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15 ​Common Interior Design Mistakes and How To Fix Them

It doesn’t matter how many interior decor blogs you’ve read or how many images from Pinterest you’ve tried to replicate down to the minute detail, in the end, your decor never works quite well as it does in theory. Why that is? The living room, the bedroom, the bathroom they never look like they could be straight out of a magazine. Ah, the struggle is real… That’s why, in this blog post, we’ve gathered a list of the 15 most common interior design mistakes. So, you can diagnose yourself, and treat your space from ill decor to fab decor. Can you relate to any of these “fatal” interior design mistakes?

1. Aesthetic Over Practicality - Let’s Get Practical.

Never compromise style over practicality! Yeah, your room looks really nice but imagine getting home from work after a tiring day and you can’t even get to the living room because it's so full of clutter. Or imagine you couldn’t have coffee that Monday morning because your coffee capsule holder thingy only fits 6 at time so now you've ran out of coffee capsules and don’t have any spares ones (again)...argh. Aesthetic, non-functional objects only leave a feeling of clutter, stress and anxiety.
The ideal would be balancing practical and stylish into one object. Fortunately, there are tons of solutions that allow you to do so. Storage is one of them; you could use an Ottoman bench to store things away from sight. Blankets, throws and even shoes can all go inside for a clean but organised look.
You can also utilise baskets and trays in your decor to make your room look put together while having everything you need at easy reach at the same time.

For example: keep losing the TV remote somewhere in the couch? Get it on a nice tray paired with a small plant and maybe a coffee table book. Pop that baby right on top of your coffee table and voila you got yourself practicality and aesthetic combined into one.
Check Kathleen’s blog post, aka Carrie Bradshaw lied, for some more ideas on how to combine aesthetic with functional decor.

Still wondering about the best way to store your coffee capsules? Well, experts dissent on coffee capsules being left on open counter or on an open capsule holder. In fact, coffee capsules out in the open tend to lose more of their aroma. So, go ahead and keep your coffee capsules stored in a closed container like a jar, a closed box and if you have the space why not a drawer?
For some tips on how to storage coffee, the Spruce article breaks it all down.

2. No Scaling - All About Proportion

One of biggest mistakes made while decorating, and also one of the most difficult things to do in the decor field, is scaling. “Scale refers to how an item or piece of furniture relates to the size of the room and the people who use it. Proportion refers to how the different pieces relate to other items in the same space.” via The Spruce. There’s no algorithm for that! Just a general knowledge on what looks best. Thankfully, we’ve got some tips that will hopefully help you at scaling your decor:

• City Skyline
When scaling a room, think of a city skyline: not all the buildings are the same size, some of them have very distinctive shapes and sizes. Do not be afraid of playing around and pairing various pieces of furniture and objects: Sometimes the most coherent of styles are the ones that mix and match different pieces together. Try and build your city skyline in your own living room by composing your landscape with layered objects, textures and furniture.

• Size Does Not Matter
Small spaces do not necessarily need small furnishing. In fact, it has been vindicated by professional interior designers - it’s dangerous to furnish a small space with small furniture. Small spaces when furnished with small furniture look cramped and tight. Now we're not saying buying furniture in the largest size will combat this, please do not because it will not fit! But maybe consider the fact of having a slightly bigger sofa or accent piece and build around it rather than making all the furniture small and compact.

• Colour, Colour, Colour
Colour has a lot of say when it comes to scaling the room (or at least the looks of scaling the room). The use of colour can dramatically change the size of one room. For instance, a dark wall colour can make the room seem much smaller than it actually is. If you have a smaller space avoid dark wall colours. Invest rather in a wall mural that extends horizontally, that will give it the illusion of space. You could also play with large prints in a main colour like for instance a picture taken from above, looking down on a beach, will be mainly blue, perfect to give the illusion of space and escapism. Play with colour and be surprised with the effects it makes on the size of your home.

3. No Focal Point

Always make sure you have a point of focus when you’re styling your furniture. This will visually tie the space together and create a cohesive design. Choose a piece you like as a main focus: an investment statement piece like a blue velvet sofa, a cool pattern headboard in a bed, or even a cool oversized art print. You can even have an accent wall with a cool wall mural - no worries if you’re renting, get a removable wall mural. Once you have your central point of focus, pair what's left into an organic composition. Again, try to think about that city skyline when composing. Don’t style similar items next to each other but rather different size ones just like building the skyline of a city.

4. Rug Not Being Big Enough - Rugged Much

In interior decor, rugs serve three purposes: absorb sound and echo for a more comfortable acoustic, to make your feet feel comfortable when you’re walking barefoot in the morning and finally, but definitely not least, to tie areas together. To tie together your living room space, you get a rug underneath the TV console, the coffee table and the sofas. If your rug isn’t big enough to keep all these items together, how is that it's going to tie a space?

The rug should be big enough to hold all of the furniture. In a common area like a living room, a rug should be wider than the width of your furniture so that it serves as a base. In your office the rug should touch your desk and your chair. Make sure your rug is the right proportion before you rush into purchases. And of course, as always make sure you take your measurements before! Learn from my mistakes…

Pro Tip: Make sure your rug doesn't float or move around the floor. Anchor it to the floor, using strong double-sided tape. But do not forget you need to replace the tape every time you wash or dry clean the rug.

