Avoid these 6 expensive design mistakes

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of decorating your home, especially if you’ve been waiting a long time to test out your interior design skills. As any home owner, renovator or decorator will know, creating a well-designed home is a costly experience. 

Throw some of these expensive design mistakes in and the bill is going to escalate. With a little know-how and guidance, you can avoid making these errors, improving the design aesthetic and containing your budget. Here we look at some of the most common mistakes:


1. Choosing the wrong paint colour

Neutral paint palette for your home
A neutral paint palette from Better Homes and Gardens

Paint is often viewed as a cost-effective way to update your interior. How many times have you heard someone say, ‘It’s only paint; you can easily update it’. Yes, paint is a great way to transform your space, but when you consider how much time it takes in patching holes, sanding, priming, painting the first coat and then the second, it’s not a job you want to do again in a hurry. And if you employ professionals to paint your home, the bill can run into the thousands. 

Ensure you don’t fall into the trap of choosing the wrong paint colour by painting a few large samples on the walls, and under different lighting.


2. Selecting lighting for its looks only  

Pretty, soft lighting in a white living room
Image source: designmom.com

Lighting can transform the look and feel of your interior, however choosing lighting just for its looks is likely to affect the functionality of your space. That pendant may look beautiful in your bathroom, but will you be able to do your make-up? Do your chosen bedside lamps project the light well enough so you can read without disturbing your partner? 

Hiring a lighting designer can help you make sure that your lighting not only looks visually pleasing but also omits the right amount of light for the space.


3. Removing everything in a reno 

Being over-eager with the sledge hammer during a renovation can prove costly, both financially and in a design sense. Before you remove all the character to make way for a modern home, consider what you could save, update or restore. You can then work with the character of your home through introducing furniture, textiles, finishes and decorative items.


4. Buying furniture without considering how you live

Bianca sofa with chaise in a soft blue fabric
Urban Rhythm's Bianca sofa is perfect for lounging

It’s very easy to fall in love with furniture you’ve being eyeing off in the latest magazines. The design might be droolworthy, but if the furniture doesn’t suit your lifestyle, you won’t be lusting over it in months to come. 

Consider how you live prior to purchasing furniture. If you have children, perhaps a white linen sofa isn’t the best fit. If you love to lounge and watch movies on an evening, a deep modular sofa would be best over an upright, formal sofa that lacks comfort.


5. Using too many accent colours

An accent colour should be used as an accent! Upholstering all your furniture, drapes and cushions in your chosen accent colour so that they can match is an avoidable mistake. Resist the temptation to shower your interior with several accent colours or too much of one. As a general rule, stick to one or two accent colours and dedicate 80 percent of your space to neutral tones that highlight your accent.


6. Ripping off another design

Taking your inspiration too far and ripping off another design is a costly mistake. You’ll seek far more pleasure from your interior if it reflects your personal style rather than someone else’s. Your home will also function better if you design your interior to suit your lifestyle and it’s likely to marry better with the architecture of your house. 

Draw inspiration from other designers as a starting point to drive the design direction and then weave in your personal touches to make it your own.



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