As an interior design graduate, I believe that there are really no “rules” to decorating your own home–only guidelines–as your home decor is ultimately up to you. You are the one who has to live with it. However, there are a few decorating mistakes to avoid if you want the process to go as smoothly as possible. Plus, some of these mistakes can be quite costly if you are not prepared for the consequences. Here are five mistakes I have personally seen people make:
Mistake #1: Painting walls first
Working at a paint store, I helped a lot of customers choose paint colors for their homes. And a lot of these customers were making one big mistake: they were buying paint for their walls before choosing their flooring, furniture, or any of their larger purchases. The problem with painting the walls first? You can always find a paint color to complement your decor, or you can have one custom-made. You can’t always match your furniture to your walls.
Mistake #2: Too much pattern
Pattern and texture are good. They add interest to a home, and keep it from becoming too boring. But have you ever been to a house with entirely too much pattern? Or the same pattern over and over? Break it up a little by throwing a solid color in there, or even a different texture. Your pattern does not have to go from wall to curtains to sofa, no matter how much you like it. Change it up.
Mistake #3: Over-sized furniture
When you buy furniture, do you just go into the furniture store and order the biggest, trendiest sofa you can find? It may look great in your home–but it has to fit. Not only does your furniture have to fit in the room, but you need to get it into that room somehow. My boyfriend delivers furniture, and he tells me all the time about people who order furniture that does not fit through the doorway or up the stairs. If it doesn’t fit through the door, how do you plan to get it in?
Mistake #4: Too many “accessories”
Accessories add a lot to a room. They tell your guests about your personality and possibly even your life’s experiences. However, there is such thing as too many accessories. If you have so many knick-knacks on the end table that you cannot place your drink on it, you probably have too many knick-knacks on that table. Or if there is no empty space on your walls, you probably have too many pictures hanging on them.
Mistake #5: Hanging artwork too high
Does your neck hurt when you look at the pictures in your living room, or do you have to stand on your toes to see yourself in the mirror? I see it all the time: Too many people hang their artwork higher on the walls than is necessary. It should hang so the center of the picture is at eye level. And eye level may vary; in a sitting room, pictures can hang at sitting eye level, and they should be hung at standing eye level in a hallway. Also, eye level may vary from person to person. Assuming the average person is 5′-6″, the center of the picture should hang from five to five and a half feet above the floor.
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