8 Interior Design Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

interior design mistakes

Whether you’re designing a room from the bottom up or just making a few adjustments, interior design can be an intimidating task. Many of you might be worried you’ll make a major mistake. Don’t worry, these eight interior design mistakes are made all of the time! We’ll give you the tools to create your dream space.

8 Common Interior Design Mistakes

  1. Hanging artwork too high
interior design mistakes

Hanging artwork, mirrors or even shelves on a wall can be a daunting feat. Eye level is a good starting point, as pieces that are too high or too low create an uncomfortable focal point. If you’re unsure, it’s best to err on the lower side. Using a removable hook is a great way to test out the placement without the commitment!

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2. Size and brightness of light fixtures
interior design mistakes

Lighting sets the tone of a room. A chandelier that’s too big for your dining room table makes for an uncomfortable dinner party, and a lamp that’s too small can be frustrating to read beside. The solution? Layer lighting.

Multiple sources of light can help avoid being stuck with too little or not enough. Combining an assortment of fixtures such as floor lamps, table lamps and overhead lighting provides light sources on multiple levels in a room, giving you lots of options. Always choose a soft white bulb, as it gives a warm and inviting tone to the room.

Browse Lamps
3. Unproportional furniture
interior design mistakes

Scale and proportion are everything when it comes to interior design. If you try to put a large sectional into a room and it “just fits,” chances are it’s not the right piece for you. Instead, try a loveseat and chair combination that still offers plenty of seating, without committing to the shape and size of an L-shaped sectional.

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4. Painting before buying textiles
interior design mistakes

Put your paintbrush down! Before putting any paint on your walls, buy your curtains, rugs and any other textiles first. Why? Because it is so much easier to match the color of the rug you fell in love with to the perfect paint color, rather than trying to find a rug that matches your freshly painted walls.

5. Hanging on to hand-me-downs
interior design mistakes

Don’t keep furniture that you don’t love. This means possibly saying goodbye to your great-grandma’s sewing machine in the corner of your living room. Give your hand-me-downs a new purpose by refurbishing the piece, handing it off to another relative or selling it and using the money to buy something that you do love. After all, that’s what your great-grandma would want!

Learn how to refresh old furniture
6. Forgetting to create a plan
interior design mistakes

Budget, color scheme, measurements, textiles, style and more go into designing a new space. Many people rush into shopping before they’ve considered a budget, picking a couch before they have measurements, and paint color before they have their textiles. Showrooms can be really helpful when trying to bring all of these ideas together into an actual planned space. Another is the Hm Room Planner!

Use the Hm Room Planner
7. Undisguised or open storage
interior design mistakes

Open, exposed storage can create a space that seems messy and disorganized. If you are a self-proclaimed “neat freak,” then go right ahead. But for the rest of us, storage ottomans and benches are a great way to hide the clutter while still providing a functional piece of furniture, and rather than using baskets on shelving, opt for containers with lids.

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8. Pushing furniture against the walls
interior design mistakes

Most people assume that by pushing the furniture against the wall, they are making the room appear larger. Of course, this is not always avoidable. But when it is, try centering pieces and bring them together. This creates a sense of intimacy. Arranging a room is so important, we wrote an entire blog post about it.

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