#StyleTip: 5 Most Common Design Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Whether you’re furnishing an entire house or just updating a room, here are some design mistakes to avoid.

5 design mistakes to avoid

2019 is here and for many that means creating resolutions for reinventing themselves and their homes. If you’re one of the many who has decided to update their home this year, we have five design mistakes you should avoid.

1. Going too neutral

design mistakes - too neutralWhite walls, tan couch and a beige carpet might seem like they lend themselves to versatility. They can also leave your room without any definition. It’s easy to go the safe route and choose something neutral, but you shouldn’t let them be the entire pallet you use. For large, long-term pieces like your sofa or carpeting, a timeless neutral shade is perfect when complemented with patterned curtains, a bold accent wall, colorful throw or ornate area rug. Accent pieces can be easily changed out to match your current tastes or new trends you want to embrace without breaking the bank.

2. Being too matchy-matchy

When decorating, we often want colors to go together, but having everything be the same color can leave the room feeling flat. Instead, give your room depth by choosing complementary colors and patterned fabrics. Using different shades of a particular color is preferred over having everything in the same hue.

3. Furniture that is too big or too small 

design mistake too big furnitureYou get to the store, you fall in love with an oversized sofa only to get it home and realize you’ll have to block a floor vent, shimmy between the wall and the arm of the couch to sit down or can’t get it through the door in the first place. But you don’t want to go too small either. Your furniture should match the scale of the pieces you already have and be large enough to fit you comfortably while allowing you to stand up easily.

Combating these mistakes can be as simple as planning ahead by measuring the space you are looking to fill and asking for the furniture specs for the pieces you are considering. You should also spend some time testing out the pieces before you buy them. It’s easy to fall in love with something you see in a catalog or on a website, but you should make sure the pieces fit not only the space in your home, but you as well. Sit on chairs at the table to make sure they are the right height, be sure to sit and lie down on sectionals, sofas and recliners to ensure it meets all of your needs.

4. Ignoring traffic flow

design mistakes traffic flowPeople often take into consideration how the furniture is laid out in relation to other pieces in the room, but they don’t take into account how people move around the room. It should be easy for people to walk in and out of the room or get up without having to squeeze past the coffee table or dance around a side table. Take a look at the room and where the exits are or regular paths people might take to complete routine activities and then configure the room in a way that makes these paths easy to follow while still creating spaces that serve the functions you need them to.

5. Being too sentimental

design mistakes sentimentalHeirlooms can add personality and interest to a room, but they can also date your space or not fit the style of the home. Before you lug Grandma’s cedar hope chest upstairs, make sure it is something you actually want to keep and aren’t doing out of obligation.

If the piece doesn’t fit or look right  in the original space you were planning on, consider whether it would work in a different room. If the piece isn’t your style or doesn’t match other pieces in your home, maybe it can be updated with a fresh coat of paint or stain or even transformed to serve a different function entirely. An old sewing machine could become a vanity or vintage platters could be turned into wall hangings using plate hangers or by attaching wall hooks.

Don’t let your home fall victim to these common design mistakes. With a little bit of planning and some creativity, you can make your home a design “do” and create spaces that everyone can enjoy for years to come.

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