Mistakes In Interior Design You Should Avoid

by Pooja Dara | January 30, 2024 | 14 mins read

Interior mistakes to avoid in your home for functional and aesthetic look

We’ve created this blog post to save you from expensive interior mistakes that you’ll otherwise regret later on. To spare you the hassle, we’ve broken down the common interior mistakes by room and listed some useful tips to correct them

The concept of interior design isn’t as easy as it may seem. It involves understanding how certain kinds of lighting, room size, scale, decor, placement, colour and related aspects can either make or break any room’s design. Interior design can effectively optimise the available space in your home to make it more functional and aesthetically pleasing for homeowners.

Why Is A Home With Good Interior Design So Important?

  • It introduces a perfect blend of comfort, style and elegance in your living space that’s in line with your expectations and lifestyle as a homeowner. It transforms your home into a heavenly abode.
  • It levels up the overall functionality of your home and the quality of your life as inhabitants by creatively and correctly combining the various interior design elements and styles to suit your lifestyle. 
  • It results in cost savings in the long run as a professional interior designer has more appropriate expert knowledge of what fittings, fabrics, furniture and layout are best suitable for your home. 
  • It ensures that your home is safe and secure for inhabitation, especially for children and the elderly, by placing fragile furniture and decor in the right places and hiding electrical wiring, etc.
  • It affects the mood of your home and its occupants positively as it always ensures a constant and natural circulation of fresh air in the interiors. It makes you feel happy and satisfied. 
  • It increases the resale value of your home as the prospective buyers will not have to spend more energy and time adding to it or completely revamping it later on.  
  • It helps you create a successful first impression before your visitors by infusing more fun and personality into your home, using specific mood-uplifting colour palettes.

Let’s now dive into the list of interior mistakes to avoid room-wise, and some tips to correct them in case the deed is already done. (Note: Some tips may overlap from room to room, so use your subjectivity).

Mistakes In Interior Design To Avoid In The Living Room

  1. Giving your living room a showroom feel by using only one kind of furniture and ignoring the right layout.   
  2. Selecting the wrong piece of furniture, especially a sofa set and simply pushing it against a wall to face the TV. Similarly, choosing the wrong furniture size can make or break the living room’s look. 
  3. Choosing rug sizes that are smaller than your furniture sets makes the living room design look unbalanced. 
  4. Not having a flexible interior design style that can be easily modified to give the room a new look.
  5. Using too many decor accessories in the living room such that it looks cluttered and overwhelming. 
  6. Not paying attention to proper window treatments resulting in an inefficient circulation of air in the living room and too much/too little natural light. The same goes for light fittings also.
Interior mistakes avoided in the living room by using fewer photo frames
Don’t use too many photo frames on your living room accent wall as it looks asymmetrical in design and overwhelming to the eyes. Also, use any sofa material other than leather as it isn’t long-lasting and versatile
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Interior mistakes in the living room with too many photo frames, dark sofa and white centre table look cluttered
This living room with a dark-coloured leather sofa, the white centre table and the brown accent wall full of photo frames makes the space look quite cluttered

Tips To Correct These Mistakes

  • Mix modern upholstery with vintage furniture (or vice versa) to create a personalised look for the room.
  • Make your living room convenient and fit for everyday living and practical usage by choosing fabrics and rugs that can withstand wear and tear and are comfortable. Woollen rugs work well with the room’s functionality. 
  • Measure the height, length and clearance space of your furniture pieces so that they are in harmony with the room.  
  • Try placing your accent chairs and sofa closer to the centre of the living room to balance the overall layout.   
  • Use a combination of one ambience light, one task light and two-three accent/mood lights in the living room. 
  • Use compact furniture pieces with narrow armrests and thin legs in small living rooms so that there’s still room to move around. 
  • Opt for a striking coffee table for the centre and a side table close by when you want to put your drink down during conversations/house parties. 

