Problem Solved; 10 Decorating Mistakes and How to Fix Them

You know how it goes, you have picked the perfect color, scored the comfy yet stylish sofa, you have accessorized and styled your favorite nicknacks, yet something isn’t quite right.  You know it is off but just can’t pinpoint exactly what went wrong, (these are my emotions on the daily, I swear).  A common decorating mistake may be to blame, don’t sweat it, these mistakes are easy to correct.  Here are some prevalent mistakes with tips and tricks to fix them.


Mistake No.1: Hung too High Artwork


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You can really personalize your space by hanging artwork on your walls.  However, hanging stuff can be intimidating and tricky.  The tip here is to hang your artwork at the right height which is typically 57 inches from the floor.  The average height for most people is 57 inches, so hanging your artwork at this height allows people to see your artwork straight forward and comfortably.

Mistake No. 2: Curtains Hung Wrong

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Finding the right panel length is easy.  First measure from the floor to just above the window casing.  Next, mount the rod to match panel length, rather than the other way around, as you would for custom-made curtains. Panels should be as wide as the window and rod brackets mounted six inches outside the frame so panels can be pushed away from the glass easily.

Mistake No. 3: Teeny Tiny Rugs

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I know it costs more money to buy the bigger rug, but the splurge is totally worth it!  A rug that is too small can really bring down the look of your room.  For most spaces, that means a 5×8-foot rug is too small, so look for something between 6×9 and 9×12 feet.  However, if you love or have an attachment to a smaller rug try layering it with a large neutral rug underneath.  This allows the right amount of real estate for the furniture but still allows you to use that special piece.

Mistake No. 4: Disregarding Comfort

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Balancing form and function is always a must.  You know we have all done it, bought that super stylish chair without giving comfort a thought.  Just to get home and realize how uncomfortable it is.  Don’t be afraid to give those chairs a test run.  Doing so will ensure a relaxing and comfortable home that is chic to boot!

Mistake No. 5: Poor Lighting

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We all need to get over the thought, to light a room with one bright overhead and a big clicky wall switch.   We need to think of lighting a room in layers.  Plan to design with task lighting for work areas, accent lamps to add color and personality, and put that overhead light on a dimmer to change the mood of the room throughout the day.

Mistake No. 6: Wall Hugging

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It is always nice when everyone in the room is getting along (hugging) but this is not the case with your furniture hugging the walls.  You may feel that it gives you more space but I promise you it is a big no-no.  An alternative is to find a focal point in the room — entertainment center, fireplace, each other for conversation — and build your design around that. Move furniture away from the walls for a more intimate feel, with chairs no more than eight 8 feet apart to encourage talk. Position a table within reach of every seating piece, with traffic lanes several feet wide to allow easy movement.

Mistake No. 7: Too Much of One Color

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Our living spaces deserve a good dose of color variation. Even if it’s just a single deep-blue pillow amid a sea of neutral beige, adding a little pop of your own will spice up any room in a snap.

Mistake No. 8: Cluttered Design

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It’s easy to pack your rooms with way too much stuff, but that look crosses over easily to clutter (and the next step is hoarding, so beware).  When you put too many nicknacks in one place, none will stand out as special.  Solve the issue by clearing off every surface in a room, one by one, and returning only half the things on it. Be your own tough editor and store the objects that didn’t make the cut this time. You can bring them out next season — or make a donation trip to the secondhand store.

Mistake No. 9: Storage Problems

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Take a look around your room and see where you can comfortably add more places to put things away — the easier to reach the better. Consider bare wall space first — anywhere to mount shelving or cabinetry? Can you add side tables with drawers? Any missed opportunities for built-ins? In bedrooms, consider building shelving around the headboard and adding storage boxes beneath the bed.

Mistake No. 10: Devouring Trends

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The unsung hero of your living room

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Hey all, I know what you are thinking??  The unsung hero of your living room… what the heck is that?!  Well let me tell you, it is the coffee table.  Honestly most of the time this guy isn’t even thought of when designing a room.  If he is thought of he is aftermath thought or a creative burnout, can’t make any more decisions, just pick one, thought.  Even better this may not be something you even have to think of as you may have Aunt Blanche’s hand me down coffee table that has stood the test of time but not the test of style, (don’t get me wrong Aunt Blanche we are thankful).  Then, of course, there are the people that do plan and know they will need to have a coffee table because honestly who doesn’t??  This piece serves as a multi-functional table for just about everything.  Sometimes she may be the dinner table, (you know we all do it), or that footrest after a long day, she may be the kid’s obstacle course or their coloring station.  The list goes on, she is the keeper of the remotes, beverages, and books as well as the game hub on family nights.  I am telling you all… MULTI-FUNCTIONAL!!  So why not make this hardworking piece beautiful and just right for the space.  Let’s talk style, sizes, and shapes of coffee tables.


I have never been one to like “rules” and honestly, when choosing a coffee table there are no rules, maybe just some guidelines.  Let’s go over a few general things to keep in mind so you can have a good flow between your sofa and coffee table.  Your coffee table should be at least half the length of your sofa but no more than 2/3 the length.  The coffee table should stand to the same height as the sofa seat give or take a few inches.  If you have a sectional with a chaise, placing your table in the L-shaped opening the sofa creates, the size guideline refers more to the length of the horizontal seat rather than the full length of the sofa.  Here is a quick graphic by Emily Henderson Design (LOVE her).

Which brings us to our next guideline or better yet, information so that you can make the best design decisions for your space.  The scoop on shapes; round, square, oval, and rectangular.

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Round: Small spaces are the perfect setup for round coffee tables.  I would like to think you are cutting corners literally to save space.  This is also a good option for a sectional with chaise as round can fit into that “nook” beautifully.  This is purely opinion, but I believe round tables are a bit more sculptural fun.  I have found a few of my favorite round coffee tables to share with you.

Anthropologies Silas round coffee table- $600 (on sale now)!
Serena and Lily round table $1,998
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Square: There is not much to say about square other than it fits into any configuration easily.  It is great for the middle of your chat zone with a sofa and a couple of chairs facing each other.  Or perfect for those L-shaped sectionals, really this is almost a win-win situation, therefore, getting the most bang for your buck.  Whether your style is traditional, modern or contemporary the square shape plays along nicely with all.  Check out a few of my favorites below:


CB2 Spin rotating coffee table- $800
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Oval: This Oval shape is great if you are designing for a high traffic flow space.  This shapes really helps to have some visual flow, breaking up any angular shaped sofa’s.  Oval is also really good for the little’s as they won’t have any sharp ends to contend with (same with the round shape).   Behold some oval inspiration below:


West Elm Reeve coffee table- $800
World Market oval glass coffee table -$350


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Rectangle: Rectangular coffee tables are a great choice if you are working with a narrow space with little walking clearance.  A bonus of the rectangular shape is for the ease of everyone reaching their beverage or snacks.  This shape works well for standard size to larger sofas.  Look below for some awesome rectangular coffee tables:

Amazon Haven Home Zane table – $259
Serena and Lily Blake Raffia table -$1198

So there you have it, some easy guidelines to help you along the way so that you may choose the best coffee table for your space and design.  Create the perfect vignette for your coffee table (more on that in a later post) and let this shining star come to life.  Give some love and attention to this hero of the room and you will never regret it.   If you have any questions or problems trying to figure what’s best for you space please comment as I would love to help out.  I love a challenge!! Hope everyone is having a good hump Day!!



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