We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to decorating our space. Whether it’s choosing the wrong paint color, rug size, incorrectly identifying furniture proportion, or scale of artwork, below are some common DIY interior design mistakes that people often get wrong.
Mistake 1: Rugs that are too small in size relative to the space
Rugs are a great way to add color, texture, and pattern to a space. If it is too small in size relative to the surrounding furniture, it throws off the balance and cohesiveness of the room. Either all of your furniture should be sitting on the rug or at a minimum the front 2 legs of your sofa and chairs should be on the rug. Since large rugs can be expensive, another option is purchasing 2 smaller rugs and laying them side by side.
Mistake 2: Pushing up furniture against the walls
Lining the walls with your furniture doesn’t necessarily make your room appear larger or more open. Putting too much space between furnishings makes it difficult for your guests to interact with one another if you are entertaining and it makes the room feel less inviting. By moving things away from the wall, you create cozier spaces that allow for intimacy and comfort. If you have a small space, place your sofa and side tables against one wall, and bring in the other furnishings away from the wall closer towards the sofa.
Mistake 3: Purchasing matchy-matchy furniture
Furniture that are very similar to one another in style, color, and texture creates no visual interest and ends up blending together so that they all look alike and nothing stands out. A mix of proportions, style, and scale is important to creating a space that is comfortable yet aesthetically pleasing full of texture and patterns. Try mixing small scale patterns with large scale patterns using geometric prints or organic prints on your throw pillows and rug. Avoid purchasing all your furniture and accessories from one store.
Mistake 4: Selecting paint color before furniture
It’s easier to select paint color for your space after you already have some furnishings in place. It’s much more difficult to find the right rug, window treatments, accessories and furnishings to create a cohesive look with the paint color if you choose the paint first. I recommend either getting samples and painting a small section on your wall as close as possible to your furniture, or getting brush outs so that it can be repositioned around the room at different times of the day to get a better preview of the color.
Mistake 5: Designing for the lifestyle you want versus the one you have
If you have kids or pets, you might want to stay away from a white sofa. Sure, a white sofa is clean, classic, and elegant but if you are constantly cleaning up messy spills, you might want to think twice. Try a sofa in a dark or patterned stain-resistant fabric. Not enough storage for holding your kids toys, arts & crafts, books, and mementos? Ottomans are great for storage and can double as additional seating when entertaining family and friends.
If you make a decorating mistake, it won’t be the end of the world. If you chose a paint color that just didn’t look right, or purchased a rug that is too small for your living room, you can always solve the problem by getting a larger rug or selecting another paint color. Of course, that will cost you additional time and money. Another option is hiring an interior designer on an hourly basis to help you with your design project. An interior designer can guide you to making the right decisions avoiding any further mistakes which will save you time and $!
It’s important when choosing an area rug that you look at the material, type of weave, colors, patterns, and size that will complement your space. There are so many rugs out there today in the market that the choices can be overwhelming.
First, determine if your space will have low, medium, or high traffic. If you will be entertaining a lot in your living room for example, you will need to choose a rug made out of good materials that can stand the wear and tear over time. For high traffic areas such as living rooms, hallways, or dining rooms, a wool rug is a great choice as it is regarded for its strength, durability, softness, and sturdy pile. It has good heat insulation and is stain resistant. However, it may be prone to shedding. Hand-knotted wool rugs are the most ideal but also expensive as hand knotting is the most labor intensive rug making technique. Hand-tufted wool rugs are easier to manufacture and work well for high traffic areas without being as expensive. Sisal rugs are also another great option for high traffic areas.
For medium traffic areas such as your office space or bedroom, you can also choose wool rugs or another affordable option is polyester or synthetic rugs such as nylon, acrylic, and polypropylene/olefin. These materials are often used to mimic the characteristics of natural fibers and is strong and stain resistant. For example, polypropylene is often used as an inexpensive, but comparably soft substitute for wool. Jute rugs are also recommended for medium traffic areas as it has soft underfoot texture, but it is the least durable.
Finally, for low traffic areas such as formal areas and guest rooms, you can select leather, cotton, or silk rugs. These rugs are soft to the touch but do require care and maintenance.
Lowe’s has a great guide for purchasing area rugs.
You can find lots of images for high, medium, and low traffic area rugs from Houzz so definitely search for images that inspire you from Houzz.
All content, photos, and text are the property of Miss Alice Designs unless otherwise credited. Photos that are not taken by Miss Alice Designs are credited and linked to the original source(s), are believed to be public domain, and are readily available on the Internet (published according to the U.S. Copyright Fair Use Act, title 17, U.S. Code.) Nothing may be copied, altered or reused in any way without prior written consent from Miss Alice Designs.