9 Common Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid

April 27, 2021

Being able to design your own custom home and watch it come to life is exciting. It can also be overwhelming to handle on your own because every detail is up to you and it can be easy to miss something or make mistakes. Whether you’re about to start the process or are still thinking about what your dream home looks like, here are some common interior design mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 – Making Everything the Same Height

If everything in a room is the same height, then it is all on the same visual plane and there is nowhere for the eye to go. This can make a room look uninteresting and also feel stunted. Instead, include furniture and decor that varies in height.

Every piece doesn’t need to be different. But, including a tall bookcase or cabinet, opting for a lighting fixture that makes a statement, and more can add levels to a room, make it more interesting, and improve the overall atmosphere in it.

Mistake #2 – Choosing the Wrong-Sized Furniture for the Space

Another one of the common interior design mistakes to avoid is choosing the wrong-sized furniture for the space. Some spaces can handle oversized furniture and others can’t. At the same time, putting smaller furniture in a spacious room can also create issues.

It’s important to consider the space you have available in a room and the atmosphere you’re trying to create. From there, you can figure out the range of sizes and number of pieces that will work well in it.

You may be able to get away with an oversized armchair, but maybe not an oversized armchair in addition to an oversized combination sofa and lounger. Avoiding this mistake is all about finding the right balance for your space.

Mistake #3 – Creating an Unbalanced Layout

Things don’t need to be perfectly symmetrical to have a great layout. But, you do need to be aware of how an unbalanced layout can negatively affect a room.

For example, pushing furniture against the walls may open up the middle of a room, but it creates an unbalanced layout, makes the room seem empty, and often makes it awkward to use.

On the other hand, stuffing as much as you can into one area makes it overcrowded. This often overwhelms the room, makes it look and feel cluttered, and also makes it difficult to move around and use comfortably.

Floating your furniture away from the walls, breaking up your layout into sections, and centering things around a focal point are all great room layout ideas. They can help you create a more balanced and functional layout in a great room and in other rooms of your home.

Mistake #4 – Adding Too Much to the Room

Crowding your furniture is a common interior design mistake and so is adding too much to the room in general. Any of this tends to overcrowd the space and give you a cluttered look and feel. This is one of the great room design mistakes to avoid and it’s a good guideline to follow as you design other rooms of your home as well.

This mistake also goes beyond furniture and decor. It can be easy to get caught up in options and architectural details and go overboard there. Paint, patterns, trim, interior columns, and more are all options you have available. Depending on how they are included, you could end up with an interior design that is too over-the-top before you even add any decor.

Even maximalism is about avoiding an overwhelming or cluttered look despite being focused on adding a lot. A custom home builder with an in-house design/build process can help make sure you get the look you want without going overboard.

Mistake #5 – Shying Away From Color or Saturating the Room With Color

Another one of the common interior design mistakes to avoid is getting your colors wrong. A room that shies away from color too much becomes too neutral and often gives off a cold, sterile look and feel. On the other hand, a room that is too saturated with color or uses too many colors becomes overwhelming.

You can have a room that is focused on a neutral color palette that still looks interesting and feels warm and inviting. At the same time, you can have a room that uses vibrant, bold colors and still offers a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere. When it comes to color, it’s all about getting the mix of colors in your palette right and striking the right balance for the room.

Mistake #6 – Getting Too Caught up in Trends

Although interior design trends are a great source of inspiration, one of the common interior design mistakes is getting too caught up in them. Trends come and go and some of them should stay away forever. It’s fine to take inspiration from what’s popular if it’s something you like and will make your home better for you.

The mistake comes in if you get too focused on what’s popular and start including things that don’t make sense for you and won’t make sense once the trend is no longer popular. It’s your home and it should be personal to you. If that happens to align with what’s currently popular, then you likely get to benefit from having a lot of available options to get the look you want.

Mistake #7 – Not Including the Right Lighting

Lighting can completely change the atmosphere of a room. If you don’t have enough lighting, it can really throw off the look and feel of the room, and often not in a good way. The same can happen if you have lighting in the wrong places or the wrong type of lighting for the atmosphere you want to create.

In addition to natural light from windows, sun tunnels, or skylights, there are also plenty of other lighting options to choose from to help you get the right mix. By having multiple light sources and layering lighting appropriately, you can create the ambiance you want and get the light you need with some flexibility.

Mistake #8 – Hanging Wall Decor Incorrectly

Art, pictures, posters, and more can all fill space on a wall and enhance a room. But, if it’s hung at the wrong height or grouped weirdly, it can throw off the design of a room instead and be distracting.

One of the ways to get the placement right is to trace the frames on paper and cut them out. Then, you can use these cut-outs to play around with placement options until you find the right fit. This allows you to mark out the arrangement before you put any holes in your walls or hang the art and is one of the useful gallery wall tips as well.

It’s also generally a good idea to hang things at or around eye level. Too far above or below that point can make things look off. Other scenarios and placements can work in some situations, but this is a good general guideline to follow for hanging art.

Mistake #9 – Keeping Things You Don’t Like

It’s easy to accumulate stuff over the years. You may inherit items, people may gift you things, you collect things on your own, and more. There may be pieces you absolutely love and would never dream of getting rid of, but there are probably some items that you don’t like at all and are keeping anyway.

This is why one of the common interior design mistakes is holding on to things you don’t like out of a sense of duty or guilt because it was a gift or belonged to a friend or family member. If you don’t like the item and can’t stand to display it in your home, there’s no reason to keep it.

If you can upcycle or repurpose it into something you do like, then that could be a fun project. If you can’t, then it’s time to hand it off to someone who will like it, sell it, or recycle your old furniture.

These are just a few common interior design mistakes to avoid. If you’re ready to get started on your own custom home, partnering with an experienced, reputable builder can help you avoid missteps and get an end result you will love. Contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090 to start bringing your dream home to life!