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Top 10 Interior Decorating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Author:

Chazz is an Interior Decorator/Consultant/Retailer, amateur photographer, cook, gardener, handyman, currently restoring an 1880 Victorian.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

How to Transform Inferior Decorating: Identifying and Correcting Decorating Mistakes

You don't have to be a professional interior decorator to understand and apply some basic principles of interior design that will help you create a comfortable and functional home with style.

We've assembled a list of tips that tell you how to avoid (or correct) ten of the most common home decorating mistakes.

This article is not about creating the perfect magazine-worthy home décor or intimidating you with designer jargon and time (and/or money) consuming tasks.

Our aim is simply to present easy DIY decorating fixes with the basic information needed to implement them.

Contents:

1. Up Against the Wall. . . Not!

2. Picture this: Getting the Hang of It

3. Become a Groupie

4. That's Odd! Off-center is On-target

5. Think Big -- Bigger IS Better!

6. Of(f) Color: Avoid White Blight

7. Lighten Up in 3 Easy Steps

8. What's the (focal) Point?

9. Stifle those Yawns - Monotony is Boring and Tiresome

10. Flying Carpets belong in Fairy Tails


Whether you want to rearrange furniture in your living room, update your bedroom décor, create a guest room, shop for a dining room chandelier, or are downsizing or starting from scratch with your first studio apartment, these tips will help you make the choices that are right for you and your lifestyle.

Throughout this article, you will also find links to other pages that explore some of these topics in greater depth from coordinating fabrics to choosing colors, hanging pictures, and more.

We hope the tips included here will give you the confidence to decorate and accessorize your home to create a welcoming, comfortable place without worrying about making mistakes or wasting time or money -- and one that reflects your unique personality and style.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

If you have heavy furniture or haven't purchased any yet, it helps to measure the room and its features first. Then draw the dimensions (graph paper makes it easier), translating the measurements into a scale.

For example, using a scale of 1 inch on paper = 1 foot of space, a room that is 8 feet by 10 feet will be drawn as 8 inches by 10 inches; if you use a scale of 1/2 inch = 1 foot, an 8 foot by 12 foot room would be 4 inches by 6 inches on the paper. In the first case, feet simply are translated into inches on a 1:1 basis. In the second case, you divide each dimension by two. Thus, a 13 foot x 14 foot room, on a scale of 1 foot = 1/2 inch, would measure 6.5 inches x 7 inches in your drawing, and so on.

It is also important to make sure that you note the location and size of doors, windows, hearths, or other features you will need to consider in deciding on furniture placement.

Helpful Inexpensive Alternative to DIY Floorplans: Low-Tech Quick Floor Plan Kit

Make a few photo copies once you've done that. Then measure the "footprint" of each piece of furniture (the length and width or amount of space it takes up on the floor).

If you haven't purchased the furniture yet, use standard measurements or find pieces you like and use those dimensions to see if it will work in your home before you buy it. Cut pieces of paper to the same scale as the room dimensions and label each piece of paper.

You can then move the cut-outs around on paper until you find an arrangement that works with the space, purpose, traffic, and size. Tape them in place or use a dab from a glue stick to secure them to the paper.

By using the photocopies, you can easily create multiple arrangements on different pages and compare them to get an idea of how each works before you move the furniture. If you can't visualize it accurately from the drawings, you can use software that will create a three dimensional model for you to see or you can use the cardboard box method outlined in the next section.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

1. Up Against the Wall. . . Not!


Many people think a room looks bigger when all of the furniture lines the walls around the room. And if you want a dance floor, that may work, but for most purposes, furniture looks better and a room looks more inviting when the pieces are at an angle or surrounded by space.

Try angling your bed or sofa. Or float that large sofa facing a fireplace, two smaller conversational seating groups, or a pair of chairs arranged at an angle. Depending on the shape, size, and scale of your room, consider using two loveseats or settees instead of a large sofa.

Walk through the room and note the traffic patterns. Move the pieces around you find an arrangement that works with the space and with the traffic flow. That is, do not block access to other rooms or doors with furniture arrangements or individual pieces.

You will want to direct traffic while allowing easy access to pathways in, out of, and around the room.

Virtual Furniture Arranging and More

If you are tech-savvy, you might want to invest in floor plan software that will make it even easier to plan a single room or an entire house. Some of these apps have free trials you can download from their websites or your app store which may provide enough features for you to do this at no cost.

Other Considerations

Consider the purpose of the space as well. Are closets or bookshelves accessible? Do you have a great view you want to feature? (See focal points, below.)

Never automatically push all furniture against the walls. Living room furniture placed around the perimeter of a room does not encourage conversation and can create a cold feeling or ambience.

A chair without a nearby light source will not become a place to read the latest book by your favorite author or complete your latest craft project.

A long and wide island in the center of your kitchen between your sink and refrigerator means you have to walk around it every time you go from one to the other.

