Nobody gets it right 100% of the time – learning to decorate your home is an ongoing learning process. Your home decor ideally reflects who you are as a person; it should also create a space that's appealing to the senses and convenient for your lifestyle. As you attempt to strike this perfect balance, it's easy to fall off track, resulting in spaces that hit the extremes: overwhelming or underwhelming, cluttered or sparse, one-sided or none-sided, etc. You don't have to be a professional interior decorator, but it does help to pay attention to your space and how its layout makes you feel. Have a look at these home decor mistakes, and see if you can use them to enact minor changes that bring more balance, consistency, and appeal to your interior space.
Everyone's place gets cluttered with magazines, backpacks, and papers from time to time, but in some cases, it's the furniture itself that's eating up the space in the room. Your living space should have space to live in, and this means keeping some of that space reserved for absolutely nothig at all. That is, you need space for air to circulate, for blank spaces to create a balanced contrast with furnished areas, and for the general moving around that happens within your home. In this living room, the curtains seem to dominate the window with bold vertical stripes that collect on the ground, while the TV on the left, the dense fur rug in the middle, and the couch on the right create the impression that there's a large, bulky object wherever you look. Finding furniture with lighter colours, finer lines, and lower profiles lessens the potential of bulky objects swallowing up your room.
The designs that you see in magazines and at friends' houses are lovely, but they are not your own. If you don't absolutely love what you've done to your space, it could be that you've restrained your own personal sense of style, opting for artwork, layouts, fabrics, and lighting that all came from the same section at your nearest home furnishings store. While it's nice to have your decor predetermined for you, it really fails to reflect who you are as a unique individual. Embrace your personal touch, and add it to every room. If you like bold colours, add them. If you like antique lighting, hit the thrift stores. If you like sitting on the floor, get some floor cushions. If you want to display your travel souvenirs, find a spot on the wall to build a shelf for them. In other words, work some of your own style into your space!
What's cooler than walking into a room and seeing a eye-catching statement piece like this metallic bathtub? A focal point gives the room a center, a sense of establishment, and, if nothing else, a really interesting conversation piece. If your space is laking a focal point in each room, the good news is that it's relatively easy to create. Simply determine which object you'd like people to look at, and compose the room to point the eyes towards that piece – in this example, the tub is placed under a window that marks the center of the room, making it an obvious location for a focal point. However, your focal point can be off to one side, just as long as it stands out – choose a brightly coloured frame for a picture, create symmetry around the object by rearranging the surrounding pieces, or add lighting to the area that you'd like people to see as the centerpiece of the room.
Short, sweet, and to-the-point: it's not necessary to match everything. Making sure that your linens match the color of your walls is not only extremely difficult, but also rather unappealing. It's possible to pick up the tones from your walls in other aspects of the room (the rug, the lamp, a painting, a contrast pillow), but matching the linens is just too much.
Think outside the box by making sure that you have elements that break out of your central theme (a good way to know whether you're thinking too much inside the box is whether all of your decor actually came in boxes, all from the same aisle). In this photo, a black-and-white striped pillow breaks the pattern of the colourful ones, providing a point of visual interest that keeps things from getting stale. Mix strips with dots, mix furs with satin, mix lamps of various heights – whatever it is, always include something in each room that says,
I think outside the box!
Just like taking on too many activities, putting up too much decoration can be absolutely overwhelming. Scale back – if you find that you can sit in your bathroom and spend more than 5 minutes taking in every object in the room, there's simply too much. Decorations are a nice reflection of your personality, but they should not hinder your ability to think clearly and enjoy your space! In this particular bathroom, the bold stripes were already enough – with the addition of so many trinkets, frames, and ornamentation, this bathroom has been lost in an even, confusing spread of stuff. A good way to conquer a de-cluttering project is to remove everything from the room, place it in a box, and wait a few days before you reopen the box to decorate. The fresh perspective and the elapsed time will tell you which items are worth putting back up.
Still having trouble simplifying your space? Check out this ideabook for tips on making your home the cleanest it's ever been!