Design Mistakes to Avoid

Design is hard to master and experience is a vital tool for avoiding many of the mistakes. But there are some things which should be avoided by any designer no matter how experienced they are.

Design Mistakes - think about size and measure accurately

sizes and proportions


Rugs and carpets should be as big as possible in most spaces (a small bedside rug is acceptable). Living room rugs should occupy as much of the space as possible and seating should overlap it.

Not everything needs to match and when it comes to the height of objects in your design this is important. Consider a mix of proportions and heights as having tables, chairs, shelves and furnishings all of the same height will look very odd indeed.

Plan everything properly. Make accurate measurements so you're aware of which objects will best fit the room and to avoid making the space seem too crowded or cluttered. Rely on your tape measure rather than your eye.

lighting (and much of it)


Lighting is often the most important consideration in many projects and with justification - it is the key to how everything else is seen in our space. One mistake many make is to solely use overhead lighting but this can easily be too much and overhead light will be unwanted in many situations. Also add a mix of lighting with dimmer switches, floor lamps and table lamps. To be honest, there can never be too many lights.

Recessed lighting can be used as the main lighting option in the room which wall lamps can provide suitable ambient lighting and art pieces or focal points can be highlighted with accent lights.

Design Mistakes - ensure you use a variety of lighting types
Design Mistakes - plants are important and colors shouldn't be bland

go green (and other colors)


Don't overlook plants. Plan greenery in your designs from the beginning and have a range of plants. People often forget to water plants so it may be wise to go for plants or tree which don't require frequent watering. Ferns are always a suitable choice and a variety of sizes will add to your design. In office environments a green wall may even be suitable.

While we're on the subject of color, try to have walls which aren't just white unless that's really your preference. All white walls can make people think they're in a hospital and take away from the character of a room. If you must have white walls then ensure the focus is diverted with paintings.

keep it personal


Don't be afraid of the quirky ideas you might have when it comes to designing. Character comes from your own choices rather than from a showroom. Refurbished old items, bright pillows, unusual art and large mirrors can give a room bucketloads of character.

It's easy to read about the latest design trends or take advice from the experts but it is also important to add your personal touches to what you design. How do you want the space to look? What objects, brightness and colors do you prefer? Go with what you like best!

Design Mistakes - don't be afraid to add your own personal touches

READ NEXT