Mistakes In Interior Design To Avoid In The Dining Room

  1. Not giving much thought to your dining room and making it devoid of any life, character or personal touch.
  2. Having seating options that are not ergonomic and convenient for you and your guests. 
  3. Not having proper lighting options that match your furniture style to create a seamless dining experience.   
  4. Hanging jewel ceiling lamps and chandeliers too low from the ceiling such that it becomes unsafe and impractical. 
  5. Selecting curtains of the same size and colour as that of the dining room walls. It will make the room look bleak.
Worst interior design mistakes avoided in the dining room by using a big rug for the dining table.
Use a big rug for your dining table so that it looks aesthetic and completely functional. Also, incorporate flexible interior design themes instead of following just one single design trend to keep the timeless vibe of the space intact
Worst interior design mistakes in the dining room with a smaller rug than the dining table looks aesthetically incomplete.
A dining space with a rug that is smaller than the dining table area serves no essential purpose at all and also looks aesthetically incomplete. Using a single rustic interior design theme with different tones of brown on two or more surfaces does not look appealing

Tips To Correct These Mistakes

  • Keep fresh and colourful flowers in a vase in your dining room or use a single colour/pattern accent wall to bring newness and life to the space. Play around with the look of your dining room so that it is more casual and light. 
  • Use a pendant light with a dimmer over your dining table so that it acts as a spotlight as well as a task light for conducting smooth conversations and eating meals hassle-free. However, don’t hang it too low.
  • Choose comfortable chairs that are in sync with the height of the dining table so that postures are correct. 
  • Go for shorter curtains overlapping the floor-length curtains and use grey, beige and champagne colours for the dining room’s walls. 

Mistakes In Interior Design To Avoid In The Bedroom

  1. Overlooking the bed’s headboard and linen even though they cover a significant portion of your bedroom. 
  2. Decorating your bedroom throughout with no colour/one single colour/overly bright colours and no texture. 
  3. Opting for the wrong bedside table will result in you feeling a bit off when reaching out to grab a book/phone that’s kept on it.
  4. Not making the necessary window treatments to block the bright sunlight coming inside during the day and inside light going out during the night.
Bedroom mistakes in interior design avoid using too long curtains for easier maintenance and sleekness.
The curtains in your bedroom should be short for easier maintenance and sleekness
Bedroom mistakes in interior design with longer curtains look untidy and become dirty quickly.
Longer curtains in the bedroom sweep the floor, look untidy and become dirty quickly
  1. Not scaling the bedroom right which results in the bedroom looking too cluttered or too empty. 
  2. Not choosing the right lighting options for the bedroom, that is, a mix of task lighting and dim ambient lighting. 
  3. Putting in too much furniture in the bedroom drastically reduces the free space available for walking.
Small bedroom interior mistakes avoid wardrobe with hinged doors instead, use a sliding door.
Use a smart sliding wardrobe in a small bedroom to maximise efficiency and space utility
Small bedroom interior mistakes using wardrobe with hinged doors when less space between bed and wardrobe.
A wardrobe with hinged doors is probably not the best option if the space between your bed and wardrobe is less. Not only does it imply incorrect initial measurements but also makes it difficult to access personal items in your wardrobe
Upgrade your old kitchen with a smart space-saving modular kitchen

Tips To Correct These Mistakes

  • Use a natural grasscloth to add some texture and natural/calm colours on the wall to give your bedroom a timeless and peaceful vibe.  However, use only a maximum of two colours in your bedroom to give it a pleasant vibe.
  • Choose an offbeat fabric for your bed’s headboard, soft linens to cover your mattress and a bedside table with the right height (almost the same level as the top of your mattress). It will help you accentuate the decor of the room.
  • Use a mix of both curtain sheers and blackout curtains to balance out the overall sunlight entering the room and the room’s light escaping out at night.  Scale the curtain lengths accordingly to give it a cohesive look. 
  • Opt for a soft, layered rug to place below your bed so that you can avoid stepping on the chilly floor in the mornings. You can also go in for warm wooden flooring provided that it matches the bedroom’s design. 
  • Only add those furniture pieces to the bedroom that are functional, provide you with ample storage space for all your stuff (chest of drawers) and give an illusion of a cleaner and additional space. 
  • Use appropriate lighting in the bedroom which is both practical and fun. Use dimmers and bedside/floor lamps to create the desired ambience and conditions for a good night’s sleep. 

