Home Blunder Series: Common Interior Design Mistakes (Part 1)
August 22, 2023 - Michelle Murphy
If you’ve ever dipped your toe into the vast and creative world of interior design, you know it’s an exciting journey filled with opportunities to express yourself.
But, even seasoned design enthusiasts can fall into common traps that can lead to disappointment or unnecessary expenses.
That’s why I’m so excited to give you the Home Blunder Series! Yippee!
Designed to guide you through common interior design mistakes, this series will help you avoid pitfalls and enhance the joy of designing your living space. At MMID, our aim is always to provide you with insightful tips and professional advice to help you make confident decisions in your design projects.
And guess what?
This series does just that :)
What the heck are we waiting for? Let’s jump in!
Common Interior Design Mistakes
These interior design mistakes have their own unique challenges, but don’t worry! We’ll guide you through each one.
Mistake #1: Picking Paint Colours in the Store
Have you ever chosen a paint colour at the store, only to find it looks entirely different on your walls at home?
You’re not alone.
But why does this happen?
Why Lighting Matters
Lighting plays a critical role in how we perceive colour. Artificial lighting in a store often doesn’t match the natural or artificial lighting in our homes. The type of bulbs, their intensity, and even the time of day can change how a colour appears. The soft pastel that looked perfect under the store’s LED lights might appear washed out or overly bold in the gentle glow of your living room lamp.
What You Should Do Instead
So, how can you avoid this common interior design mistake? Here’s some guidance to help you choose paint colours wisely:
Take Home Samples: Most paint stores offer small sample pots or swatches. Bring these home and test them in the space where you plan to paint.
Observe at Different Times: Look at the samples in the morning, afternoon, and evening to understand how different lighting conditions affect the colour.
Use Technology: Many paint companies have apps that allow you to virtually paint your room, providing a helpful preview of how colours might look.
Choosing the right paint colour is more than just a quick decision in the store. These tips will help you prevent frustrating (and costly!) colour blunders - before you even get the paint home!
Mistake #2: Not Checking Dimensions
We’ve all been there.
You spot a gorgeous piece of furniture or artwork. You fall deeply in love with it and hurriedly purchase it without a second thought.
But to your dismay, once you bring it home, you realize it doesn’t fit in your space.
* Queue sad violin music *
Neglecting to check the dimensions can lead to a host of problems, the consequences of which can be both frustrating and costly.
Why Measurements Matter
Proper measurement is not just about ensuring that your new furniture fits through the door - it’s about creating a harmonious and functional living space.
For example, if a dining table is too large, it may restrict movement. If it’s too small, it may look lost in a spacious room.
What You Should Do Instead
Here are some key strategies to help ensure that your furniture and art pieces fit perfectly within your space:
Measure Before You Buy: Always have the measurements of the space where the item will be placed. Note the width, height, and depth.
Consider Scale and Proportion: Think about how the piece will relate to other objects in the room. An oversized sofa might crowd other furniture, while a tiny painting might be lost on a large wall.
Use Technology: Many apps and online tools can help you visualize how furniture and art will fit in your space.
Investing a little time in proper measurement and planning can save you from the headaches of returning items or living with pieces that don’t quite fit.
Trust me, your future self will thank you for taking this extra step!
Mistake #3: Picking Materials for the Look Alone
We all want our homes to be beautiful, and it’s easy to be swayed by materials that look fantastic at first glance.
However, selecting materials solely based on appearance can be a recipe for disappointment.
Take that stunning marble countertop, for instance. It looks soooo chic, but stains the second you get close to it. Or that velvet sofa that was so luxurious on the showroom floor, but in your home, it clings on to so much hair that it’s basically turned into a dog.
See what I mean?
It’s important to consider function, durability, and longevity - alongside aesthetics.
Why Materials Matter
Each material has unique characteristics that make it suitable for particular uses. For example:
Wood: Available in various finishes, but can be sensitive to moisture.
Glass: Great for a sleek look, but may require regular cleaning.
Stone: Durable and attractive, but may require sealing and maintenance.
Fabrics: Choices abound, but consider wear and stain resistance, especially in high-traffic areas.
What You Should Do Instead
How do you choose materials that are both beautiful and suited to your lifestyle? Here’s the only guide you need to follow:
Assess Your Needs: Consider the practical demands of the space. A family kitchen may need hard-wearing, easy-to-clean surfaces. Do you have pets or young kids? You’ll probably want to steer clear of suedes and velvets.
Research Materials: Understand the characteristics, maintenance, and lifespan of materials you’re considering.
Balance Beauty & Practicality: You don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for function. Many modern materials offer the best of both worlds. For example, engineered stone can provide the look of marble but with greater durability.
Material choices affect not only how your home looks, but how it functions and endures daily life. Wise material choices can save you from future regrets, maintenance hassles, and even additional expenses.
We’ve taken a detailed look at three common interior design mistakes that many of us have either faced, or narrowly escaped.
Each of them has taught us that a beautiful home isn’t just about impulsive choices or following trends. It requires thoughtful consideration, proper planning, and a balance between aesthetics and practicality.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Home Blunder Series, because we’ll be diving into even more common interior design mistakes!
Unsure if you have a common interior design mistake hiding in plain sight? Why not consult with an expert? Contact MMID today!