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7 Decorating Faux Pas to Avoid

July 30, 2020

There are lots of things you’re probably doing right with your home decor, but there are also some common home interior design mistakes that even the most experienced homeowners make. By checking out some bad interior design examples, you can learn what to avoid and what to focus on to make your home even more enjoyable to live in. Here are the 7 of the biggest decorating faux pas to keep in mind as you develop your home interior design.

Decorating Faux Pas 1: Having Too Many Colors and Prints

Even if your home interior design leans more toward the eclectic side, you still need to have some cohesion with your overall decorating scheme. Too much variety in color, pattern, and print can leave rooms feeling busy and cluttered rather than clever and imaginative. 

Strive for a color palette of no more than three to four colors per room, using one or two main shades and the others as accents. Also, limit the number of prints or patterns in your home interior design. You can opt for more than one, but look for ways to make the elements flow together. An oversized print on a set of throw pillows, for example, can work with a smaller, more subtle print in the curtains, especially if they are in the same color family.

Decorating Faux Pas 2: Overdoing the Accents

You can’t have too much of a good thing — or can you? Even if all your decorative accents are incredibly appealing, it can be a decorating faux pas to cram too many of them together in the same room. 

Choose a few main pieces to highlight and accent so they’ll really shine. If you’re not in love with the remaining decorations, give them away. If you can’t bear to part with them, create an organized storage space for them and rotate pieces periodically to give rooms a fresh new feel every few months.

Decorating Faux Pas 3: Keeping Outdated Interior Design Details

Whether your home interior design is classic or contemporary, you probably have some outdated pieces or details in your design and decor. Maybe it’s a certain rug pattern that was more of a fad or a tired set of upholstered chairs that could use an update. 

Look over your existing decor and overall design with an eye toward what has a timeless feel versus what has come and gone. Sometimes a slight update to existing pieces can do the trick. In other cases, you may want to replace the decor altogether.

Home interior design with large windows

Decorating Faux Pas 4: Not Capitalizing on a Room’s Best Features

It’s easy to fall into arranging furniture in a standard way or using a methodical decorating scheme without really taking the time to make the most of each room’s best features. 

Maybe you have a room with a large window and lots of natural light. Maximize the light and view by hanging curtains high and wide to give the most exposure, or arrange the furniture in a unique way to make the window the focal point. 

Use oversized interior design details like wall art to draw attention to features like high ceilings or unique structural work. Capitalize on the coziness of a smaller room by adding creative nooks and soft textures. Once you focus on a room’s best features, you can use your decorating skills to make them work for you.

Decorating Faux Pas 5: Using the Wrong Furniture and Decor Sizes

The furniture and decor you choose for a room needs to have a good relationship with the area. This is a mistake people often make in living room design. Small furniture and tiny area rugs in a large room with high ceilings will be swallowed up and make the space feel uncomfortable. Similarly, oversized furniture or large sectionals could look out of place in a smaller room. 

Choose furniture, rug, and decor sizes that work in harmony with the size and structure of the area. The key is to find a proportionate look that makes the space feel inviting. Southern Motion has a wide range of furniture collections to help you find the perfect pieces for your home interior design.

Decorating Faux Pas 6: Forgetting Balance and Contrast

Another important aspect of home interior design is creating balance. You want harmony in your color and decor, but that doesn’t mean everything should completely match. A lack of balance and contrast can make any room feel off. 

The easiest way to avoid making rooms into bad interior design examples is by avoiding extremes and singular choices. A room done only in one color or a room with matching furniture, curtains, and rugs will lack the sense of contrast that makes a room feel lively and inviting. Even if you go with a monochromatic look, you can still add some of that contrast in with a subtly different hue and some varied textures.

Personalized interior design details

Decorating Faux Pas 7: Not Personalizing Your Home Interior Design

One of the biggest home interior design mistakes is not personalizing your rooms enough. Fortunately, this is also the easiest decorating faux pas to fix!

Maybe your home’s furnishings are largely made up of items passed down through the family, and you’ve kept them even though you don’t love the pieces. Maybe your home is minimalist to the extreme, with rooms that have little or no decor or accents and need that personal touch. Maybe you’ve never really taken the time to figure out your interior design style, so your decor is a mix of pieces or gifts that don’t speak to you. 

Decide what makes you feel at home and incorporate the things you love into your decor scheme. From photographs and artwork to your favorite color and mementos, personalizing your space with these interior design details is easy and fun.

For more inspiration for your home interior design, take a look at our guide to interior design for beginners.

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