The Decorating Mistakes These Interior Experts Would Rather Forget
While our favourite interior experts have revealed what we should be doing to create a dreamy, Pinterest-worthy home, the big question is, what should we not be doing? While there’s a long list of decorating faux pas we’d prefer to forget (let’s blame it on trends, shall we?), even the home décor pros are guilty of their very own interior design mistakes. From measuring mishaps to investing in trends and choosing form over function, these interior gurus have come clean and shared the decorating mistakes they’ll never make again—so we don’t either. Read on to find out what not to do when decorating your home.
Love Style by Juliet Love
“The biggest mistakes I’ve made have usually come down to a lack of proper planning—impulse furniture buys that I’ve thought would be perfect and then don't work in-situ, not testing colours in varying light conditions, not creating a mood board—that's usually where interior “accidents” happen! Generally, the most successful outcomes arise from having every element organised down to the last detail. Once you've planned and installed the major items, the layers can evolve over time.”
1. Choosing form over function.
“Sometimes, just because we really love something we let it get the better of us and purchase based on emotion. It’s definitely important to love what you’re buying, but it must equally be functional and fit well into a space. It must function well and be comfortable as well as looking good.”
2. Purchasing art for fashion's sake.
“Art is the one thing in the home that has to be completely authentic, I don’t mean expensive, you just really need to love it and connect to it in some way. I’ve purchased prints from time to time that seemed so “cool” I just had to have them. They never last long, there’s a whole stash in my garage. The pieces that are left have meaning to me, either they were created by a friend or they move me in some way. Never purchase art because it matches your indoor scheme!”
3. Buying trendy things.
“Sometimes they are hard to resist, but if they don’t go with your vibe then steer clear. I once bought a deer antler printed cushion, my vibe is a sophisticated beachy look so it was completely out of place. Safe to say it didn’t last long.”
“I have had so very many interior design mishaps—starting with the convincing my then boyfriend (now husband) to paint my bedroom Pepto-Bismol pink in my early 20s, to the feverish embracing of everything any anything “shabby chic”. And then there was the Japanese minimalism that took over our apartment where my furniture was no higher than a few inches.”
“Just one of the decorating mistakes I would rather forget was when I first moved out of home—I received a sewing machine for my birthday and decided I should whip up my own homewares. I sewed my little heart out and made a doona cover, pillowcases, cushions, and even a wall hanging. The problem was that I wasn’t very patient and not great on the sewing machine, plus my only source for fabric was Spotlight so everything was made out of the same fabric.”
“I just had a gorgeous ottoman made with one of our hand woven rugs to go at the end of my bed in my new terrace house at Paddington and I can’t fit it up the stairs. There've been tears and it is now sitting in our dining room awaiting a very tall ladder to hoist it up through the window. It is always important to check the measurements of furniture with those of your house.”
“While I’ve never made any huge decorating faux pas, I’ve made so many smaller ones which is embarrassing for someone who dishes out advice on how to get it right on a daily basis!
In my last home, I totally picked the wrong shade of white. Doesn’t sound much, but that too-warm white made me so irritated (especially in the late afternoon sun), if it hadn’t been for my husband telling me I was ridiculous, I would have repainted the entire house myself the following week! I’ve also made way too many mistakes buying things online that look totally different in real life—don’t do it! Which brings me back to my key piece of decorating advice: have patience. Choose slowly and wisely, save up for the lounge you really want, use the paint tester spots on your walls and live with them for a few weeks to see how the colours look at different times of day.”
“Designing interior spaces with a focus on custom elements always has a level of the unpredictable. We specialise in our custom tiles, paint finishes, unique antique, and vintage furniture and decor found from all over the globe to accent our interiors. One time I was hell-bent on using only pastel neon as lighting in a commercial interior and somehow green was allocated to the bathrooms—both male and female toilets transformed patrons into Martians when they looked in the mirror.
Experimenting with colour is definitely my great love, and is definitely what drives my team crazy. We have over-painted entire venues because I felt that the hue was one shade too light—I am not sure it is a mistake it is definitely a trait of an OCD Italian Leo! Mistakes that are recognised and resolved are what design is all about—it’s called growth.”
“Putting off decorating a space because I was renting—there are so many great design options for renting, it just requires a little bit of creative thinking. I think outdoor spaces are often put in the “too hard” basket because people think they usually involve a bit more effort and time (i.e. plants take a longer time to establish). But it’s one area that loves you back practically instantly when you do give it some love. A space that you avoid becomes the place to have a drink with mates, read a book, or just hang out in. Adding a few pieces with personality instantly updates even the smallest of terrace gardens or balconies—think cool outdoor cushions and festoon lights.
It’s also important to think of scale—bigger pieces are really important in small spaces to ground the eye. This can be a great umbrella and a few amazing pots full of green, leafy loveliness. You might want to add a cool outdoor rug (Armadillo’s new range is beautiful) and vintage table setting or something to relax on. If you can’t afford big ticket items, or don’t want to commit yet, I think gumtree and buy/swap/sell sits are gold mines! And the best bit? All these bits and bobs can travel with you to the next place.”