Common Home Decor Mistakes, And How to Avoid Them, According to Designers

Common Home Decor Mistakes, And How to Avoid Them, According to Designers
August 2, 2019 Wonderwall


No matter how much time you spend scrolling through Pinterest, surfing design website, and perusing design and décor magazines, coming up with the perfect design plan for your home and bringing it to life isn’t always easy. Zoe Weiner in an article on common home decor mistakes on writes:

“Whether it’s a wonky-looking painting, a couch that doesn’t quite fit, or a rug that’s so busy it makes your head spin when you look at the floor, it’s not uncommon for rooms to have a “whoopsy-daisy” component to them,” writes “The good news? With the help of interior designers, it just takes a few little tweaks to get your space into tip-top shape.” Weiner queried a number of designers and asked them to share mistakes that they see people making in their homes and more importantly, simple ways to fix them.


Wonderwall August 2019 design blog


Choosing correct size in rugs — Look for proportion

“Rugs — especially in a small space — can really ground a room, but if you cover too much area, they can actually make it feel much smaller,” says San Francisco-based interior designer Christina Higham, who notes that having an appropriately proportioned rug is key. The fix? Consider the size of your seating area, and plan for your rug to be that big. The rest of the space can remain uncovered, and that blank floor space will help to open the rest of the room.

Placing art — Look for balance and color

“I think a common mistake is hanging art too high,says Higham, who admits she sees this everywhere (even in her friends apartments). “I think art should always be placed at eye level, so usually that’s between 5-foot-3-inches and 5-foot-8-inches.” Looking for a little wall-art inspo? Check out some woven options at, which will make your home feel like a full-on yoga studio. Or better yet, come to Wonderwall during one of our many art shows that focus on local artists. We also have their artworks displayed on our sight.

Too many small items or “knickknacks”

“One design mistake that I see some clients make is holding onto an item, from their old space, that doesn’t fit with the new aesthetic,” says Nicole Alexander, founder and principal designer of Chicago’s Siren Betty Design “Unless a piece holds significant or emotional value, it need not be incorporated into a fresh design.” She notes that if you choose to work with a designer, this willingness to curate through your belongings goes hand-in-hand with trusting their vision for your new space. And a few new fresh to the eye piece can do wonders to recalibrate your living space. Look for new treasures!

Too much of the same or “matchy-matchy”

“A common design mistake I see a lot is the desire to have everything match too well,” say Homepolish’s Melanie Burstin, a Los Angeles-based interior designer. “I’d avoid purchasing a bedroom set or making sure all of the wood in your living room is the same type of weathered tone.” Instead, she suggests mixing and matching pieces to add a little variation to your space. This will add depth and interest and will not limit you in future purchases.

Thinking trends only — Keep your own style in vogue

Being too of-the-moment is the biggest mistake Homepolish’s Kerry Vasquez, an LA-based interior designer, sees. “I always urge my clients to go simple, classic, and neutral on the bigger pieces, and then you can always accessorize with a few trendy smaller pieces that are easier — and cheaper! — to replace or switch out,” she says. “Choosing things you love is never a mistake, just make sure you really love it and you’re not buying it because you think it’s cool right now.” In other words: You won’t regret the choice in five years. Build on your own affinities and create your own trend.

Poor lighting that does not uplift your space

“People tend to over-light or under-light their spaces, or they pick the wrong temperature lightbulbs,” says interior designer Shelly Lynch-Sparks, founder of NYC design firm Hyphen. An easy fix? Dimmers. “Dimmers make a huge impact. People think it’s so complex to change out a dimmer, but it’s really not.” Seriously though — mood lighting is possible, no electrician required. Think about how the light will function in the space for reading or overall brightness and go from there.

Over and/or underscaling furniture

“Buying a piece of furniture that’s way too small or way too large for your space is a common mistake,” says Lynch-Sparks, who often sees people buying furniture that they just assume will fit, or not taking into consideration the physical space they’re trying to fill. Bottom line? Always, always use a measuring tape.