Top 10 Decorating Mistakes

Hey, we all make mistakes.  But we only grow if we acknowledge them and move on to better things, right?  So face your demons and check out my top 10 (ok, there are 13 on my list but top 10 sounds better) decorating mistakes:

  • Fear of Color – Sorry guys, but beige IS boring.
  • Artwork Hung too High – Don’t strain your neck, hang art at eye level!  If art is above a piece of furniture, hang it 3-6 inches above the furniture below it.
  • Unused or Underutilized Rooms – Nothing is sadder than an unused room, if you still have the old formal living room, it’s time to transform it into a functional space for your family;  make make your underutilized dining room do double-duty as a library.
  • Furniture Pushed Up Against Walls – Cozy up your space by floating furniture in comfortable groupings throughout your space.
  • Bad DIY Projects – Too much faux finishing makes me wanna faux up.
  • Matchy-Matchy – The Rooms-to-Go Syndrome, enough said.
  • Theme Decorating Gone Amuck – Animal prints can be cool if used sparingly, just resist the urge to go overboard;  same thing with beach, African, and Asian themes.  Themes shouldn’t scream at you, they should be subtle.  This is always true, unless you are going for an authentic period decor that is appropriate for the age of your home.
  • Predictable or Dated Collections – Ducks, teddy bears, presidential spoons, anything from the Franklin Mint, Bradford Exchange, or Thomas Kincaid.
  • Fake Friends (Flowers and Plants) – I am not opposed to a few good fake floral pieces, but only if they are used seasonally when that plant/flower actually blooms!  I have a few beautiful pink peonies that I put in a couple of vases throughout my home, but I only use them in May-June!  Peonies don’t bloom in November, you know.  Ivy trailing around your chandelier?  Dusty ficus in every corner?  Put them in your next yard sale.
  • Recliners – If you must lay down every time you watch TV, maybe you should just go to bed.  Here’s an idea –  get an ottoman.
  • Over-oversized couches and chairs – If your feet dangle in mid-air when you sit, your furniture is too big for you.
  • Bad sectionals – Not all sectionals are bad, but most I’ve seen in real homes are.  It’s just lazy to expect one piece of furniture to be large enough to seat everyone you know.  If you MUST have a sectional, let me find you a cool one at 2 Danes or something!
  • Overhead Lighting – Buy a few lamps, people.  You aren’t in prison.

Do you have a Decorating Mistake that I missed?  Leave a comment below and let us know your decorating pet peeve!

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9 thoughts on “Top 10 Decorating Mistakes

  1. Julia says:

    Hey Kristie,
    Thanks for sharing those great tips. I have to admit I’m guilty of a few of those, but I’m not telling which ones!

  2. kristiebarnett says:

    And Andrea, what about those square pillows sitting up on their point so they look like a diamond? I think that was big in the early 80’s, back when the karate-chop was in. When I was in Tucson in the fall, I was at a resort that had just redone their whole lobby area – and lo and behold, the pillows were up on their points! Maybe that’s making a comeback . . .

  3. Andrea says:

    You would know, Michelle, because you would have to put your pillow on the couch/bed/chair and chop it in the middle and leave it that way. I’ll try to find a pic later to show you. It’s so weird!

    K — I didn’t know that it was done in the 80’s!!! It def has made a comeback, then. I do remember the point-up pillows, though. Very funny.

  4. Andrea says:

    The biggest mistake = Too. Much. Clutter.

    Wasn’t it Coco Chanel who said when you are finished getting dressed take off one accessory? Same goes for your rooms.

  5. Debbie Hostetler says:

    Kristie,
    This stuff is so cool!!! How long have you had this website and info. on the internet? You are soooo with it!!! I love looking at the “before and after” pics!! Soooo, when are you coming to Centerpoint, Indiana again? That might be kinda expensive for me…I’m assuming you would need to charge mileage!! ha! I’m sure you could do wonders for our house! I’ve really been meaning to send you pics of the addition! I’ll try to do that soon since I now have a digital camera! I’m trying to also get my profile pic on Facebook soon!!!

  6. Andrea says:

    I would add fake fruit to the Fake Friends mistakes. Oy vey. It’s a terrible feeling to reach for that dusty plastic banana…

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