The Top 9 Decorating Mistakes & How To Fix Them

Table of Contents

Common Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

If you ask a group of interior designers about the decorating mistakes, they’ve seen over the years, you will hear some similar stories from each one of them. Decorating is personal and formed by your own personal style, however some practices are mostly all the time mistakes.

Several different items occur continuously when homeowners or business owners decorate their own spaces. Many of these seem to be a preference and the decorator may not even realize it’s a mistake. Fortunately, these mistakes that look very odd are also very easily fixed.

Hanging Artwork Too High

When you hang your artwork too high on a wall, it makes it hard to appreciate the subject matter and it just looks odd. It’s a common mistake to enter a tastefully decorated space and see a very small piece of artwork that is placed very high on a wall and it looks like a postage stamp. As a rule of thumb, artwork should be hung at eye level. This usually means artwork should be hung about 56 to 60 inches from the center of the piece of artwork to the floor. If your household is tall, you should opt for the higher mounting and lower if the residents are short to average height.

A Plethora of Pillows

Throw pillows are a wonderful decor idea to add color and patterns to a room in an inexpensive manner. However, if you pile on so many pillows that your furniture is no longer functional, then you need to remove them or store them to change them out occasionally. If you can’t sit down in a sofa or chair because you have to move a pillow, then some of them need to go. If you are making your bed and it takes forever to replace the pillows or you have to remove them at night to sleep, then you’ve got too many. The best idea is to aim for no more than three rows of pillows on the bed including the ones you sleep on.

Postage Stamp Pillows

Another often-made decorator mistake is the wrong size of throw pillows. The size should relate to the pieces of furniture that they rest on. Larger throw pillows are for larger items, such as sofas and smaller throw pillows are appropriate for chairs. If you place a small pillow on a sofa, it looks miniscule and like it is lost.

Soaring Chandeliers

A chandelier is most often used for a dining room. It should illuminate the table while also having a visual relationship to it. Many people hang chandeliers too high over a dinning room table. It should ideally hang so the bottom is 30 to 34 inches from the top of the dining room table. If your ceilings are high or if the chandelier is especially large, opt for the upper end of the range. If you ceilings are eight feet and you have a smaller chandelier, stick to the lower end of the range.

Wide Expanses Between the Sofa and Coffee Table

Many home decorators leave too much space between the sofa and the coffee table, especially if they have a large living room or an open concept flooring plan. The space between your coffee table and the front edge of your sofa should be 18 to 12 inches. If you put the table any closer than this, someone will run into it and bruise a leg or a child may fall on it and hurt themselves. If you put the coffee table too far away, it becomes non functional. Most people err on the side of leaving too much space. Assuming that no one in your household has an injury or disability, then you should be able to learn over slightly to pick up a glass or place a book on the table top. If you can’t, then you need to move the coffee table closer.

Forcing Furniture to the Walls

Depending on the size of your room, it can be a bit difficult to achieve the right balance in this area. Try to pull the furniture away from the walls to create more intimate conversation areas in a space rather than pushing all the furniture against the walls. This is of particular importance in a family room or living room to give it a comfortable feel. Some people don’t think you should see the backs of your furniture pieces, but they are finished and made to be seen and not hidden.

Low Man on the Totem Pole Drapery Rods

The quickest way to morph a room into looking much smaller is to hang your drapery rods too low. This makes your window appear short as well as your walls. It’s best not to mount drapery rods on the window’s top casing or just above it. Instead, you can create the illusion of more height by installing the drapery rod at least halfway between the window’s top frame and the ceiling. Don’t hang it higher than two inches below the molding at the top of the wall next to the ceiling.

Diminished Draperies

Your drapery length plays a large part in the entire scheme of your decor in a room. Your drapery panels should just skim the floor. If they are a bit longer and puddle slightly on the floor that is okay, but they should never be shorter than the floor. Drapes that are too short appear like pants that are too short and they will make your wall look cut off and shorter than it is.

Tiny Area Rugs

We all know that quality area rugs are an investment and can be quite expensive. That’s why some home decorators choose an affordable size that is too small for their space. You should choose a size that allows all of the furniture to be sitting on the rug. If this isn’t possible because of a smaller space or a much larger space, then the front legs of larger pieces of furniture, such as a sofa should have the front two legs on the rug. Smaller pieces, such as chairs should have all four legs on the area rug.

If you have made any of these common decorating mistakes, they are easy to fix in just a few minutes of your time. You may be surprised at how much better your space will look when you follow these decorating rules.

Picture of Bobby Nakamura

Bobby Nakamura

Third-generation of Naka's legacy, Bobby brings over 30 years of industry experience, a passion for design, and a love for food and travel.

Click or Call for a free in home consultation
Related Topics