Home decor should be a fun way of expressing your personality through your surroundings— not replicating what Kristin calls the “matchy poo” stage-set effect of the ready-made rooms in catalogue pictures! Cold impersonal rooms that are more like hotel rooms or a showcase room in a model home…

But, yes — it is possible to be creative and individual in decorating without having your home end up on the “worst dressed list” for your neighbourhood! Just keep an eye out for…

The Top Ten Mistakes People Make When Decorating a Room

by Kristin Wooding

The saying “we all make mistakes” definitely rings true when we talk about decorating. It’s important that we realize that mistakes are just really good ways of finding out what NOT to do next time, a sort of ‘what not to let your house wear’ if you will. I’m going to start at number ten and work my way up to the number one mistake. Here they are:

10. Going Matchy-Poo-Poo

If you are asking yourself ‘what does this mean?’ then you may yourself suffer from this problem. And that’s why it made the list. Most people who make this mistake don’t realize that it’s a mistake at all. For years large décor manufacturers and brand name home furniture stores have been trying to sell us a “set of lamps”, a “bedroom suite” a “complete living room”. It seems easy enough. You buy everything in one place and it’s all ‘guaranteed’ to work together. Unfortunately what they don’t tell you is that you can easily turn your new space into a ‘one-trick’ decorating disaster. Don’t be fooled into buying every piece of that living room furniture in the large floral print. Instead go for two pieces and a complimentary pattern or solid for the third. For example, you could purchase a sofa and a chair in the floral but find a loveseat from a different line, similar in scale and style but in a coordinating checked or striped pattern. This is perfectly acceptable practice and will save you from becoming another M-P-P statistic.


All that can be said here is that this color is giving ‘neutrals’ all over a bad reputation. With literally millions of colors to choose from and many of them considered ‘new neutrals,’ there are still many people picking ‘beige’ as the backdrop color for their home. Boring! Now, I have no problem with light neutrals and actually enjoy them for their versatility, but let’s take it up a notch and try something that is quiet and subdued but a little more fresh and updated. For those timid hearts out there let me suggest ICI color NW 4471 (Autumnal Equinox) or NN 4407 (Eldorado Tan). Even the names of these colors are more exciting than boring old ‘beige.’ These are a couple of great ‘neutrals’ that offer a little more life and warmth than the more commonly used light colors. However, they both still allow for lots of different color schemes and styles and won’t clash with your other ‘beige’ rooms. They also won’t put your walls to sleep with a case of the ‘ho-hums’.

8. Losing the Mood

Is anything more tragic than ‘losing the mood’ in a bedroom full of miss-matched furnishings and accessories that just don’t belong together? Remember. Mood is very important. If you start decorating a room in the mood of ‘Victorian Romance’ then take a turn somewhere in the process to ‘Modern Minimalist’ design, you will end up with something that looks like what’s left in a décor clearance center the day after Boxing Day. No one wants that look. So, take a look at what you’ve got in the room and ask yourself: Is it all ‘flowing’ properly? Is there any furniture or any accessory that doesn’t really ‘belong’ here? If so, remove the culprits and save them for another room in a whole other style. Leave only those bits that actually fit the ‘mood’ of the space.

7. Living Room’s Are For LIVING

If your living room is ‘just for looking at’ then I’m talking to you here. If your family, friends and visitors wanted to visit a museum they would go to one. Your ‘living room’ is for LIVING!
This seems obvious enough but for some reason there are a lot of people out there that haven’t spent a minute in their newly decorated living room. These are likely the same people that have their sofa wrapped in zippered plastic. Is this a sign that you think your visitors are ‘dirty’ and you don’t want them leaving their filth on your prized furniture? Now, that’s not nice. Sofas and carpets can be cleaned, coasters exist for a reason and your relatives really are not so messy and unclean are they?

