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Top Five Decorating Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them!

There is nothing worse than getting all excited to decorate only to have your efforts fall flat. Here is an overview of the top five decorating mistakes and how to avoid them.

Number One: Not Getting Help The number one mistake homeowners make is thinking they can pull a house together by buying a few individual pieces they like and putting them in a room. This is an invitation for disaster. It is too easy to buy the wrong size (usually too big) and colors and patterns that don't mix well.

How to Avoid This Mistake: Your best bet is to call a decorator and ask for a few hours of planning help. A decorator can look at your house and find out how you plan on using each room. This will help her determine how you will live in your home. Once she knows that she can help you design a decorating plan. This plan will incorporate pieces you already have and give you a shopping list to buy against. This is the key element. A decorator will help you define color, texture, fabric and size. With just a few hours of a decorator's time, you can save yourself from making big mistakes in the furniture showroom.

Number Two: Poor Furniture Arrangement There is nothing worse than walking into a room where all the furniture is lined up against the wall. This actually makes your room look smaller. It also drains the life out of it.

How to Avoid This Mistake: The best tactic to keep in mind when arranging furniture is to never place an upholstered item against a wall. You want to create warm, intimate groupings that will give the room some character. Also, having the furniture away from the walls, makes the room look bigger. Being able to see beyond the furniture to walls visually expands the space.

Number Three: Haphazard Accessories The worst thing you can do when adding accessories to your home is to buy everything at one time. What you put around your home as accent pieces should reflect who you are. It is unlikely that you will be able to find these things all at once or in one store. There is a reason most stores sell vintage-style accessories. Accessories should look like they are a part of your history.

How to Avoid This Mistake: Try adding a child's painting or a sculpture your best friend made. It will add a personal touch to your room. The other accessory mistake is in arranging them. Don't just put one accessory in each place. Group them. Try to create a theme, find something that relates the pieces to each other. And don't be afraid to move your accessories around once in a while. There is no rule that says that decorating must stay stagnate once designed.

Number Four: Window Treatments Out of Control The biggest mistake people make when adding window treatments to a home is to forget how they will look from the outside. Sure different colors may look great from the inside, but do you really want one green window, one blue and one red from the street? It will make the outside of your home look strange and comical.

How to Avoid This Mistake: Make sure you use one consistent treatment underneath all window treatments. This could be the same color sheers or blinds. It will hide the different colors from the street view.

Number Five: Painting It Wrong Most people are simply too timid about color. They think they have to be conservative for resale value. They think they should stick to natural colors to make the room look bigger. This can be a big mistake.

How to Avoid This Mistake: Be bold. Try dramatic colors that you love. It won't change the visual size of the room. But it could change the feeling. And if you make a mistake, so what? Paint is relatively cheap and easy to cover up. But just because it is a cheaper element in the home doesn't mean it has less impact.

To avoid the biggest mistakes in decorating, you have to let your personality show through your. The style of your home should come from within. Be bold or timid, but match your personality. People should know who you are when they walk through the door.

Source: Based on information from St. Paul Magazine.

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