5 Ways to Ruin Your Living Room

Living Room with Stone Fireplace. Hero / Getty Images

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, because decorating mistakes can take what could be a perfectly pretty room and turn it into a mess. Usually people don't set out to deliberately ruin their living rooms, but if you're doing any of these 5 things, that's exactly will happen.

Uncomfortable Furniture

Furniture is for using, not just looking at. So just because something looks great it 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 in the same way you will 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 first, and then decide on 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 light 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, open designs, and 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, it’s too small.  The number one mistake people make with area rugs is that they buy ones that are too small. An area rug should fit under all of the key furniture pieces in a room, and if for some reason it isn’t possible, you should be able to fit at least the front legs of major upholstered pieces. If your floors underneath are beautiful and you don't want to cover them up then 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 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).