These home decorating mistakes are extremely common, and they can make your home look awkward and messy. The good news is that they're SO easy to fix! Here are 7 home decorating mistakes I see all the time and how you can fix them.
Watch my YouTube video for visual examples on all of these home decorating mistakes:
Listen to my premiere Dear DIY Mommy podcast episode for an audio version of these 7 home decorating mistakes:
Hanging curtains too low
Hanging your curtains or drapes to low over your windows will make your room feel smaller and the ceilings feel lower. Try hanging your curtain rod closer to the ceiling, and then extend it longer on either side of your window so that your drapes clear the window. This will make your window look bigger, and therefore your room look larger and more open. To get this look, ensure you purchase the proper length of curtains so that the curtains graze the floor. I love finding budget-friendly drapes at long lengths at IKEA.
Hanging artwork too high
Hanging art too high can create an awkward look in your room and make it hard to see the artwork. Here's how to fix it: hang the center of your art at "gallery height" which is about 5 feet from the floor. This makes the art easier to see and gives it a better relationship with your furniture.
Pushing all of your furniture against the wall
This look prevents a cozy feeling in your space and creates a giant space in the middle of your room that can feel out of proportion. Instead, create a "conversation area" in your space by pulling your furniture away from the wall. Don't forget to leave spaces between or behind furniture for traffic flow (30 inches for aisle ways feels about right). Need some living room design inspo? Get some here!
Using area rugs that are too small
Using small rugs makes your room feel disconnected because your furniture can't sit on them. I think it's better to save up for a larger rug that will make your room feel cozier and more connected. Find a rug that's large enough so at minimum the front legs of your furniture can sit on your rug. Even better? Find a rug that's big enough for all the legs of your furniture to sit upon. Just make sure to leave at least 24" of bare floor around the perimeter of your room.
Decorating too quickly
Often we buy a new home and we immediately want to fill it up with furniture. The danger here is that you can get a look that's not personal or looks too "matchy-matchy". Instead, leave yourself a lot of time to decorate your home. Create a Pinterest board of images you love over time, and then make a list of common elements you love throughout the images. Then, as you can afford them you can purchase each piece and accessory one-by-one (or makeover what you have). Alternatively, find inexpensive dupes at the thrift store or a big box store. Don't shop at one store only for your home, but try a variety of different stores so that you have a room with more character. I love thrift stores and Facebook Marketplace for unique pieces that suit a smaller budget.
Not having enough lighting
Don't rely solely on overhead lighting to illuminate your space. Add different lighting elements for different tasks and moods like a floor lamp, wall sconces and task lighting in the kitchen. You don't need to completely rewire your home for this look - try plug-in lights or battery operated bulbs for this same look on a budget. See how we incorporated lots of different lighting elements in our lake house rental kitchen here.
Letting someone else decide what works in your home
As tempting as it is, don't let someone else (especially someone on the Internet!) tell you how you SHOULD decorate your home. I know this is ironic coming from a DIY & decor blogger, but YOU know what you need or love in your home BEST. Just because someone says something is "out" (like shiplap?), doesn't mean you shouldn't install it in your home. Look at what you love and the style and location of your home, and base your home decor decisions around that. Trends in decor come and go (I do love to incorporate trends if I like them), but a well designed home that functions well for YOU and YOUR FAMILY and puts into practice some of these home decor basics like rug size, art height etc will stand the test of time.
Now tell me: Have you made any of these decorating mistakes? Do you have any more you'd like to share?