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7 Deadly Decorating Sins — and How to Redeem Them

Mar 28 2015 - 10:05am

Decorating is a very personal thing, and our homes should reflect our taste, not the trends we follow. That said, taste is a very subjective word. There are always exceptions [1], and what may look like a mistake in one room can work in another. But there are a few things inexcusable in all cases, whether for functional or aesthetic reasons. Check 'em out, and tell us if you agree!

Photo by Allison Corona [2] via Style Me Pretty [3]

Mistake: Excess Knickknacks

There's nothing wrong with knickknacks, especially if they're souvenirs or art pieces. But a whole wall of them that have no functional purpose looks messy, kitschy, and cluttered.

Source: Instagram user kathrynnordmark [4]

Solution: Edited Accessories

Not every object, souvenir, or accessory has to be out at once. If you can't part with any one, rotate them in and out, leaving only a few on your shelves at a time. Then, organize what's left based on complementary color or size.

Photo by Brooke Palmer via Style Me Pretty [5]

Mistake: Matching Furniture Sets

Buying an entire set of living room or bedroom furniture makes your home look like a showroom. Not only is it monotonous and too heavy visually, but it also shows that you don't care about personal style, because you've let others (i.e. a big-box store) do the design work for you.

Source: Overstock [6]

Solution: An Eclectic Mix

Mixing metals, furniture fabrics, and patterns throughout your decor can and should be done. The trick? Keeping it all cohesive, like sticking to the same color family. The result? A look that's flawlessly layered.

Source: Nate Berkus [7]

Mistake: Fake Flowers

Fake flowers are bad, because they look cheap and will never come close to the beauty of fresh flowers. The absolute worst? Planting fake flowers outdoors.

Source: Flickr user chloester [8]

Solution: Low-Maintenance Plants

You never have to water fake flowers, and they never die — we get the appeal. But a comparable solution? Plants that are supereasy to keep [9] and way more beautiful.

Source: Zeke Ruelas [10] for Emily Henderson [11]

Mistake: Obviously Themed Rooms

Look, we love Mad Men as much as the next person. But decorating an entire room, down to the detail, around a time period or theme is predictable and leaves little room for creativity.

Source: Wayfair [12]

Solution: Stylish Cohesion

It's totally OK to pick out a few pieces from your favorite era or style. (Look at these furniture legs.) But make sure it doesn't scream "obvious" by toning it down on other fronts (try using the neutral colors here) and bringing in other unexpected but harmonious accents, like an exotic rug.

Photo by Allison Corona [13] via Style Me Pretty [14]

Mistake: Bad Wall Treatments

Decals, wall stickers — they work sometimes (emphasis on sometimes), but most of the time, they come off looking like they belong in a kid's room.

Source: eBay user wearesurewin [15]

Solution: Wallpaper

Tasteful wallpaper (or the look of wallpaper [16]) is a sophisticated answer that will add some color and texture to your space.

Photo courtesy of Adza [17]

Mistake: Lack of Color

Sure, all-white rooms are synonymous with sophistication, but they're also painfully boring. Plus, they're completely cold and uninviting.

Source: Instagram user schmembot [18]

Solution: Small Pops of Color

Of course we love color all the time [19], but even if you prefer a neutral palette, you can find ways to incorporate hues into your decor. Word of advice: start with small doses via pillows or rugs.

Photo by Ashley Capp [20] via Style Me Pretty [21]

Mistake: Too Many Cables

Having too many cables is a giant eyesore — and it's also a fire hazard. Use wireless products wherever possible, and if need be, just curb your gaming habit.

Source: Instagram user roy_cj [22]

Solution: Cable Camouflage

Hide all you can. And we know just how to do it!
These DIYs [23] use everyday items like washi tape to conceal all those ugly cords.

Source: Design Love Fest [24]

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