top of page

What NOT to do in Interior Design (Easy Design Mistakes + How to Avoid Them)

Ever had the “... what was I thinking when I bought this arm chair?!” moment? Been there, done that (and sold it online at a heart-breaking discount).

More often than not, amateurs find themselves making huge design mistakes that bring unnecessary stress and hassle to their lives. And since prevention is better than cure, it’s a good idea to read up on some common mistakes and how to avoid them.

So, let’s talk about what NOT to do in interior design, i.e., mistakes that are super easy to make but also super easy to avoid by simply educating yourself.

Neglecting Lighting

Many people leave the lighting last — and that’s truly one of the worst design mistakes one can possibly make. This is because lighting makes or breaks a room. The right illumination can make even a bland space look interesting, whilst wrong lighting can destroy the most lavish of interiors.

How to avoid it: Prioritise lighting. Instead of putting it last on your list, take it into consideration early on in the design process. Begin by installing the main light, followed by lights installed for specific purposes (e.g., over a reading nook). Give the final touch by incorporating decorative lighting. Remember, lighting a space the right way makes all the difference.

If you need personalised help with your optimal lighting setup, our Interior Design Gurus can help!

Incorrectly Positioning Wall Art

Picking the perfect artwork is of no use if you don’t know how to position it correctly. Hanging art pieces too high or too low creates an odd look. If you’re hanging artwork above a piece of furniture, the orientation should not make it look too big or too small. Additionally, too many pictures clustered too close together can take away from the beauty of a gallery wall.

How to avoid it: Always hang art pieces approximately at eye level, which would be around 60 inches (152 cm) from the centre of the artwork to the ground. If it’s above some furniture, hang the artwork so that it is around two-thirds the width of the furniture piece. Also, hang the art almost 5 inches (13 cm) above the top of the furniture. For gallery walls, keep a minimum distance of 3 inches (8 cm) between all pieces.

If you need an expert eye for personalised help with your artwork positioning, our Interior Design Gurus can help!

Overmatching Decor

As much as you want to purchase that perfectly-matching bedding and furniture set, DON’T. Overmatching furniture and textiles make the space appear very monotonous — which can sometimes get boring. It also takes away from the visual interest of the room, making it look a bit… bleh.

How to avoid it: Aim to create a harmonious look instead of a matching one. Put together pieces that have something in common, for example, the same-textured and similar-hued rug and blanket against a contrasting back-drop. Make connections with your wall colour background shade using plants or flowers. You can also bring in innovation by using a statement art piece.

If you’re having trouble determining which colours or textures go well together, our Interior Design Gurus can look at your space and give you personalised advice!

Trying To Budget-Buy Everywhere

Working around a budget really helps, but budget-buys aren’t always the way to go. Several pieces are priced high for a reason, and paying more for them is worth the investment. This applies especially to furniture items that you’re likely to use for years down the line. For example, investing in a high-quality bed one time saves you from the headache of constantly having to replace it — plus, you're more likely to love it, and it will give a much more luxurious appearance (and experience) of your space!

How to avoid it: Invest in furniture items you are expected to use for long periods of time. Additionally, allow yourself to splurge once in a while on decor items, too. One expensive piece can transform the entire look of your space!

If you’re having trouble prioritising what you should invest in, our Interior Design Gurus can understand your budget, needs and preferences and give you expert, personalised guidance!

Using Dark, Bulky Furniture For Small Spaces

Choosing the (bold) colour you love for your furniture may seem like a harmless choice, but the shades and build of furniture pieces can actually determine how roomy your space looks. Dark, bulky furniture pieces, such as a dark-grey sofa with a skirted base, can make small spaces feel even more congested and cramped.

How to avoid it: Be mindful of the amount of space you have when choosing furniture build and colours. If you have a small space, opt for lighter-hued fabrics and lightweight materials. This light-reflecting colour palette will give your room a more spacious and airy feel.

Before committing to a furniture piece that you’ve seen only online, why not chat with one of our Interior Design Gurus to get their expert eye on whether it will work for your space?

Final Words

Interior designing is fun, but the creative freedom granted means there’s lots of room for easy design mistakes. And one of the best ways to avoid making these mistakes is by reading up on the most common ones and learning how to avoid them. And, of course, speaking to a professional interior designer before making any big decisions!

Want to avoid major interior design mistakes that you'll regret later down the line? Just book one of our Interior Design Gurus here for expert and personalised guidance. They can look at your space over video chat and help validate and support you on your key decisions.


👋 Sign up to stay informed

Don't miss out on the latest home trends, expert advice, exclusive discounts, and more!

bottom of page