How NOT to Accessorize Your Home

Family Room Natasha Sioss / Moment / Getty Images

While it's true that "anything goes" when it comes to your decorating style, there are some rules-of-thumb to follow to help your home look its best. The no-no's on this list of decorating don'ts are likely to top any designer's list of pet peeves when it comes to home accessories. 

Too Small Rug

When it comes to area rugs, the scale is just as important as style. Pick one that's large enough for all furniture legs to rest on it so it doesn't look like it's floating in the middle of your room.

Here are some other tips pertaining to area rugs and a list of places to find affordable yet stylish options.

Too Short Curtains

Before you dress your windows, measure the distance between the rod and the floor and buy panels to this length or longer. You can have them hemmed if they pool on the floor, but it's harder to fix panels that fall short.

Here are some more mistakes you may be making with your curtains.

Matching Everything

Your home will look way more interesting if you don't fall into this trap. Twin sofas, matching dining room chairs, and pairs of identical pillows are safe...but boring. Mix things up for a more professional look. If monochromatic colors are more your thing, add interest with texture.

Learn how to mix and match patterns like a pro with this guide.

Arranging Pillows Like Bookends

Speaking of pillows, avoid putting one pillow in each corner of your couch and calling it a day. Instead, arrange an assortment of pillows in the middle, varying the sizes and shapes if possible.

Pictures Hung Too High

You shouldn't have to look up at a picture hung on the wall. When hanging wall art above furniture—whether it's a headboard, a couch, or a console table—think of the furniture like a magnet that draws the art down to it. Un-anchored wall art should be hung at eye level. The exception to this is a gallery wall when it's perfectly acceptable to hang art up to the ceiling if you want. 

Here are some more tips on how to hang a gallery wall perfectly every time.

Choosing Accessories That Are Too Small

The scale is everything with regard to home accessories. Sure, color and style are important, too; but, if you pick items that are too tiny, they'll just look silly or get lost in the shuffle. If you have a vaulted ceiling, for instance, pick a pair of substantial vases for your mantel. Large wall to fill? Skip the 8x10 and go with one of these large-scale art ideas instead.  

Buying Everything off the Rack

You don't want visitors to your home to be able to point to your art and accessories and know exactly where they came from and what you paid for them! Shopping at well-known big-box retailers is an awesome idea because they offer trendy home decor at great prices; however, shopping at flea markets, secondhand stores, and making some items yourself will result in a home with more soul and personality.

Here are some ways to decorate with home decor that has meaning.

Ignoring Eyesores

Things like dated fixtures and untamed piles of stuff can detract from the beauty of your home, even if you've done everything else perfectly. Don't ignore those dingy, beige light switch covers, dinged up doorknobs, builder-grade brass ceiling lights, and carpet stains. Try these five simple swaps to freshen up fixtures, use an area rug to cover worn carpeting you can't replace yet, and get that clutter under control!

Need some help with that last thing? Here are tons of home storage and organization ideas to inspire you!

Holding Onto Stuff From Your College Years

Some home decor items scream dorm room. Torch lights, futons, cheaply framed posters, and novelty items like lava lamps may hold nostalgia, but they lack class. Ditch the dorm decor in favor of a more grown-up look by following these decorating tips for your first place.

Forgetting to Add a Plant

Last, but not least, don't forget to add some green. Look around your home. If it seems to be lacking a certain something, try a plant. Succulents, Ferns, small potted trees, or simple bouquets from the grocery store all work wonders. Even faux florals and greenery can help.

Eliminating some of these decorating don'ts from your home will result in a more polished look and a space you'll feel proud of.