You just moved into your beautiful, brand-new home, and now it’s time to decorate! But don’t hop into your car and head to the nearest furniture store just yet. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and identify what you don’t want to do before you begin a big project. This is definitely a good rule of thumb when furnishing and accessorizing your abode. After all, you’ll likely live in your new home for many years to come, so it’s important to get it right.
Following are five common mistakes to avoid when decorating your dwelling:
- Forgetting the foyer. It’s your first opportunity to tell your guests who you are and what to expect from your living space. So what does an empty entry suggest? Make a statement with patterned wallpaper, an attractive mirror, an inviting bench, a piece of art and/or a console table. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a fabulous first impression!
- Being too “matchy-matchy.” You’re not living in the pages of a catalogue, so it might appear strange if every item in your home is perfectly coordinated. Although it’s wise to adhere to your preferred color palette, experts actually recommend selecting home furnishings that are complementary rather than an exact match. Translation: Your sofa, love seat and window curtains should not be all made of the same patterned fabric. Just be careful not to incorporate too many different patterns or your space may appear busy.
- Overlooking comfort. That sectional you’ve had your eye on for months may be stunning—the perfect complement to your brand-new coffee table. But if it’s too uncomfortable for guests, movie night and Saturday afternoon naps, you’re probably better off finding an alternative. Although there’s a lot to be said for eye-catching design, comfort is key when selecting furniture for your home. The good news is, design has come a long way in recent years and many chairs, sofas and other home furnishings are now equal parts style and function.
- Ignoring proportion. Another big mistake many people make is overlooking the scale of the space that they’re decorating. Failure to take the size and configuration of the room into account can make it seem empty or—even worse—stuffy and cramped. Use a scaled floor plan to map out your area before you invest your time, energy and money acquiring furniture and other décor for your area. There are many room planning kits available to help you strategize your layout.
- Falling for fads. What’s “hot” right now may not be en vogue next month or next year. Unless you want to redecorate your home on an annual basis, it’s probably wise to stick with classic, timeless furniture in neutral shades. If you feel you must go with the flow, save today’s trends for accessories, like rugs, throw pillows, blankets and art, all of which can easily be swapped out when the next big fad hits home fashion.