Everyone who has decorated a house, or even just a room, has made some mistakes. And yes, that includes professional designers. That's because decorating isn't as easy as it seems. But when you know the mistakes to avoid it makes the task of beautifying your home that much easier.
Take a look - have you ever made any of these decorating mistakes? If so you're in good company!
The most common reason why major furniture pieces get returned is because they don't fit.
So if you've done it you're not alone. But having to return a sofa or buffet is a huge pain, and sometimes a costly one. So before you purchase a large item make sure it fits in the space it's meant for. Measure carefully and plot it on some graph paper, or use an online tool. And don't forget to measure doorways and up or down stairways to make sure you can get it where it needs to go.
Curtains and drapes are great decorative accessories, but make sure they're the right size or you may do more harm than good. As a general rule, curtains and drapes should just skim the floor. Some people choose to have them puddle on the floor to create a more traditional look, but they should never be higher than the floor. When window treatments end a couple of inches above the floor they look truncated and it can make the ceiling look lower.
Hanging Artwork Too High
You should have to look up at your artwork, right?
Wrong! The majority of people hang their art much too high. Artwork, no matter what room it's in should always be hung around eye level. Even with large pieces the center should be right at, or just above this height. This obviously varies for everyone, but just remember that if you have to strain your neck to see it, it’s too high.
A Small Rug
Chances are good that you've made this mistake because it is one of the most common decorating mistakes in the world of interior design. For some reason people tend to underestimate the amount of space a rug should cover and as a result they end up with small rugs that make the room look cluttered and disconnected. Area rugs should always fit under all of the key pieces of furniture in a room, with 10”-20” between the edge of the rug and the wall. If this isn't possible in your space make sure that at least the front two legs of major pieces are sitting on the rug.
Buying Furniture in Sets
For some reason furniture is still sold in sets. Sure, it's easy to buy everything all at once, but you may regret it once you get it home. The days of decorating with matched furniture sets are over. They make rooms look boring and uninspired. Instead try adding depth and interest to your space by finding things that complement each other rather than match. It will make your space more interesting and allow you some room for creativity.
Many of us have been guilty of this at some point or another. After all, there are so many wonderful things out there, how do you know when to stop? But the truth is, editing is one of the most important elements of decorating. Every item in a room needs a little space to breathe, and when too many pieces are crammed together they get lost. It's far better to pick and choose a few special items than to try to fit in all the items you like.
Falling for a Trend
Trends are tricky. When they first appear on the scene it's easy to be seduced - particularly when you see them featured all over magazines and decorating blogs. But trends by their very nature are bound to become dated. So never go out and spend a lot of money on something that's trendy unless it truly fits your home and your style. Instead try to use it in small doses. So for instance if the trend is a particularly strong color, try bringing in some accessories like pillows or vases as opposed to larger pieces like sofas and chairs.
Hanging Light Fixtures Too Low
Light fixtures are a tricky thing. You want them low enough to provide adequate light, but not so low that you block site lines. People tend to hang them very low, and when this happens not only can they block site lines, they don't adequately disperse the light.
- Kitchen Pendents - should be placed 30″ to 36″ above the countertop, or 72″ above the floor.
- Dining Room Chandelier - the bottom of the fixture should be between 30″ and 36″ from the tabletop. If it’s hanging in an area with no table underneath go higher. Make sure it’s at least 7’ off the ground.
- Entryways/Living Rooms/Bedrooms - the bottom of the fixture should never be lower than 7’ so that people can always walk freely underneath.
- Wall Sconces - The center of the backplate should be no less than 60” above the floor. And preferably no more than 64”.
The Wrong Pattern
The wrong pattern can ruin everything (and the right pattern can make everything better!). Mixing patterns can be tricky if you don't feel confident, but the key is to trust your instincts and follow the basic rules for mixing patterns. Vary the scale, use colors that are the same intensity, and don’t place too many patterns on top off each other
Spending Too Much on Something You Don't Love
Everyone has experienced the regret of spending too much at one point or another. Investing in things you love is always worthwhile, but spending a lot on something you don't like is just plain silly. Oftentimes it's because we get caught up in things we think we're supposed to want, either because it's trendy or people have tried to convince us we should have it, but unless a piece really speaks to you don't do it.