8 Common Interior Design Mistakes

To be a great interior designer, you can’t limit yourself to thinking about what you should do. Sometimes, it’s more important to know what to avoid. Discover the most common interior design mistakes here!
8 Common Interior Design Mistakes

Last update: 02 April, 2021

Sometimes, people buy objects for their homes that just don’t fit in. In this article, we’ll explain eight common interior design mistakes people make. This way, you’ll be able to prevent or fix them.

Everyone wants to have a beautiful home that makes them feel comfortable and reflects their personal style. Although personal taste and comfort should be the priorities in decoration, other basic rules can lead the way to create harmonious and pleasant spaces.

Sometimes, simply making small changes goes a long way to making a room look completely different.

The most common interior design mistakes

Your home is a reflection of your personality and tastes. You enjoy your private life there. As such, you must feel comfortable.

However, even if you try your best, your home may not turn out how you wanted, and you may not know why. The most common interior design mistakes could clue you into what you’re doing wrong:

1. Interior design mistakes: Not planning the decoration

When it comes to moving or renovating your home, you need to have a plan that allows you to establish a design and evaluate the characteristics of each room. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional interior designer, you shouldn’t take space planning lightly.

The result of doing so will be having several mismatched decorative elements that often don’t fit in with each other or with your spaces. This will make you feel frustrated and dissatisfied.

However, if you make a plan with a budget and educate yourself on the basics of design, you’ll enjoy a better result.

A woman planning her home's design.
Making a design plan is a key to success, as it’ll save you both time and money.

2. Not paying enough attention to the lighting

Lighting is one of the most important factors in interior design. The most common mistake in this regard is poor lighting.

However, spaces can also be over-lit or the light could highlight less flattering areas of your home. Also, some people make the mistake of combining different light bulb color temperature ranges.

Lighting is essential for spaces and for tasks that require visual activity. The “Practical Lighting Manual” by Ediciones UC states this. You should start by evaluating an area’s general lighting to determine how much it needs.

Then, you can add more light to the spaces you want to stand out or those that require it, such as a work area or reading corner. Also, you need to evaluate the shadows that the light sources will generate. For example, it isn’t convenient to install overhead lights in bathrooms, as they create shadows on faces.

3. Interior design mistakes: Neglecting proportions

Neglecting proper scales and proportions in spaces is a common interior design mistake, as this is usually a complex issue. Placing a lot of big elements in a room will make it look small. On the contrary, filling a space with small items will make it look cluttered.

The key to solving this problem is to achieve balance. To create such harmony, you have to mix and match several sizes and shapes. If you have a big home, avoid only decorating it with big elements. The same goes for a small apartment.

This article may interest you: 5 Original DIY Lamp Designs

4. Not choosing a focal point

According to the “Practical guide to interior design and decoration” by Julio Madrigal, every room should have a focal point. It’s common for the activity in the room to occur there. For example, in a dining room, the focal point is the dining table with its chairs.

If you don’t take this focal point into account, the biggest object, such as a sofa or bed, will usually draw attention. And if this object has been neglected, this will be counterproductive.

Therefore, it’s important to choose a focal point in each room and decide what elements you want to make stand out above the rest. For example, a work of art is a good option.

5. Interior design mistakes: Blocking the passage

To achieve a good interior design, you need to place elements in ways that facilitate circulation. Having furniture that obstructs movement is one of the most common interior design mistakes… as well as one of the easiest to fix!

All you have to do is draw a room several times and plan different designs. Then, choose the one that facilitates circulation the most.

6. Excess furniture and decorative elements

Many homes are cluttered with too much furniture and decorative elements. It can be inconvenient to keep family heirlooms if you don’t know where to place them and they just end up cluttering rooms.

In interior design, it’s essential to evaluate objects based on their contribution to space, utility, or aesthetics.

Even in kitsch decor, which is very opulent, the elements must follow a certain style and have decorative intentionality. If you want to ensure your home is well-decorated, don’t overlook anything. Evaluate what furniture and decorative elements you no longer like or don’t contribute to the decoration.

7. Not enough furniture and decorative elements

Although minimalism consists of the use of few elements, one of its principles is ensuring that all of them are functional. A big interior design mistake is when your furniture and decorative elements don’t fulfill specific organizational functions.

When there aren’t enough furniture and elements, you may experience uncomfortable situations, such as not having a place to put your keys and coat when you get home. These situations completely ruin your home’s style, as they create chaos.

It’s best to apply the popular saying “Everything in its place”.

One of the most common interior design mistakes is trying to stick to the latest trends and listening to everyone else’s opinions without asking yourself what you like the most. Renowned Spanish interior designer Susanna Cots has said in various interviews that emotional interior design, meaning the therapeutic influence of the design of spaces, is very important.

This designer points out that certain types of interior design elements, such as smells, colors, distributions, and light, affect mood. Many of these aspects are linked to personality.

Therefore, you must base your home’s decoration on your emotions and comfort. Only apply the trends that you like.

A colorful kitchen.
Colors evoke emotions and affect mood. You have to take this into account in your home’s design.

What you should do

Knowing the things that you shouldn’t do is a starting point to understanding what does work in interior design. Remember that the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable and satisfied with your home’s decoration and style.

However, here are some essential points that you should consider:

  • Look for inspiration online, in social media, and magazines. In fact, in our home decor section, you can find the best tricks, tips, and trends.
  • Take advantage of natural light. Allow natural light to illuminate your home, especially in work areas.
  • Buy quality elements. If you’re thinking of investing in new decorative elements for your home, you should make sure they’re of good quality.
  • Donate what you don’t use. For this purpose, you can use the famous Marie Kondo technique. Donate everything that doesn’t evoke an emotion or fulfill a function.


Now that you know about the most common interior design mistakes, you can start by evaluating your own spaces. You’re bound to make a few mistakes along the way before you achieve a harmonious design.

Try to be flexible and allow yourself to make changes. If you have the means to seek professional advice, it’ll be a worthwhile investment.

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