5 Ways to Ruin Your Living Room

Living Room with Stone Fireplace
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Knowing how to decorate is a great skill to have. Some people come by it naturally, and others train for years. But something that is just as important when it comes to decorating is knowing what not to do. Simple decorating mistakes can take what could be a perfectly pretty room and turn it into a mess. Of course, no one sets out to deliberately ruin their living room, but if you're making some classic decorating mistakes, that's probably just what you're doing.

Uncomfortable Furniture

Furniture is for use; it's not just for looking at. Just because something looks great doesn't mean you should buy it. A trendy or stylish sofa becomes completely useless if you can't sit comfortably in it. And given that sofas are expensive, it can be a very costly mistake! Always test out furniture before buying. And don't just perch on it in the store: Lie down, settle in, and use it the same way you would at home. There's no better way to ruin your living room than to fill it with useless stuff (even if it does look good).

The Wrong Paint Color

You can fill a room with a ton of gorgeous furniture and fabric, but if the color on the walls is wrong, it ruins everything. Now, this doesn't mean you shouldn't take risks with color, but what you should do is test out the color before committing to it to make sure it works in the room. Paint a small section of the wall and see how it looks at various times of day as the natural light changes. Also, always choose the paint color last. When it comes to decorating a room, paint is one of the smallest investments you’ll make. So why choose it first? Choose the more expensive items, such as the sofa, flooring, and window treatments, then commit to a paint color.

Bulky Overhead Lighting

If you want your room to look heavy and your ceilings to appear lower than they really are, then, by all means, opt for a bulky overhead fixture. But if you want to create a sense of lightness and roominess, stay away from heavy fixtures. This doesn't mean you can't go big; just be cautious of bulky. Look for light fixtures with slim lines and open designs. If you want to reflect light, try something with crystals.

The Wrong Size Rug

Have a look around your living room: Is all the furniture sitting on top of the rug? If not, the rug is too small. The number-one mistake people make with area rugs is that they buy them too small. An area rug should fit under all of the key furniture pieces in a room. If that is not possible for some reason, you should be able to fit at least the front legs of major upholstered pieces onto the rug. If you're tempted to buy a small rug because the floors underneath are beautiful and you don't want to cover them, then you should probably forgo the rug completely. Having a tiny rug makes the room look awkward and disjointed, so go big or don't do it at all.

Following Trends

One of the easiest ways to ruin a perfectly good living room is by following too many trends. Trendy items can be a lot of fun in small doses, but when you adhere too closely to what's trendy you can really date your room. Also, what looks good in a store window does not always look good when it's integrated with your existing decor. So if you're the kind of person who likes to have the latest and greatest, try to keep it to accessories and smaller, inexpensive items. That way, you can get rid of them when the trend goes away (which it inevitably will).