Julia Pannett

Home Insurance

18 May 2015

Interior decorating pitfalls and how to avoid them

Interior decorating is all about creating a beautiful and stylish home that aligns with your tastes, personality and lifestyle. Creating your perfect space can be challenging, especially if you don’t have an eye for aesthetics, but if you avoid these common decorating mistakes your home will maintain a timeless look that won’t go out of style but still reflect you and how you live.

Having your clutter on display

While your home is not a showroom (or a spread in Vogue Living) you should try to keep clutter to a minimum. Some people are fine to scatter a few essential daily items (keys, umbrella, cosmetics for instance) on the counter top but too much clutter just makes your home look untidy. Invest in some inexpensive yet stylish storage solutions to help you stay organised and clutter free.

Buying furniture too large for your space

Moving house often means your existing furniture may not match your new place. If your new home is smaller than your previous one, the furniture might be too large to fit the available space. Space is very important when decorating and the illusion of more space can be created by down-sizing furniture, so consider investing in a smaller coffee table for your living room. Alternatively, you can create the illusion of a larger space by using strategically placed mirrors.

Showcasing too many of your collectibles

Yes, it is tempting to have your glass dolphin from Sea World next to all your Game of Thrones merchandise but is it aesthetically appropriate? Choose your favourite knick knacks and put the rest away. You can use them in rotation, but too many will just look cluttered and make your space feel smaller.

Going overboard with fake flowers

Fake flowers and plants can look cheap, especially if they’re the plastic kind from the two dollar store. You may have to spend a bit more if you want real-looking greenery and flowers but they are worth the investment. Alternatively, you can use real flowers and keep them in a vase to help them last longer.  Whatever option you decide on it’s best to keep it simple and not go overboard.

Choosing a rug that’s not to scale with the surroundings

Rugs are a great way to add detail and personality to your home but they are tricky to get right. A rug should be scaled to fit your home and the room it’s in. A rug can be positioned in the centre of a room with the furniture around it – this is particularly good for a smaller space – or you can use a large rug that sits all your furniture on it. Select a rug with a print that complements the surroundings; keep the rug neutral if your décor is more on the colourful side to avoid clashing. Rugs can also be used to define areas within a larger space that have different uses. For example, place a rug underneath your dining table to define the dining space within a larger living area.

Using curtains that are too short

Drapes and curtains should reach the floor. Short curtains create an illusion of a shorter wall and can distort a room. Additionally, curtain rods should be placed close to the ceiling, not several inches down the wall.  This also helps to create an illusion of a larger room with high ceilings.

Exposed cords

Exposed cords and wires are never part of any interior designers’ vision. Ideally, TV and other electrical cords should be out of sight. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be a tripping hazard. Hide them behind wall units and shelving, in the walls or in a wall mounted cord cover that you can buy from your local hardware store.

Buying furniture you love without thinking how it will work with your home

This is perhaps the most common mistake people make. Impulse buying can be fun, but what you buy may not work for the room’s size and overall look and feel.  It’s always a good idea to measure your space, decide on the type of furniture that will work in the space and shop around before making your purchase