Decorator's Tip

If you aren't sure if the convenience of the additional counter space a center island would provide is worth the extra miles you'll be walking to go around it, or if that sofa will look too large in your living room, try arranging some large cardboard boxes to approximate the size of the furniture piece before you purchase it. It will help you visualize the size and mass of the furniture in a very concrete way and you can get a better idea of how the space will work in three dimensions.

Virtual Furniture Arranging

If you are tech-savvy, you might want to invest in floor plan software that will make it even easier to plan a single room or an entire house. Some of these apps have free trials you can download from their websites or your app store which may provide enough features for you to do this at no cost.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

2. Picture this: Getting the Hang of It


Hanging pictures or other types of wall décor too high or using pictures that are too small for a particular spot are perhaps the most common home decorating mistakes.

Unless you are creating a period wall full of dado-to-frieze pictures, wall décor should generally be hung so that the middle of the picture (or grouping) is at eye level (from either a standing or sitting position, depending on where it will be viewed from) or a little (2 to 3 inches) lower than eye level, with spacing between pictures fairly equal or visually balanced.

how-to-hang-pictures


Pictures should also be hung in a way that is proportional to their location. A single small picture hung over a sofa will not look right. Neither will two small ones spread too far about. They will be out of balance.

As a rule of thumb, artwork should be placed no more than five to nine inches above a sofa and no more than seven to ten inches above a table. The placement of your artwork should also relate to its surroundings. As a guideline for proportion, one or more pictures (including mirrors or other wall décor) should cover about 2/3 of the wall space above the piece of furniture. For example, if you have a 6 foot wide sofa, plan on a single picture or an arrangement that is about 4 feet wide and centered above the sofa.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

Always experiment with different arrangements and combinations of pictures before starting to hang any of them.

There are two ways to arrange pictures: Symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical groupings create a more formal feeling while asymmetrical arrangements are more casual. Items that are the same or similar in size, shape, and/or other attributes lend themselves to symmetrical arrangements -- one in which items are hung equally around a center line or point.

It is easier to create balance with a symmetrical grouping, but it is not difficult to balance an asymmetrical grouping either, although you'll have to rely on a bit of trial and error to create visual balance instead of a level and ruler or tape measure.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them


A grouping of pieces different in size, shape, color or other attributes will work better in an asymmetrical arrangement. Such a grouping should be hung so that the visual weight of the objects appears balanced. One way to do this without making a lot of unnecessary holes in your wall is to lay out the arrangement on the floor first, adjusting the grouping until you have arranged the items in the most pleasing (least lop-sided) way.

You could also trace the outlines of the items onto a roll of newsprint or inexpensive paper (that will contrast with your wallcolor) and arrange those on the wall with a hinge made of blue painter's tape on the back. (Other types of tape may remove paint from your wall.)

All photos on this page not otherwise attributed are used under license from Dreamstime.

Decorator's Tip

If you are working with different size items, keeping the larger pieces on the bottom of the arrangement will anchor your arrangement and keep it from looking top-heavy.

Reposition the shapes until you are pleased with the arrangement and then use that as a guide for hanging the actual items.

A vertical arrangement will make a room appear taller and a horizontal arrangement will make it appear wider.

You might also want to consider hanging one larger item surrounded by a circle or rectanglular arrangement of smaller pictures. This type of arrangement is particularly effective for displaying a group of photos in a hallway.

Whatever arrangement you choose, frames and mats should complement both the artwork and your decorating style or theme.

A framed mirror can add dimension and light, and is especially effective when it reflects something beautiful, such as a window overlooking a garden or an indoor flower arrangement, for example.

Do not be afraid to hang artwork with a mirror as part of the group. Unless a mirror is large enough to look balanced on a wall by itself, you can keep the proportion pleasing by adding pictures next to or around the mirror.

Once you decide on an arrangement, start hanging from the center or largest item and then, if there is more than one item in the center of your arrangement, hang any that go above and/or below the central piece. Continue out, hanging items from top to bottom, until all of your pictures have been hung.

Whether you use picture hooks, molly bolts, toggle boths, picture nails, or some other method will depend on the type of wall construction and surface, so be sure you have the right type of fasteners available.

If your home is a rental, you may be restricted to non-invasive methods such as suspending frames from a railing or keeping your artwork lightweight enough to use magnetic or peel-and-stick types of picture hangers.

Variation of Apple Blossoms by Vincent Van Gogh

Variation of Apple Blossoms by Vincent Van Gogh

Pictures Perfect

Can't find the right artwork or other wall décor to hang?

See if one of these will work for you.

Selections will change frequently, so check back to see what's new.

Artwork shown here is Interpretation in Red Almond Blossom" by Vincent Van Gogh in a 3-piece canvas set. Below is Sunset in Venice by Claude Monet. Both are available at AllPosters in a variety of sizes and formats.

Sunset in Venice by Claude Monet (1840 - 1926).

