By the Way: 5 Interior Design Mistakes You Should Stop Making Now

Written by | Art & Design, Lifestyle

number 5

We’ve all been there: Someone asks what you think of their latest design choice, and you’re stuck looking for the right words that won’t come off as offensive but also don’t fully hide your disdain. Why? You’ve encountered one of our top five interior design mistakes that everyone should stop making, like, yesterday. Here’s what they are, so you can avoid them:

5. Your Art Is Nude

The artwork you choose to hang in your house should tell story about you, but a book needs a cover. Art without a frame looks, well, naked. Before creating a gallery wall make sure you have all your ducks — well, frames — in a row. They should complement the art and one another. Otherwise your home will end up looking more like a dollar store than a stately hall at the Met.

4. You Bought the Whole Set

In our humble opinion, nothing adds life to a room like a mixing-and-matching patterns and colors or adding a beautifully repurposed piece of furniture to the mix. The individual pieces become conversation starters and the overall mise en scène makes you look well-versed in the ways of design. You know what doesn’t? Buying the whole set. People can always tell when you got lazy and purchased everything in a room from one brand. Don’t do it. It expresses no personality and tends to makes a room look cheap — no matter how much you’ve spent on it.

3. You Match Too Much

We’ve all met the person that buys exactly what the mannequin is wearing in the department store window: the pants, the top, even the belt. And even if it looks stylish in the window, dressing this way is the antithesis of style, which is supposed to be about being distinctive. The same goes for design. Once you have an idea and start buying everything to match, everything starts looking overwrought: like a nautically-themed bathroom at a beach house. If you’re going to choose a theme, balance it with accents that complement and contrast until you’ve built a space that has a sense of mature cohesiveness — as opposed to that of a dinosaur-themed child’s bedroom.

2. You Got the Wrong Rug

Proportions is the name of the game. Start with the “less-is-more” rule. The last thing you want is a gigantic piece that dominates the space and makes it appear cluttered. It minimizes the area, means the room will almost never feel clean, and ultimately cheapens the look of it by thousands of dollars. If you’ve already purchased a giant carpet (or are using one to hide a not-great floor), consider breaking up the space with a smaller piece in a complementary color instead.

1. You Forgot the Bathroom

Have you ever met a person with a beautiful face and a gym-perfected-body who is wearing an elegantly tailored suit and terrible shoes? One faux pas can throw the whole thing off. People make the same mistake with their homes, and often it is the bathroom that ends up the sad shoe of the situation. The bathroom is one of the most important and yet all-too-often overlooked spaces in any dwelling. You need it. Your loved ones need it. Your guests need it. So why wouldn’t you devote the same amount of care as you do to your other spaces? Sure, a major remodel could be pricey but consider starting by updating some of your hardware or sprucing up walls and cabinets with a fresh coat of paint. Trust me — you’ll have plenty of opportunities to admire these details.

Last modified: July 20, 2018