Decor Mistakes Professionals Always Notice

Image: Zac Gudakov

Most of us yearn for a home that is beautiful, inviting and looks like it is professionally decorated. Alas, if you’re anything like me it’s all champagne tastes on a lemonade budget (I swear, I have an inbuilt radar for the most expensive option!). Despite that, we still love the idea of bringing our designs to life in a way that looks great while being budget-conscious in the process.

Professional decorator, Kimberly Duran, understands this concept. She has been advising for years on how to give your home the perfect look on a budget and written numerous articles on the subject. Her informative article for Lottoland helps the home-decorator know what to do and what not to do to accomplish the look they want on budget and you can read Lottoland’s article here.

Here are some common mistakes we may all be making and ideas on how to resolve them.

Home Decor Mistakes
How To Position Rugs

Ideally, all of the furniture should be placed on the rug if you have one and at the minimum, a large piece of furniture should have the front legs resting on a rug. Small pieces of furniture should rest on the rug completely. I have 100% made the mistake in the past of not ordering the right sized rug for a room and it looks like a tiny postage stamp floating on a lake. Don’t be me!

Picking Your Paint Colours

We’re very used to picking paint colours first and then fitting in furniture and other items around them. Take into consideration though that there are millions of hues of paint. If you already have expensive pieces of furniture or artwork, don’t be afraid to select the paint colours to compliment the furniture rather than the other way around.

Know Your Hanging Height

One of the most common mistakes an interior designer will notice is items hung to high in a room. A chandelier for example is made to light up a room, not the ceiling. Hanging it too close to the ceiling doesn’t just look odd but it makes the lighting less effective.

Image: ahmet hamdi

Artwork should be hung at eye level, taking into account that people are different heights of course so use best judgement. I always used to hang mirrors too high and in fact our living room mirror still bothers me a little but I haven’t got round to adjusting it.

Comfort, Comfort, Comfort

Ever wondered if people actually sit on those super stylish concrete chairs you see on Grand Designs? Because I really do wonder if sometimes it can be too much style and not enough substance. Make sure wherever you relax, it’s actually enjoyable and relaxing, rather than being all about the look (I even put hot water bottles in my friends beds if they come to stay in colder months beause ya know, comfort!)

Considered Window Dressings

Whether you love curtains, blinds or shutters, there are a couple of tips to remember. Ideally, you should have the same type of window dressing across the front (or street-facing) side of your home. This looks more attractive and can actually increase the value, too. We opted for shutters across the three windows that face on to the street and it definitely looks more appealing than shutters in the living room and blinds in the upstairs rooms.

If curtains are more your style, aim for floor length ones even if they pool slightly at the bottom. Curtains that finish mid-wall or half hanging over a radiator will always look like they don’t fit the space and also make the wall appear shorter.

To Cushion Or Not To Cushion?

Now this may be a controversial opinion but I am not a fan of 38750724085 cushions on sofas or beds. Of course they look great for the purposes of styling but ugh, moving them out of the way or throwing them on the floor day in day out to get onto that piece of furniture? No thank you. It’s ok for less to be more sometimes.

On the subject of cushions, beware the tiny accent pillows. Cushions should be proportionate to the furniture and placing a small throw pillow on a big chair ends up looking a little lost rather than plush and elegant.

Mix Up The Lighting

Just about no-one I know ever uses their overhead lighting in a room – personally I think they make a space appear stark and uninviting. However they can be practical (if you’ve ever tried to find a mouse in your living room in the middle of the night you will positively praise bright overhead lighting) so compliment it with lots of softer occasional floor and table lamps. This will create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Step Away From The Walls

If you’re fortunate enough to have rooms with larger dimensions, consider moving furniture away from the walls. It can be one of the design ideas that’s hardest to adapt because we’re all so used to positioning furniture out of the way, but chairs or sofas facing each other more in the middle of the room creates a beautiful focal point and is great for socialising.


It’s to easy to be influenced these days especially through social media. It’s always worth taking your time though to find your own unique style, to see how light in room changes throughout the days and seasons too. Making mistakes with décor can be costly and wasteful, sometimes it pays to be patient and focus on what you really love rather than what looks good through a screen.

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