How to Fix the Top 5 Interior Design Mistakes That Make Your Home Look Cheap

Designing a home is an exciting process, but it’s easy to make mistakes that can cheapen the look of your space. Here are the top five interior design mistakes and how to fix them to ensure your home looks stylish and well-put-together.

1. Hanging Generic Artworks and Quotes

One common mistake is decorating with mass-produced prints and generic quotes like “Live, Love, Laugh.” These items often make a space feel impersonal and tacky.

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Instead, choose artwork that reflects your personality and interests. Here are some tips to make your art collection unique:

  • Create Your Own Art: Whether you’re an artist or just enjoy DIY projects, creating your own art can add a personal touch to your home.
  • Display Personal Photos: Framing and hanging personal photos can make your space feel more intimate and meaningful.
  • Invest in Unique Art Pieces: Websites like Etsy, Society6, and Minted offer a variety of unique artworks from independent artists. Investing in these pieces can add character and depth to your space.

2. Everything is Too Small

Decorating with items that are too small for the room, such as rugs, artworks, and coffee tables, can make a space feel empty and disjointed. To create a cohesive look, ensure your decor items are appropriately sized:

  • Choose Larger Rugs: A rug should be large enough to anchor the seating area. Ideally, it should be big enough to fit all four legs of your furniture or at least the front two legs.
  • Select Properly Sized Art: The general rule is to choose an art piece that is half to two-thirds the width of the furniture it hangs above. If in doubt, opt for something slightly larger rather than too small.
  • Pick the Right Coffee Table: A coffee table should be at least half the horizontal length of the sofa and no more than two-thirds. This proportion ensures the table fits well within the room’s scale.

3. Hanging Curtains Incorrectly

Improperly hung curtains can make windows look smaller and ceilings lower, reducing the amount of natural light. To enhance your windows and the overall room appearance, follow these guidelines:

  • Mount Curtain Rods Higher: Hang curtain rods higher than the window frame to create the illusion of taller ceilings. Aim for a height approximately halfway to two-thirds from the top of the window to the ceiling.
  • Extend Curtain Rods Wider: Choose curtain rods that are about 15 centimeters wider than the window frame. This allows the curtains to frame the window properly when open.
  • Ensure Curtains are the Right Length: Curtains should either “kiss” the floor, puddle slightly for a dramatic effect, or float just above the floor for a clean look. Avoid curtains that are too short, as they can look awkward and out of place.

4. Having Everything Out on Display

Cluttered open storage spaces can make a room feel cramped and chaotic. To maintain a clean and organized look, be selective about what you display:

  • Curate Display Items: Only showcase items that complement the room’s design and color palette. Everything else should be stored out of sight.
  • Use Closed Storage: Opt for furniture with closed storage options, like cabinets and drawers, to hide unattractive essentials such as TV remotes and kitchen appliances. A local furniture shop can provide you with stylish and functional closed storage solutions that suit your home’s aesthetic.
  • Optimize Storage Solutions: In the bathroom and kitchen, utilize storage units that can keep clutter hidden. Recessed medicine cabinets and under-sink storage can help maintain a tidy appearance.

5. Making Everything Match

While continuity is essential, overly matching furniture and decor can result in a dull, showroom-like space. Instead, aim to create contrast and visual interest:

  • Mix Different Tones and Textures: Combine various textures and shades to add depth. For example, pair a heavy sofa with lightweight armchairs, or mix different wood finishes.
  • Use a Variety of Colors: Avoid using a single shade throughout the room. Mix different shades, tints, and tones of the same color to create a harmonious yet dynamic look.
  • Complement, Don’t Match: Choose furniture and decor items that complement each other rather than matching exactly. This approach adds interest and sophistication to the space.

By avoiding these common interior design mistakes and implementing these tips, you can create a home that feels stylish, cohesive, and personalized.


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