a room with a couch and a bicycle

5 Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid

5 Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid

Everyone wants to live in a beautiful space. Even if we don’t think about it often, our minds and bodies are always reacting to the spaces that we’re in. It is no exaggeration to say that your interior design is affecting your subconscious!

This means that an elegant and functional room will make you feel better. It also means that major interior design mistakes can mess with your head. That’s all the more reason to avoid interior design mistakes — including these five all-too-common ones.

The “naked” room

For those who don’t give much thought to interior design (or for those who are paralyzed by choice when they consider their spaces), the “naked” room is a real danger. Symptoms of a naked room include blank walls without art, too little furniture, and a sense that the room is not lived in at all. Minimalism may be hip, but there’s nothing hip about spending all of your time in a space that feels like a spare room.

Don’t let your fear of decorating “wrong” keep you from using and enjoying your space. Sure, you should try to avoid the other mistakes on this list, but it is better to use your space incorrectly than to live with no decor or organization at all.

The room with “Instagram syndrome”

The well-dressed cousin of the naked room is the room with “Instagram syndrome” — a term we’re coining to describe those hip-but-anonymous spaces that are designed to look good in photos but simply don’t feel lived in.

It’s perfectly natural for photographers and Instagram personalities to prioritize photo-friendliness over function, but don’t let your own flair for interior design turn your space into a museum. Unlike the Instagram and design magazine spaces, your room should have spaces for books and for lounging. It should have storage and organization. And it should have photos and personal touches, not just generic wall art!

Personalize your space. One great way to do so is to invest in a canvas print. Custom canvas printing can put a personal photograph or favorite piece of artwork on an elegant, display-worthy canvas. It’s a whole lot better than hanging another generic “Live, Laugh, Love” print.

The cornered dead space

There are lots of rules and guidelines for arranging furniture, but one law is higher than all others. Don’t cut off space in your room with furniture.

When you cut out a corner or trap a peninsula of space behind a sofa or a bookcase, you’re effectively shrinking your room. You’re rendering that space useless, which is not aesthetically pleasing or practical.

The TV-centric room

While not as terrible a transgression as the cornered dead space, the TV-centric room is far from ideal. Sure, you want some of your seating to face your television screen (as we already mentioned, this isn’t an Instagram shoot — you’re actually going to use your room). But don’t let the TV dominate your room. It’s not attractive, and it doesn’t lead to good habits. We are already watching far too much TV, so be the change you want to see in the world (and yourself). Use furniture arrangements to create opportunities for conversation or quiet nooks for reading. This isn’t a movie theater — it’s your home.

Try organizing your furniture around the architectural focal point of your room instead. And pay attention to entrances and foot traffic paths, too.

The matchy-matchy room or the jumbled-up one

The shapes, colors, and textures of your furniture will help to define your interior space. But beware of letting that definition be too monotonous — or too busy. Try to combine a couple of different colors and textures, but go for extreme eclecticism at your own risk. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a balance between different types of furniture that gives your room a personality without giving it multiple personalities.