Have you ever walked into a room and felt that something was just off? Chances are, the space fell victim to one of these common decorating mistakes. But don’t worry – by learning to identify and avoid these pitfalls, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautifully balanced and inviting home. Here are 15 of the most common decorating mistakes along with a few tips on how to avoid them.

1. Rugs That Are Too Small

Area rugs should fit under all of the key furniture pieces in a room, with 10″ -20″ between the edge of the rug and the wall. A rug that’s too small can make the room feel disjointed and incomplete.

2. Matching Everything

The days of matched sets are over! Try to find things that complement each other rather than match. Mixing and matching elements creates visual interest and depth in a space.

3. Too Much Stuff

Editing is one of the most important elements of decorating. Every item needs a little room to breathe, so don’t try to cram too many things together. A cluttered room can feel overwhelming and stressful.

4. Not Enough Stuff

An empty room is a boring room. Make sure you have sufficient seating, places to set down drinks, and a few things on the wall for people to look at. And don’t forget accessories. They’re what give rooms their spirit. Just be careful not to go overboard – balance is key.

5. Not Considering the Location of the House

Sometimes what’s outside is just as important as what’s inside. Tropical décor doesn’t look good in a cold climate, just as cozy Aspen style doesn’t look great in the Caribbean. Always consider the environment.

For example, if you live by the coast, use light, breezy fabrics and colors. They should reflect the natural surroundings.

6. One Stop Shopping

Don’t buy everything in one store. The items in your home should look like they were collected over time. After all, your possessions should tell the story of your life, not the story of a big box store. Mix and match pieces from different sellers. They have different styles and eras. This creates a unique, personalized space.

7. Ignoring Scale and Proportion

Balance is important. While different shapes, sizes and heights should all exist in a room, pieces need to work together. For example, a giant sofa next to dainty side chairs will look unbalanced. Instead, find pieces that speak to each other. Consider the proportions of each item and how they relate to one another and the room as a whole.

8. Too Formal

Your style can be formal, but not so formal that it feels like a museum. A home should be welcoming, not intimidating. Use both formal and casual elements. They will make the space feel elegant and inviting.

9. Uncomfortable Furniture

Furniture is meant to be used. If your sofa and chairs are not comfortable to sit in, why bother? Art is for gazing upon; sofas and chairs are for sitting. Prioritize comfort when picking furniture. Don’t be afraid to test pieces before buying.

10. Purchasing Before Measuring

Always measure before buying. You don’t want to get a piece home only to find that it won’t fit through the door. Or, that it’s far too big or small for the space you intended.

Measure your space and any doorways or stairwells the furniture will pass through. Be accurate.

11. Choosing Paint Colors First

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. Your paint color should complement your furniture and decor, not the other way around.

12. Hanging Artwork Too High

Artwork should always be hung around eye level. If you have to strain your neck to see it, it’s too high. A good rule of thumb is to hang art so that the center of the piece is about 57-60 inches from the floor.

13. Keeping Pieces You Don’t Like

Sometimes it can be hard to get rid of things, particularly if you’ve spent a lot of money on them. But if a piece doesn’t bring you joy when you look at it or use it why are you keeping it around? If you don’t like it, toss it. Surround yourself only with items that you truly love. They should reflect your style.

14. Pushing Furniture Against the Walls

Pulling furniture away form the walls help to create cozy conversation areas. If space allows, when you’re arranging furniture, put seating in the middle of the room. This helps to create a more intimate and inviting atmosphere.

15. Being a Slave to Trends

Decorating trends are only good when they’re easy and/or inexpensive to change. If you’re going to follow some trends make sure they’re not big commitments.

Chances are you’ll be sick of them in a year or two. Focus on developing your own personal style that will stand the test of time.

Avoid these common decorating mistakes. Then, you’ll be well on your way to creating a home that feels balanced, inviting, and uniquely you.

Remember, decorating is a journey – don’t be afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and learn as you go. With a little patience and persistence, you’ll create a space that you love coming home to.

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