Sunset in Venice by Claude Monet (1840 - 1926).

3. Become a Groupie

(No, not that kind)

Accessoriesare an important part of home decorating. They can make or break a room and are a great way to show off your collections and personalize your home décor.

However, don't over-do it. If you have a large collection, put some of it away and rotate the items. Group the items together in one place rather than spreading around throughout the house.

Think about every accessory you put in a room. You want it to reflect your personality and taste, but not look cluttered. Consider the scale of the items as well as their colors, purpose, and shapes. Group them in odd numbers or creative ways, but keep them together. Aim for a small grouping of your favorites and either pack the rest away, sell them, or donate them to charity.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

4. That's Odd! Off-center is On-target

Unless your display is of Noah's Ark, avoid putting things in pairs. Odd numbers are far more interesting. A group of three or five items is usually better than two, four, or six.

Items that are different in shape, height, color, texture or some other dimension should be balanced, but that almost always means they should not be centered and spread out or lined up evenly in a straight line.

The third picture in the Picture This section, above, would not be as interesting if the lamp was removed and the flowers were centered in front of the mirror. By adding the taller lamp, and moving the flower arrangement to one side, the arrangement has balance and more interest. The lamp ties the grouping together and anchors it. Display your collections or objects grouped by color, material, or theme. Vary the heights, shapes, and textures for more interest.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

5. Think Big -- Bigger IS Better!

Contrary to what many think, a small room decorated with small furniture is usually not the best way to go.

One larger (but not huge) "statement" piece -- such as an antique armoire, bookcase topped desk, or an overstuffed armchair with a carved wood frame -- will draw the eye and create an airier atmosphere than a lot of smaller scale furniture.

Start with your statement piece and arrange the other items in the room around it. For example, many smaller rooms often have a shelving unit against one wall, either freestanding or in the form of shelves attached to shelving strips affixed to the wall. Whether you use it for media and/or books, display, or other storage, replace the open shelves with an armoire to hold all of that "stuff" instead.

Perhaps angle the armoire in a corner of the room and arrange your seating and occasional tables to complement that. You'll be surprised how much better the space will look and feel.

6. Of(f) Color: Avoid White Blight

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

Although white walls are very appealing to some of you, having no color on the walls often makes a room seem cold and uninviting. It also makes it very hard to decorate. If you must use pure white, use it for trim, fabric, or accessories with a color or even a light neutral shade on the walls.

White only works on a wall if you know how to use it -- and since that is a difficult thing to do, we do not recommend you try it yourself. And be sure to choose the right intensity of color. Do not rely on small paint chips as the color will look different on the wall.

Purchase a small amount of paint and try it first. Live with it a couple of days. View it at various times of the day and night since the color you choose may look different with different lighting conditions and with different colors adjacent to it .It is worth the slight extra investment to avoid spending many times more only to have it turn out darker or lighter than you expected.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

Decorator's Tip

Do NOT hold your color swatches against a white wall. The appearance of a color will look different depending on what other colors are adjacent to it. You'll get a much better idea of how the color will look if you look at it next to your furniture, window treatments, or cabinets. It also helps to see a larger area of color and even the larger swatches sometimes available today may not be big enough.

Instead of putting the sample color on a wall, we suggest you completely cover a large piece of white foamcore board or posterboard with paint and look at it in different places in your room. If you are painting several rooms or want to make an accent wall a different color or hue, you can also paint another board with the different color and move them from wall to wall or even room to room and see which placement looks best.

With today's computer technology, paint stores can match almost any color you can find. You are not restricted to choosing colors available on paint chips. Expert paint stores can also make a color slightly darker or lighter - just be sure to check some dried paint to be sure it is what you want before you leave the store with your purchase.

Chandeliers With Decorative Impact

Chandeliers L to R: New Orleans 14-Light Crystal, Zelda Contemporary in Vintage Brass, Murray Feiss Stirling Castle, La Parra Tiered Spanish Gothic. Most available in different sizes, finishes, and colors.

Chandeliers L to R: New Orleans 14-Light Crystal, Zelda Contemporary in Vintage Brass, Murray Feiss Stirling Castle, La Parra Tiered Spanish Gothic. Most available in different sizes, finishes, and colors.

7. Lighten Up in 3 Easy Steps

1. Lighting may be the most frequently overlooked element of home decorating. Besides the fixtures being design elements themselves, good lighting is related to function (as in task lighting, reading lights, etc.) and mood. Lighting should be chosen not only for the style and scale of the light fixtures but according to what the purpose of the room is and what type of ambience you wish to create. Dark rooms can be depressing and overly bright rooms can be harsh on the eyes and the nerves. Each room should have multiple lighting options, from a dimmer switch for the dining room chandelier to table and floor lamps near work and reading areas. Accent lighting can enhance your collections, artwork, or even your prize schefflera.

