Style & Design

Are You Guilty of Making these 10 Common Interior Design Mistakes?

Choosing the right furniture, making sure the artwork is in the right spot, figuring out the lighting. Then, on top of all that, you also have to think about wall paint colors, furniture finishes, textures, rug heights, the list goes on and on. Nobody ever said decorating your house was going to be easy. After all, you're not an interior designer. Right? 

Luckily for you, the interior designers at Spacejoy have seen a couple of common mistakes a little too many times. Keep reading to know if you've been found guilty of making some of the most common interior design mistakes. But most importantly, how to make sure you never do these again.

The top 10 common interior design mistakes everyone makes:

  1. Insisting on bigger furniture
  2. Missing the mark with mirrors, artwork, and curtains
  3. Choosing the wrong rug size
  4. Missing the mark with the paint color
  5. Not having a plan
  6. Not having a focal point
  7. Leaving the clutter out
  8. Only having one source of lighting
  9. Placing the furniture against the wall
  10. Hanging the curtains too low

Mistake #1: Insisting on Bigger Furniture

The first mistake comes from our designers, Marisa Rhone and Micaela Farley. While creating beautiful interior layouts, they both battled with many homeowners doing whatever they can to fit large sections or way too big sofas into small spaces. Hear us out; even if these furniture pieces fit within the space, that doesn't mean they don't need room around them. After all, you're supposed to be able to move around your furniture; you shouldn't have to jump on the table to get out of your sofa. 

How to Avoid this Mistake:

While large furniture is always comfortable and gives you an idea of having a bigger space, trying to fit it in a small room might make things look cluttered, and eventually, the room will look smaller. Make sure to leave enough room between furniture pieces like a sofa or coffee table for someone to move between them without touching the furniture freely. Ideally, you need between 2-3 feet of space to move around comfortably.

Mistake #2: Missing the Mark with Mirrors, Artwork & Curtains

Everyone wants to hand in their favorite artwork to showcase their personality. You also read somewhere that adding a mirror will make the room look more spacious, just like having curtains installed will create the illusion of a higher ceiling. Our designer Lauren Kokenes wants you to know that you're hanging your mirrors and artwork too high, and your curtains are probably too low. 

How to Avoid this Mistake:

All your artwork and mirrors must be hanged at eye level, nothing higher or lower than that. You should be able to stand in front of the piece and see it perfectly without looking up or down. For your curtains, the story is different. Try to position the curtains a bit higher than usual to give the illusion of having higher ceilings and windows.

Mistake #3: Choosing the Wrong Rug Size

You probably read somewhere that adding a rug to a room will help you frame the furniture better. Well, our designer Heather Wise, wants you to stop choosing the wrong size. "I see this all of the time! People will use a 5x8 rug next to a large sofa or a small rug in the dining room- and the chairs hang over it," shares Heather. 

How to Avoid this Mistake:

Heather suggests that the best way to prevent this from happening is by measuring the space. Remember that rugs can be hard to eye at the store, and without proper rug sizing guidelines choosing the perfect one is almost impossible.

Mistake #4: Missing the Mark with the Paint Color

One thing is getting all the furniture right, but it can easy to miss your interior decor when you have the wrong paint color. Our designer Sarah Nelson says, "often, the color you choose, based on a swatch, is too bright/saturated/pigmented than what you want in your space."

How to Avoid this Mistake:

Sarah recommends that you should ask for colors that have gray or white undertones when you go paint-shopping versus the brighter colors. If possible, try to see an actual wall sample instead of the paper ones; these will reflect how the color will look in the end. You can check our guide on how to find your color palette for reference.

Mistake #5: Not Having A Design Plan

Most people don't have a plan when it comes to decorating their homes. Instead, they start adding as they go. The problem with this approach is that your design style and taste might change over time. Eventually, you end up with mixed elements and design styles that might clash against each other. 

How to Avoid this Mistake:

Work with professionals! Hiring an online interior designer is no longer a luxury; only a handful can afford it. Today, thanks to online interior design services like Spacejoy, you can connect with an interior designer to start planning your dream home. 

Mistake #6: Not Having a Focal Point

bedroom decor with focal point

When every item in your home decor is fighting for attention, things get messy. A focal point can be anything from the couch, a piece of artwork, a coffee table, or the rug. Don’t get us wrong; you can have multiple focal points in one room. The problem arises when every major item you add wants to be a focal point. 

How to Avoid this Mistake: Try to pick your central focal point. This could be a large item like a couch, coffee table, or rug. In this case, they don’t have to be colorful or immediately pop out, but they need to have texture, layers, or something else that sets them apart. An easy way to pick a focal point is to choose a sculpture or a statement wall art piece.

Mistake #7: Leaving the Clutter Out

living room with baskets for clutter

We all have clutter, that’s a fact. But, leaving the clutter out for display can instantly tarnish the way a room looks and feels. Clutter can easily make a beautiful space look crowded, messy, and uninspirational. Not to mention, coming home to a cluttered space will only intensify your stress levels.

How to Avoid this Mistake: While you don’t necessarily have to turn into Marie Kondo, you can use a few tricks to keep the space organized. Incorporate trays and baskets into your room designs to quickly help you hide clutter without too much effort.

Mistake #8: Only Having One Source of Lighting

living room with different lighting sources

This is a common mistake people make all the time, almost in every room of the house. We’re so accustomed to having a major light over our dining table, one on our bedtable, and another by the couch. However, one source of lighting will make your space look dull and simple.

How to Avoid this Mistake: Instead of only using one lighting source, try to layer different styles. For example, you can have a ceiling and a floor lamp in your dining room. Have wall sconces and table lamps in your living room. The bedroom is another place where layering lighting can be helpful.

Mistake #9: Placing the Furniture Against the Walls

furniture not against the wall

If you have a tiny space, you can’t avoid making this mistake. However, if you have room to play around, please stop thinking your walls are some guide or rule to place your furniture. This usually leaves large, empty spaces, plus it messes up the whole conversational layout as pieces are too far from each other. 

How to Avoid this Mistake: To place your furniture, make sure there’s enough walking space behind and around your largest furniture pieces. Always make sure that accent chairs are still close enough to the sofa or couch to have conversations. For things like your media console, you can place them against the wall if necessary. But don’t let that hold you back. You can put it by a corner if you want to break up the traditional layout. 

Mistake #10: Hanging Curtains Too Low

hanging curtains higher in living room

Most of us aren’t blessed with beautiful high ceilings, so we have to fake them. Even still, most people think they must hang their curtains above the frame. This only makes your ceiling seem lower and your windows smaller. 

How to Avoid This Mistake: Have fun and place your curtains way higher than their window frame. If you’re dealing with shallow ceilings, you can get away with placing your window curtains almost as high as the ceiling. This will give the subtle effect that you have floor-to-ceiling windows and will instantly transform your space.

Customer Stories

Explore customer designs

Ready to get started?