Mistakes In Interior Design To Avoid In The Kitchen

  1. Having an all-white kitchen results in a very cold and boring vibe. 
  2. Painting too many cabinets in a dark colour can become overwhelming and make your kitchen look smaller.
Kitchen interior design mistakes avoid obstruction by anything for less effortless movement between sink, fridge and stove.
The kitchen work triangle (sink, fridge and stove) should not be obstructed by anything and should have considerable distance between them for easier movement
Kitchen interior design mistakes lead to less performance, obstructing between the sink, fridge and stove.
A kitchen with any obstruction in its work triangle drastically reduces its performance and efficiency. It can also lead to kitchen accidents if the distances between them are less than the normal benchmark measurements
  1. Placing your utility items such as the washing machine and dryer in the kitchen disturbs the hygiene of the space. 
  2. Using wallpaper in the kitchen brings more character but ultimately distracts you from its functionality. 
  3. Fitting high cabinets in kitchens with lower ceilings will vertically shrink the perception of space.
Kitchen interior mistakes avoided by using sleek and minimalistic storage options for maximum productivity.
Your small kitchen should always incorporate sleek and minimalistic storage options for maximum productivity and beautiful design aesthetics. For extra storage, incorporate a pantry cabinet or walk-in pantry if there is some spare space available
Kitchen interior mistakes with too many items displayed/stored on shelves and countertops look untidy.
A small kitchen with too many items displayed/stored on shelves and countertops looks untidy and unappealing to those who come by

Tips To Correct These Mistakes

  • Use a dark colour for base cabinets and a lighter colour for upper cabinets to give an airy look to your kitchen space.
  • Incorporate a kitchen island if you have a large space in the kitchen. It can serve as an extra countertop. 
  • Go for accent wall patterns but don’t overdo it. Also, coordinate textures and colours.
Kitchen mistakes in interior design to avoid improper ventilation or less natural light makes feel uncomfortable.
Your kitchen should always have proper ventilation and lighting since all the meal preparation activities generate heat and residue. Also, cutting, slicing and cooking require proper task lighting
Kitchen mistakes in interior design with no proper ventilation or natural light makes the space feel uncomfortable.
A kitchen with no proper ventilation or natural/artificial light source makes the space completely non-functional and claustrophobic
  • Follow the ‘kitchen triangle’ layout/arrangement wherein the fridge, cooker and sink are opposite each other and easily reachable without any obstructions in between. 
  • Pay specific attention to kitchen windows as they’ll determine the amount of sunlight and ventilation in the space.  
  • Plan the corner store in your kitchen carefully to make the best use of that often-overlooked space. Use blind corner cabinets, swivels or even lazy susans for easy access on the ground level, and use open shelving or shelving with shutters on the upper cabinet area.
  • Check out some more tips to correct interior mistakes in the kitchen here.

Mistakes In Interior Design To Avoid In The Foyer

  1. Not incorporating sufficient hanging space and storage for coats and bags.
  2. Using dark colours that make this narrow passage look more claustrophobic.
  3. Not taking the proportions and the scale into account, thereby restricting easy movement.
  4. Using impractical flooring that is prone to accumulating dirt and not making the walls stain-proof.
Foyer area common interior design mistakes evaded from a plain boring wall with the yellow accent wall enhance the look.
The home entrance looks warm and welcoming with the yellow accent wall, a stylish mirror and a clean cabinet surface. The accent lights enhance the overall look of the space
Plain wall and a cluttered cabinet in the foyer area lead to a duller look is the common interior design mistakes.
A boring plain wall and a cluttered cabinet do not add to the beauty of the home entrance, rather it makes it look more dull and uninviting

Tips To Correct These Mistakes

  • Use a Shaker-style peg rail for creating a generous hanging space.
  • Try wall panelling (full height/dado height) so that fingerprint marks of small children/visitors can be avoided. 
  • Use bright colours in the hallway as it can create a welcoming and mood-uplifting vibe. Go in for LED lights in beautiful shades to create an exciting ambience. 
  • Use a statement mirror as a decor piece in the hallway to create an illusion of a larger space.