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

2. Along with the above, the most frequent lighting mistake in home décor is a dining room chandelier that is either too small (almost always) and/or hung too high. A dining room light fixture should be centered over the table and should not be flush or even semi-flush to the ceiling. It should hang above the table, with the bottom of the fixture no higher than 3 feet above the table. It should also be no smaller than about 9 to 12 inches less than the width or diameter of the table.

A table that is 4 feet wide and 6 feet long should have a chandelier that is 36 to 39 or 40 inches in diameter. A round table that is 5 feet in diameter (width across the middle) should have a chandelier that is no smaller than 48 inches in diameter. (For larger tables, my personal preference is to hang the chandelier even a little lower than 36" above the table as it makes it a more dramatic focal point). The chandelier should be on a dimmer (soft light is more flattering and conducive to dining) and don't forget the candles.

Bright Ideas For Table and Floor Lamps

From an accent to general and task lighting, there are a wide variety of fixtures and styles to complement your home décor. We have selected some of our favorite table and floor lamps below. Many of these styles come in both table and floor models, so if you like a style but the type you need isn't pictured, click on the info icon link to see the complete line.

L to R: Meyda Tiffany Martini Mission Desk Lamp, Murray Feiss Antica Ceramica in Persian Turqouise, Meyda Tiffany Pond Lily 5 Lt Lamp, Uttermost Reggie Red Table Lamp, and Meyda Tiffany Diamond & Jewel Table Lamp. Click "info" icon to learn more.

L to R: Meyda Tiffany Martini Mission Desk Lamp, Murray Feiss Antica Ceramica in Persian Turqouise, Meyda Tiffany Pond Lily 5 Lt Lamp, Uttermost Reggie Red Table Lamp, and Meyda Tiffany Diamond & Jewel Table Lamp. Click "info" icon to learn more.

3. Last but far from least -- Do not neglect the importance of sunlight (or the ability of ultra violet rays to fade furnishings and artwork). When thinking about room lighting you should also pay attention to the direction the windows of the room face, when it is likely to have the most sun, if you want the maximum exposure to that sun or it will be too glaring, if you want the light but not the UV exposure, or if you want to block the sun (in a media room or perhaps the bedroom of someone who works the night shift and sleeps during the day).

Decorator's Tip

A pair of smaller chandeliers, each hung over a night table in the bedroom is a favorite decorator trick. Hang the fixtures low enough to provide reading light and so they are in proportion to the room and furniture. Not only a different look but leaves the furniture tops clear for a book, clock, or other essentials

These things should all be considered when selecting the appropriate type of window treatments.

  • Do you need to filter light? (semi-sheers and similar types of curtains, uv blocking window films)
  • Block light? (light-blocking shades, blinds, and/or heavier draperies)
  • Create privacy? (opaque treatments, including shutters)
  • Not block a great view? (consider no window treatment or just a valance and/or easy-to-open styles)
  • Improve energy efficiency? (think thermal, shutters, energy saving window films)

All of these lighting-related factors should be considered in deciding on window treatments in addition to budget, lifestyle (Do you really want puddling drapes if you have pets), and taste preferences.

Lighting Essentials

Whether a reproduction of a historic period oil lamp, a halogen "high hat" hidden in the ceiling, or the latest in pendant track lighting, you also need to consider the type and size of lightbulb (flourescents are energy efficient but can provide harsh light), installing a dimmer switch for the main light source, the proportions of the lamp or fixture in relation to your furnishings, and especially the job you want the light to do.

Look for warm lighting and, for work areas, we find that full spectrum lighting is best, especially if you work with color like we do.

8. What's the (focal) Point? Every Room Needs One

A focal point serves as the focus or anchor for the design of a room. In other words, it is the glue that brings a room together and creates interest. Some may not be aware of what a focal point is and what it does for a room so their rooms either tend to have no focal point or to have too many. The result of either is the same - confusion.

Room with fireplace as focal point

Room with fireplace as focal point

So, what is a focal point? In general, it is the most dramatic element in a room. It is what your eye is drawn to when you first enter a room. It is attention getting and should be the center of attention of your décor.

The focal point can be a fireplace, a large picture window with a great view, or a headboard, entertainment unit or armoire. Furnishings should be arranged in relation to the focal point -- such as a conversational group around a fireplace. Other main elements in a room are arranged to face, frame, or be part of the focal point.

If your space does not have an architectural feature to serve as a focal point, you can create one by using, for example, a dramatic (in scale, style, color, design) piece of furniture, a sculpture, a striking painting on an easel or a picture hung on a wall.

Great Focal Points Anchor a Room

If your room doesn't have a focal point, you can create one as described above or you might want to consider arranging your room with one of the following as your focal point. We've personally selected each one for it's great look and special features.

Left to right: Bridgeport Computer Armoire by Riverside Furniture, GreatCo Rio Grande Series Mantel 34 In. Electric Fireplace/Bookcase, and Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone Pine and Stone-look Electric Fireplace Mantel. Click info icon to learn more.

