Living room by Bob Romijnders Architectuur & Interieur

We solve your 9 most common decorating mistakes

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton

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We all like to think we have a good handle on the right way to decorate our homes, but you might be astonished to discover just how many of the main design gaffes you're actually making. 

Interior designers are constantly being called in to fix errors that well-meaning homeowners have made and we've uncovered 9 of the main offenders. From choosing the wrong lighting to not thinking properly about your proportions, there are a host of mistakes that could be leaving your interior design scheme falling flatter than you'd like.

Fortunately, by reading this article, you can sidestep them all! Let's begin…

1. Using dark colours

Dark colours can look bold and dramatic, but if you have smaller rooms that don't have the benefit of a lot of natural light, what does pour in can be swallowed up whole by darker hues. 

Solution: Choose light colours for your walls and neutral furniture to maintain a feeling of space and airiness.

2. Bad furniture layouts

You might like a funky layout for your furniture, but if you aren't using the space in the most efficient way possible, your interesting placements might actually be shortchanging your rooms.

Solution: You need to maximise transitional areas, as well as creating a commonsense layout, so experiment until you get the balance right.

3. Making do with terrible lighting

We all know when our lighting is a little dim but so many of us put up with it! 

Solution: Make the effort to invest in better bulbs, extra lighting and more effective natural light usage. You'll be shocked at the difference they make! For dark corners, try some table lamps and in functional spaces, such as the kitchen, under-cabinet lighting and bright spotlights are perfect.

4. Using too many materials

It can be tempting to include everything you love in each room of your home. However, what you end up with is a messy scheme that seems to have no purpose or main focus.

Solution: By keeping your material palette more refined and selective, the items you do choose will be better showcased.

5. Having obstacles in your hallways

It's natural for hallways to become cluttered as busy households always seem to collect shoes, coats, bags and other bulky items that are needed by the front door. Unfortunately, this results in a cramped and untidy space.

Solution: Install coat hooks or effective storage and see how much brighter and more inviting your hallways becomes!

6. Keeping too much clutter on show

 Bathroom by Nobel flooring

We all collect nick-nacks and trinkets but having too many items on show quickly results in a cluttered and unstructured room. Even necessary items out on show can look badly thought out.

Solution: Get as much storage as you can in every room. Bathrooms are particularly guilty of this problem, with toiletries cluttering up vanity units, so hide them all away in suitable bathroom storage for a cleaner look.

7. Having too many types of wood

 Living room by Immofoto-Sylt

Wood is a glorious material to use in your home and brings natural warmth, elegance and class to wherever it is included. 

Solution: That said, try to control yourself and choose just a couple of different varieties. Any more than this will make your home look like a carpenter's workshop, thus drastically devaluing the beautiful varieties that would have otherwise stood alone as a gorgeous addition.

8. Packing in too much furniture

We've all seen houses that seem to have crammed as many sofas, chairs and dressers as possible into one room and the result is a hot mess.

Solution: Yes, you need storage and seating, but you also need to be able to effectively navigate your home. Stick to the essentials and make those items really stand out.

9. Staying far too simple

A little minimalism goes a long way, but if you aren't careful you can quickly stray into the realms of impersonal, cold décor.

Solution: A good way to prevent this is by adding in some tasteful, neutral textiles, such as rugs, throws and cushions. These will instantly warm up a space and give them a cosier yet uncluttered look.

For more decorating tips, take a look at this Ideabook: 45 best ever pieces of interior design advice (part one).

Which of these mistakes have you been making?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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