation to your space. It will make a huge impact and really bring the whole design together.

Sometimes you decorate you refurnish your space but everything is kind of looking flat. So by bringing in those taller elements, shorter elements and decorating your space as a whole.

Instead of just decorating the midpoint you will really end up with a complete full looking space. This is why design elements like scale and balance, which are something you should really think about once you bring in taller elements, lower elements like plants and poofs and rugs and lighting fixtures. There’s always somewhere to look and it really makes for an interesting completed balanced looking room.

Mistake Three - Missing Out on Storage Opportunities

Another design and kind of organization mistake that you might be making in your home is missing out on storage opportunities. If you are missing out on storage opportunities your home is going to start to look cluttered full and messy so if you want to make your space look beautiful clean and kind of decorated and ready all the time use storage opportunities to your advantage. I love decorative storage like baskets and benches and built-ins and coffee tables that have storage inside. So they can use the pieces that you need for your space but turn them into storage as well, try and have hidden storage in every room of your home to keep it looking neater and clean in your living room. This may be just some baskets with a lid, so you can hide some clutter away, hide those extra things that may be laying around your home. In your entryway this could be an entryway bench that has storage inside. Or maybe it's even just a simple tray to hold all those little things that get left out in your bedroom. It might be a good idea to consider doing under bed storage so you can hide things away under the largest piece in your room. So if you're not happy with the look of your home because of clutter and messiness, try and implement hidden storage opportunities in every room of your home. To really give yourself a place to put things and keep it out of sight.

Mistake Four - Picking the Wrong Rug Size

Now another design mistake that I see time and time again is picking the wrong rug size for your space especially picking a rug that is too small. That’s when it becomes a very obvious problem when you have a floating rug in your space and your furniture isn't anchored on it. It instantly shrinks the size of your space and the rug just doesn't seem like a functional piece. At that point your area rug should anchor your space. It should anchor your furniture, you should at least be able to get two front legs of your furniture on the rug. So as long as everything is touching the rug and anchored. Your room will instantly feel better. You should absolutely measure the size of your space before picking a rug and make sure that the rug is hitting every piece of furniture. Not so much furniture that is stuck against walls like media units or maybe a decorative piece, but your main accent chairs coffee tables, sofa should definitely be anchored on that rug. this also goes for dining rooms if you're picking a rug for your dining space, make sure when you pull the chairs out the chairs are still on the rug, no matter what your table size is, this rule will always apply and then when picking a rug for your bedroom, make sure that the rug comes at least halfway under the bed and spreads to or past your nightstand. if you already do have an existing rug in your home that is too small for your space, you can add a second rug underneath like a jute rug or a flat woven rug that lays flat and can be layered underneath your smaller rug, this will make that small rug that you already have look intentionally placed and styled. But if it's floating there on its own, it just looks wrong.

Mistake Five - Show the Back of a Furniture Piece

All right now on to furniture placement mistakes there are a ton of mistakes that you can be making with your furniture but a common one that just shrinks the size of your home and doesn't make it feel good and welcoming is, when you walk into a space and you see the back of a furniture piece. this instantly blocks the view it makes, it feel enclosed and it just ruins the flow of your home now, this is the only furniture layout that works for your space, and you have to walk into the back of a sofa, like that you can style around it, there are so many ways that you can really make it - a decorative opportunity, you can bring in a bench a credenza a console table and style it with books and decor and lamps, to really make it look intentional. if you don't have room for another furniture piece like that to add in, you can simply drape a decorative throw blanket on the back to add some texture and interest, and a little decorative touch to that moment, that way you're still creating a view and you're still creating a moment by walking through that space and it's not just looking at a boring back of a sofa.

Mistake Six - Too Many Color Palettes Throughout Your Entire Home

Another design mistake you might be making in your home is picking too many color palettes throughout your entire home. If your living room kitchen bathroom, entryway all look completely different in style and color, your home will not feel cohesive. a really easy way to get a cohesive looking home without thinking about all the little details is just starting with a common color palette, maybe you're doing an all neutral home, maybe you want your accent color to be green, use that green in different shades and finishes to really decorate your home. That way it will make every room feel very interesting but also as a whole feel very cohesive.

Mistake Seven - Design Your Home without a Plan or a Vision

All right and the last design mistake you might be making is designing your home without a plan or a vision. I always start every design project with a vision and a plan, and something to refer back to whether that be a Pinterest board, a mood board or even just a color palette. You need a vision a style and a plan to refer. Back to make sure that you stay on track and you stay within the style that you chose. if you don't plan for this you're going to end up picking pieces from stores that are different styles, different colors and as a whole, it's not going to work out, this is also very helpful when you're shopping because sometimes when you're shopping, you get carried away. You like one thing, you like another thing and it ends up not working together when you have something on your phone that you can refer back to as a visual to keep you on track it will really help you create a successful design.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Rachel Linssen

Comments

Lady Dazy from UK on May 13, 2021:

I have made mistake six in the past, but now I just paint all walls in Magnolia and use the curtains and furnishings to provide the colour.

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