We’ve probably all been guilty of making some decorating faux-pas.
Some are accidental, like a paint colour that looked much better on the swatch you picked up from Bunnings, while others are intentional purchases – a quirky artwork or piece of furniture – that a few years later you wish you could pretend were an accident too.
Here are some of the most common decorating choices people regret.
Over-committing to seasonal trends
One of the biggest mistakes decorators make is over-embracing seasonal trends when they are just that – seasonal.
Whether you’ve fallen in love with Pantone’s latest colour of the year or the newest wallpaper trend, it’s risky to dedicate your whole house to that look when it could be completely out of fashion in a year’s time.
While you shouldn’t avoid embracing the trends you love, the key is to incorporate it in subtle and non-permanent ways. For example, if you love the latest “it” colour you could introduce it through accessories such as cushions or a statement arm chair, as opposed to painting your whole house that colour and getting carpets to match. Once this trend moves on, you can easily switch out those smaller, non-permanent items.
A look that’s not “you”
Although you may appreciate a particular decorating style, it’s a mistake to have this look in your home if it’s just not you. For instance, an edgy industrial look may not be a good choice if you love nothing more than cuddling up on the lounge with a cup of tea and a book in a cosy environment. Similarly, the scandi, minimal look wouldn’t be the best choice if want to display all of the cherished, unique items you’ve collected on your travels, like a busy Persian carpet.
Whatever your own personal style and taste, there is usually a décor look that will match.
Pure white furniture or carpets
While the all white look may feature heavily on your “dream home” pinterest board and prove striking in interior design magazines, that’s really where this look should stay. While it’s not a look that will date, it is simply unpractical in most cases.
How long is your white carpet going to stay that way and can you really commit to a life without drinking red wine or eating pizza on your couch? Instead, opt for other soft neutrals such as greys or creams that won’t show stains and ageing as obviously.
Furniture generally doesn’t come cheap, so you want to go for something that will offer both long term style and comfort. While backless stools may go with your dining table and the look you’ve so carefully created, they’re going to prove a pain (literally) for your guests at any dinner parties.
At the end of the day your house should be a home and while you want it to look nice, it should still be liveable and comfortable.
Wide, open windows and rooms full of natural sunlight may look beautiful, but windows that have been left untreated can be a decorating regret for a number of reasons.
First of all, without any barrier, UV rays will come straight in and can damage and fade your upholstery and carpets. Secondly, there’s the matter or privacy. You might not enjoy your perfectly styled room so much if you have the constant suspicion that your neighbour is enjoying it quite a bit too. Finally, the correct window treatment can really finish off a room and add another layer of texture. Sometimes a room with bare windows, no matter how well it’s been decorated, just looks incomplete.
Once you’ve decided on the look or style of your room and are ready to start decorating, don’t make the mistake of rushing out and buying everything all at once. You might later realise that all these pieces don’t work together so well when you place them in the room.
It’s important to remember that decorating is a process and that it’s usually easier to add in elements as you go once you have a better feel for what works in that space and what doesn’t.