Home Improvements

Home Design Mistakes to Avoid

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, it was followed by a hard lockdown. Now, more than two years later, the way we view our homes has fundamentally changed. More than 13% of people in South Africa experience their homes differently than they did pre-pandemic. 

Whether it’s working from home, spending more time at home due to illness, or just needing a refreshed space after some difficult years, many people are redesigning their homes. If you’re considering changing your space with new decor, make sure you avoid these common design mistakes. 

Living room with plain walls, grey couch, and some other plain furniture. Knowing which design mistakes to avoid means the room looks balanced and inviting.

Not Enough Light

One of the benefits of big windows and natural light is that the whole room is lit up when the sun is shining. But what about in the early morning or late evenings? What about when it’s storming or overcast? 

You can’t rely on only one or two light sources in a room. A combination of overhead lighting, natural lighting, and supplemental light from lamps, is ideal. 

Kitchen island dining space next to floor to ceiling windows overlooking the water at dusk. With the outside light fading, the overhead lighting does not illuminate the room well, so lamps are brightening it up. Not enough lighting is one of the most common design mistakes.

Ignoring Traffic Flow

Traffic flow refers to the natural flow of people through the space. For example, doorways and entryways get a lot of foot traffic, since everyone who enters the space has to go through them. Corners of rooms don’t get much traffic flow. 

Designing with traffic flow in mind makes the room feel more comfortable. Keep the natural passages open, and fill the spaces no one goes into. This is why it makes perfect sense to keep doorways uncluttered, and put things like shelves, statues, or lights in the corners of the room. 

But other parts of the room might be more difficult. Take note if you’re bumping into things when you go through the space, or if you’re constantly moving something out of the way. If you are, it probably shouldn’t be there. 

Exposed hanging closet which seems like it is a space saver. But when placed in the way where people walk, this is one of the worst design mistakes.

Blowing the Budget

As with most home revamping projects, one of the most common design mistakes comes down to budgeting. It’s vital to plan out your budget and decor before you start. If you make it up as you go, you’ll either blow the budget, or you’ll run out of items halfway through and the room will look incomplete. 

Plan out your dream interior design for the room. Then determine your budget. Then look for ways you can make it work. 

One of the biggest tricks to staying within budget is to look for DIY solutions. If you’ve got your eye on an expensive designer piece of furniture that would probably use up your whole budget, then look for ways you could create something similar that has the elements you’re looking for. 

If you’re interested in creating new pieces to stay on budget, consider hiring a carpenter to help you out. 

Person holding American dollar bills, counting out money. Design mistakes often include poor budgeting.

Getting Too Trendy

The problem with most design trends is that they’re too different from each other. That’s why one of the most common design mistakes is completely commiting to a very specific look because it’s trendy at the time. This means the room will look completely outdated in just a few years. 

That’s why it’s better to commit to classic design styles rather than specific trends. Pick colour palettes that you’ll like for a long time, no matter what’s trendy. Prioritise pieces that are timeless so you won’t feel the need to update too soon. 

By avoiding getting too trendy with your redesign, you save yourself from making the space feel outdated once people move on from that trend. Or you’ll have to spend a fortune completely redecorating the space every few years. Neither sound like great options. 

White room with thin white furniture, white lamp, white picture frame, white curtains. The room looks trendy and minimalistic, but it has one of the most common design mistakes, it isn't timeless and will look outdated soon.

Everything on Display

Not everything needs to be on display. Yes, even those special art pieces your children made years ago, or old family heirlooms. Too many items on display takes up a lot of space, and makes your home feel cluttered. 

Keeping things on display also gives them the chance of being damaged or broken. Using creative storage spaces, you can keep everything safe while also being able to access them whenever you want. 

Read here for more hidden storage ideas

Room with lots of overflowing shelves, exposed storage containers and things piled on the floor. Avoid design mistakes by incorporating storage.

Incorrect Sizing

The best interior design usually comes down to making the space feel balanced. You want enough light, enough space for movement, and you want the furniture to feel cosy without being overbearing. 

This is why sizing your decor and furniture appropriately is important. For example, if you want an oversized couch, then you can balance it with a large rug, which makes the couch seem smaller. 

If you have a lot of decorative pieces like plants, art, or intricate light fixtures, then you’ve got to keep them smaller. Too many large pieces in the room battle to be focal points, making the room feel claustrophobic. 

Avoid incorrect sizing of items by looking for one or two focal points and overall balance in the space. 

Design mistakes often come down to poor balance. Image of a large pot plant that has grown too big for the space around it, crowding up the counter and blocking the view of the art behind it.

Avoiding Design Mistakes

Design mistakes can ruin your experience of a space in your home. Make sure you’re avoiding these common design mistakes to maximise your enjoyment in every room in your home. 

Contact us for all your home improvement needs! We’ll put you in touch with an expert contractor who can help you bring your dream home to life. 

You’re in good company