modern Living room by Hall + Bednarczyk Architects

Decorating your house: Don't make these 7 mistakes!

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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When the creative urge to nest and decorate arrives, it definitely pays to follow your instincts and go with the flow. But before making really big or permanent changes, it's also crucial to step back and get some perspective. Because even the most experienced home designers will make a decorating mistake or two. This is particularly true if you are prone to obsessing over a gorgeous home interior or jumping into a decorating project without fear. So what are the most common decorating mistakes to avoid? Well, today we present 7 of them, accompanied by photos of beautiful interiors, of course…

1. Curtains at half mast

The curtains cover the windows perfectly from edge to edge. But the room appears dark, pokey and inelegant.

The solution: Make your curtain rod longer than the window so the curtains hang on either side of the glass. This way the curtains won't block the light. Make it run right from the ceiling to the floor as well. The window will appear larger and the room will look taller and more elegant too.

2. Badly arranged furniture

The most common mistake many people make when arranging furniture, is to back everything up against the wall. Suddenly you have a big empty space in the middle of the room.

The solution: Use the sofa or just a single sofa-chair to create a passageway or divide the living room from the kitchen. It also helps to shift everything just a few inches away from the wall.

3. Matchy-matchy decor

So you've got the freedom to decorate and finally you get to decorate with your favourite colour or pattern. Everything has been lovingly chosen and arranged along the one colour scheme. Then guess what, everything is too matchy-matchy. It's too over the top and the decor feels heavy and contrived.

The solution: Break free with small accessories and accent colours in a range of colours. Your base colour still does a good job of holding everything together, but the room now has a sense of liveliness and interest.

4. Dark wallpaper

Dark shades are awesome in a home. Rich and dark tones make a room look distinctive, regal and striking. But what looks great on a sample swatch at the store can look far too dark when it covers a whole wall.

The solution: Lighten up the feel of the room with light coloured furniture, light decorations and lots of reflective surfaces. Metallics are a good choice.

5. Over accessorising

Knick-knacks are addictive! If you find some soul satisfaction in buying a beautiful little bowl, a little ceramic something or yet more candlesticks you won't use then you know what we're talking about. These little things feel like an expression of your interior design style so there is nothing wrong with this. But lots of little unnecessary things can easily clutter up the room and make it look messy.

The solution: Gather up your scattered objects and create a collection. Perhaps you could mount your favourite retro items on one wall, hang old musical instruments in a corner or set up a colour themed shelf for your ceramics. The secret is to display them as groups and confine them to one area. The rest of the room will look pristine and clean in comparison.

6. Overfurnished

The home feels cluttered, small and hard to navigate. Perhaps the furniture even blocks natural light entering the far reaches of the room.

The solution: If you are just about to buy furniture, take the time to properly measure the space. If your home is already overfurnished, have a look at some Japanese interiors for inspiration and cull! A home free of clutter will feel spacious and calming. It will also draw attention to architectural features in the home.

7. Lack of light

The room may feel dark, corners are in shadow or the room as a whole feels cold and harshly lit.

The solution: Stop relying on one common light source and build your lighting in layers. Consider where you might need a strong task light, then look at building up texture with lamps, strip lights and pendant lights.

Finally, if all this makes you appreciate just how much work goes into a successful interior, hire a professional interior designer and decorator.

For more ideas, have a look at 7 simple steps to decorating your first apartment.

If you have any more tips, let us know!
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