35 Biggest Decorating Mistakes and Solutions
We've enlisted today's hottest interior designers to count down the 35 top decorating mistakes and included their style-saving solutions.
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35: A Cluttered Kitchen
The kitchen is truly the heart of most homes and the hub of family activity but all this activity can really cramp your kitchen's style. Piles of dirty dishes and countertops crowded with small appliances aren't appealing.
Solution: Minimize the Mess
Stay on top of dirty dishes by teaching your family to always clean up immediately after meals. Also, limit the number of appliances and tchotchkes you allow to pile up on the countertop. A few potted herbs or a vase of flowers are all you need to add a little color and life.
34: Going to the Dark Side
Too few lamps or overhead sources of light can make even the coziest living room feel cramped and downright creepy.
Solution: Light It Up
A lot of life happens in your living room. Add multiple types of lighting, like table lamps, overhead lighting and floor lamps to ensure ample illumination for tasks like reading.
33: Kids' Toys, Untamed
Kids = stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. And, it's easy to let their toys take over the house.
Solution: Conquer the Clutter
Tidying up is an important lesson for every kid. Make the task a little easier with dedicated storage items that make it a snap to quickly stash their favorite toys out of sight.
32: Choosing Style Over Sittability
Dining chairs' entire purpose is to be sat on — selecting dining chairs based solely on a trendy style — instead of comfort — is a definite no-go.
Solution: Opt for Comfy Chairs
Whether hosting guests or just enjoying a meal with your family, dining should be a time to unplug, relax and enjoy your meal. Encourage your dinner companions to linger a little longer with cushy, upholstered chairs.
31: Stuffing Your Garage to the Gills
It happens before you know it: the garage becomes a dumping ground filled to the brim with items you aren't ready to throw away or donate — yet, honestly, haven't used in years (and, probably, even forgot you owned).
Solution: Reclaim the Space
Let's be honest: A garage is a terrible thing to waste. Reclaim this valuable square footage by donating/tossing items you no longer need and installing a system of shelves, hooks and bins to turn your former dump into a family-friendly drop zone.
30: Designing Around the TV
You want everyone to be able to see the next episode of House Hunters, but that doesn't mean the TV has to be the focal point of your living room.
Solution: Incorporate the TV Into Your Design
By designing first and adding the TV later, you can have a thoughtful living space that's both stylish and accomodating when you want a binge session.
29: Toilet Rugs
Toilet rugs are cut to fit around the toilet and sometimes have the carpet-like matching seat cover.
Solution: Small Rectangular Rug
Opt for a rectangular rug placed away from the base of the toilet like this one from HGTV's Brother vs. Brother.
28: Not Having Houseplants
Your space may feel a little ho-hum and stuffy without a houseplant.
Solution: Add Your Favorite Plants
You don't have to turn your home into a conservatory, but adding a little green can clear toxins in the air and bring a space to life.
27: Having the Wrong Lampshade
Branching out with a unique style of lampshade can add character to a space, but picking one that is too big for the lamp can make an awkward statement.
Solution: Choose Your Shade Carefully
Give your lampshade choice a bit more consideration and pick a style, and size, that's right for your room.
26: Not Testing Paint Colors
Color swatches may be helpful, but starting a big paint project without seeing the color in your space could make you end up with an unsatisfying finished project.
Solution: Try Multiple Hues
Buy a few smaller containers of your favorite paint choices so you don't end up with a burnt orange room when you were really going for carrot.
25: Covering A/C Ducts
Feeling too warm (or chilly)? Make sure your new living room layout isn't covering up your A/C vent.
Solution: Plan Around Your Air Source
Identify the A/C vents in your room and design your room around those to keep the air flowing.
24: Too Many Photos
Solution: Gallery Wall
Display your favorite photos in a gallery wall and switch them out whenever you'd like. You can organize the rest of your photos in albums by decade or event, and keep them nicely arranged on a bookshelf.
23: Ignoring the Foyer
Solution: Make a Statement
Use paint or patterned wallpaper to add color, and hang a beautiful mirror or painting. A mirror is especially great because it reflects light and creates the illusion of more space. Use the horizontal surfaces to hold mail and keys when you first walk in.
