7 Interior Design Fails (& how to avoid them!)

Neptune Furniture

Today I’m going to share the most common interior design mistakes I have seen over the years… but also provide you with tips to help you avoid these decor fails.

1. Buying the wrong size furniture 

This is a common pitfall that I see in living rooms in particular, whereby the sofa is too big for the space. When shopping for furniture, you can be deceived into thinking that gorgeous couch will look amazing in your living room, however remember these showrooms are vast and have plenty of floor space and height. Be prepared and measure your room before going to look at furniture pieces, that way you will know exactly what will fit in the space. For a bigger piece of furniture, marking out the space using newspaper. Whether your shopping for a new dining table or couch, by using newspaper it will allow you to get a feel for the size that would work. Another helpful tip for this would be, once measured write it down in the notes section on your phone. So that whenever you’re out shopping you will always have the measurements to hand.

2. Looks over functionality

This happens where a piece is purchased for its aesthetic qualities and its functionality is not considered. As Mr Steve Jobs once said ‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works’. A good example of this is having a white couch in a living room, while this might look amazing- consider the users in your home and check if the material is washable or stain resistant before investing. This also applies to paint, use a washable matt on walls for ease of cleaning. Same goes for painting a furniture piece, while a chalk paint looks great, an eggshell or satinwood is easier to maintain and wipe down. Make sure your home decor works with your lifestyle and is easy to live with.

3. Curtain height

Most people hang their curtains too low and close to their window, this makes a room feel smaller than it actually is. Curtains are an easy way to add a sense of height to a space. When hanging the curtain pole or rail, keep it around 15cm from the top of your window and 15cm from each side of the window, this will allow your eye to be drawn up. I would also advise to stay away from busy or overly patterned curtains, instead going for plain lighter colours that can be easily matched to the main pieces in the room. A plain curtain can also be easily introduced to new colour schemes down the line.

4. Leaving lighting to the end

Lighting is such an important part of a design, yet it is often the afterthought in a scheme. When planning lighting, I would recommend drawing it out clearly on a plan first, taking into consideration the natural light in the space. Lamps are a great way to add some low level depth & atmosphere in a room, while a central pendant light helps to balance the room ensuring it does not become bottom heavy. Spot lights are a great addition to high traffic areas. Lighting should not be forgotten about in a kitchen space, task lighting such as LED strips under the counter are perfect for illuminating darker counter tops.

Neptune Kitchen

5. Cluttered spaces

‘Less is more’ may sound like a cliche, however it is true when it comes to interiors and clutter. Having too much furniture or too many accessories in a room, can make a space feel cramped and busy. Don’t feel the need to fill every empty space in a room, I see this more in open plan kitchen/living/dining areas whereby the floor space is vast. Keep clutter to a minimum and if in doubt take it out.

6. Matching furniture

While there is nothing wrong with going out and purchasing a complete set of furniture, however you want your house to reflect your style and each piece to tell a story as opposed to having everything matching. There is so much choice out there when it comes to furnishing a room, individual pieces can compliment each other and create visual interest. If you have matching bedside lockers and wardrobes in a bedroom, you have to get rid them, instead you can easily swap pieces from one room to another.

7. Incorrectly hanging artwork 

This is a problem in most peoples homes, however it can be easily fixed. As a general rule artwork or mirrors should be hung 60 inches from the floor to the centre of the piece of art/ mirror. This is eye level for most people. There is nothing worse than having artwork hung too high as it throws the proportions of the room and the space then lacks visual symmetry and balance. When it comes to a gallery wall, take the collection as one picture and find the middle of the group of images. This way you have a foolproof base for starting your frame collage.


If you are starting a makeover project or a new build and want to ensure you avoid any design blunders, then take a look at the Interior Design services we offer by clicking here . If you have any questions in relation to your project then drop us a line at hello@crinteriors.ie

Remember to sign up to our newsletter to receive even more Interior Design tips & tricks!