Living Room: modern Living room by Maklin & Macrae

The 10 biggest DON'Ts of decorating your home

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Few things are more exciting as being in charge of decorating your own home. Picking out wallpaper for the hallway, deciding on scatter cushions for the living room, and voting “yay” or “nay” on those bookcases you’re eyeing in the store – such fun!

However, decorating your spaces can also be quite intimidating, which might lead you to making the wrong choices. And nobody wants to sleep in a bedroom (or relax in a living room and cook in a kitchen) that feels “wrong”.

So, to keep you on the right track, let’s take a look at 10 mishaps to avoid the next time you’re sprucing up your living spaces!

1. Clutter

minimalistic Living room by By Lenny

Always keep an eye out for where you can throw something out. If you get gifted something you don’t like or know you’ll never use, return or donate it. 

And always keep surfaces clear!

2. Blindness

Living Room: modern Living room by Maklin & Macrae

We often fail to see what is bad in our own homes, either via sentimentality or sheer force of habit.

Ask a friend with taste and no agenda over to pick out what you should discard or display. They may surprise you with what they think is considered trendy and what needs to go, but don’t take it personally.

3. Time warps

Classic Armchair in Animal Print Fabric: classic Living room by Style Within

People tend to get stuck in the era when they grew up. Update your tastes by surfing homify, Pinterest, and other home design sites to see how things are done these days. 

Often many things we own turn out to be fine, even if they just need a tweak here or there to make them fresh.

4. Impulse purchases

Retail therapy will not solve your problem! Don’t think that impulse buying that bookcase or sofa bed means you’ll suddenly see your interiors (and life) in a whole new light.

5. Big stuff good, small stuff bad

Lots of people tend to have good staples (sofas and beds) and bad details (scatter cushions and table lamps). This is because they tend to plan on the bigger elements while impulse-buying the smaller features, with no real sense of how it will fit into the overall scheme.

6. Timidity

modern Dining room by LAVRADIO DESIGN

Your home is where you need to please yourself, not anybody else. Don’t worry so much about what others will think of your choice of window treatment or wall art. This sometimes leads to bland, hopelessly suburban rooms.

Flaunt your unique personal style!

7. The designer did it

So often the images we see in interior design magazines tend to look great, if not empty. That’s because hard surfaces, sharp corners and spiky furniture are devoid of the owner’s personality. 

Get involved in the design of the house you live in, so that style doesn’t hijack comfort.

8. Jailhouse blues

Don’t let your guests (or you) feel trapped in your home. Every living room should have a couple of decent-sized door openings, as well as some lovely fresh air streaming in through large windows.

9. Dead zones

The real test of a room’s success is whether you spend time in it. If a room is covered in a cloud of dust, change its function so that you can make more use of it.

10. Same, same, same

However upmarket those all-matching curtains, cushions and carpets might appear, they will result in character-free rooms. Your home needs a mixture of textures, fabrics, patterns and colours to give it life and interest.

Let’s see how to go about: Choosing an interior colour scheme.

What other home design “no-no’s” are there?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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