5 Common Interior Design Mistakes You Might Be Making

modern eclectic living room with article sven sofa

Have you ever picked out a paint color only to realize that it looks nothing like the swatch once you've got it on your walls? And now you're either stuck with a color that you aren't thrilled with or you have to paint all over again. Boo to both options.

You're not alone though because this is a pretty common interior design mistake. And there are other design mistakes that are just as common. These mistakes can end up costing you both time and money. Time spent repainting or money spent paying for return shipping or restocking fees. If you make the wrong choices you can end up with a room that looks just plain off. But the frustration (and tears) can be avoided. Read on for 5 common design mistakes and how to avoid them.

Design Mistake 1: Hanging Drapes Too Low

This is a big one and can make your space look a lot smaller than it really is. When hung at the right height, drapes can make your ceiling appear higher.

How to do it right: Install the curtain rod as close to the ceiling as you can. The curtains should be long enough to just barely touch the floor (for a clean modern look) or pool at the bottom (for a romantic look).

Design Mistake 2: Not Testing Paint Colors

A paint color can look drastically different from one room to another, in different lighting, and at different times of the day. What you see in the photo you saved on Pinterest is not what the color will look like in your space.

How to do it right: Get a paint sample and test out the color on multiple walls of the room. Don't just do a single swipe with the paint brush. Paint a 12" x 12" area to really get a feel for how it will look. Check out how the colors looks at different times of the day before you decide to commit.

Design Mistake 3: Choosing the Wrong Size Rug

An area rug is meant to ground a space, and if it's too small it's not going to do it's job. A too small area rug will make your room look crowded and disjointed.

How to do it right: In a living room, the rug should be big enough for all of the furniture to be on the rug, or half on/half off (front legs on, back legs off). In a dining space, you want the rug to be big enough so that when a person pushes their chair out all the chair legs stay on the rug. In a bedroom, make sure the rug extends past the nightstands and place it so the top 1/3 of the bed is off the rug.

Design Mistake 4: Buying a Too Small Coffee Table

A too small coffee table looks off in scale to the rest of the furniture surrounding it. A too small coffee table means there's not enough room for both your decor and resting beverages. And a too small coffee table means having to get off the sofa to get to the remote. You don't want any of that garbage.

How to do it right: The coffee table should be 2/3 the length of the sofa and 1-2" lower than the height of the cushions.

Design Mistake 5: Not Measuring Before Buying

This ties into buying a coffee table that is too small. Some furniture pieces are BIG and doors don't expand to accommodate when it's time to get them in the house. If you don't check the dimensions of what you are buying you can end up with a sofa that's gotta go back to the manufacturer. I have heard stories of people buying what they thought was a full-size chair, only to realize when it arrives that it's meant for a dollhouse.

How to do it right: Don't hit "confirm purchase" on big pieces until you have measured and made sure it will fit through the door. And don't buy the little things until you have measured to make sure they are the right size for the space.


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