My Biggest Decorating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Friday, October 12

Sometimes decorating a room can be difficult. There are multiple of untold "rules" interior designers know but rarely talk about. Similar to fashion, some rules are meant to be broken while others are made to be kept. Knowing which ones to break and which ones to keep can be difficult for the average person but today sharing some basic interior design rules that are worth keeping and how I wasted hundreds of dollars breaking them.



SIDE NOTE: Although this post is extremely opinionated, keep in this in mind; decorating is a form of art, therefore, it's up to you to decide what looks appropriate and what doesn't. Everyone's style is different which means you can break a rule whenever you want. Remember, it's your house. You pay the bills (not me!), so decorate it however you like. This is just a lighthearted post sharing how I made some huge mistakes and how you can avoid them.


Mistake #1 - CHEAP PILLOWS

My first mistake is one many people tend to make. It began when I moved out my parents home for the first time. I didn't have a lot of money but I wanted my small apartment to look like a spinning image of the homes on HGTV home. Obviously, my previous income didn't provide enough cash flow for a lavish HGTV home so I decided to take the cheap route by purchasing cheap $2 outdoor/indoor pillows from Walmart. At the time, I thought it was an amazing deal and bought a cart full of brick pillows. Flash forward to now and my home is littered with these crunchy, cheap pillows. Luckily none of my guests say anything about my cheap pillows but I know they're dud because they kindly avoid them. Instead of laying or sitting on them, they opt for throwing the pillows on the ground. Long story short, I should have bought two quality pillows at a department store instead of 15 cheap ones



How to Fix it - PAY ATTENTION TO THE FABRIC

I could write an entire post about this but the best places to find quality pillows (for an inexpensive price) is Target, Amazon, and stores like TJMAXX. Learn from my mistake and avoiding indoor/outdoor pillows for interior decor. Don't let the "indoor/outdoor" marketing tag trick you,  these type of pillows are stiff because they're made for patio decoration. That's it! Only buy indoor/outdoor pillows if you intend on using them for exterior purposes.

QUICK TIP: Outdoor pillows require tough filling so they can dry quickly while quality indoor pillows are filled with foam, memory gel, feathers, cotton, and other soft materials.


Mistake #2 - TOO MANY REAL PLANTS

Storytime! When I was younger I was obsessed with a DC villain called Poison Ivy. I adored her because she had a unique ability to manipulate plants. With this power, she would use plants to attack Batman and Robin, casually lour men to her home (to kill them), and keep plants alive in her awesome "green" house. As a kid, I admired Posin Ivy and always wanted to be like her (minus the louring men to kill them part, lol). I promised myself that I would have a house full of plants and literally live in a greenhouse just like Poison Ivy. Flash forward to now and I realize how far-fetched my dreams were. First, I suck at keeping plants alive. Second, I'm far too busy to constantly tend to them. I mean let's be real, plants are basically immobile pets and I highly doubt Poison Ivy had enough time to water 500 plants, fight Batman, steal diamonds, and lour men to kill them (again, I don't condone that part!).



How to Fix it - ADOPT LOW MAINTENANCE PLANTS

My fix? Meet the longest plant I've kept alive, my adorable aloe vera. This little guy lasted two years because he's strong and independent. He's never thirsty, stays out the shade, and thrives on positive sunlight (lol!). He's amazing.

QUICK TIP: Instead of buying tropical plants opt for snake plants, cacti, and ivy plants. They're amazing because they require little to no maintenance and stay alive forever.


Mistake #3 - SMALL LAMPS

In my humble opinion, small lamps look good in only four places; offices, built-in shelving units, tiny homes, and children bedrooms. If you use a small lamp in a large space (such as the living room) they'll look disproportion to the area and won't provide enough light.


How to Fix it - EXTEND THE HEIGHT OF THE LAMP AND REPLACE THE SHADE

This one was a little tricky to fix because I didn't want to purchase a new lamp. I knew the lamp I owned was too small for my space I put it in but I didn't want to get rid of it. After much consideration, I decided to use an acrylic box and a marble sample as a base for the lamp. Doing this raised the lamp, making it almost as tall as the TV (which is an ideal height for a lamp).

QUICK TIP: Remember to replace the lampshade whenever you extend the height of your lamp. I plan on updating my lampshade but I didn't have time to do it before this post. Doing this will make your lamp appear bigger without paying a big price to replace it.


Mistake #5 - CHEAP FAUX FLOWERS

Don't get me wrong, I love faux flowers! But I made a huge mistake when I purchased low-quality, faux flowers. Look at the picture above, both flowers are from the Dollar Tree but one looks like styrofoam while the other looks like an actual flower. Keep in mind, they were purchased at the same store for the same price but one looks more realistic while the other resembles a crappy DIY fail.

How to Fix it - CHEAK THE QUALITY BEFORE PURCHASING

Don't make my mistake, don't ignore the warning signs of cheap fake flowers. If you see pieces of the flower falling off, return it ASAP. Over time, it's only going to look worse.


Mistake #5 - CHEAP SOFA

This was my biggest and most expensive mistake. Every time I walk into my living room I'm instantly reminded how I wasted close to $300 on a piece of crap. This couch was a huge decorating mistake because it's hard, crunchy, wobbly,  an awkward color, and can barely fit two adults. To put it shortly, it's basically the opposite of what a sofa should be.


How to Fix it - READ THE REVIEWS & DOUBLE CHECK THE MEASUREMENTS

Before I bought my couch I knew something was off because a huge percentage of reviews were negative. You'd think this would be a huge red flag but no... I ignored the reviews I did something really dumb,  purchased the couch.

Don't make this mistake! Never and I mean NEVER buy a couch before feeling, seeing, sitting, and laying on it in person. I don't care what anyone says, buying furniture online is risky and sometimes the return shipping can cost as much as the item. If you want to save money, learn from my mistake. Spend more time researching the item before purchasing or spend more money buying a high-quality couch from a trusted furniture website. Amazon has sellers (like eBay) and most of them don't provide free shipping.

QUICK TIP:  If you're short on cash, opt for furniture on websites like the Facebook marketplace and Craig's List. Most of the furniture looks new and come from awesome people (depending on your area)


What type of post would you like to see next? I would love to know in the comment section below! Also, don't forget to save this post on Pinterest!

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