10 Common Decorating Mistakes Interior Designers Never Fail To Notice


Okay, so you have a nice set of furniture pieces inspired by a couple of home decor photos from Pinterest. You bought a large flamingo wall art to spruce up your space. You also have a lovely area rug to ground your living room furniture on. 

The question is, why is your home still far from looking like it’s been touched by a professional interior designer? 

It doesn’t matter if your furniture pieces were bought from a luxury home depot or you hired professional home builders. If you’re committing one or two of the following decorating blunders, interior designers can agree that you’re hindering your space from unlocking its full potential. 

1. Your room is too bland

One of the biggest styling mistakes that make designers cringe is the lack of variety in your space. If each piece has the same size, height, color, texture, and color family, your room will always look like a mess. 

 “Scale and proportion are the holy grail of design,” says London-based interior designer Abigail Ahearn. Fill your space with a well-curated mix of heights and proportions. Have a unique blend of fascinating shapes and sizes. Explore different textures (smooth and rough, glossy, and matte), contrasting hues, and various patterns. 

2. Sticking to one light source: overhead lights

If you’re relying only on overhead lighting sources to illuminate your space, you’re hindering your home from looking its best. Aside from not having enough illumination, overhead lighting simply washes out your space from above. It can be harsh and unflattering both for your space and for your skin tone. 

Layer your light sources to create various ambiances. It’s nice to have a mix of overhead, ambient, and task lighting. Have different light sources coming from different heights. You may use floor lamps, sconces, and table lamps. Put undercabinet lighting in your kitchen too. 

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3. Grounding your space with tiny rugs

Small rugs are a common pet peeve among interior designers. An area rug should ground the whole seating around it and define a space. 

That said, a tiny 4 by 6 rug which doesn’t do the trick, can only make your space looks cluttered and cheap. 

The rule of thumb is to get a rug that’s big enough to fit sofa legs on it. All of the furniture pieces, or at least the front legs of your couch, should be sitting on the rug. If you’re decorating your living room, go for an 8 x 10, if not 9 x 12 feet rug. 

4. Hanging art too high

Ever wondered why your favorite artwork looks weird on your wall even if it’s large enough? Chances are that it’s hung too high, probably closer to the ceiling than it should be. The golden rule is to hang art at an eye level of an average adult, with its center placed 57 to 60 inches from the floor. 

5. Displaying meaningless decor

Look around your room. Are there any styling pieces that don’t actually spark joy in you? Do you have pieces that are there just because the trend says so? Do you purchase things like faux art just to fill a lonely wall space? 

Adorning our space with meaningless decor pieces is one of the most common styling mistakes we’re all guilty of. Make sure every piece or home accent has a worth. Even gallery walls need to be filled with pieces that mean something to you. 

6. Falling short on curtains

Unfortunately, hanging curtains isn’t as easy as you think it is. You need to measure your wall from ceiling to floor before buying a curtain. The wrong size and length are enough to cheapen the look of your space – even if the curtain just misses the floor by five inches. 

Opt for long curtains that touch the floor. You should also mount the rod closer to the ceiling, not on the top of your window. The higher the rod, the taller the window will appear. 

7. Having your TV as a focal point

As much as we’d love to have a lovely fireplace for a living room focal point and a separate room for entertainment, we can’t always get what we want. Most homeowners face the challenge of having their TVs taking the centerstage in their living room. 

Make your TV less of an eyesore by creating a gallery wall around it. Surround it with artworks, family photos, figurines, succulents, and other home accessories. You can also ask home builders to install floating shelves for decking small home decorations and personal treasures. 

8. You have mismatched appliances

Are you guilty of having a chaotic mix of appliances with different finishes and time periods? For example, you may have your quaint vintage coffee maker on a french bakery-themed coffee bar placed next to a sleek and modern steel refrigerator and oven. Make it cohesive by sticking to a matching finish, like steel. You should also pay attention to the finish of your hardware, like door handles, sink, and faucets. 

9. Having furniture pushed against the walls

Another small mistake that makes designers crazy is when people push their furniture pieces up to the walls of their rooms. Just don’t. It doesn’t even save or create more space, plus it makes the room feel hollow and uninviting. 

Instead, let your furniture breathe and push them toward one another to create a more intimate conversation area.  

10. Furnishing your small space with dark, bulky furniture

According to designers, choosing dark furniture for a small apartment is a common decorating mistake most homeowners don’t even know they’re making. Heavy, bulky, dark furniture can make a room feel cramped and cumbersome. 

If you’re decorating a small space, opt for sofas and curtains with lighter fabrics that reflect light and make your home look and feel bigger. You should also avoid big dining tables and choose a smaller and lighter table, whose chairs can be seamlessly tucked in. 

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a resident writer for Wincrest Bespoke, one of NSW’s most experienced and well-renowned home builders aiming at building and designing modern family homes in Sydney. She loves looking out for new home décor trends and writing articles focused on real estate and interior design.