For some, the task of decorating their home may even feel frivolous or unnecessary, but we strongly believe that having a home that makes you feel comfortable is crucial to have balance in your life. While it’s important to express yourself however you feel represents your personality best, there are definitely some decor don’t that you should try to avoid.
Interior designers have weighed in on which are the faux pas that you should do your best to stay away from.
How many of these have you included in your home? We hope none!
Shot Glass Collection Display
Many people enjoy collecting souvenirs from our travels. Each memento that is collected represents another place visited and can help remind us of the enjoyable trips we’ve made throughout our lives. It’s only natural that we’d want to display these collections.
However, when it comes to shot glasses, displaying a giant case of them may not be the best decor idea. Unless you’re still in college, the “cool factor” has definitely worn off and it would be better to just keep them in a cabinet instead.
Boldly Painted Walls
While incorporating bold colors into your home is not a bad thing at all, it’s important to make sure that the color does not become overwhelming. As some colors are bolder than others, they can easily take over.
Painting all the walls of a room a bright color can quickly become an eyesore. A better alternative is to choose to paint just one wall in a bold color as an accent wall. That way, the room doesn’t become overwhelmed with color.
Adding rugs to a room is a great way to elevate the space while adding color and texture into the room. However, when choosing a rug for the room, it’s important to make sure that it properly fits the room.
Rugs that are too small will tend to look awkward and out of place rather than tying the room together. A great rule of thumb to follow is to make sure that your rug should always be anchored to two legs of furniture.
Crafting and DIY furniture is a great way to become involved in the process of decorating your home while also saving a good deal of money. However, if you want to keep things looking polished, make sure that the furniture does not look unfinished.
Unfinished-looking furniture gives the space a non-permanent feel, which definitely does not contribute to an overall sense of “home” in the living room. There are plenty of great DIY ideas online out there, so before you tackle a project, find a tutorial that will give you the perfect finished look.
Weirdly Shaped Lamps
When you’re in college or are just starting out in life post-grad, you may simply want to take any furniture you can get your hands on for cheap. Many times that means inheriting old furniture for free from previous roommates.
That can mean strange looking furniture like lamps with multiple arms and plastic covers. While this was okay in collect, once you’ve moved on it’s probably best to choose a more elegant and timeless lamp with one lampshade instead.
A futon is, in simple terms, a mattress that is folded up into a sofa. This means that it can easily be pulled out to become a bed and then folded back up to save some space in the room.
While they are definitely convenient, futons are certainly not very stylish. They have a dated, 90’s look and remind most people of their college days. There are definitely other space saving solutions that are much nicer to look at.
We get it, keeping plants alive is much tricker than most people expect. Even if you have a green thumb, the upkeep takes a lot of time and patience. Many people choose to purchase fake plants as a solution.
While this seems like a good idea, plastic plants are very tacky. They don’t add life into the room like real plants do. Instead, you can opt for getting a cactus, which is easy to maintain and adds fresh life into the house.
Overdone Art Pieces
Who doesn’t love adding a nice piece of artwork in their home? Nothing brightens up a dull wall like a creative piece of art. However, often you will end up seeing the same pieces of art displayed in home after home.
Instead of choosing the “obvious” option because it is in so many homes, try to choose a unique piece that will showcase your personality and also add some flair into your living room. There are so many artists out there that there’s no reason to choose “Starry Night.”
These days, who can have a living space without a complete entertainment system? That includes a nice TV set, streaming services, game consoles, and of course, a strong internet connection and router. All of this technology unfortunately means a lot of cables and wires.
There’s almost nothing worse than the eyesore that is created from from the resulting mess of tangled cables. There are plenty of storage solutions to keep these hidden and organized, and it is definitely a worthy investment to keep your space clutter-free.
Cheesy Photo Frames
Having photos of our loved ones in the home is a great way to decorate your space. There are plenty of methods of displaying these photos, and one of the most popular ways is with photo frames.
However, not all photo frames are created equal. While there are plenty of worthy options, there is one type in particular you should definitely stay away from. These are the frames with cheesy phrases on them. Instead, opt for a clean frame that compliments the rest of your space.
Pillows That Blend In
One of the most exciting parts of decorating a new living space is picking out furniture and decor that will elevate the space and express your personality. When it comes to choosing a couch, that means also picking some throw pillows.
Some people might think it may be a safe choice to choose pillows that are the same color as the couch as it will match perfectly might want to rethink this choice. Throw pillows are meant to be an accent and shouldn’t blend in.
Recycled Pallets Furniture
DIY furniture projects involving recycled pallets have really surged in popularity lately. We will admit that these aren’t a bad idea, and it is always a good idea to recycle as much as possible, these are not the best choice.
For one thing, these are so overdone at this point that you may end up with the same pallet coffee table as everyone else. Second, unless styled correctly, these can end up looking like they came straight out of a lumberyard.
These types of plastic drawers are a staple in college dorm rooms, which is understandable given the limited space that dorms tend to have. However, these kinds of plastic drawers should not make an appearance in your post-college living room.
Instead of plastic drawers, there are plenty of other drawer and storage options that aren’t made of cheap plastic that will cheapen the look of your living space. Some alternative options you can use include fabric bins or wicker baskets.
Curtains That Match The Sofa
Having your decor match the rest of your living room’s furniture is important, but that does not mean you need to go overboard. Making your curtains match your couch simply takes matching way too far and should definitely be avoided.
Instead, you can choose a color that is either used as an accent on your couch or one that compliments the couch’s color and use it for your curtains instead. A curtain is a great opportunity to add some texture and accent your living room.
Big Mouth Billy Bass
The Big Mouth Billy Bass is undeniably a pop culture phenomenon that cannot be ignored. For some reason, these singing fish became a huge hit in the 90’s and early 2000’s and were found in many people’s homes hanging on the wall.
While these were fun, the novelty has certainly worn off at this point. The songs are outdated and they are quite an eyesore, decor-wise. It’s time to leave these in the past. If you really miss it, you can always watch a YouTube video of one.
One of the ways we’ve already mentioned of displaying photos around the house is with a nice frame. There are lots of other methods of displaying photos, and one of them is choosing to hang them without frames at all.
This is a method that many use to decorate dorm rooms, as they’re easy to put up and take down. However, they give an immature feel to a room. Using frames will instantly elevate your living room’s decor and feel.
Plastic Covered Sofa
We definitely understand why some people choose to cover their furniture with plastic. That being said, we definitely do not condone it. It’s very reasonable to want to protect furniture that you’ve invested a lot of money into and make sure it stays in good condition.
However, covering up your living room furniture with plastic is not the way to go about it. It makes a home feel uninviting. Your best bet is to invest in furniture that are easy to clean and maintain.
Having big windows is a very desirable feature in any home. They provide lots of natural light and fresh air when you want. That’s why many people think that windows without curtains are the way to go. That’s not the case.
For those who simply do not like the look of curtains, you can always opt for blinds instead. Either way, blinds and curtains are crucial in keeping your privacy at nighttime when the lights are on but still allow light in during the day.
Barn Doors In The Home
Many current interior design trends seem to have sprung up from online posts that have circulated the web. An example of one of these trends that has really taken off is having barn doors indoors dividing up spaces in the home.
While it might seem like a good idea to join in on a current trend, it’s always best to go with a more timeless choice that will not feel dated within a few years. We’re sure that Joanna Gaines would agree with us!
Too Many Pillows
A great way to brighten up a room is by incorporating throw pillows. They can add a pop or color and some fun patterns in order to liven up the feel of the living room. That doesn’t mean you should go overboard.
Too many throw pillows can easily overwhelm the room and will quickly throw off the balance of decor in the living space. They should add to and enhance the look of the room rather than add unnecessary clutter.
Much like in many other fields, in interior design, trends come and go just as quickly as they show up. One trend that really got wildly popular in the 70’s is shag carpets. These soft and overly fluffy carpets could be found in many homes.
If you really want to fluffy and soft look, you can try to incorporate a shaggy throw pillow instead. That way, it’s not too overwhelming and won’t become outdated very quickly like a rug would.
Chintz fabric refers to mainly calico textiles that are often decorated with floral patterns. You can find chintz fabric furniture as well as wallpaper and even chinaware. This pattern became quite popular in the 18th century and definitely has a vintage look.
Nowadays, the look is most associated with a bed and breakfast style decor (frequently found in New England). However, the look is totally outdated and you should try your best to avoid incorporating it into your living room.
Once upon a time, it was very fashionable to have ruffled skirts on furniture. This included ruffled bedskirts and ruffled skirts for couches. While this was once a very popular trend, that is most definitely not the case anymore.
If you have any sort of bedskirt, and especially if it is ruffled, perhaps it is time to get rid of it. It’s definitely time to update the look of your living room and give it a bit of a modern boost.
Adding in fixtures to your living room is one way to add some decor. In the 1980’s, many people liked to have gold fixtures incorporated into their living room decor, and in time the trend became quite the popular craze.
However, now it seems like the craze has faded, rendering gold fixtures outdated. The fact is that if you still have gold fixtures in your home, that means that they’ve been there for 30 years already and it is time for them to go.
Wooden Mallard Ornaments
Another trend that was going strong for a while was having wooden duck and mallard ornaments lying around the house. We’re guessing that this is because people wanted to incorporate some nature into their home, but it’s hard to say exactly why this trend took off.
Regardless, it is high time to move on from the mallards and remove them from our living rooms. Now that these aren’t in style, having one in your living room is just plain weird.
The 80’s strike again! Yet another lingering trend from the decade of big hair is the trend of wooden paneled walls. We have to say, we think that even back then this trend wasn’t all that, despite its popularity.
That being said, it’s safe to say that in today’s day and age, wooden paneling is certainly outdated and very gaudy. This trend makes the house feel like a cabin in the woods, and unless that’s the style you’re going for, you should avoid it completely.
When it comes to interior design, there truly is a fine line between creating a unique space and overdoing it. While adding in colors, textures, and patterns is a great way to bring excitement into a room, it’s important not to go overboard.
Your living room is meant to be a place for solace and comfort. If you mix too many patterns and colors together, it can lead to an overwhelming feel. When in doubt, always go with “less is more.”
Once again, we come to a trend that took off online (most likely on Pinterest) and took on a life of its own. The wooden ladder was seen everywhere online and became one of the most sought after pieces of home decor.
However, unless it is done properly, a wooden ladder can quickly go from rustic chic to just looking out of place and awkward. If you can pull it off, it can be a great way to store blankets or clothes, but that’s hard to do.
Mounted Animal Skulls
We know that this was once a very popular decor and was a mainstay in many homes and even bars and inns. However, we really question why this is still a thing in this day and age.
We can understand wanting to go for a rustic look, but this is taking it a bit too far. Unless you can procure a fake animal head, but we think that avoiding this look altogether is the best route to take in general.
Lampshades From Another Era
When it comes to home decor, one item that is often overlooked and underrated is the lampshade. Don’t underestimate it, a lampshade can make or break the overall look of a room. That’s why it’s truly important to choose the right one.
An easy mistake to make is to choose a lampshade that has an outdated look, like one that has fringes on it and looks like it came straight out of the 1970’s. Even if you have an old lamp, all you need to do to give it a lift is get a new lampshade.
Live Laugh Love Decor
There are many cliches when it comes to home decor. One of the classic ones is decor that gives an inspirational message. While the idea behind it is nice, it can often end up looking cheap and tacky.
One of the biggest offenders is decor emblazoned with the words “Live, Laugh, Love” which can be found in many homes. It doesn’t help that it is so overdone and that’s why it’s lost all meaning. Try to avoid this type of decor at all costs.
Too Many Knick-Knacks
Collecting little mementos and knick-knacks while you travel around is a nice way to remember all the places you’ve visited. However, when it comes to displaying them, keeping them all out in the open in the living room can quickly turn into a mess.
There is not a lot that is worse than an overwhelming collection of knick knacks on display. Nothing will make a room look more cluttered than a cluster of these little items. Minimize how many you want to display to just your favorites and store the others elsewhere.
As teenagers, the way we displayed how cool we were was by tacking on posters of our favorite bands on the wall. While this decor was suitable for those days, the same cannot be said for living rooms with posters when you’re an adult.
While it is pretty tacky to have a frameless poster on the wall as an adult, you might be able to get away with having a band poster in your living room as long as it is framed nicely.
Glass tables had a moment of popularity and it seemed as though they were everywhere. However, the charm has certainly worn off at this point in time. Another thing to consider is that these tables are quite the safety hazard.
You’re much better off choosing a table that isn’t tacky and is a much safer alternative as well. There are so many coffee tables to choose from made from a myriad of materials, so there really is no excuse for this one!
Changing Colored Lights
There was a short period of time between the late 90’s and early 2000’s when it was cool to have changing colored lights featured in your living room, especially behind the TV. However, we’re happy to say that this trend did not last long.
The only place where we should see color changing lights is inside a nightclub. For your living room, you should definitely stick to soft lighting. You can play around with dimming options, but please stay away from the neon colors.
Tapestries are a great decor solution for college students. They take up the entire wall and give the room a fun and groovy feel. However, unfortunately this style does not translate well in a grownup’s apartment or home, especially in the living room.
Avoid the overly busy tapestry in the living room. If you really love it, you should hang it up in another room, but definitely keep it away from the main living space. The Bohemian-chic trend has not lasted past the early 2000’s.
There’s nothing more elegant than a giant bookcase taking up the wall in the living room filled with books of all kind. However, this look cannot and should not be replicated with wallpaper. To be clear, that is wallpaper with a picture of a full bookcase.
The misleading photo gives the impression that you just want to room to look like it has an intellectual feel, but it actually has the opposite effect. If you don’t have many books, you can try floating shelves instead.
Quote Wall Decals
Wall decals can be a great decor solution especially if you are in a rented space. However, there is almost nothing more egregious than a wall decal with quotes. The issue isn’t that these are bad in themselves, but they’re just very overdone.
Another thing to try to avoid is “labeling” the room with a wall decal, for example with the words “read” or “play.” The room’s purpose does not have to be written out on the wall, and that just looks tacky.
The chevron is a very divisive pattern. Many people absolutely love it and some absolutely despite it. We think that because it is such a bold pattern, it elicits a strong reaction. This is why you should avoid it.
It is difficult to make a chevron design work in a living room as it can easily overwhelm the room. The pattern is almost hypnotizing, and that is not the look you should aim for in a living room as it is not relaxing.
All White Living Room
While monochromatic, and especially with shades of white, is a very chic look in general, it is quite difficult to pull off for an entire room. The problem is that an all-white room can quickly go from minimalist-chic to hospital sterile.
The best way to avoid this is to make sure you include enough accent pieces and pops of color to still maintain the personality of the room without having a washed out overall feel. Patterns always help too!
The Wrong Sofa
When you think of any living room, one of the first things that most people would think of as the central piece of furniture is undoubtedly is the sofa. It really is the piece that brings the whole room together.
Therefore, it really is crucial to choose the right sofa that will fit your personality, the room’s overall feel, and will also be comfortable. One of the worst mistakes is choosing a sofa that is beautiful but uncomfortable, so definitely try sitting on it before you buy!
Replicating The Showroom
We all know how this goes. You walk into someone’s living room for the first time and you have this strange feeling that the room is weirdly familiar. You try to think of the reason why, and suddenly it dawns on you.
You realize that your friend had purchased every item found in the Ikea showroom and it looks like an exact replica. While everything looks nice, it just doesn’t feel like it reflects the person’s personality, as they did not design it themselves.
Poorly Planned Out Layout
One of the hardest but most important things to think about when planning out and organizing a living room is the layout. That means having to think about the layout of the room itself as well as how to decorate it.
It can be confusing to do at first, but there are many resources you can consult with online, and worst comes to worst, you can always recruit an interior designer for a professional opinion to ensure your living room is open and inviting.
Hanging Art Incorrectly
Adding some artwork is always a great idea to spruce up your living room space. It can add color and interest and also is a great conversation starter for when you have guests over. However, it is important to hang the art properly.
Art that is not hung correctly will completely ruin the whole effect. Instead of focusing on the content of the artwork itself, people will instead notice how it’s hung instead. Whether it’s crooked or there are too many crowded pieces together, try to avoid doing this.
An Unwelcoming Living Room
The whole purpose of a living room is, well…living! If this space is not inviting and cozy, then it has lost its original purpose. There’s a reason why many people believe that the living room sets the tone of the whole house.
Therefore, it’s up to you to choose furniture that looks nice but is also comfortable. This can be done by choosing the right fabric. The living room doesn’t need to look too perfect, as that gives it an uninviting vibe.
Matching The Architecture Of The House
While it is a good idea to make sure that all of your furniture and decorations match and go together, it is truly important to keep in mind that not everything has to match perfectly to an absolute exact degree.
The same goes for the architecture of the house. Just because you live in a Victorian house, it does not mean you need to have antique furniture. In fact, mixing up styles and time periods gives a much more interesting look.
Not Measuring Before You Buy
There are several common pitfalls when it comes to picking out and buying new furniture for a living room. One of these, and one of the most disappointing, is picking out the perfect piece that you absolutely love only to find that it won’t fit.
The reason behind this would be forgetting to measure the space before going to buy furniture. Avoiding this is really simple, you just need to measure out the area before you head out to the store.
Picking The Wrong Fabrics
Another extremely important thing to remember when decorating your living room is choosing the right type of fabric and textiles for your room. For example, when choosing a rug, make sure it is durable, easy to maintain, and strain resistant.
These pieces are going to be an integral part of your everyday life, and it’s worth it to invest in quality textiles that will last you years. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself replacing things often, which is not fun or cost efficient.
Unnecessarily Ornate Sofas
While investing in some antique vintage pieces is a nice idea, you have to make sure that the items you choose are sensible and can stand the test of time. This means that overly ornate pieces are not a great investment.
You definitely don’t want to have a living room that looks like it came out of another century. Instead of choosing entire sets of antique furniture, you can choose one accent piece instead that will give a nice contrast to the room.
Disproportionate Coffee Table
While the sofa is typically considered to be the central focal point of a room, there is another important piece of furniture that should definitely not be overlooked. The coffee table is just as important as any other item in the living room.
You should take care in choosing a coffee table, at it will be the central point of any gathering. Make sure it is not too small or too large and that it has enough space to fit everything you might need.
Investing in good art can get expensive, but trust us, it will be worth the effort and investment. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on fine art, but you should avoid hanging cheap art on your walls.
Cheap artwork will ruin the look of the whole room. Instead, invest in one nice piece, or try to find higher quality pieces at second hand stores or yard sales. There are plenty of hidden gems that can be found.
Poorly Hanging Curtains
So you’ve taken the step in investing in curtains. We applaud you for that, because many people either choose to skip this step or don’t even know how important curtains are. The next crucial step is making sure they hang properly.
There is almost nothing worse than curtains that are too long — maybe curtains that are too short! It’s not even something that is tough to deal with. Simply measure out in advance and buy curtains that fit, or take them to a tailor to be fitted properly.
Overly Harsh Lighting
Having adequate lighting in a room is absolutely crucial. Having a poorly lit room leads to a dingy and unfriendly feeling. Additionally, it’s just as important to avoid the opposite issue: having lighting that is just too bright and harsh.
In order to achieve nice, soft lighting, you should absolutely avoid fluorescent lightbulbs, which give a harsh and unforgiving type of light in a room. Investing in yellow and soft lighting will make your living room feel much more inviting and cozy.
Too Many Accessories
When decorating your living room, it is always a nice touch to add small ornaments and accessories in the room. However, make sure you’re not going overboard and loading up too many little things here and there or too many pieces of art.
This can lead to a space looking crowded and cluttered, even if it is organized. You can instead have one focused space with several little pieces coordinated together, that way the room does not get overwhelmed with too many decorations.
Furniture Against The Wall
While organizing and figuring out the configuration of the living room space, it can become a little daunting to try to figure out where everything should go. Many people just push everything up against a wall and call it a day.
However, this creates an awkward look. You should float some items like accent chairs and even the couch in order to create more balance in the room. Otherwise, everything will look very awkwardly spaced out and too far away.
An easy trap to fall into while decorating your living room is going for an avant garde piece of furniture just because of the way it looks. That futuristic sofa may look absolutely incredible, but it may not be the most practical.
Often, unique pieces of furniture come with a major downside: they’re simply not functional. Whether they are uncomfortable or they just fit fewer people, these showstoppers are very often not the right choice for most people. Instead, choose something practical that’s also stylish.
As we are all well aware of, one of the most important fixtures of every living room is the TV. While it is undoubtedly a mainstay of most of our homes, it’s important to incorporate it into the living room in the right way.
The main thing you want to avoid is having every single piece of furniture in the living room pointing to the TV, hence making it the TV shrine. You can have the sofa facing the TV, but have some other chairs there to also encourage conversation.
Not Considering Family Dynamics
One of the most important and underrated aspects to consider while decorating and organizing your living room is your family dynamic. It’s one thing to have a gorgeous room set up, but if it doesn’t suit your needs, it’s pointless.
Before you begin, take some time to consider exactly what you might need. Think about the next few years and what this means furniture-wise. If you plan on having kids or getting pets, or currently have small children that are going to grow, and plan accordingly.
Neglecting To Replace Or Refurbish
It’s important to take good care of and properly maintain the furniture in your house. However, it is inevitable that normal wear and tear from daily use will happen. You can try to prevent it for as long as possible in several ways,
However, you may need to refurbish some things along the way (by reupholstering) or even replace things. Make sure to pick out long wearing textiles and make peace with the fact that some items simply won’t last the impact of daily use.
Painting Too Soon
When you move into a new house, one of the first things that you may want to do is paint a fresh coat of paint to refresh the walls and give the space a clean look. However, this might be too soon to do it.
If you haven’t picked out furniture yet, you might want to put painting on hold so you can make sure that your walls will match your furniture. It is so much easier to repaint walls than replacing a couch.