Left to right: Bridgeport Computer Armoire by Riverside Furniture, GreatCo Rio Grande Series Mantel 34 In. Electric Fireplace/Bookcase, and Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone Pine and Stone-look Electric Fireplace Mantel. Click info icon to learn more.

9. Stifle Those Yawns - Monotony is Boring and Tiresome

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

Matching furniture, everything the same color, an over-done "theme" room, the same fabric used everywhere (on furniture, windows, accessories, you-name-it). If your room looks like it came out of a store catalog and everything matches -- be it a "suite" of furniture, a color, or ruffles or a themed motif on everything, looking at the same thing all of the time is boring because it lacks interest and personality.

Sure that set of furniture or bedroom linens/curtains/lampshade ensemble looked great in the catalog or showroom. It is supposed to. They are trying to sell as much merchandise as possible and it worked as a sales tool because you bought it. But once you get it home, matchy-matchy becomes worse than wishy-washy. An overly matched room can also give the impression of being cluttered.

What to do? Break up the set. Swap pieces with items from other rooms -- maybe the bedroom nightstand would work as an endtable in the living room or the dresser (sans mirrors) could be used as a server or buffet in the dining room or against a foyer wall. List them on eBay or Craig's list and use the proceeds to find a more interesting replacement. Donate part of the set to charity and enjoy helping others (and the tax benefit).

You might also try painting one piece, changing the hardware, and maybe even add a marble, granite, tile, or Mosaic top to transform a standard piece of furniture into a fun, artsy, unique item. Decoupage and other techniques can also be used. Items in a room should coordinate and create a balanced, complementary look while serving as functional parts of your home but items that look like they came out of the box will make you feel like you are living in one. Think outside the box.

10. Flying Carpets Belong in Fairy Tales

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

Rugs are not supposed to float or fly except in fairy tale air space. Rugs that are too small are not only hazardously easy to trip on, they float in the middle of a floor, break up a room and are distracting. Before you decide on a size for a rug, use blue painters tape to outline where you want the rug to go.

A rug should anchor the furniture. If a seating arrangement, at least the front feet of the furniture should rest on the rug. You do not want a "floating" coffee table.

Similarly, do not put a too-small rug under the dining room table and have the chairs float around it. It should be large enough for the chairs to fit on as well so that the furniture is both physically and visibly connected.

BTW, that's not the only problem with the room in the large photo above. Can you identify the others?

A room-size area rug should have a 9 to 12 inch border of floor showing between the rug and the wall.

If you want to cover the entire floor, you probably should consider wall-to-wall carpeting instead.

If you are using a room-sized area rug, it should be large enough to tuck under the edges of any furniture around the room, such as servers, or china cabinets.

If you already have one that it is too small, use it somewhere else.


Which of These Decorating Mistakes Troubles You the Most

Some Other Topics You Might Like

ten-biggest-decorating-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

© 2010 Chazz

Do you have a Decorating Mistake that we missed? - What's Your Decorating Pet Peeve?

Chazz (author) from New York on September 03, 2017:

Thank you for taking the time to write. Made my day!

Tonie Cook from USA on September 02, 2017:

Love this! Getting ready to redo some of the rooms in my home. These guidelines are much appreciated and bookmarked for future use. Thank you for being here.

Chazz (author) from New York on July 11, 2017:

Glad you found our hub useful. Thanks for letting us know and best of luck in your new home!

Kristine on July 10, 2017:

Great timing. I needed to see these key rules again. Most of the 3600 sq ft house we just purchased is Shasta white, tons of windows, french doors, fireplace, skylights, spotlights etc..... a huge challenge to make warm and more homey. Almost too many focal points in competition!

Suzie from Carson City on June 09, 2016:

Kathleen, i am seriously impressed with the talent of interior design/decorating. It always amazes me how one can stand in a room, look around and literally "see" what should and can be done. To have an exquisite photo in mind and know precisely how to set out to create it before their eyes, to me is a mind-blowing ability.

I know many people study this for years and become professionals with this as a lucrative career. I believe the natural gift comes from within and for these born designers, the beauty & perfection simply flows easily.

IMO, like so many other God-given talents, I believe you've either got it or you don't. I don't, but I try like heck! Thank you for this interesting read. Paula

Chazz (author) from New York on November 22, 2014:

Thank you so much for your kind comment and for the pin. Appreciate it.

Fay Favored from USA on November 13, 2014:

All of these suggestions are so helpful. Where to hang the picture, not bright enough lighting and wall colors ... we did pick colors that were softer tones at least and they worked well. My favorite color was called wedding cake and no matter what you put in the room, it took on that color and was perfect. I try not to put my seating furniture up against the walls unless it is a reading or specialty corner. Pinning this.

