8 Common Living Room Design Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Whether you're a regular person who loves beautiful and functional spaces or a young interior designer just starting out, these living room design mistakes are for you.

I'll be sharing with you several interiors that are not functional and how to avoid them. Along the way, you will learn the elements of good living room design to get you started.

Here are 8 basic interior design mistakes that I feel the need to talk about today:

Too much contrast in design

1. Too much contrast

You need to let your design flow seamlessly. Contrast is an essential part of interior design, but you must know how to use contrast the right way.

Applying a single color in any space can be very boring but you don’t want certain colors to stick out too much either. I've seen some interiors that look very disturbing with their contrasting style.

So add accents and contrasting colors without overdoing it. Incorporate patterns and textures to make the contrast even easier on the eyes.

Color contrast

This is what color contrast should look like.

Disproportional furniture

2. Disproportional furniture

The next mistake I always see people making is buying disproportional furniture. You can't accurately measure a space with your eyes. Interior design is all about the details and accuracy.

Sometimes people look at a space and think items will fit, but you can never really tell just by looking at it. Even if you planned out your space, measure it anyway. If you can't do it yourself, get someone else to do it for you.

Proportional furniture

This is an example of proportional furniture.

Rug is too small

3. Wrong size of rug

It's great if you have a center rug or an area rug, but is that rug a perfect fit for the size of your living room? I've seen some people buy center rugs that looked outright silly in the space.

There's no exact size of a center rug or a specification that your living room requires, but the right thing is to have a rug big enough for all the legs of your sofa to be on it or at least a couple of legs to be on it.

I'd rather you don't have a center rug than to have a tiny thing in the middle of your room.

Well-proportioned rug

This rug fits the space nicely.

Furniture places against a wall

4. Placing furniture against the wall

This point may be a little bit controversial, but stop placing your furniture against the wall. We can make an argument for smaller apartments that are trying to maximize their space, but if you have a big apartment, why would you want to place your furniture against the wall?

Just imagine having to push everything against the wall. I mean, what's the entire space in the middle for? When everything in the living room is so distant from each other, the space will not look appealing, and it will not be cohesive at all.

Well-spaced furniture

The furniture is placed well in this space and not against any walls.

5. Using a complete sofa set

You don't have to use a complete sofa set. I mean, who says you have to use a seven-seater sofa set? I see some very tiny living rooms with a full sofa set trying to fit in. This is a big no-no.

Some living rooms need a big couch and maybe two singles. Some of them need one single couch. It depends on how big your living room is. You need to know what you need.

That's why you need to design your home according to what you actually need.

Statement furniture in a living room

The furniture in this room makes a statement and there is plenty of space to move around in.

Bad lighting

6. Inadequate lighting

Never depend on one source of light. Illumination is so important in interior design. In fact, there's almost no design without lighting.

Lighting enhances and accentuates certain decorative elements. Think of how a spotlight glitzs from above a wall frame or an art piece. It gives this funnel accent look that beautifies the space.

Wall sconces are also decorative. That's why you must find a way to include multiple light sources in your living room decoration. No one wants to be in a boring dark space.

Have a mixture of general light, warm light, and white bright light. They all create a different kind of ambiance. But the ultimate lighting solution remains natural light, and this works perfectly during the day.

Furniture that doesn't look too matchy-matchy

7. Matchy-matchy furniture.

I usually don't like to go to the store or showroom to pick up furniture sets. Most times they don't show off your taste or personality.

When the coffee table, console table, sofa, and dining table all look matchy-matchy, it will look like a cutout from a magazine. Sometimes this matchy-matchy furniture even extends to the bedroom.

I'm not saying your living room should be riotous, but it should have some style and personality that differentiates everything.

Different items can be bought from different designers and different stores, but it should have something that ties them all together.

That's why I like to take my time to design my space so that I can pick the materials and companies that are more like me.

Proportioned living room furniture

8. Not enough surface area

Coffee tables and side tables are living room essentials and must-haves. Designing and setting up your living room without those will make your space look incomplete.

But just like area rugs, you must be mindful of the size of the coffee table you use in your living room.

Perfect size coffee table

This coffee table is the perfect size and shape for this particular space.

Living room design

I hope that I have helped you learn the dos and don’ts of living room interior design today. By looking at the most common mistakes people often make, you will be able to recognize living room design ideas that actually work.

What design ideas do you consider dos and don’ts in your space? Share your likes and dislikes with others in the comments down below.

Join the conversation
5 of 9 comments
  • Faye Faye on Apr 06, 2024
    The picture showing not to place the couch against the wall is way too small to see what it actually did to the whole room. I am not getting the feel of the whole space in any of the photos. Bad article from my point of view
    • Kelly Cason Kelly Cason on May 06, 2024
      I'm not sure what you're watching the video on but there's a little emblem on the lower far right of the screen that looks kind of like the 4 inverted corners ultimately making a box sort of shape. If you tap on that emblem, it will make the video a full screen. Also. If, like me, you're watching on your phone, when it becomes full screen, it will turn sideways to watch. I hope this helps!
  • Cla77749873 Cla77749873 on Apr 07, 2024
    The only thing I'm guilty of is the furniture against the walls. I'd love to get my sofas off the walls but cant figure out how with the cable placement and then these weird bump outside on two walls where chimneys used to be. I've placed our furniture the only way I know how and it does function. Could it be more aesthetically pleasing? Probably so but I just cant figure it out.
    • See 1 previous
    • Kelly Cason Kelly Cason on May 06, 2024
      To solve similar problems, I put up bead bored or if you need something stronger, you can use T11 which is actually siding for a house and you can get it at Home Depot or any building supply. Its really inexpensive but it looks SO good on the wall! I get tons of compliments. I installed it sideways and it has a look similar to shiplap. Its so fast and easy to put up!! You could have your problem solved and have a fab looking wall in less time than it would take to paint it. Good luck!