Moving house or doing a revamp can be an exciting time, but the prospect of decorating can seem a little daunting. With so many styles, fifty shades of magnolia and statement walls, the list is endless.
It’s so easy to get carried away with grand ideas, but if you don’t plan your vision properly, you’ll end up with a décor fail on your hands (I’ve been there!).
So here are just some of the most common interior mistakes we’ve all probably made at some point, and tips to avoid them.
The wrong size furniture for your space
There’s nothing more terrible than furnishings that look out of proportion. The perfect sofa (barely squeezing through the front door), that takes over the entire room. Or the 4-foot-long coffee table that you keep knocking your legs on each time you walk around it!
Before you even start buying, check the right scale and proportions. How do you want to make the most of your space? If your room is too compact for a conventional dining table, try a round one instead. And if the sofa doesn’t fit snug against the wall go for a corner sofa to maximise space. The same goes for ‘too small’ furniture that looks tiny in a large living space.
Beautiful pictures…hung up way too high
Family photos or artwork is nice to admire, but not when you struggle to see it (I’m only 5’’2 I suppose). Hanging pictures too high up the wall is a common interiors mistake. According to designer Vern Yip, frames should be hung around 60 inches from the floor – which is average people’s eye level. So if you’ve got it, flaunt it!
Buying everything from your favourite store
We all know someone whose home looks like it’s straight out of an IKEA or Habitat showroom. But the downside of doing a one-stop shop and buying matching sets is the space lacks character and personal taste. Mix and match furnishings or accessories from various places like independent retailers, vintage shops or even online. You want to be able to reflect your own style and not a carbon-copy of a magazine.
When you didn’t bring your measuring tape…but bought stuff anyway
Whether it’s finding the right shelving for a wall alcove, fitted wardrobes or a new bed, always measure up before you buy and never go into a shop and start ‘guess-timating’. You’ll only regret it later when that luxurious, king-sized bed you’ve had your eyes on stops right at the door (opps!). Not only will it save you from disappointment, but making those time-wasting customer service calls!
When you’re drowning in a sea of cushions
Soft furnishings and textures make rooms feel warm and cosy, but when these occupy almost the entire seating area or bed then you have a problem. I’ve been to houses and have literally been swamped in a pile of jumbo throw pillows! Use them as accent decorations and don’t exaggerate with their numbers. Less is more after all!
That fabulous DIY project you thought looked easy to copy…but ended up being a flop
Have you ever watched a makeover programme and thought, ‘that’s so easy’? Well, it turns out that if you don’t plan and know what you’re doing – it’s really not. If ever in doubt, there are plenty of helpful tips and tutorials online.
Preparation may be the ‘boring’ part but it will save you a lot of time in the long run. Like remembering to fill in the wall cracks before wallpapering, or to spot test paint before covering the whole room a sickly green (note: paint often looks lighter or darker on the wall than on the swatch.) You don’t want it to end up looking more drab than fab so avoid short-cuts!
Forgetting other types of light sources exist besides the ceiling light
You don’t have to stick to one source of light in the room. Think about what spaces you want to illuminate, and create layer lighting at different heights and angles. Warm lighting from floor lamps, wall lights, or table lamps can make a room feel more intimate and cosy. Avoid harsh fluorescent or white lights as they can make a space feel uninviting.
The ‘trendy’ statement piece that looked great in the magazine…but NOT in your home
So you’ve been shopping and spotted ‘that’ armchair with the wow factor that’s currently all the rage. Even the stars have it in their mansions (apparently). But a few months later, you realise that it actually doesn’t go well in your home at all!
Trends come and go, so avoid impulse-buying when you see something that you like. It’s much better in the long run to opt for something timeless that suits you and will never go out of season.
When your ‘theme’ goes overboard
We all have our favourite styles and colour schemes that we want to reflect in our homes. But there is a danger of going completely overkill when buying every-single-item to co-ordinate with it. So a Moroccan theme doesn’t warrant 30 lanterns hanging everywhere and a ‘white room’ can feel so much warmer with splashes of colour here and there.
You can still stick to your favourite design without being too overwhelming. The idea is to make your space look tasteful and not tacky.
Are there any interior ‘fails’ that you’ve been guilty of? Or what has been the worst one you’ve seen?