Chazz (author) from New York on June 03, 2014:

@kerstinstarzer: Haven't blocked a window but have solved a similar problem with pocket doors taking up most of the space on 2 walls by placing a large bookcase on one side of the doors and hanging a portiere (doorway draperies) on the other side over the closed doors. You could do something similar with windows if you don't need the light but be sure to leave a nice window treatment in the window first so it looks good from the outside too.

Chazz (author) from New York on June 03, 2014:

@ladyhenry: It doesn't have to go in the middle - sometimes just angling it in a corner is enough. Or perhaps you could try two loveseats instead of a sofa? We're available for consultations if you want specific advice. Thank for visiting.

kerstinstarzer on May 31, 2014:

I have soooo many windows in my house ( which is great for light) but we can't put any furniture along the walls bc we will block windows... This really impacts storage. Do you have any instances where you block/partially block windows with furniture? Thx!

ladyhenry on May 30, 2014:

I have a small home. My house has a great room. Part of it is dining the other is living room. to put a sofa in the middle makes it very difficult to get around. My furniture has to go by the wall.

hanadi-hanadi on May 26, 2014:

Don't use large tiles in assymetrical rooms... the weirdness of the asymmetry is enhanced by multiple times!

Chazz (author) from New York on March 26, 2014:

@blestman lm: This might provide a solution for you:

https://discover.hubpages.com/living/how-to-use-fa...

Cost effective, removable, easy to do, and reusable.

blestman lm on March 24, 2014:

My decorating pet peeve is having a place that has nothing but white walls. i love color and light (and a little disorganization)

Donna Cook on March 20, 2014:

Terrific lens! Guilty of the floating rug.

VioletteRose LM on March 20, 2014:

Great lens, we are doing the interior decoration for our new home this months! This is really helpful :)

teelover on February 16, 2014:

Really great and useful tips!

seb_cbi1 on January 24, 2014:

USEFUL LENS... THANKS

LluviaDeArte on January 03, 2014:

I really really love this. Offers true relief and tips you can really apply, more than that this is a mini bilble of decorating. Thank you for putting it together so so well!

LouisaDembul on December 31, 2013:

I just splashed out on red curtains for the living room, and I take great pleasure in them. will keep your tips in mind when hanging the pictures.

umbrella-bagger on September 13, 2013:

Fantastic Lens! You've just inspired me to completely rearrange my bedroom though..

ehomedesignidea1 on August 15, 2013:

Really great tips!

VineetBhandari on April 11, 2013:

No doubt, you deserve to be Squid angel for Home Décor :)

lesliesinclair on March 31, 2013:

Mine is new apartment building that wire all kitchen and bathroom (and bedroom) ceilings with those new fluorescent fixtures. The light is too low and too glaring for me.

Titia Geertman from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on March 07, 2013:

I don't think I have a decorating pet peeve. I know what I want and I'm very peculiar with the colors I choose in paint. I have a color in my head and will look as long as it takes to get it right and if I can't find it I make it.

JoshuaJDavid on February 22, 2013:

Good idea for a lens. I've bookmarked it so that I can follow up on it when doing my upstairs.

johnny-knox on February 16, 2013:

Great lens! Very useful!

LadyDuck on February 15, 2013:

Beautiful lens, I love reading home decoration tips and idea.

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on February 14, 2013:

I just stopped back to bless this terrifically useful lens. :)

Othercatt on February 13, 2013:

My pet peeve is painting. I recently renovated our house and the biggest nightmare was choosing the paint. I knew the colors I wanted but getting those colors was almost impossible. The apple red kitchen I wanted ended up looking more like the red of a hookers lipstick. And even though the grey looked light enough on the sample sheet, it was 10 times darker on the living room walls. Using your tips would've saved me a lot of time, frustration, and money.

TheCandle LM on February 03, 2013:

I love that you started the lens with understanding that decorating can be very intimidating. You broke into down and made it easy to understand. Thanks! Great ideas. Do you use many of these tips in your own place?

Rosanna Grace on February 01, 2013:

Lots of very useful information here. The picture hanging tips will come in handy for me as I'm just about to dress some freshly painted walls with new prints.

Frischy from Kentucky, USA on January 26, 2013:

I am also working on decluttering my home. There is entirely too much stuff in here! It is impossible to decorate a house that has become a storage facility.

John Dyhouse from UK on January 15, 2013:

Some very good tips here, I see several that should be acted upon in our house. I know that my wife's biggest peeve would be de-cluttering but I have so many hobbies and interests, LOL

robertzimmerman2 on January 12, 2013:

My #1 would be de-cluttering the place FIRST but that's only because I need to do it so badly. Great Lens!

Chazz (author) from New York on January 03, 2013:

@Brandi Bush: Thanks so much! Best of luck with your remodeling.

clouda9 lm on January 03, 2013:

My eclectic styling is not all wrong...woohoo! Thanks for the extra tips, especially #4 and #9. Congrats for being one of Squidoo's favorite lenses of 2012! (http://hq.squidoo.com/lensmaster-spotlight/more-of...