Mistakes In Interior Design To Avoid In The Bathroom

  1. Not having sensible and practical storage options for personal care items make the bathroom look cluttered. 
  2. Not having sufficient lighting in the space to carry out the everyday bathroom-related tasks properly.
  3. Using shiny tiles in the bathroom can increase the risk of slips and accidents in the space. 
  4. Compromising the functionality over the design aesthetics of the space. 
  5. Not using the correct length and material for shower curtains can distract you from the room’s overall design.
  6. Using high-up mirrors, high tubs and low toilets results in inconvenience for short and old people.  
  7. Opening the door of the bathroom to the direct view of the toilet is a big design blunder.  
  8. Using too many colours in the bathroom becomes unpleasant and overwhelming to the eyes. 
  9. Not considering the existing plumbing points in the bathroom and leaving the wires exposed result in an increased risk of shocks. 
A bathroom with proper storage to organise toiletries, towels and other related items evade interior mistakes.
Ensure that your bathroom has a proper storage solution to organise toiletries, towels and other related items so that you can make maximum use of the space without visual clutter. Also, use a big mirror for daily cleaning and grooming purposes
A small mirror and lack of proper storage are the bathrooms interior design mistakes.
A bathroom with a small mirror and lack of proper storage space for your personal care items makes the space look scattered and drastically reduces its efficiency as well

Tips To Correct These Mistakes

  • Add one or two cabinets, open shelves, adjustable shelves, deep drawers or a caddy in the space to increase the overall storage capacity for your care items. 
  • Use the right mirror according to your bathroom needs (normal mirror/mirror with vanity lights). 
  • Incorporate multiple lighting sources in your bathroom coupled with a window for the natural sunlight and fresh air to come in. Use a mix of overhead, ambient and task light fixtures for better vision and mood.
  • Take correct measurements of your shower curtains and your other frequently used bathroom pieces to ensure that they are sustainable, cost-effective and safe. The shower curtains need to be hung high up to add more depth.
A bathroom mistake in interior design avoided with proper ventilation and lighting looks airy and brighter.
Pay attention to proper ventilation and lighting options – natural sunlight, accent and task lighting — so that the bathroom looks airy and brighter. Go for rough floor tiles for safety purposes and use a glass shower door to create an illusion of a bigger space
A bathroom with no ventilation and natural lighting brings a dull look are the worst interior design mistakes.
A bathroom with no natural lighting and ventilation source is probably a bad idea if you’re looking for long-term durability and performance. Slippery tiles make you more prone to accidents and an ordinary-looking shower curtain makes the space look dull and claustrophobic
  • Opt for bathroom floor tiles that are of a rough or matte finish. Alternatively, use a washable rug held in place with carpet tape if you already have slippery tiles. 
  • Use a pop of colour here and there with neutrals to make the bathroom look more fun rather than splashing it entirely in vibrant colours and patterns. 
  • Plan the location of the toilet behind the bathroom door or to the side so that it is hidden and not in full view.
  • Create separate zones in the bathroom based on activity to give it a more purposeful and productive feel. 
  • Take the help of a plumber to cover exposed electrical wires to ensure the safety of those using the space.

We hope this blog post has provided you with useful advice on how to get the most of your home’s interior design. So, go ahead and build your dream home by achieving a perfect balance between proportion, rhythm, balance, aesthetics and harmony. If you’re not confident enough to do it on your own, then you can hire a professional interior designer to do it on your behalf. Book your online consultation with DesignCafe today.

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Pooja Dara is a content writer at Design Cafe home interiors blog.

Pooja Dara

Pooja Dara is a freelance writer and editor with over seven years of experience and has worked for several reputed companies in multiple niches. Having made a switch from quantitative research (of leading FMCG and durable brands) to secondary research, she is now an independent content specialist who believes in creating value for her clients through her work. She is also passionate about photography, spirituality, dogs, and traveling.

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