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Wondering how to decorate can be challenging to say the least!

Lets be real here for a minute.

We make mistakes EVERY SINGLE DAY. With out a doubt we are far from perfect!

(In fact we have WAY more mistakes we can share but are limiting it to our top few today so our post isn’t gigantic!)

But, we’ve also learned a few things along the way we’d like to share. If you’ve struggled with how to decorate in the past, keep reading.

Not only will we talk about decorating ideas for your home, but we’ll also share strategies you can implement to avoid making the most common decorating mistakes. 

As we talk about decorating mistakes today, we realize that each of us have different taste and are drawn to different styles.

It’s not our intent to belittle or bash anyone, or any specific style or trend. Rather, we feel there is a general rule of thumb to take into consideration while decorating.

We simply hope to provide you with a guide that will help you improve the look, feel and flow of your homes, which will reflect your own personality. After all, each home should be as unique as those who live there.

Avoid Picking Paint Color First

how to decorate

We live in a day where there is an endless array of beautiful paint colors to choose from. It can be tempting to fall in love with a paint color first before thinking about the other elements in the room.

If your heart is set on that ONE paint color, it can be really difficult to match other elements of the room such as bedding, curtains or artwork.

It’s best to start with a statement piece for the room and plan your color scheme from that. There are SO many color swatches to choose from, odds are there is a color that works well. If not, you can always custom match your paint color to a specific item. For instance, Home Depot can scan small items to color match.

*This is one mistake I made when decorating Ellie’s nursery. I’d purchased the bedding and knew I wanted the walls to have a pop of green. I picked a coordinating color and went to town.

Lets just say it was a MIRACLE I even found curtain panels that happened to be the exact shade as the wall color!  Lesson learned!

How To Decorate The Ceiling

When decorating, we often forget that the ceiling is simply another wall surface in the room. Adding an appropriate light fixture to a room is the most simple way to complete any space. It’s like adding a piece of jewelry to an outfit, that final touch that makes the whole room feel complete.

When purchasing a home, it’s easy to forget about light fixtures. You’re either stuck with cheap builders grade fixtures lacking in style, or the fixtures reflect the previous homeowners and don’t reflect your style.

Choose something that ties all of the other elements in the room together. Remember there’s no need to spend a ton on a brand new fixture. Utilize your local classifieds and thrift stores, you can often find amazing fixtures for a fraction of the cost!

(I had my eye on this distressed wood orb chandelier from Wayfair. With a little bit of searching I found it through our local classifieds for $40!)

Not Having Enough Lighting In A Room

how to decorate vintage lampshade

While it’s important to spruce up the ceiling light fixture, take into account other lighting needs in a room. Observe what tasks take place in a room and add lighting where needed.

Learning how to decorate a room with enough lighting doesn’t need to feel overwhelming.

Generally speaking, a room is finished by a builder with one fixed light in the room. This can be okay to light the entire room, but what about a desk lamp, or reading light, low ambient lighting for the evening?

Decide what other elements of lighting are needed to fulfill specific tasks in each room, and add fixtures or lamps where needed.

Not Controlling Clutter

Clutter, we all have it to some degree right? But if you have too much clutter that you can’t see all the underlying decorating. Then, it’s time to take some action! Why go to the trouble of decorating and making a room look beautiful and inviting, if it’s constantly buried in clutter?

Find a home for everything, and put it back in its place when not in use. I know it’s easier said than done, this is one of my daily struggles! But if everything has a designated space, it’s a lot easier to keep things neat and tidy.

Here are some simple tips to help tackle clutter in your home:

How To Decorate With Wall Art

Independence Day Wall Decoration

Learning how to decorate while incorporating beautiful wall art, family photos, mirrors or colorful one of a kind pieces is key to adding style while inserting your personality into any room.

However, this does not mean that every inch of wall space needs to be filled with pictures. Center the art over the sofa, or fireplace. Keeping art grouped will help the whole look and feel of the room be cohesive.

As a general rule of thumb, when hanging art above a piece of furniture, it’s best to hang it only a couple inches higher. If it’s hung too high the art will feel disconnected with the whole scheme.

After all you wouldn’t want to hang a mirror high enough that only the tallest family members could look into it. The middle of a piece of art should hang at eye level. If one person is short and the other tall, average out the heights.

How To Decorate With Window Coverings

In our opinion, a room feels unfinished without some sort of window coverings. Sure you’ll likely have some sort of blinds or shutters for privacy, but what about incorporating a bit of style to your windows?

Windows without some sort of fabric covering such as a roman shade or full length curtains just feel naked.

Adding fabric really helps to visually frame out the window. Not only does it elevate the look and feel of the room, but it also softens all of the hard edges.

Likewise window coverings need to be proportionate to your windows. Hanging curtains above the window molding (and even up to the ceiling) can actually make your room feel larger.

If your curtains are hung too low or aren’t tall enough, it can make your room feel smaller. 

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for an entire post on creative window treatments! You can also learn how to hem your curtains with NO sewing here.

Adding Area Rugs

Area rugs not only help define a living space, but they can also be that statement piece that pulls the whole look of a room together.

Much like wall art, the size and scale of an area rug are key. Nothing is more awkward than having an area rug that is too small.

Generally adding the proper size rug for a room should leave about a 12″ border around the room. At the very least all of the front legs of furniture pieces should be on the rug.

(You can visit our post on How To Choose An Area Rug For A Room, which offers tips on correct size, shape and pattern.)

Remember we all make mistakes, but even the largest mistakes can be fixed.

Be true to you, true to your style, true to your personality, and you will create a unique home which reflects who you are.

Thanks for spending some time with us today! If you’re new here, WELCOME! We love having new friends. You can learn more about us here.

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And as always here at Sunny Side Design


decorating mistakes to avoid

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