15 home furnishing mistakes to avoid

When it comes to home furnishing and decorating, taste is a matter of opinion. What seems simple and elegant to one person may just be plain out boring to another. Our own four walls should be our business, a place we call our own and where we feel totally comfortable. But even though there are no real rules to interior decorating, there are some mistakes that almost everyone makes, and most often we don't even notice how much better things can be until someone points it out to us. That's why we've put together this list of the 15 most common home furnishing mistakes so you can avoid them and enjoy your living space even more...


1. Lighting

A single lamp hanging from the ceiling can provide enough light, but chances are that it won't give the room much ambience. Instead, try a few floor and table lamps to create a more intimate atmosphere, and only use the ceiling lamp when you really need it.

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2. Soap and dishwashing detergent

These days people are putting extra emphasis on nicely designed kitchens and bathrooms. That's why it's a bit of a shame that these spaces end up cluttered with plastic bottles full of soap that end up being real eyesores. 

Instead of leaving those plastic soap dispensers on the counter, pick up some nice ceramic designs that match your decor. Wash cloths and tea towels with matching designs are also a nice touch.

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3. Cluttered bookshelves

A collection of books can add a special ambience to any living space. But when they're stacked up all over the place and nearly falling off the shelves, the effect is quickly lost. If you have a book collection that you want to display, make sure to get a nice cabinet and keep it neatly stored.

The other option is to simply get rid of books altogether. If you're not interested in creating your own private library, why not just give those old books to someone who will actually read them instead of letting them collect dust. It will free up a lot of space for other things.

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4. Wall color

In rented apartments and houses, white walls are pretty common. Homeowners usually make the effort to add some color to their living space, but renters often don't see the point, and in some cases this is a big mistake. Taking the time and making the effort to paint your walls and give them more character can have a big effect on how much you enjoy the place you live in. This is especially important in regions where the winters are long and dark — a warm, cozy color on the walls can really improve your mood.


5. Lack of structure

As home designs become more open, individual rooms such as dining rooms, living rooms, family rooms etc. are becoming a thing of the past. This openness can be nice, but it can also lead to a lack of structure when furnishing the space.

In this case it's good to try to create zones with matching furnishings and decor. Room dividers can also help to create more of a distinction between the various areas, and a few well-placed rugs and floor lamps can also help to add some definition to the space.

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6. Lack of proportion

A room can seem very out of proportion when the size and amount of the furnishing doesn't match its dimensions. A very large room with only a few pieces of furniture can feel constantly empty, whereas a small room with a huge dining table can feel claustrophobic. Try to furnish your rooms to a point where people can walk around freely, but still don't have to walk 20 yards to get to the next seating option.

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7. Too many styles

Even well-organized rooms can seem cluttered when there are too many styles and colors competing for attention. Try to pick one style and one dominant color per room and only add things that subtly compliment them.

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8. Showroom copy

To avoid clashing styles, some people copy what they see in furniture store show rooms and catalogs. This may seem like a good idea, but not using your own judgement and letting your personality shine through in your decorating choices may end up leaving you feeling a bit unsatisfied.

Decorating your home doesn't need to be done overnight. If you take your time and put your decor together bit by bit, one piece at a time, you'll notice that the end result is much more interesting and satisfying.


9. Your needs

Your home decor should not only reflect your own personal style, it should also reflect your needs. If you rarely have guests and eat most of your meals at the small table in the kitchen, you probably don't need a massive dining table. And do you really want a white couch when your two kids are still experimenting with crayons, paint and other stain-making substances?

Before adding something new to your home decor, always sit down and think about why you want it and whether or not you really need it.


10. On the walls

It's the most common thing to do, but there's no rule that says it has to be that way. Normally we put our furniture against the walls, which can leave a lot of space in the middle of the room. Having room to move around is good, but placing a sofa or low shelf somewhere to create a separate "nook" in the room can add a lot to the feel of the space.


11. Ornaments

It may seem like a minor point, but placing ornaments such as vases together in odd numbers can make a big difference. Try it out: put three ornaments together in an arrangement. Now try it with two. Which one looks better to you?

12. Pictures

Pictures shouldn't hang alone on a big wall. Placing pictures in small groups — especially when the pictures themselves are small — can have a much nicer effect. Arranging pictures with shelves, sideboards and side tables can also create eye-catching ensembles.


13. Bedroom

Choosing the largest bedroom in the house or apartment seems like the natural thing to do, but you might want to think again. After all, most of us only have a bed, dresser and a couple of night tables in there, and when we're there we're most often asleep. 

Consider using the guest room as you bedroom and enjoy having another big room to use for other things.


14. Hallway

We pay a lot of attention to our living rooms because we spend most of our time there and it's the place where we entertain guests. But the front hallway or entrance way to our home also deserves some attention. 

Instead of just using it as a place to dump our coats and shoes, we should make sure that the main entrance is well-organized and has lots of coat racks, hooks and floor mats so shoes and coats can be kept tidy. Remember: this is the first place in your home that people see when they visit, so try to make a good first impression!

15. The little things

It's easy to walk past all those little annoyances — eventually we get immune to them and don't see them at all. A scuff here, a scratch there, a broken light switch, a loose doorknob. Putting off these little household repairs can often lead to bigger problems, and once they add up it can seem like an impossible job to fix them all. That's why it's important to take care of the little repairs as soon as possible. You'll be glad you did.


In the end, it's your home and your decision how it should look. These aren't really "mistakes" but they are things to think about if you're not completely happy with your current home decor. With a bit of imagination and effort you can turn your home into a place that puts a smile on your face as soon as walk through the door.


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