12 Common Interior Decorating Blunders

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When it comes to your home decor, you want it to reflect your personality; your fantastic taste; your keen sense of style. The following are common interior decorating blunders that I constantly come across during my in-home consultations. These are the no-nos that designers see constantly and now that you are aware of these common mistakes; you will know how to avoid them.

The DIY gone wrong

Some people are fabulous cooks; some aren’t. Some people are great athletes; some aren’t. And some people are great with home projects; others are NOT!

I am all about learning a new skill and being able to fix things around the house. Hats off to those that know how to use those power tools! However, sometimes you need to know when you are out of your element and need to hire a professional. Home renovation projects cannot be rushed. You need to be patient and have to pay attention to detail in order to complete these projects correctly.

On too many occasions I have come across a DIY project that is not quite complete, done in a rush or executed incorrectly. Know what you are able to take on yourself and get help from friend, family member or a professional when needed. It’ll pay off in the end – I promise!


There is a reason why I create a budget for customer projects. Everyone has a limit as to what they want, and most importantly, are able to spend on a design project. I follow this rule very closely when it comes to spending my money. I never purchase anything I can’t afford to pay off right away. Never pay anything on credit. (this topic can be discussed in its own post)

Listing out all the items that you are looking to purchase and keeping a running total of what you are spending is a great way to keep track of your purchases. Remember to include a 10-15% contingency fund to draw from when you encounter a renovation issue or find that must-have item!

There is no focal point

Every room needs a focal point; an area that draws your attention when you enter the space. The layout of the furniture and accessories are arranged to revolve around the focal point. Without a focal point, the space will lack direction.

The focal point can be an architectural element such as a fireplace or a window with a breathtaking view. What to do if there is no architectural focal point? Create a focal point by hanging a large piece of artwork, a beautiful mirror or add a gorgeous piece of furniture.

Purchasing that cheap, quick-fix furniture item

What is that saying? Oh yes… “You get what you pay for.

I find this usually happens with new home owners. They are in a rush to furnish the living room or bedroom in their new home – on a small budget. They find themselves at the big box store… “Look honey. If we purchase the two piece set, it comes with a free TV! And we don’t pay for one year! It’s only $800! What a deal!” Where do I even start?

These types of items are inexpensive – no wait – CHEAP! These furnishing are made with low quality materials and poor craftsmanship… and they look it. You will end up having to replace it in a year or two.   Why waste your hard earned money.

Okay, so your home isn’t going to be ‘complete’ within the first year – it’s okay! Wouldn’t you rather save your money to purchase a better quality piece of furniture that will last years. Besides the fact that it will look better, you may be able to take advantage of seasonal sales if you are patient.

The wall colour that you didn’t test

Have you ever painted a room and were not happy with the final result? You never have to worry about that ever happening again. There are so many paint samples available that you are will never go wrong again.

If you are having difficulty wondering if the colour is the ‘right-choice’ for your space, you can purchase a small $5 paint sample. Large paint chips are available, usually around $5-$7, and in some cases the store will buy back the large paint chips. Worth the investment instead of having to purchase a new can of paint for $60+.

I always tell customers that you need to test your paint colours on each wall under different types of light: natural and artificial. Test during different scenarios such as; during the day, at night, on a bright sunny day, on a raining day, under your ceiling lighting, under accent lighting.

The infamous white item

It looked so luxurious in the showroom and you thought it would look fantastic in your living room. Then you realized you didn’t factor in all the things you love: red wine; chocolate; your fur baby’s dirty paws; your children’s sticky hands! [Aside: why is it that kids hands are always sticky?]

Remember, if it’s white, it will get dirty – A LOT! If you are like me – you put on a clean, white shirt then get to work and wonder how that spot got there – then you probably shouldn’t own any white furnishings. No white sofas, comforters, fabrics or rugs… As long as you have no problem being extra-careful or enjoy additional cleaning.

I would recommend white items for pet-free and children-free households.

Stay Tuned….

The remaining interior decorating blunders will be revealed in the next post! Tell me:  Are you guilty of these common interior decorating blunders? How many of these can you relate to? Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing.

Are you located in Ottawa & in need of residential design services? You can explore our services right here.

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