Top interior design mistakes and how to avoid them

an interior design layout of an open-plan kitchen and living area featuring neutral colours and furniture

Worried about décor disasters in 2023? Don’t be. Here, experts explain the five top interior design mistakes and how to avoid them.

With searches for ‘interior design trends 2023’ on the rise, people are already looking for ways to refresh their homes in the new year. ‘Top interior design mistakes’ might not be quite as popular a search term.

But, with countless Pinterest boards and influencers providing home décor inspiration, it can be all too easy to make quick design decisions. Snap decisions based on something seen online can often lead to regret if it doesn’t suit your style or requirements long-term.

Here, interior design experts Lucy Henderson and Milena Vallier at My Bespoke Room share the most common design mistakes. The pros see these time and time again, and give their top tips on how to avoid them.

an interior design 3D rendered image of a freestanding white modern bath and freestanding brass tap in front of a background of foliage and a fluted black screen
Top interior design mistakes: when you get it right, interior design is stunning. Photography: iStock / alvarez.

Top interior design mistakes: Not having a clear vision

This common mistake often happens when people rush into a room transformation without a clear vision of the end result.

People tend to design their spaces from details upwards rather than the other way around. But we would always suggest having a very holistic approach to the design to avoid the final results looking disjointed.

Mood boards are a wonderful way of creating a design scheme for a room, and we would always advise having one before starting a project.

an interior design mood board with different materials on a floor plan of a house
Top interior design mistakes: not creating a mood board before starting a project. Photography: iStock / Pablo Vivaracho Hernandez.

Buying the wrong size furniture

Another common design mistake, and one that many are guilty of making, is buying furniture that’s the wrong size for the room. This can really alter a space, for example, a banquet-size dining table in a small room will only make it feel smaller. Equally, a tiny sofa in a lofty space will look comical!

Make sure you measure up correctly and use a floor plan to be certain before you buy. Don’t spend lots of money on huge items before you know if they will fit.

an interior design image featuring a wooden dining table and chairs in a neutral Scandinavian-style room
Top interior design mistakes: buying the wrong size furniture. Photography: imaginima.

Top interior design mistakes: Trying to mix too many different styles

With so many styles out there, it can be overwhelming when deciding how you want a room to look and feel. From contemporary to art deco to maximalism and thousands more décor styles, there’s lots to take inspiration from. But having too much of a mix can lead to the end result looking like a real mess.

This is one of the biggest mistakes we see regularly, one trick for mixing styles together is the 70/30 rule. So use about 70% of the space in one style and then add the 30% of a different style. For example, you could spice up a very traditional space with a few contemporary pieces.

an interior design image featuring a round wooden dining table with pink and teal velvet chairs around it in a modern living room
Top interior design mistakes: mixing too many different styles. Photography: iStock / FollowTheFlow.

Not having enough contrast 

Not having enough contrast in your home décor can make a space dull and flat, which can then reflect on your mood. Contrast is key to highlight certain features in a room.

It’s largely about colour. But contrast can be achieved whether you’re mixing shades or adding texture with different materials or plants. Contrast is key to adding depth to your space.

For example, in a neutral scheme, natural elements can make a lovely contrast without being too overwhelming.

a low double bed dressed in neutral bed linen in front of a fluted wooden backing in a bedroom with floor to ceiling curtains
Top interior design mistakes: not having enough contrast. Photography: iStock / alvarez.

We all love an interior trend, but they can come and go very quickly. So if you’re too quick to buy into a fad, you may then realise too late that’s it’s not really your style. Relying heavily on trends can have a negative impact on how we feel in our homes.

Your home should be unique to you, so use trends as inspiration rather than a strict formula to follow.

Lucy Henderson, Head of Design at My Bespoke Room, says: “We have clients that come to us and they’ve created a space but it really doesn’t feel like them. They’ve maybe been influenced by someone else’s home or somebody’s house they’ve seen on social media.”

“It’s virtually impossible not to get influenced by all the styles we see around. You need to take your time to consider what you enjoy and how you want your house to feel. Unless you want to constantly be updating your home.”

a green and blue bathroom with plants in with a black steel-framed shower screen and a black shower
Top interior design mistakes: relying on design trends. Photography: iStock / Imgorthand.

Featured image: iStock / alvarez.

So, did you enjoy this feature on the top interior design mistakes? Then you’ll also love our feature on the top kitchen design mistakes.

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