5 Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid & How to Prevent Them

I'll be talking about interior design mistakes that many of us make, sometimes without even realizing, but they're mistakes you want to avoid. Some of these mistakes not only look bad, but they might also dent your home's market value. Stick with me, and let's unearth these blunders together!

1. Assorted flooring types

The first mistake is having an assortment of flooring types throughout your home.

Different flooring types in one space

Have you ever walked into a home and were greeted by tile floors, carpeting, and hardwood floors all on one level?

It's like a buffet of flooring, and not in a good way! This eclectic mix can impact your home's appeal, so you want to avoid this. Nothing hurts your home value more than having three or more floorings on one level.

Consistent flooring type

Today's home buyers prefer a consistent flooring type throughout the home, with the exception of tile in the bathrooms.

Two other exceptions would possibly be a tile in the kitchen and carpeting in the bedrooms.

Tiling in the kitchen

However, while some homeowners still appreciate tile in kitchens and cozy carpets in bedrooms, the tide is turning against such combinations.

So, when planning for your space, look for a flooring material that will function well throughout the home or, at a minimum, throughout that entire level. Placing area rugs on top of that flooring will allow you to create a distinct decor in each of those spaces.

Poor lighting in a living space

2. Poor lighting

I believe that lighting is the key to great design. You could have spent tens of thousands of dollars on your home's decor, but you will have wasted your money if your lighting is poor. No amount of cash spent on chic decor will save a poorly lit room.

Having one light source in the center of the room is a design mistake you want to avoid. Your lighting should highlight all of the different elements in your room.

Different light sources in a space

You certainly want to play up your natural lighting, but there should be a primary fixed light source accompanied by recessed lighting, pendant lights, and lamps at a minimum.

Good lighting in interior design

So, if you're ever in doubt about where to invest – lighting should be at the top of your list. Good lighting is crucial.

3. Out-of-scale furnishings

Too often, people purchase furniture and accessories that are out of scale for the space. What does that mean?

Out-of-scale furnishings

Your furnishings are either too big or too small for what it was intended for.

Measure your room before buying furniture

So before you impulse buy at a large furniture store with high ceilings and plenty of space, make sure you've already measured the room and then found out the furniture's dimensions to ensure that the furniture will be proportionate to the space.

I can't stress this enough. Planning, planning, and more planning that is the key here.

Using AutoCAD to ceate layouts

I use AutoCAD to create my layouts, but if you don't have a CAD system or a CAD tool, that's fine.

Marking out furniture placement with painter's tape

You can simply take painter's blue tape, take the furniture's dimensions, and lay it out in the space you would want to see it.

This will give you a good idea of how that furniture will fit in that space. You'll need to do this before you purchase the furniture.

Measuring doors to see if furniture fits

Another little tip while we're talking about scale and measuring and furniture: do yourself a favor and measure the front door.

It's often overlooked but critical to getting the furniture from the store into your home.

Area rug that is too small

4. Too small area rugs

Mistake number four is using area rugs that are too small for the room. I know that you have heard this before, but it bears repeating.

Small rug

Avoid buying an area rug that is too small for the space.

Rug that is too small for the space

A rug that is too small for the space just looks out of scale, but more importantly, it cheapens the entire room's look.

Here's a general rule of thumb. If you are buying an area rug for a living room or a family room, start with an area rug that is at least a 9 by 12 or 11 by 14.

Choosing the right size rug

Another note for these rooms: all of the seating and tables should touch the area rug, at least the front legs, if not the entire piece.

The right size rug for a bedroom

For the bedroom, at least two-thirds of the bed should sit on the area rug, if not the entire bed.

The right size rug for a dining room

For the dining room, the table and chairs should fully sit on the area rug. No matter which room you use an area rug in, all your furniture should connect with the rug in some way.

5. Curtains hung too high or too low

With curtains, curtains that are hung low or don't touch the floor are the two mistakes you want to avoid.

Hanging curtains at the top of the window trim

That first mistake is hanging your curtains just at the top of the window trim.

Hanging curtains in the wrong place

You're not taking advantage of the height of the wall.

Hanging curtains in the right place

To correct this mistake, place your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible.

Curtains placed higher on the wall make the space feel and look bigger. With that, remember you'll need to purchase longer curtains. Otherwise, you'll quickly find yourself making the next mistake.

Curtains that are too short

And that is having curtains that don't touch the floor.

If the curtains are just half an inch or an inch off the floor, maybe that's a pass, but you really want your curtains to touch the floor, if not bend or puddle a little bit onto the floor.

Curtains that fall to the floor

This gives the curtains a full, luxe feeling. That feeling in your space is money well spent.

Interior design mistakes

Have you made any of these interior design mistakes? Share your design struggles in the comments below. Don't fret; all of the above mistakes can be easily remedied.

While the best solution is to plan ahead to avoid interior design mistakes, fixing them will be worth it when you love how your home looks.

Join the conversation
3 of 8 comments
  • Roberta D Treichel Roberta D Treichel on Feb 21, 2024
    I love the look of longer curtains but I live in an apartment with baseboard heaters and we aren't allowed to have curtains touching the heaters...just makes sense. What should I do in this situation?
    • Eva Carter-Hoyt Eva Carter-Hoyt on May 15, 2024
      Same here I live in a house with baseboards so can't have curtains hanging low. I also don't care for curtains hung way above the window or touching the floor, first we have animals so they would just get full of fur by touching the floor, also I just like the curtains to look as if they fit the window not too big or small because I think they look more tailored that way
  • Karen Smith Karen Smith on May 15, 2024
    This is the poorest written article I have ever read! The author needs to go back to school for some English and language classes.