4 Common Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid

Interior design is an art, which means not everyone is born with a natural ability to implement it successfully. We can’t all be Picasso when it comes to painting—and the same concept applies to styling home décor. The unfortunate difference between other art forms and interior design however, is that while not everyone needs to be able to paint the perfect sunset, having the right design scheme in your house is crucial to making it flow cohesively and feel like a home.

Interior design will determine the tone and atmosphere of a home—a powerful tool when it comes to customizing or selling a space. Before you hit up the furniture store or start looking through paint swatches, be sure to take a look at these four common mistakes that people make when arranging and decorating their home.

Home furnishing and décor is the key to creating an engaging, inviting, and refined space that makes anyone who comes through feel welcome and at ease. Check out these frequent decorating faux pas so you know what to avoid!

4 Common Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid

1.) Ignoring Scale and Proportion

Interior design that is ignorant of the effects of scale and proportion will always turn out awkward and unappealing. Many people make the mistake of filling a room with pieces that are all the same size or height, whether it’s furniture or décor.

The best advice decorators have to offer when it comes to scale, is to think of your room like a city. A cityscape is filled with a mix and blend of different building heights, sizes, and shapes. Choose the features of your room so that they complement one another the way the different buildings of a skyline do. Too many small pieces, for example, will make the room feel cluttered and unfocused, while too many large pieces crammed into a space makes it look small.

Keep the scale of each room in mind as you make your purchases. Be sure to measure out the space and make a floor plan—in your head or draw it out—so you can envision the best way to arrange your home proportionally!

2.) Hanging Décor at the Wrong Height

Displayed wall pieces or standing décor that is the exact same height is disruptive to the flow of a room. Everything will blend together and the personality you’re trying to express through your décor in the first place will be diminished. You need to scale wall art the same way you scale furniture in a room—so that everything integrates together harmoniously.

Choose one center piece for the wall you’re decorating and, if it is not large enough for the wall in terms of scale, arrange other smaller pieces around it so that it adequately fills the space. This creates a focal point and maintains a cohesive, interesting style. If you have accent pieces on the furniture or directly on the ground, spread them out and make sure they’re not all the same size. A floor lamp placed next to a large fern that reaches the same height will look awkward and stale.

Remember not to hang your art too high either—this is a common mistake. Aim to keep the middle of a piece of art at about eye level for an average-size female (i.e. if you are tall, find your eye level and then move it down by a few inches). If you are hanging art or wall decor above a furniture item, don’t hang it too high above the piece—use 8-10 inches max as a general rule.

3.) Too Many Colors or Patterns

Overwhelming a room with a variety of colors and patterns is a major interior design blunder that a surprising amount of people continue to make. You want a space to be interesting and a little eclectic, but don’t overdo it or it’ll just end up being unattractive and dizzying!

The best way to avoid an overload of mismatched color and patterns is to choose your furniture, fabrics, and textiles before your paint color. It’s much easier to match the wall to a style of furniture or décor than it is to search for pieces that complement an existing wall color as well as one another. Try to stick with two to three colors for the scheme of a room.

The rule for patterns is if they are wildly different, don’t use more than two. A few different patterns that are part of the same “family” are fine as long as there is a cohesive thread that pulls them together. If you are going to use a lot of pattern, then be careful with the amount of saturated color and vice versa.

On the other hand, it’s just as important to have enough variety to keep things fresh and interesting when styling a room by color or pattern. Don’t match all your furniture pieces or have décor that’s all one color. Use accessories to add a splash of eye-catching color—like a salmon throw rug in a beige-colored room, or a bright green botanical to complement wooden end tables.

4.) Poor Furniture Arrangement

You could have all the right furnishings to make a room look chic and enticing, but if you set it up the wrong way then it’s not going to matter! The most common mistake people make when arranging their furniture is pushing it all up against the wall. You might think that would make the room feel larger, but in a fully-furnished room it actually does just the opposite. Furniture that runs along the wall creates a box that cuts off the space and disturbs the flow of the room. It’s better to bring furniture together and toward the center of the room.

While you don’t want to have furniture so close it creates a box in the middle of the room either, positioning it with some space around it and so that pieces face each other will really open up the room and make it feel inviting. You want to create a conversational and intimate setting that makes use of the space.

Emphasize a room’s function by choosing a focal point—a picture window, a larger more dramatic piece of furniture (your bed or sofa, for example) or a fireplace—and arranging the room in relation to it. If the room has no obvious purpose, invest in a statement piece to give the room an identity and the eye an interesting place to rest.

The interior design of a home should tell a visual story, especially if you’re trying to sell it. Use that story to convince prospective buyers that yours is the place they want to invest in; the house that has the most to offer.

Let Stage2Go help you write your home’s narrative. Contact us today to learn more about our affordable, effective, and easy-to-install furniture and décor staging packages that will make your house the one everyone remembers!