Decorating your home is a very personal thing. Some people feel there are strict rules about how to decorate. You know what they say about rules though, they’re meant to be broken or at least bent a little. Interior design at its heart is purely about making your space comfortable for yourself, your family, your lifestyle. It needs to bring joy and make you feel happy. However, there are a few décor mistakes you can make when it comes to style and furniture; this article will help you identify and avoid them.

Before you begin to decorate a space, remember to scale back on what you have currently. Don’t keep anything that you don’t love. It may not fit with your personal esthetic, could be totally ugly, or even linked to a bad memory. You are under no obligation to hold onto it if it does not spark joy.

On Consistent Style

The home is a box you live in, a blank slate that you can furnish to your own tastes and sensibilities. The slate is very nearly blank from the moment you take possession of the keys. Just remember that the house is a whole and while you can exercise your creativity in each and every space, the home should be cohesive when you step back and view it as that whole. It doesn’t mean that every wall should be the same color and you use the same throw pillows throughout. Instead, use a similar palette in each room – darker or lighter – and the same overarching design sensibility – like Traditional design. Each room can be unique, have additions that spark happiness, but as a whole is a cohesive design. Find a design style that works best for you, whether it is Traditional, Contemporary, Transitional, or Rustic, for example.

It may just be me, but no one has time (or space) for a formal living room anymore. You know the space that no one was allowed to use unless someone special, like the president, came over. Nowadays an overly formal space is considered uncomfortable and stiff. You can create a more formal and stylish area using the theories of Traditional design, ensuring you keep things cozier with a fireplace, plush throws, pillows, and plants.

Speaking of formal, pushing your furniture against the wall, while it may not be avoidable in a number of situations or rooms, it can make the space feel cavernous and closed-off at the same time in others. Using the fireplace and an area rug, you can gather furniture around that into a more conversation-area-like setting. A console table behind the couch can provide the ideal space to display a favorite piece or accessory.

Ascent BL36 Furniture Living Room Lifestyle

On Furniture

You know the old saying “Measure twice, cut once.” It is the same for buying furniture. ALWAYS. MEASURE. BEFORE. BUYING. Like a few times. You cannot return a custom piece that you purchase, so you need to know the size of the space that you are putting this furniture into, you also need to know the proper scale of this furniture. Think about it this way. You wouldn’t put an overstuffed reclining sectional sofa into a small bachelor apartment, just like you wouldn’t furnish a cavernous living-dining room with only a couple of club chairs.

An easy way to manage this is to use masking tape and create silhouettes of the size of your furniture on the floor – even up the walls if you haven’t painted yet. This will give you great visual scale. You can do something similar by laying out your room to scale on graph paper then adding cutouts of the furniture you were thinking. This will give you an idea of scale in comparison to the room, with the added bonus of allowing you to visualize the layout.

Another great idea for furniture is to not shop in the same store. The idea behind this is so that you don’t wind up with a bland, sterile, catalog-looking room. All matching and no fun makes your rooms dull. Looking around will allow you to find a few, full of character, pieces that you love and prevent you from buying a whole set.

The other thing to consider when making large purchases, especially furniture, is your lifestyle. Kids and pets are wonderful, but they also leave messes, fur, spots, food, well you get it. They can be rough on things. Ensure you get things that will stand up to the usage they are going to get. This is better than using slipcovers that may not add to your design sensibilities.

Rustic and Traditional style encourage wood in their designs. Be aware of the wood tones you are inviting as different tones can be overwhelming to a space if you have chocolatey tones of walnut mixed with bright red cherries and chestnuts mixed with honeyed pine or whitewashed oak. One or two different woods or different tones is quite alright, however wood on wood with a little wood on the side can become a bit much.

Working with these general rules will definitely help ensure that your home is a cohesive and comforting whole. Find out about more of the top décor mistakes and how to avoid them with our blog about Paint and Color, and our blog about Windows, Floors, and Electronics.