Most homeowners get excited with the prospect of designing their own homes and interiors. Rightfully so, because who would not want to live in a nice home they themselves have designed? In an ideal world, all our interior design decisions would result in the perfect home. A little bit of lighting, some rugs, your favorite wallpaper, and matching furniture, and beautiful corner shelves, and you are done! Right? Right. We hope it was that easy, but in this real world, there will be  bad interior design pitfalls that we could all fall into. Fads, convincing marketing schemes, and the overall lack of experience in interior design tend to contribute to home design fails we regret sooner or later. Don't worry because common faux pas stutters can befall anyone, especially if you are not formally trained as a professional interior designer. What is more important is that you are aware that you can be prone to them and that you are determined not to do these interior design mistakes.

4 Common Design Mistakes, Why They are Bad, and How to Avoid Them

For the determined and excited interior designer in you, we have put together a list of common interior design mistakes so you could avoid doing them yourselves.

1. Doing the Lighting Only as an Afterthought

Expert interior designers always consider starting the design of an interior based on the available lighting. Imagine that a room is a blank canvas and lighting are the first strokes on which a whole painting will spring forth from. 

Why it’s a mistake: Lighting as an afterthought only will leave a room with components that feel incoherent to each other. Remember that light is the reason we see our world and leaving some parts poorly lit or lit up too much will disrupt the flow of how our eyes perceive a room. If we can’t clearly see all the elements of a room in one glance, then we probably messed up some lighting. 

How to avoid it: Simply begin with the lighting considerations. Take a good hard look at your space and imagine where lighting would be utilized to its full potential. Ascertain what lighting fixtures and accent lighting would bring out the best in your space and purchase them. Then, base all your furniture and design elements on the available lighting you chose.


2. Not Knowing How to Hang Frames on a Wall

Hanging frames on a wall serves to brighten up living space and at the same time gives us a chance to display some art or picture that we are proud of. But this only works if frames are hung at the right height and the correct distances from each other. 

Why it’s a mistake: Instead of highlighting whatever you have hung up, looking at a wall that has misplaced or oddly proportioned frames would make it unsettling to look at. 

How to avoid it: As a rule of thumb, hang frames at roughly eye level and hang frames that are not too big or too small for the wall they are attached to. Hang frames or art 10 cm apart from each other to give the eyes some breathing space. Also, avoid cramming a wall with all the frames you can cram in. Remember that you have other walls that could use a little sprucing up.   

3.Being Afraid of Going Big on Small Spaces

There will always be this space or room in your house that might feel to be too small to spruce up and design extravagantly. You might feel that adding in design elements into these said small rooms and spaces might just cram them up and ruin them later on. But this might not always be the case. Sometimes going big on small spaces could just be the trick we need to make these awkward spaces a joy to be in. 

Why it’s a mistake: Going small on small spaces will just reveal how petite they are, and small-looking spaces make for a cramped and uncomfortable space to be in.  

How to avoid it: Do not be afraid to go big on small rooms and spaces. Just keep in mind that the goal in designing a small space or room is to make these spaces feel bigger than they are.  When we talk of going big, we don’t mean to buy big furniture to cram in these small spaces. Always stay true to a space’s scale and proportion with regard to furniture. What you can go big with is accents, lighting, windows, mirrors, murals, and wallpaper that makes a space feel bigger than it is.  Match dark floors with no pattern with a mural for depth and contrast. Add in large mirrors to give the illusion of width. Hang a medal display case in the middle wall of a small room to make a small room feel like a shrine to your achievements and not just a poorly sized space.  And remember, a well-lit room will always feel wider than a dark one. 

4. Matching Everything!

Amateur interior designers tend to fall for this pitfall because matching is safe and gets you pretty decent results. But you can only match so much. Matching everything will feel wrong and you know it. 

Why it’s a mistake: Matching furniture, floor lamps, and accents will leave a room feeling coherent and cozy, but matching everything from the rugs to the furniture to the paint down to the lights and everything tends to make your home look like a lunatic's house. It creates a monotony that tires you right away. 

How to avoid it:   Match some but not everything! Don’t be afraid to vary the elements you choose to design your house with. Always refer back to basic interior design elements when you are unsure about anything. The secret is to contrast elements well against each other in a seamless, tasteful way.

Design Away! It’s Your Space, After All! Remember these few things to avoid and surprise yourself with the dream space you have always wanted to live in.