22: Undressed Cables
Solution: Organized Cords
1. Find a cord cover that matches your wall color.
2. If the furniture isn't a valuable antique, drill a hole in the back for the cords to go through.
3. Keep unused wires in a labeled storage container in an easily accessible area.
21: Out-of-Place Themes
Solution: Stylish Accent Pieces
Use accents to incorporate the look you enjoy without being overwhelming. If you have a house in the mountains and love the beach, display a collection of seashells or coral in or on a bookcase or end table instead of designing an entire beach-style room.
20: Dated Hardware
Don't let your rooms feel dated by hanging onto dated (or even worse, damaged) cabinet hardware.
Solution: Update Hardware
Make small changes like switching the hardware on your kitchen or bath cabinets for a big impact.
19: Unbalanced Furniture Placement
Some people just don't have an eye for furniture arrangements, so it helps to look at magazines to see what somebody else has done. If you have a sofa with a heavy bottom, don't add a big coffee table.
Solution: Balance Furniture Pieces
18: Keeping Something You Hate
Solution: Get Rid Of It
17: Too Formal
Solution: Inviting Yet Elegant
If you have the space, use it. Give your room a function, make it livable and ensure it's welcoming.
16: Uncomfortable Dining Chairs
Solution: A Comfortable Place to Dine
When purchasing a dining chair, sit in it and decide if you want to be there for a long time. Also, measure the height of your dining room table before you buy chairs to make sure they're not too low or too high.
15: Visible Clutter
Solution: Hidden Storage
Invest in stylish storage baskets on a bookcase or shelf to keep small objects in their proper spot, or add an armoire for extra hidden storage.
14: Too Matchy-Matchy
A room that looks like it's a page from a catalog is a mistake because people don't really live that way. It's designed to sell furniture and give you an idea of what you might have in your house, but you shouldn't be matching the look that closely.
Solution: Create a Lived-In Look
Make your room's design eclectic — not like a showroom you can't live in. As you look around the room, you should see different pieces and accents that capture the eye and add interest.
13: Following Fads
Solution: Choose Your Own Style
Decorate in a style you'll love for a long time. Have fun with it, but be ready to recycle it when it goes out of style.
12: Furniture That Doesn't Fit
Solution: Buy Right-Sized Furniture
1. Draw a to scale floor plan or purchase a room design kit so you can find the best layout without moving heavy furniture.
2. Embrace "less is more", and don't try to put too much into any space.
3. Measure the room before buying furniture pieces, and you'll decrease the chances of making a mistake.
11: Too Many Colors + Patterns
If you have too many colors or patterns in a house, it tends to look very busy, crowded and distracting to the eye.
Solution: Choose Patterns Wisely
Choose a fun pattern for a wall or bold piece of furniture, but keep other pieces solid to avoid a busy design.
10: Floating Rugs
Solution: A Rug That Touches All Furniture
9: Improper Lighting
Solution: Functional Lighting
Understand what kind of lighting you want in each space, paying attention to a room's function when determining proper lighting. For example, under-cabinet lighting is a great addition to a kitchen.
8: Frames Hung Too High
Solution: Hang Art at Eye Level
7: Tacky Couch Covers
Solution: Stylish Throws
Use a nice throw blanket that doesn't overpower the couch and accents rather than hides the piece. Keep it simple and sleek.
6: Pushed Back Furniture
Solution: Use a Sofa Table
5: Ignoring Windows
Solution: Hang Curtains High Up
A good rule of thumb is to hang curtains two inches above the frame of the window. Make the most of high ceilings by hanging them all the way up to the ceiling to make the room seem bigger. For a quick and simple look, add a Roman shade to block light and add an extra element to the space.
4: Fear of Color
Solution: Paint a Wall
Try a paint color in the room to make sure you like it and that it works with the space. Live with it at various times of the day as a painted wall will appear different in the morning, afternoon and at night. If you don't like it, paint over it. Color is a great punctuation and doesn't have to be overbearing.