How to Avoid (or Fix) These Three Home-Decorating Mistakes

How to Avoid (or Fix) These Home-Decorating Mistakes

avoid decorating mistakes

Decorating your home can be daunting, especially if you are taking on more than one room. Using colors, textures, and fixtures to create a statement about yourself and your home is not an easy task, and there are many elements to consider when putting together a design. Although every look is different, there are a few universal mistakes every home decorator should avoid.

Working around Something You Hate

Getting rid of gifts can be tough. Maybe your mom was so excited to pass down the lace curtains that she used in her formal dining room for you to hang in your living room, or maybe your best friend gave you a giant painting of tap-dancing cats, and she was hoping it would earn a place of honor in your home. Whatever the despised item may be, you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so you think, “This is okay. I can work around this.”

Why It’s a Bad Idea

You may be nice, but every single time you walk in that room, the first thing you notice will be those yellowing curtains or the cat painting. You will either have to deal with how the item clashes with your decor, or worse, remove some of your beloved accents from the room to accommodate the new arrival.

How You Can Fix It

The answer is simple but not easy. Remove whatever is in your room that you don’t like. Donate the item, sell it, throw it away, or, if it’s of personal value, give it back to the person who gave it to you. Your mom may be upset that you don’t want her lace curtains, but she is not the one who has to sit in the living room every day. You should get to watch the sunset through your earthy wooden blinds, not your mom’s aging window treatments. It doesn’t matter what the culprit is; if it makes you feel uncomfortable in your own home, get rid of it.

Clashing Styles

No one wants a room where everything is exactly the same, so you try to mix a few elements. You use your modern furniture and pair it with your mother’s old Victorian-style curtains. Hanging over the main chair is a retro ’70s lamp, and the coffee table is some relic of the 1990s that you just aren’t ready to part with.

Why It’s a Bad Idea

A room with too much of the same is completely suffocating, just like a room with too many different things is absolutely overwhelming. People won’t know what to focus on, what your style is, or what on earth you are trying to say about your home. Throwing a bunch of clashing elements together in a room will never result in a finished design. It will look like you panicked in the middle of decorating and gave up.

How You Can Fix It

Pick your favorite items and decorate around them. If your contemporary furniture is the focus of the room, keep your window coverings contemporary to match. Mix it up by layering textures and shades of corresponding hues. If two clashing elements are both important to you, find two different rooms to feature each item. Keep your overall style uniform, with hints of other eras and elements in the accessories, and the resulting room will be much more appealing and comfortable.

Ignoring the Windows

You’ve spent weeks in furniture and decorating stores. Your bum is sore from trying all of those chairs, and your palms are calloused from testing so many carpet swatches. After you’ve arranged everything in your room, you realize you forgot window shades. You’re tired, and you decide to wait a little while before embarking on that journey. Then, after a bit, you start to get used to the unfinished look.

Why It’s a Bad Idea

Window treatments are the ultimate finishing touch to any room. They dictate the amount and quality of light that enters a room, and they help control the temperature of the area. No window coverings or inappropriate window treatments will leave your space, no matter how well-designed, always looking unkempt and unfinished.

How You Can Fix It

It only takes a few moments to peruse a website and select your favorite window treatments. Keep in mind the atmosphere you want the room to have, the colors you have already chosen, and what texture would best match the room you have created. Consider whether temperature control needs to be a factor in your design because certain options, such as cellular shades, can help retain heat while still allowing plenty of light through.

When it comes to designing your home, just don’t panic. Feature your favorite items, and design the room around them. As former HGTV Design on a Dime host Kristan Cunningham says, “The loveliest homes are those that show a good reflection of the people who live within the home.”

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About the Author: Marta Baker

Marta Baker is a writer, designer, and an expert in window coverings,. Married to an artist, Marta learned to appreciate good design whether it was art, furniture, the written word or a beautifully appointed room. She studied journalism in college and has worked as a writer for nearly 20 years. Marta has been has been working at BlindSaver for over 5 years as a senior designer. Marta has been has been working at BlindSaver for over 5 years as a senior designer.