Brandi from Maryland on January 02, 2013:

I have no natural decorating instincts, so I really rely on the internet for ideas and tips. This is the best page I've seen for learning all of the "rules" of decorating...I think I've broke every one of them! Bookmarking this page as we are remodeling our entire home over the next year. Congrats on being one of Squidoo's favorite lenses for 2012!

dawnsnewbeginning on December 31, 2012:

Great ideas!

anonymous on December 15, 2012:

I love this lens ... I'm buying a house in a year or two and this lens will become really hand than. I actually printed down all your tips and save them. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Michey LM on December 11, 2012:

Great tips and advice, decoration is related with many factors, and taste, and an artistic eye... but you gind universal tips which are very important. Come back to Blessing!

tophatpro on December 08, 2012:

Loving this lens. We just helped re-decorat my grans livingroom and we applied a number of the fixes that you've mentioned. I can't believe how much stuff people can collect over the years!

anonymous on December 08, 2012:

Excellent decorating tips! Very informative lens! Thanks for sharing with us!

entetrix on December 06, 2012:

Wow, that is a really complete lense! More like a book! Great work.

crstnblue on December 04, 2012:

Great Christmas decorating ideas, complex and informative! Thanks for sharing!

Blessed!

CoolFool83 on November 28, 2012:

These are very helpful tips. Thanks.

neotony on November 14, 2012:

congrats on the purple star. it's so nice that you were awarded for a helpful lens that helps people! kudos!

montanatravel52 on November 10, 2012:

Our fam (hubby and 2 kids) just moved into our 1st house and these tips are perfect, thanks so much, I need them:) I really like your "using cardboard" tip for furniture!

anonymous on November 08, 2012:

I have an awkward shaped room that has a fireplace at one end, so close to the corner, with sliding glass doors beside it. The room is long and narrow and is a decorating nightmare....lol. This is a great resource for avoiding decorating mistakes. Bookmarked for future reference.

MaggiePowell on November 08, 2012:

Thanks... I learned a few things that I can use

Freestuffer LM on November 05, 2012:

Nice lens you have here. Interesting!

Entrance Mats on November 02, 2012:

I'm also an avid DIYer, thanks for the tips!

Aquamarine18 on October 28, 2012:

Very nice lens. I love decorating and DIY projects in my home and found your ideas very helpful

Gayle Dowell from Kansas on October 25, 2012:

I think that I've made a few of these and didn't know it. No wonder some of my rooms don't seem to be put together. Great lens and tips. Blessed.

katiecolette on October 17, 2012:

Wow! Great tips! Thank you so much for sharing! Found your lens on Google when looking for tips on dining room table / chandelier placement.

IncomeFromHomeT on October 10, 2012:

Great tips here! I don't think you missed anything, except maybe . . . cats. I love artful arrangements, and they're both minimalists. They push stuff off the tops of my tables and onto the floor! Which is what started my love of glass fronted cupboards . . .

David Stone from New York City on October 09, 2012:

No, but I think I made every one of these at least once.

LynetteBell from Christchurch, New Zealand on October 07, 2012:

Great lens!

anonymous on October 04, 2012:

wonderful lens! Thanks for sharing such beautiful tips.

johnsja on October 02, 2012:

Love the paint color cheat sheet!

eccles1 on September 23, 2012:

Wow ! Thanks for all your great tips.

VspaBotanicals on September 22, 2012:

This is a wonderful lens. Very beautiful! I fell in love with the chandeliers.

anonymous on September 10, 2012:

my decorating pet peeve is too matchy matchy. Just because you have one large candlestick on the fireplace does not mean you have to have another one just like it on the other side. Try a vase of small flowers with a candlestick smaller.

NewUsedCarsSacramento on September 05, 2012:

Great tips...these are some of the minute mistakes that you have mentioned here. Thanks!

Kay on September 02, 2012:

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate these tips. I'll be coming back to this page as we begin remodeling. Thank you! Blessed!

Rosyel Sawali from Manila Philippines on September 02, 2012:

Great tips! I'm taking notes. I definitely need to work on a few rooms in my place. Thanks for sharing these tips! ^_^

olmpal on August 30, 2012:

Great tips! I'm guilty of a Lighten Up mistake! I have my hung too high! Thanks for this helpful lens! Beautiful photos too!

MimayManalo on August 28, 2012:

nifty designs.. the lens was so helpful, creative ways were very unique :)

Melissa Miotke from Arizona on August 27, 2012:

Wonderful lens. We recently purchased a new home so I'll be using some of your tips.

Karen Kay from Jackson, MS on August 26, 2012:

Really great and sensible, easy to do tips. Thanks so much! Great Lens! Blessed

AlleyCatLane on August 23, 2012:

Great article with lots of useful advice. My pet peeve is pictures hung too high, especially since I'm short..

