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How To Avoid Decorating Mistakes

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Oh no, what was I thinking?! We have all had our moments when we question our decor choices. At times it may seem like every sure win turns into another fumble, I can’t believe I bought that, or it looked different in the store. The good news is we are not alone; as even the top interior designers miss from time to time. So as not to let fear stop us from being the decor enthusiasts we are, I’ve compiled a list of some top decorating mistakes so you can avoid them altogether.

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What Are The Top Decorating Mistakes?

One top decorating mistake is failing to have a plan before you start. Another big one is not measuring before you start cutting or painting. Failing to take the time to consider each step of the process will likely lead to unhappy results and a lot of wasted time, money, and effort.

Other common mistakes include using the wrong type or color of paint or wallpaper, choosing the wrong furniture or accessories, and not considering how light and shadows will affect your design. These are just a few examples – there are plenty of other things that can go wrong when you’re decorating your home. But armed with this knowledge, you can avoid making these mistakes yourself and end up with a beautifully decorated home that you love!

Forcing Something To Work

We all have a piece of furniture that was handed down to us or something we paid a lot for, but no longer works.  If you’re keeping something purely out of guilt, do yourself a favor and cut your losses. Spending more money, trying to make an item work that you no longer love – never pays off! You may help improve the decor by adding a few home accessories to make the out of place item fit in, but you are compromising the design to be subpar. Why not try to sell the item instead or gift it to someone in need.

Have Patience

Avoid decorating mistakes

My hands are raised on this one. We were incredibly blessed to receive an offer on our first property which included an additional check to leave the house furnished. So, we ended up walking into our next fixer-upper starting from ground zero — basically our wardrobes, pots, and pans.

Living in a blank undecorated space can be depressing! Although it was difficult, we focused on remodeling before styling the home. Our to-do list for remodeling usually goes as follows: demo, electrical, plumbing, trim work, refinishing hardwood floors, cabinetry, and finally painting.

To keep us sane, I will choose one room, usually the master bedroom to feel progress in the project and have a little oasis. The urge to get every nook and cranny finished can be healthy, but that driving force will lead you to make rushed decisions. In other words, decorating mistakes.

Biggest Decorating Mistake: Ignoring The Needs Of The Family

Mamas know that sharp glass corners are accidents waiting to happen. Before purchasing anything, especially a costly item carefully consider what will work for your family needs. This should be of top concern when designing nursery rooms and bedrooms for young children. It’s not a matter of if you will change the room but rather when. Remember that future changes will be necessary, so try to budget accordingly.  Investing in multi-purpose furniture, maybe the right solution.

Consider storage options which can be re-purposed in other rooms if necessary. 

The piece below is a convertible crib – compare both photos. The dresser pictured will serve a nursery well and be useful for many years afterwards. 

avoid decor mistakes

Measure and Measure Again

Here are two sure ways to kill a room…..


Fooling yourself that purchasing an expensive but incorrect size rug would work. Ahhh, no! The correct size rug works to anchor the space; it adds texture and personality. A tiny rug may work for your pet cat, but unfortunately it will only increase the number of decorating mistakes. For detailed advice on rugs you can review our post, What is the right size area rug for a living room?


High waters don’t work on people and don’t work in homes either. For more information on window treatments including how to measure check out my post Home Curtain Ideas To Try.

Playing The Matchy-Matchy Game

The matchy-matchy game had its time, but that was a few decades ago. Your home will lack personality and the much-needed feeling of “Welcome to your home.”  Purchasing an entire furniture set which you saw on display will look uniform and stale.

Not Having A Design Goal or Style

Having a plan will help allow you to NOT end up with a house that’s full of stuff you dislike and with the added bonus of an empty pocketbook.  Not sure about you, but I rather keep my money. To avoid future decor mistakes you may find these two post helpful – How to Create a Mood Board and Seven Ways to Create a Cohesive Home Decor.

Create A Layout Plan

If you want to get fancy, you will be able to find some online space planning apps and tools to utilize, or you can find your inner child and draw. I like to use graph paper, a ruler and a pencil. Use each square on the graph paper to represent one square foot to assist as a measurement aid. 

The layout plan can help you visualize your rugs, furnishings and see how they will fit in your space. It should only take you a few minutes and would definitely save you from making a costly mistake.

In Conclusion

In order to avoid decorating mistakes, you need to view your décor as a process and not a race. If your goal is to be the first to cross the finish line your design will suffer.

For more home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company.

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Die-hard DIYer, home enthusiast and sometimes I cook :-)

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