5 Most Common Interior Design Mistakes

There are some common mistakes we often see in spaces and here’s the good news, they are super easy to fix, if you know what you’re doing wrong! If you were searching for how to decorate your home, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll share some quick interior designer tips on how to furnish and decorate your home beautifully but let’s start with what not to do first.

1. Choosing a Wall Colour First

We often find that clients move into a new home, have the place painted and then call us. We are experts so we can work with it but to be honest, we’d rather you come to us before you paint the walls. If you are designing your home yourself, then by painting the interior walls first you are literally painting yourself into a corner. 

Your wall paint colour should be part of the overall colour palette you have for your home and the room. If you choose a wall colour before you have a colour palette for the room, you’re boxing yourself in when it comes to what you can do for the colour of furniture and decor. 

Whenever you can, choose a colour palette and pull the wall colour from there. If you feel you must get the walls painted before you move in, choose a neutral colour for the walls and be prepared to re-paint a few walls here and there as you create feature walls around the house. 

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2. Arranging Your Furniture Along the Wall

Sure, it’s easy to place that sofa along the wall and have the TV on the opposite wall, but if you find yourself squinting your eyes to view a show on Netflix or you have to speak really loud for your friend sitting on the accent chair in the room to hear you, it’s probably better to float your furniture in the room, away from the walls.  Outside of it not being functional, having furniture lining the walls is also not a pretty look unless you’re in a really small room.

Especially because we have wide-open concept spaces these days, grouping furniture into a niche away from the walls will make it easier to create rooms or boundaries in a big open room. 

For example, if you have a combined, open-concept living/dining space, you will need to group your living room furniture on one side and the dining room furniture on the other end of the room to make this room functional. 

When you float your furniture in the room, rather than arranging them along the walls, you create a much cozier, visually pleasing feel in your room.  There should not be a big open space in the middle of the room. Try a few different layouts and see what works functionally for you and looks good at the same time. 

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3. Skipping the Rug or Using a Rug That is Too Small

This is another mistake we see often. When you have a rug that’s too small for the room it makes the room feel ‘off’ in some way. 

I always think of a rug that’s too small in a room is a little like wearing a pair of pants that are too tight for you. You feel like everything is bulging everywhere and spilling out. That’s kinda how your room looks when the rug is too small–like all of the furniture is spilling out of the rug. 

We also see that lots of people skip the rug altogether. Rugs help define the space in addition to making it cozier and they are great at absorbing noise. If you have an open-concept space, having a rug in each functional space will help define it a lot better than without the rug. 


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4. Choosing Matching Sets of Furniture

Do NOT buy matching furniture sets! Just don’t do it. There, we said it! Other than making your space look boring, it screams that the space lacks personality. Who wants that? Your home should reflect who you are and you are definitely not boring!

Instead buy furniture that goes together nicely from style, pattern and colour perspective. This is why it helps to have a colour palette, so you know what colour accent furniture you might need and how it all works together in the room. 

For your living room, buy accent chairs that are different from the sofa and side tables that don’t match the coffee table exactly. For your dining room, get chairs that are different from the table and a sideboard that has a bit of personality. This rule also goes for bedroom sets. Buy nightstands that don’t match the bed and a dresser that goes with everything. 

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5. Too Much or Too Little Furniture in the Room

Sometimes we see clients who’ve jammed a lot of furniture in a room because either they downsized and had trouble letting go or they are buying pieces that don’t do double duty given the tight space they might be in. 

Start by thinking about how you want to use the room. Then understand what you need in the space to make it function well. Assess whether all of the pieces you need will fit in your space. If it doesn’t, you should look for furniture pieces that can do double duty to optimize your space. For example, a coffee table that turns into a small dining table when you need. Yes, those exist!

If you have too little furniture, you’re probably guilty of lining them up against the wall too. Try floating them in the middle of the room in a few different layouts and see what accent pieces you might need to add to make the room feel fuller and cozier. 

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6. Not Setting a Budget

We lied. We have 6 common mistakes when it comes to designing your home, or consider this a bonus and a PSA.

A lot of homeowners I know are reluctant to set a budget for their home furnishing and decorating and I don’t know why. You know that saying if you fail to plan, then plan to fail. That applies here as well.

Without a budget or a solid plan on what you need to buy, how much you want to spend, you will end up with a house full of furniture over time that you’re not happy with. You may feel cheated because you spent good money but you’re not happy with the outcome.

Also, most people don’t buy furniture all the time. So, they have no idea how much things cost. Do the research and set a budget for your home by each room. This will allow you to plan out your purchases and ensure that you at least end up not throwing your money down the drain. 

If you want to be really smart about your money, create a design plan. A design plan shows you what your room is going to look like and what items you need to buy based on your style and budget. It doesn’t mean you have to buy everything in your design plan all at once. 

With a plan in your hands, you can buy items you need over a period of time as you have money available to spend on those items. But it ensures that you’re sticking to a budget and that in the end, you end up with a home that you love, from the way it looks too.

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If you are just starting your home decorating process, check out our blog post on how to get started on decorating your home so you’re set up for success.

Now that you’ve fixed the common mistakes, want to level up your decor even more? 

1. Create a feature wall that WOWs in every room

To create a feature wall that dazzles, you’ll need to do more than just paint. Consider artwork of all kinds, even a wall sculpture, mirrors or maybe a gorgeous rug you can hang on the wall to give it that WOW.  

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2. Choose plenty of lighting

Ever notice that when you go to real estate open houses, the spaces are well lit? Agents will open the curtains wide to let the natural light in. At night, you can bet every single lamp in the house is lit. 

There’s a reason for that. A well-lit space is more pleasing to the eye. Check out our blog post on Lighting 101 to ace your lighting game. 

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3. Decorate Your Walls

Think of your wall space as where you can add your personality to the room. Choose artwork, a beautiful bookcase, or a few floating shelves to display your favourite items or even a leaning mirror that reflects a breathtaking view, to bring attention to your walls. 

Check out our gallery wall blog post for some inspo. 

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4. Use Accessories to Pull it All Together

There’s nothing worse than a room that is completely furnished but doesn’t feel cohesive. Use throw pillows, artwork, and a rug to unite the colour palette and the design of your room. 

Show your personality off in your accessories but also know when to stop. The objective is to make it feel nicely styled and not cluttered.

There you have it. Some common mistakes we see people making when it comes to decorating your home, how to fix them and a few additional tips to level up when it comes to furnishing your home. 

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Create a design plan for your home with Daakor

Looking for ideas and inspiration to refresh a space? At Daakor, we provide our clients with customized interior design plans that will help you shop confidently and furnish your home beautifully.  Find the perfect look for you and we’ll order and deliver all items. Start creating your new space today.

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Create a design plan for your home with Daakor

Looking for ideas and inspiration to refresh a space? At Daakor, we provide our clients with customized interior design plans that will help you shop confidently and furnish your home beautifully.  Find the perfect look for you and we’ll order and deliver all items. Start creating your new space today.