LoriBeninger on August 16, 2012:

Informative and well presented. I hope to avoid all of these pitfalls -- and thanks to you, I have a fighting chance!

Beverly Rodriguez from Albany New York on August 14, 2012:

Great basic tips and very well done lens.

Chazz (author) from New York on August 13, 2012:

@anonymous: It is fine to use one color scheme throughout the house, but I would vary it from room to room or area to area. For example, you might have teal cabinets in the kitchen and a teal rug and accessories in the sitting room area. You could create a sponge paint effect with the colors on your bathroom wall. One bedroom could feature the neutrals with teal accents and the other could be the reverse. You could also consider painting a bedroom ceiling in teal. If you have a chair rail or can add one, using one color above and another below is another way to vary the color use. If you keep it interesting and the colors balanced, using the same color scheme can open up a small space and really tie everything together. And don't forget to add some prints or patterns to keep it interesting.

anonymous on August 09, 2012:

I have a very small house (670sq ft - sitting room/kitchen, two bedrooms, and bathroom). Would it be awful to have one color theme throughout the house?

I am not a "color" person. I love neutal colors. I'm thinking about brown, tan, baige, and teal as my colors.

CanvasArtPrint LM on July 19, 2012:

Some great tips there, thanks.

Chazz (author) from New York on July 18, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Gail- If possible, my first choice would be to move the chandelier so it is centered (even if it has to be swagged to do that). I'd need more info about where the chandelier is in relation to the table to answer the rest of your question, but it may help to use two or three smaller pieces instead of one centerpiece to balance the chandelier but in other cases it might be best to just ignore the off-centered chandelier -- can't say without seeing it.

anonymous on July 18, 2012:

Where does one place a centrepiece, candles, etc., when the dining table and the chandelier above it do not line up?

Chazz (author) from New York on July 12, 2012:

@MrAdvice LM: Wallpaper is always "in" for historic décor, which is our specialty (see http://www.squidoo.com/oldhouseinteriors_wallpaper... Personally, I am fond of wallpaper but do use paint in some rooms - it depends on the look you want. I don't believe in going with what is "in" just because it is popular. I do believe in going with good design, new or old, which is timeless.

MrAdvice LM on July 10, 2012:

Love the lens. How do you feel about wallpaper? Out of in?

Cyberwing on July 09, 2012:

Wonderful lens. Thank you for sharing great tips

Go-Modern on July 02, 2012:

Great lens! Bookmarked for later use...

Mary Stuart on June 28, 2012:

I really learned a lot from reading your page. (I am now taking an inventory of my living quarters to see where I can make some improvements.) Thanks for the great info!

happynutritionist on June 24, 2012:

Back again to help keep this lens up where it belongs, love this. I am not much of a decorator so reading this is inspiring...if not interesting...to me. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

lynnasafriend on June 22, 2012:

Great lens, thank you for sharing :)

OliviaDaughter LM on June 19, 2012:

Excellent lens. Really good ideas. I love to décor, I take room by room.

Chazz (author) from New York on June 18, 2012:

@One-A-Day LM: Thank you.

Chazz (author) from New York on June 18, 2012:

@Kailua-KonaGirl: Thanks for the suggestion. Done.

wolvyz on June 18, 2012:

I really admire your tips for interior decorating. I just managed to skip a couple of mistakes thanks to you. I am actually in the process of designing my room.

TopFiveBestDeals on June 17, 2012:

EXTRAORDINARY lens!!! wow! thumbs way up...

Rymom28 on June 16, 2012:

This is a great one stop, tips and more, decorating dos and don't lens!

anonymous on June 15, 2012:

I love stepping into decorating tips lens. You know what its about, what is not, and you have flair for designing and painting a picture of "a great chat room" on Squidoo. LOL Woot! :D

RuralFloridaLiving on June 09, 2012:

Very wonderful points made here - good job on the lens. Thanks!

One-A-Day LM on June 09, 2012:

Oh My Goodness - Your Lens on interior decorating is like a book and is incredibly helpful. My sister just bought a house two blocks over from where I live and will be moving in 3 weeks from now. We're both "itching" to get started on decorating. I'll send her the link to this lens.

markadamdouglass on June 07, 2012:

Some interesting thoughts :-)

dave-sutton on June 07, 2012:

I wasa graphic artist for many years and used to work between the designers and the shop floor that made the furniture. This is a brilliant Lens and gives so much good advice. I used to see so many called interior designers who did not have the first idea. Maybe they should have read your articles

Lori Green from Las Vegas on June 05, 2012:

Really great lens. Love the glass accessories.

fitnessjunkie8 on June 05, 2012:

This lens is BRILLIANT. I am now getting up from my chair to critique all 4600 square feet of my living space.lol. First thing to go is anything in pairs!

amythomson187 on May 27, 2012:

Wow, great lens... i can see a lot of work has went in to this :) thanks Amy x

Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on May 17, 2012:

Really great decorating or redecorating tips!

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