5 Things That Make a Home Look Cheap

Common Decorating Mistakes that Cheapen the Look of a Home

Just because you are cheap (and nothing wrong with that!), doesn't mean your home has to look it. Unfortunately, in the quest to decorate a home on a super-tight budget, many often fall prey to certain decorating choices that tend to come across as cheap. These items or elements don't enhance a home but instead detract from the beauty and flow of the objects and rooms around it.

Whatever your budget may be, the goal in home decorating is to add beauty and value to a space - and it...MORE doesn't have to cost a lot to do so. To keep your home from looking cheap, even if it is, avoid these top five common decorating mistakes.

  • 01 of 05

    Mass Production Art

    pictures hanging on wall
    Baris Simsek/iStock

    Few things can cheapen a space more quickly than mass production prints and artwork. Flat, reproduction prints - especially from the more well-known artist like Picasso, Monet, Matisse, or Van Gogh - don't add any hint of originality to a space but instead can make a room look boring and weary. Same with generic reproduction "art" that is sold in bundles or is stacked in bins in most home decorating stores.

    Thanks to site such as Etsy and Artfire, it is possible to afford original art within almost any budget. And if you have a streak of DIY in you, you can very easily and frugally create your own original artwork for your home.

    So avoid the hotel look and forgo any art sold in big box stores, and leave the Masters where they belong - in a museum. Instead, choose affordable yet original art for your home.

  • 02 of 05

    Furniture Sets

    Glow Decor/ Glow/ Getty Images

    I know it's easy to go into a big box store and purchase an entire bedroom set, but trust the decorator, you don't enhance a home by doing so.

    Furniture created and sold in sets is usually lacking in quality and suffers from tremendous mark-ups, and unless you live in a square furniture showroom, rarely works well in the space that it is intended for.

    Mixing and matching styles, fabrics, and woods is a creative way to decorate on a budget and also tends to make a home look fabulous. If you forgo the ease of furniture sets and use a little creativity instead, you're likely to wind up with furniture that you love that is infused with quality and class, and nothing is wrong with that!

  • 03 of 05

    Navajo White

    visitor's room
    phototropic / Getty Images

    Some of you are already shaking your fists at me, I know it, because you may have a home painted entirely in this color. You may even love it. And that's okay. But in the future, try something a little less overused.

    Navajo White paint color is a builder special. Because this color is so generic, it has been overused by builders and rental managers for the past 20 years. And because of its reputation for generic ambiguity, it immediately cheapens a space.

    It is time to let it go. To keep your home from looking just like everyone else's on the block, choose a paint color in a less overused neutral shade, or you can always try adding in a pop of color

  • 04 of 05

    Cutesy Decor

    American flag memorabilia
    Studio 642 / Getty Images

    There are unfortunately things in this world like bunny figurines, owl clocks, nautical towel bars with sailboat wall brackets, quote art in Curlz script, flower power decals, and other awful things that one can find to put in a home.

    Some of these items would be fine used sparingly in a little girl's room, but most belong in grandmother's attic. To keep a home looking fresh and elegant, avoid cutesy decor like the plague.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Overdone Themes

    Attic bathroom
    Di Lewis / Getty Images

    I think there is a time and a place for themes - and that is in a kid's room before the age of 13. After that, decorating themes should be replaced by decorating styles, and this is a totally different thing indeed.

    One of the fastest ways to cheapen any space is to have too much of a good thing. I love the seashore so we have a variety of shoreline found objects scattered throughout our home, but an overabundance would make our home look like a cheap seaside motel.

    And it would your home, too. So skip the theme and have a bit of style. Your home will thank you!