6. Tipping the Scale

This one can be tricky. There are so many ways to mess this up. First, it’s important that you keep ‘scale’ in mind when you purchase furnishings, artwork or mirrors. It is also important to think about this when picking patterns and accessories. To simplify, if your room is very big and is blessed with high ceilings, then you can feel safe purchasing a larger sized sofa and chairs. In some cases, where there is a very large room, you can consider purchasing two full sized sofas as well as a loveseat and a couple of large armchairs. It all depends on ‘scale’. If your room is small and you can barely squeeze in a two-seater then this is where you should take the ‘less is more’ approach. Select a pair of smaller sized armchairs. Or for added style and comfort try a chaise lounge and an armchair of similar proportion. When choosing artwork, remember that if your room and your furniture is large in scale, then your artwork also needs to be big or else it will be ‘lost’ on the wall and look displaced and ‘cheap’. As I said before, this one can be tricky. You don’t want to ‘tip the scale’ too much, but you also want to avoid ‘matchy-poo-poo.’ Just remember: Big Room = Big Stuff, Little Room = Little Stuff.

5. Hey, Big Spender!

Budgets. We all have them. But it would seem that some of us suffer from budget amnesia when we shop for home décor items. I speak from experience here. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is when you fall in love with that gorgeous, one of kind, perfect style accent lamp that costs more than your new furnace. This is a sure way to use up your whole budget on a very small part of the room you are creating. If you used the money towards a larger item, it would have a much bigger impact on the design. If you need to be reminded of this point again then please, the next time that you spot such a budget-buster at the décor store, pick up your cell phone and call your best friend, and she will tell you the same thing. Trust me!

4. Too Much is Too Much

I know, it’s tempting to stuff your redesigned rooms full of all the fabulous finds you have, and to keep adding more things bit by bit as you continue to snag deals on great accessories. This is dangerous because you will very quickly have ‘too much.’ And too much is just……. too much! Try rotating your accent pieces, switching things occasionally for fun but don’t let your rooms become a virtual bazaar of goods and knick-knacks that could make anyone dizzy from ‘visual overload.’ I’m not saying that you have to take a minimalist approach all the time, but you don’t want your design to end up lost in the confusion of an over-crowded room.

3. Forgetting To Refresh

Just because you redid your den a year ago, doesn’t mean you don’t need to do anything else with it. A lot can happen in a year. Trends come and go. Fads can fade. Even some of the newest and greatest styles can disappear from the ‘style-radar.’ I’m not suggesting that you redo your whole room, just refresh it with a quick and easy ‘redesign’. Remove anything that is now ‘out of style’ but leave the basics as-is. Try changing the throw pillows on the couch to a different color or pattern. Give the walls a makeover by taking down the existing artwork and replacing it with something new. Or retrieve something that has been stored away in your basement just waiting for a chance to shine, and add new life to your room. This should be fun so don’t stress about it, just take your time and enjoy the process.

2. Hocus, Pocus Where is The Focus?

If your room has no focus then it’s missing a very important ingredient of good design. Every room needs to have a ‘focal point’ and if one does not already exist then you have to create one. In rooms that have a fireplace or a large picture window, the focus is obvious. But in rooms where there is no special architectural detail and no particular focal point, it helps to introduce a large piece of colorful artwork, a beautifully framed mirror or other interesting item that will draw the eye to it. If you are guilty of leaving a big blank wall as the focus of your room then you have made a serious mistake and you need to run out immediately and find something fabulous to put there.

1. Being Afraid to Break a Rule

This is the number one mistake…. for good reason. It’s the mistake that makes you afraid to make another mistake. That can lead to a vicious spiral of self-doubt, and bad decorating. What you don’t want is to end up back at mistake number 10. It’s a slippery slope from being ‘afraid to break a rule’ to going ‘matchy-poo-poo’. Remember that rules are just guidelines and don’t always apply to every room design.

So, there you have it. Those were the ten most common mistakes people make when decorating. Now you know what the mistakes are and you have a better chance of avoiding them. Remember there are very few decorating mistakes that cannot be fixed with some hard work, a little imagination and a can of paint.

K.Wooding (The Original Decor Warrior)
Ready to redesign, but don’t know where to start? Visit me at: www.room4improvement.ca Read all about “e-consults” and how they can make a professional redesign consultation easy and affordable.Article Source: http://www.ladypens.com

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