10 Common Decorating Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Not sure why your home doesn't feel right? Maybe you're making one of these common decorating mistakes.

how to avoid common decorating mistakes
How to avoid common decorating mistakes | Sidekix Media/Unsplash

Wrong color? Cramped space? Does your room feel more like a cave rather than a relaxing oasis? Decorating mistakes can make a space feel cramped, cluttered and unappealing. But don't worry, if your room is not vibing how you hoped or inspiring you, it doesn't mean you're stuck with the problem forever.

To help you avoid these pitfalls, we've compiled a list of 10 common decorating mistakes and suggestions for how to fix them. By avoiding these common decorating mistakes and implementing the suggested solutions, you can create a well-designed space that is both functional and visually appealing.

1. Overcrowding rooms

Mistake: One of the most common mistakes most people make is overfilling a room with too much furniture or decor. Placing furniture without considering the room's flow or the function of each space can make your space feel claustrophobic and challenging to navigate. Overfilling your walls and flat surfaces can also make your space look crowded and messy.

Avid overcrowding your rooms
Avoid overcrowding | Beazy/Unsplash

Solution: Start by defining the purpose of each area and arrange the furniture accordingly. Consider traffic flow, balance and focal points. For instance, in a living room, position seating to encourage conversation and create a welcoming atmosphere. Remove some items to create a more open, breathable atmosphere if necessary.

2. Ignoring scale and proportion

Mistake: Choosing furniture or decor items that are either too small or too large for the space is another common mistake most people make when decorating. Items that are not the correct size can make the space feel unbalanced and visually unappealing.

Select furniture that is proportional to your space
Select furniture that is proportional to your space

Solution: Take accurate measurements of your room and furniture before making purchases. Ensure that the scale and proportion of each piece harmonize with the room's dimensions. For example, opt for a round table in a small dining area to maximize space and promote better circulation.

3. Poor lighting choices

Mistake: Insufficient lighting creates a dull or uninviting ambiance. It can also make your space feel dark and cold. Relying solely on overhead lighting can create harsh shadows and an unwelcoming ambiance.

Select multiple sources of light
Select multiple sources of light | Spacejoy/Unsplash

Solution: Incorporate a variety of lighting sources, such as floor lamps, table lamps and sconces, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Use dimmers to control light intensity and set the mood. Consider utilizing natural light through well-placed windows or skylights and use different bulbs (halogen, LED, etc.) for different light fixtures.

4. Neglecting the importance of color

Mistake: Choosing colors that clash or don't complement each other is also a common mistake. Also, selecting an overwhelming color combination can create visual chaos and make you feel unwell.

how to avoid color mistakes
Pick an accent color | Jonathan Borba/Unsplash

Solution: Develop a cohesive color palette that reflects your style and the mood you want to create in the room. Use complementary and contrasting colors, including various shades and textures. Look for inspiration from successful designers who have mastered the art of color coordination, such as Kelly Wearstler or Nate Berkus.

5. Overusing/underusing patterns and textures

Mistake: Incorporating too many patterns and textures can overwhelm the eye and make a space feel chaotic. Likewise, overlooking the importance of incorporating texture can result in a flat and uninteresting space.

Learn how to incorporate textures and patterns
Learn how to incorporate textures and patterns | Maria Orlova/Unsplash

Solution: Mix various textures to add depth and visual interest to your rooms. Combine smooth surfaces with rough textures, such as pairing a velvet sofa with a rustic wooden coffee table. Experiment with fabrics, rugs, wall coverings and decorative elements to create a tactile experience.

6. Hanging artwork too high

Mistake: Placing your artwork too high or too low on the wall can make your room feel unbalanced. Hanging too much or too little can also have a negative effect, especially when the art is too big or too small for the room.

Hang your art at eye level
Hang your art at eye level | Kenny Eliason/Unsplash

Solution: Select artwork that speaks to you and hang it at eye level, about 57-60 inches from the floor. This makes the art easily visible and creates a harmonious visual flow throughout the space. Try creating a gallery wall to display multiple pieces, considering their size, spacing and overall composition.

7. Skimping on window treatments

Mistake: Neglecting to invest in proper window treatments or skipping them altogether can result in a lack of privacy and unattractive windows. This can also make your space feel more like a dorm room than a relaxing home.

don't forget to add window treatments
Window treatments | Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash

Solution: Choose window treatments that complement the style of your room, control light and provide privacy. Consider curtains, blinds, shades, or even a combination of these options. Consider layering treatments for added functionality and visual interest.

8. Over-relying on trendy designs

Mistake: New trends come and go, and not all of them stay around for long. Focusing solely on the latest design trends can quickly make your home feel outdated, leading to more frequent updates.

Go for classic trends that last
Go for classic trends that last | Kari Shea/Unsplash

Solution: While incorporating trendy elements can add a fresh touch to your space, it's important to balance them with timeless, classic designs. Invest in high-quality, versatile pieces that can withstand the test of time and adapt to changing trends.

9. Ignoring functionality

Mistake: By prioritizing aesthetics over function, you'll end up with a beautiful yet impractical space. Lack of functionality can make your space feel cramped, awkward and even cause injury.

Functional kitchen design
Functional kitchen design | Aaron Huber/Unsplash

Solution: Consider how you use the space and choose furnishings and decor that support those activities. For example, place shelving and counters within easy reach and incorporate the kitchen triangle to make prepping and cooking easier. If you often host guests, invest in comfortable seating and ample storage for entertaining essentials.

10. Neglecting personal style

Mistake: Designing a space that doesn't reflect your tastes or personality will make it feel impersonal and uninviting. Failing to infuse your personality into the design will create a generic and impersonal space.

Add things that reflect your personality
Add things that reflect your personality 

Solution: Incorporate elements that showcase your personal style, whether it's a favorite color, artwork, or cherished mementos. Add family photos or unique accessories that reflect your interests and experiences. Incorporate elements that tell your story, such as travel souvenirs or handmade artworks. Let your space be a reflection of who you are.


Remember to consider functionality, scale, lighting, color, texture, and your personality to create a cohesive and visually pleasing environment. Seek inspiration from successful designers and adapt their techniques to suit your style and preferences. With a bit of attention to detail and a thoughtful approach, you can create a beautiful and functional home.

Want to update your home but are not sure what to do? Design and decorate any space in your home virtually with Planner 5D. You can try out different styles and looks until you find the one that works for you before doing any actual work.

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