Home Decorating: What Not to Do

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Even the most decor-savvy person can make mistakes. People often try to mimic the looks seen in design magazines, but these design choices don’t always fit the realities of the home they actually have.

Below are a few of the most common mistakes and, if you’re guilty of a one or two, how to fix them! 

Home Decorating: What Not to Do Cluttered Shelf ImageHaving Too Much Clutter

Undoubtedly you’ve already heard that clutter is a big no-no in a well-designed home, and you’ve probably already taken steps to keep your own clutter at bay with things like storage boxes and built-in shelving. However, those suggestions refer to general clutter. We’re talking about design clutter.

Simply put, a lot of people put up too many decorations. They want to decorate the fireplace mantle, but suddenly there’s a vase of flowers, five knick-knacks from vacations, and 15 different framed photos in that space. There’s beautiful furniture, but there are too many pieces that don’t get any use. Something can be pretty and still cause clutter. Get rid of it.

Blocking Air Ducts

Proper air flow is essential for keeping the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think about the placement of the air vents when they arrange their furniture. It’s extremely common for someone to place a sofa, a desk, or plant in a position that will block the flow of air into the room. This wastes energy in addition to making the house feel colder or warmer than it should. Move all furniture pieces away from air vents.

Choosing a Formal Look

Formal designs – or anything that looks too “put together” – can look great in a photo, but it’s hard to feel comfortable in a room that doesn’t feel lived in. Everyone should feel like they can use the furniture without worrying about getting it dirty. It’s fine to select a few pieces that are stylish or ornate but don’t go overboard if you actually want to spend time in the room. This is especially true if you have children or pets.

Home Decorating: What Not to Do Dog ImagePurchasing Matching Sets

Retailers constantly sell “sets” of things with the intention of making the home decor choices easier. When you go to the furniture store, they always have great deals on furniture sets for each room in the home. You can easily purchase a “bed in a bag” at almost any home goods store, and you’ll instantly have a bed with coordinating linens. While it’s not exactly a bad decision to pick up a furniture set from a store, it can leave your home feeling boring. Consider mixing and matching different pieces so that you don’t have a completely uniform look. For instance, instead of getting a matching sofa and loveseat, you might get a sofa and two chairs in different fabrics.

Using the Wrong Area Rug

An area rug can give warmth to a room, and it’s a good way to set the living room apart in today’s open-concept spaces. However, the rug you choose needs to be just the right size. Ideally, it should come right up to or go under the pieces of furniture you have in the room rather than sitting in the centre of the room with the bare floor visible in front of the furniture. Since every room is unique, it can take some time to find the right area rug at the right size, but it’s worth waiting to get one large enough for your space. 

Putting Furniture Against the Walls

People often think when they put the furniture up against the walls that it will make the best use of the space in the room, opening up a larger area in the centre. However, the opposite is actually true. Your home will look better if you pull the furniture away from the walls. Don’t believe us? Give it a try and see what you think. 

Using Neutral Colours

Neutral colours are popular because they go with just about anything. You also don’t have to worry your choices will look out of date in a year or two. However, neutral can be a bit dull. If you do choose to put neutral colours on your walls, try to incorporate some brighter colours, some interesting patterns, or anything else that just seems more fun into the decor. Whether you choose a few “pops” or go bold with something like a bright red sofa, your choices will add interest to the home.

You’ve put a lot of time and money into designing your home the way you want it. It should shine. Correct these simple mistakes, and you’ll be happy with the results.


Photo credits: hallwaycluttered shelfdog
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