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Stop Making These Interior Design Errors! Here's How to Avoid Them

A Perfectly Balanced And Well Lit Living Room
Interior Design Living Room

Common Interior Design Errors And How To Avoid Them

Interior design is more than just making a space look good; it’s about creating an environment that feels right, functions well, and reflects who you are. Yet, even the most well-intentioned decorators can make mistakes that throw off the balance and harmony of a room. Understanding these common errors and how to avoid them is essential for creating a space that’s both beautiful and functional.

Overcrowding the Space

One of the most frequent mistakes in interior design is overcrowding. This happens when a room is filled with too much furniture or decor, making it feel cramped and chaotic. Instead of creating a cozy and inviting space, it becomes overwhelming and uncomfortable.

To avoid overcrowding, focus on functionality. Keep only the essential pieces that serve a purpose or bring joy. Use multi-functional furniture, such as ottomans with storage or extendable dining tables, to maximize space without compromising on style. Remember, less is often more. A few well-chosen items can make a room feel spacious and airy.

Ignoring Scale and Proportion

Another common error is ignoring scale and proportion. This mistake occurs when furniture or decor items are too large or too small for the room, disrupting the visual harmony. A tiny coffee table in a large living room or an oversized sofa in a small apartment can throw off the balance.

To get the scale and proportion right, measure your space before buying furniture. Choose pieces that complement the room’s dimensions and create a balanced look. For example, in a large room, opt for a sizable sofa and a substantial coffee table. In smaller spaces, select furniture with a lighter footprint, like a loveseat instead of a full-sized sofa.

Poor Lighting Choices

Lighting is crucial in setting the mood and functionality of a room. Relying on a single source of light or using harsh, unflattering lighting can ruin the ambiance and make a space feel uninviting.

The key to good lighting is layering. Combine ambient lighting (such as ceiling fixtures) with task lighting (like desk lamps) and accent lighting (such as wall sconces or candles). Use dimmers to adjust the brightness according to the time of day or activity. Softer bulbs with a warm glow can create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Neglecting Color Cohesion

Color has a significant impact on how a room feels. Clashing colors or an incohesive color palette can make a space feel chaotic and unsettling. A well-thought-out color scheme, on the other hand, can tie a room together and create a sense of harmony.

Start by choosing a base color that you love and build from there. Use a color wheel to find complementary colors and stick to a palette of two to three main colors. You can add variety with different shades and textures, but keep the overall scheme cohesive. This approach ensures that the colors flow naturally from one room to the next, creating a balanced and serene environment.

Forgetting Personal Touches

A beautifully designed space that lacks personal touches can feel cold and impersonal, like a showroom rather than a home. Your space should reflect your personality and tell your story.

Incorporate personal items, such as family photos, artwork, or souvenirs from your travels. These items add character and warmth, making the space uniquely yours. Don’t be afraid to mix old and new, or high and low items, to create a layered and lived-in look.

Other Common Design Mistakes

Overlooking functionality is another frequent error. A room that looks great but doesn’t function well is not truly successful. Consider the practical needs of the space and ensure there’s enough storage, seating, and workspace.

Not considering traffic flow can also be a problem. Ensure there are clear pathways and that furniture placement allows for easy movement through the room.

Using too many trends can date your space quickly. While it’s fun to incorporate trendy items, balance them with timeless pieces that will stand the test of time.


Avoiding these common interior design mistakes can make a significant difference in how your space looks and feels. By focusing on functionality, scale, lighting, color cohesion, and personal touches, you can create a beautiful, harmonious environment that truly feels like home.


  1. What are some tips for small spaces?

  • Use multi-functional furniture, keep the color palette light, and utilize vertical space for storage.

  1. How can I make a room feel larger?

  • Use mirrors to reflect light, choose furniture with legs to create a sense of openness, and keep the room clutter-free.

  1. What’s the best way to mix patterns?

  • Stick to a cohesive color scheme, vary the scale of the patterns, and balance busy patterns with solids.

  1. How do I choose a color scheme?

  • Start with a base color you love, use a color wheel to find complementary colors, and stick to a palette of two to three main colors.

  1. What are some affordable ways to update a space?

  • Paint a feature wall, update soft furnishings like cushions and throws, add new lighting, and incorporate plants for a fresh look.


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