5. Too Much Matchy - Matchy

If you ever wanted to ruin a room simply just match everything in it. Pink shades, pink walls, pink duvet covers = pink overload. Don’t do it, it will just make you get sick of your favourite colour. Instead play around with complimentary tones or even some contrasting tones for perspective.

6. Not Having Enough Light Sources - Light it up!

We are very much influenced by light so make sure you have different types of lights for different moods and different parts of the day. For night light, you should invest in soft lamps and a diffused kind of light to facilitate sleep.In the morning have brighter and natural types of lights to get your day started right.

7. Not Measuring A Room - Duhh

This one is crucial, but you would be surprised by the quantity of people that don’t measure a room before buying furniture into it. Be cautious of it, a lot can go wrong…

8. Exposed Outlets and Cords - Blend it in

Remember that episode of Keep up with the Kardashians when Kris Jenner saw an iPhone cord on the floor and thought it was a mouse? Yep, that's the effect of cords just floating around the house. Nothing like a little white cord to ruin all your good work in your room. Try to blend in cords and outlets as much as possible but careful not to cover them too much to the point they’re unusable. If the style is suitable you can even style them into your decor like the example below: cords and outlets are blended together with art, prints and plants in plain sight for a modern city style.

9. Going Overboard on The Trends - Oops, I Did It Again

It’s nice to be inspired by trends; to be honest, that’s what they’re there for. A must before any interior design is creating a mood board (aka a Pinterest board) with all your inspirations, references and ideas on what you want your room to look like. Now if every 2 weeks your mood board is changing, you have a case of trendy-sitis. Careful to not go overboard on pursuing too many trends because not only it will get expensive, trends do change, meaning that in 3 months you’ll be tired of your newly decorated room.

10. Cheap Drapes

Drapes can make or break a room. Cheap drapes can have a shiny and glossy feel to it which can leave a room looking tacky. Aim to invest more in high-quality drapes. Curtains are a design piece you usually don't change very often so they'll be around. When hanging curtains, they should hang at least an inch bellow: this is to make windows look elongated and elegant. A lot of interior decor experts are running away from the curtains in general and investing in blinds so maybe that’s something you can think about?

11. Same Style Across All House - Keep It Original

A lot of people think because you have one room in one particular style you must apply it to the rest of the house. Not true. You’re allowed to mix and match and decorate how you want! Even if your house has a very distinctive architectural design, you don’t have to literally replicate the style, free to be creative and decorate as you wish. With forethought and planning, rooms with different home decor styles can work well together. As long as the rooms that are exposed to one another, if you have open concept, flow together and have a connecting feature, you’re golden. Decorate in which whatever style pleases you more.

12. Keeping it safe = Keep it Boring

This is a big one: Not using your personality on interior designing or keeping it safe with a classical expected composition. Ok, in English please… For example, a bed surrounded by two exact bedside cabinets that match the bed. It has been done way too many times… try to think outside the box and outside the Pinterest board.
Give your room the personality it deserves... That vintage find you casually found it one day after gym, that travel memoir you got from Spain, that stuffed doll that you had from when you were a baby, own it, be proud and show it off in your decor. “A room that is too carefully coordinated, with all new or store-bought pieces, is very uninspiring. A home is a personal narrative and personality should shine through.” Jodi Morton, via 2to5Design.

13. Partner Feuds

A lot of people when in relationships feel too intimidated to express an opinion in regard to interior decor. That means sometimes houses only represent one individual style rather than two. “Don’t let your girlfriend, wife, partner, decorator, or architect completely define your home. You have a gut instinct for what you like—and what you don't. Speak up.” says Joan Craig from 2to5Design. Decorating with your partner should be a fun experience, learn some tips to make the process go smoothly and ensure both sides are visible in the home.

14. Buying Everything in One Day

My Portuguese mum usually says: “Rome and Pavia weren't built in a day.”… sounds better and rhythms in Portuguese but the concept is the same: You should not overwhelm yourself by trying to decorate all in a day. Think about the cons: The chances of you changing your mind after a rushed purchased are very high. Also, it can get pretty expensive especially if you just moved out. Why not take it slow, decide what you like and need and then buy your decor items slowly but surely. Oh, look another proverb my mum used to say.

15. Neglecting the Foyer Area Aka, The Entrance To Your Place

The entrance to your place is like an introduction to your home. Just like the cover of a book gives you an indication of what the book is going to be about, the foyer gives you a feeling of what the house will be like. Do not neglect the entrance of your house as it sets the mood for the rest of the house.

Entrances tend to get messy fast, because as soon as you walk through the door,coats go off , letters are dropped on top of something, keys thrown , and shoes out. By the end of the week the entrance is looking like stuff nightmares are made of. Don’t try to deny it, you know it’s true! Add some storage and furniture by the door to keep it looking organised; give yourself an allocated area to place your keys, shoes, purse and coat right when you walk in so they don’t end up flung in a corner. To really add some personality to the space, why not a splash of colour on your door? Maybe even some potted flowers? The walkway is just as important as the rest of your house, your door and front entrance should be taken care of.

And there you go, 15 fatal design mistakes. Which ones have you done or are still currently doing ? Let us know at #mypopwalls. I’m victim of trying to decorate everything as fast as possible when I’m inspired - don’t worry though, I’ve learnt to take a breather.

Good Luck xx

The Pop Walls team

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Images Retrieved from Pinterest