BuyingDesignHome ImprovementsListingsReal EstateSalesTips&Tricks April 20, 2024

Are You Making These Design Mistakes?

Common Design Mistakes

The interior design world changes trends more than a fickle toddler changes their food preferences. One day a certain style is all the rage, and the next, it’s lost its flair. But throughout the years, several design choices have remained consistent, and if you’re not sticking to them, the odds are good your space feels a little off-kilter. Keep reading to see if you’re making these design mistakes in your home. (If you are; don’t worry. We’ll give you tips on how to fix them.)


 1. Hanging Artwork Too High

If you need to bend your neck back to view artwork, it’s too high. Check the items that are hanging on your walls and do a quick test. Do you find yourself tilting your head back, even slightly, to view the piece? When artwork is too high on the walls, it throws off the balance of your whole space. 

The Fix: Aim to hang artwork at eye level. But here’s the thing – eye level of an average person. If you’re 6’4”, hanging your artwork at your eye level won’t work. Instead, aim for the center of the piece to be 57 inches above the floor.


2. Placing All Your Furniture Against the Walls

It’s a common design mistake to place furniture against the walls in a room to leave a large open space in the middle. It seems like having this big open space would make the room feel bigger, right? Unfortunately, it’s the opposite. When you place all of the furniture around the perimeter of your room, it can make the room feel smaller.

The Fix: Pull some of your main pieces off of the walls and create zones in your space. For example, create a cozy seating area in the center of your room near the fireplace. When furniture isn’t shoved up against the wall, it creates the illusion of more space.


3. Using Rugs That Are Too Small

An area rug can be the perfect finishing touch in a space. But when it’s too small, it looks like an awkward, floating island in a sea of furniture. It distracts the eye and makes your overall room look smaller.

The Fix: Use rugs that are large enough to touch every furniture piece so it serves as an anchor. For example, if it’s in your living room seating area, the edge of the sofa and chairs should be on the rug.


4. Not Paying Attention to Lighting

Don’t make lighting an afterthought. When a space doesn’t have adequate lighting, it can throw off the whole vibe of the room. Often, a room has too little light. But you can also end up with a room that has too much light if there’s no way to dial it down or adjust it.

The Fix: Have several light sources in a room. A mixture of overhead and task lighting is ideal, along with ambient lighting where appropriate. Using dimmers helps create just the right amount of light when and where you need it. Plus, proper window treatments help control the natural light in the space.


5. Winging It with Paint Colors

Even if you have an amazing eye for color, selecting your paint from small paper swatches leads to regret. It’s just not quite the same as the actual paint. You could waste a lot of time, money, and effort painting a color that doesn’t ultimately work in your space.

The Fix: Use the swatches to narrow down your choices, then purchase small sample jars of your top colors. Paint the sample either directly on the wall or a white piece of poster board. If you use the Porter board method, you can move the sample around the room and under different lighting to see how it changes. 


6. Designing with the Wrong Scale Furniture for the Space

Another design mistake people make is purchasing furniture for their space without measuring or considering the height. How a piece fits in a large showroom is very different from how it fits in your home. It might look perfect in a large space, but then you bring it home and it completely takes over your living room. 

Alternatively, if you have a large space with high ceilings, furniture that’s too small can throw off the balance of the design. Choosing the right scale furniture is essential to the overall look of your design as well as how it functions. If you cram pieces in the space that are too large, it makes it feel cramped. People struggle to move around and the entire flow of the room gets off-kilter.

The Fix: Measure your available space and use painter’s tape to mark out what size pieces would work well. Let these lines be your guide for measurements. As a general rule, if it’s a small space, look for lower-profile pieces, and if you have grand ceilings, select a few taller items.


7. Getting Too Matchy-Matchy with Furniture

Furniture sets are a popular display in many showrooms, online ads, and more. But when you purchase a full set, it ends up looking a little too bland. Instead of standing out and showing your personality through your design, you simply look like everybody else who bought that same Rooms-To-Go special.

The Fix: Find pieces you love, but resist buying all the pieces in the set. Instead, fill in the gaps with unique finds from your favorite thrift shop or vintage boutique. Or maybe you love antiquing and find pieces that way. For example, you might buy a bed from a big furniture store, but then choose a fun dresser from the local flea market that you jazz up with your DIY skills.


8. Failing to Incorporate Ample Storage

No matter how great your space looks, if you cover it with clutter, it ends up looking awful. You can’t see the design, it doesn’t function well, and it can even stress you out. If you fail to work adequate storage into your design plan, you greatly increase the chances of adding clutter to your home.

The Fix: Be thoughtful about your space’s function when you plan the design and layout. Make sure to have places for items. If it’s a family room, this might mean a console with cabinets that hide away board games and toys. Or use a storage ottoman that doubles as a coffee table to hold extra blankets for movie night, etc.


Navigating Beyond Design Mistakes

In conclusion, navigating the world of interior design can sometimes feel like keeping up with a constantly changing trend cycle. Yet, amidst the flux, certain design principles endure, serving as reliable guides for crafting harmonious spaces. By avoiding common design mistakes such as improperly hung artwork, relegating furniture solely to the walls, or neglecting the significance of lighting and scale, one can transform a room from disjointed to cohesive. Furthermore, embracing individuality over uniformity, and ensuring ample storage to combat clutter, elevates design beyond mere aesthetics to spaces that truly reflect personality and function. So, if your home feels a bit off-kilter, fear not; armed with these insights and practical fixes, you’re well on your way to creating a space that not only looks great but also feels like home.


Check out our other home Design blogs, here:

Want more Tips and Tricks to improve your home? Visit:

Seeking more info on Home Improvements? Check out:

Learn more about Coldwell Banker Hearthside, here: