All-Time Worst Home Decorating Mistakes


There are some people that would tell you there are no mistakes in home decorating. They are dead wrong.

While it is advisable to follow your heart and decorate your home with the things you love, sometimes your good intentions don’t equate to good design sense. We’re all guilty of making decorating mistakes. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes, so we’re not doomed to repeat them.

Here are some of the most grievous home decorating mistakes. The good news is they all have easy fixes!

Toilet Covers and Rugs

Ewww! Not only do they look like grandma’s house (sorry, grandma), they collect all sorts of filth and germs. You know which germs I’m talking about. I realize you can get a tank and seat cover, plus that nifty U-shaped toilet rug for one incredibly low price. Please don’t do it.


They also make adorable sets to match your nautical bathroom theme. During the holidays, you can even dress up your toilet to look like Santa. Promise me you’ll resist the urge. A bath rug in front of your tub, shower and vanity are quite acceptable. Just say no to the toilet.

Accessory Clutter

I have been guilty of this home decorating mistake. We all have at one time or another. Accessories are designed to complement the furnishings and architecture of a room. Used with a heavy hand, they become nothing more than clutter.

A good way to gauge if you have an overabundance of accessories, is to calculate how much time you spend dusting. If dusting your tchotchkes takes say, more than 30 minutes per week, chances are you have too many.

This rule also applies to throw pillows and framed family photos. An average couch needs no more than two accent pillows. If you have to push pillows aside on your couch or bed to find a place to sit, you probably have too many.


Tables, bookcases, shelves and walls are the perfect place to display framed family photos. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be sentimental and want to show off special occasions, vacations and dear friends. However, a mass of picture frames can be overwhelming. It’s OK to display a few at a time, but don’t go overboard. Use albums and memory books to catalog your keepsake photos.

Levitating Artwork

Another common home decorating mistake involves artwork placement. The point of enjoying artwork is the ability to view it comfortably. If you have to crane your neck to see your art, it is too high on the wall. A good rule of thumb is to hang pictures at eye level.


Oversized prints should obviously be placed a bit higher—use the top of a doorframe to line up the top of your picture frame. When hanging artwork above a sofa or bed, position the lower edge six inches above your sofa back or headboard.

One final note, take the size of your artwork and available wall space into consideration when you plan the placement on your wall. A small print can be overpowered by a large, gaping space. Create balance and mass by grouping several small prints together.


Wayward Rugs

Never put an area rug in the middle of a room without using furniture to “anchor” it in place. A lone rug adrift in the center of a room will look lost and rather ridiculous. It is imperative to connect the rug to your furnishings.

Make sure the rug is large enough to ground your furniture—place the front feet of sofas and chairs on the rug. This will give your seating group a sense of cohesion. If you are unsure, simply purchase a rug that is large enough to accommodate all of the furniture pieces in a given group.

Another tip is to use painter’s tape on the floor to outline the ideal size rug before making your purchase. Use a measuring tape and record the dimensions to ensure you end up rug that is the right size for your room and furniture.


Cable Nests

Modern technology can ruin the best home decorating schemes. Most electronics come with a series of cables and cords, which need to be connected to a power source. Unfortunately, cables are extremely unattractive and can pose a child safety hazard. Many people have the innate ability to ignore them. I cannot.

Purchase cable ties to cinch a series of cables together. Insert them in cable channels or covers available from office supply retailers. Most cable covers can be painted to match surrounding surfaces. Attach them along walls or baseboards with double-sided tape. If you are dealing with a single long cord, you may be able to get away with hiding it between your baseboard and carpeting.


Use common sense when creating seating arrangements. Don’t make the home decorating mistake of relegating your furniture to the perimeter of the room. Bring furniture into the space, creating intimate conversation areas. Why make people shout across the room when you can easily arrange a cozy furniture grouping?


In addition, this type of furniture placement just looks plain awkward. Your furniture is a beautiful investment; it should take center stage. For example, pull your sofa away from the wall and place a console table behind it. The table makes a great spot to add a lovely lamp or flower arrangement.

Lighting Issues

Lighting conjures up a myriad of home decorating mistakes. You may have a single overhead fixture that bathes the room in bright light. Or you may be relying on a single table lamp to illuminate the entire room.

Tame that bright ceiling fixture with a dimmer. Dimmers are inexpensive and a breeze to install. That way, you can adjust the light to suit any activity or mood.


If you have to rely on lamps for illumination, make sure you have several that will provide ambient and task lighting. In an average size room, two table lamps and a floor lamp will provide ample light.

If you have money in the budget, and have an attic, enlist the services of an electrician to install recessed fixtures or a ceiling box for a chandelier or ceiling fan with a light kit. You can add dimmers to those as well.


Matchy-Match Rooms

This mistake is particularly common in the bedroom. Avoid purchasing a bedroom-in-a-bag that includes everything from comforters to window treatments. While these sets are economical and require little thought, they can also leave you with a soulless room where everything matches perfectly.

One of the joys of decorating is coming up with unique combinations of colors, patterns and textures. That’s the beauty of eclectic style—it gives you visual diversity. You tend to tire more quickly of colors and fabrics designed as part of a group.

If you are at a total loss for inspiration, just grab a couple of the latest home decorating magazines from your local newsstand. They provide a wealth of ideas to help make your room as individual as your personality.

© 2012 lindacee

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Can You Think of Any Other Decorating Mistakes? 18 comments

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I hate those bedroom in a bag sets!That is a good way to put it...."souless". Good Hub.I say up and useful

davidlivermore profile image

davidlivermore 5 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

That santa toilet seat made me laugh... that's horrible.

Voted up.

lindacee profile image

lindacee 5 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

rebeccamealey, thanks for the positive feedback! Now, I'm off to check out your Hubs!

lindacee profile image

lindacee 5 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Isn't it just a scream! davidlivermore, thank you for your vote! See you around the Hubsphere!

carolp profile image

carolp 5 years ago from Switzerland

Your hub is interesting with good ideas for me to apply since i am planning to change the interior in some parts of my house. Thanks for sharing.

lindacee profile image

lindacee 5 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thanks carolp! Glad you found my Hub helpful!

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 4 years ago

You are so right lindacee...I am quite particular to the home decorating, and I vote for simple is the best thing ever...thanks for the sharing, you deserve an "up"! Cheers!

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Injured lamb, we definitely agree on that! For anyone out there struggling with home decorating: keep it simple, and you can't go wrong. Thanks for the vote, follow and comment!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Linda, you have such a lively and upbeat voice to your writing, that I thoroughly enjoyed. I had to laugh at the toilet covers in the bathroom. Yikes! To think I used to use those. I always thought they seemed to kind of disgusting but at one time, they were the "in thing."

And about the cable things, this drives me nuts. I don't have all my cables under control in my house, but I sure want to eventually have them all covered. I wish everything was wireless. Wires are so ugly!

Great hub that I enjoyed very much. Voted up and more!

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thank you prairieprincess for the nice compliments. Yes, the toilet cover were quite fashionable -- it seems hard to believe now. And computer cables. Ugh! So glad you enjoyed this Hub. Thanks for the vote and the read!

ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

A wonderful hub with invaluable tips from you! I & my family made just one home decorating mistake - cable nests. After reading your detailed hub, I decided to fix this mistake soon. Once again, a helpful & well-written hub! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & shared

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

Where did you get all these pictures of my house? Just kidding. I am going to have to figure out a way to tame wires as well. Voted up.

profile image

Justsilvie 4 years ago

Great Hub with useful tips. Glad you pointed out the toilet rugs, not sure why they still sell them but I guess they are still in a lot of homes. Voted up and sharing!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Guilty of a few of these but levitating artwork that I don't do and I guess it will always take me more than 30 minutes to dust my house.

Voted up.

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

ishwaryaa22, yes those cables are unavoidable. But at least there are ways of making them less of an eyesore. Thank you so much for the comment, votes, share and pin! Greatly appreciated! :)

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author


Millionaire Tips, I know. Those ugly wires are the bane of my existence. Right now, we have our computers set up on the dining room table and I am tolerating the mess of cables. As soon as we have a dedicated computer room, I will work on untangling and hiding them! Thank you for stopping by my Hub. Have a great day! :)

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Justsilvie, I'm not sure why they still sell them either. My guess is for people that don't want to clean the floor around the toilet. Gross! Thanks for the read, vote and share! :)

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

moonlake, we are all guilty of some of these home decorating mistakes at one time or another. Yes, levitating artwork would make for challenging dusting! Lol! :) Thanks for the vote and comment!

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