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10 Decorating Mistakes You Need to Avoid ASAP!

I know you guys have heard me say, “Design rules, what rules?”. So, this post must seem like a total contradiction, I know. But, there are definitely some decorating mistakes you should avoid.

Let me first start off by saying that this is just my opinion, meaning if you think your home already looks awesome, you can just ignore me.

But, if you feel like your home is missing something…

Or, no matter what you buy or how many times you switch things up…

Your home looks, simply stated – OFF?

Then, you might be making some of these simple decorating mistakes:

Decorating Mistake #1 – Using bathroom rugs that fit around the toilet

Many people will probably disagree with this one, but the bath rugs that are shaped to fit the base of a toilet are a NO-NO. It’s a dated look that is slowly (too slowly) phasing out. Not only that, they’re also pretty gross. Instead, opt for a nice rug on the outside of the shower and/or the sink base, if needed. Bottom line – don’t use these rugs, please. Ever.

View some of my bathroom makeovers here.
decorating mistakes to avoid

via HGTV

Decorating Mistake #2 – Filling a room with “Dollar Store” accessories or furniture.

If you decorate with only Dollar Store accessories or furniture, that’s what your home would look like: a Dollar Store. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a cute, functional item from a Dollar Store, but when you exclusively shop at the Dollar Stores for the decor, you’ll have a home that looks cheap and predictable. If you want help with decorating on a budget, check out my services, view my portfolio, or contact me.

Decorating Mistake #3 – Exposed wires.

Don’t leave your TV and component wires exposed. Find a way to hide them behind components, or if the budget allows, in the walls. You can also get decorative cord covers.

exposed wires - decorating mistakes to avoid

There are plenty of ways to hide your cords and wires and a lot of different products made to help keep them hidden and organized.

Decorating Mistake #4 – Poorly themed rooms (hawaiian, sports, beachy, etc.).

Sometimes this can work. If you’re going to do a theme, try to go more broad, like Nautical, instead of an isolated them, like Seashells (or go with Safari, instead of Zebra). To make a decorating theme work, try working with the colors and style of a theme, opposed to characters and an overload of art related to the theme.

For example, if you love Paris, don’t decorate your room with cheesy store bought items that say “Paris”  or have the Eiffel Tower on them. How about going with a Global/Travel theme, opposed to a “Paris” them, and use some vintage Paris what-nots (try antique shops and flea markets) and spreading them (moderately) throughout the room. If you’ve actually been to Paris, you can use items from your travels. Maybe use the color scheme from an amazing photo you took while you were there.

For furniture, you can use suitcases as side tables and art could be a world map, pictures of different places you’ve been, etc.

Decorating Mistake #5 – Cheap, outdated accessories, hardware, and lighting fixtures.

By not updating dated accessories and hardware, your home would remain in an outdated state. Changing hardware and lighting can be very affordable. There are really cool, inexpensive selections available in many different stores. If you already have a beautiful, vintage light fixture that adds to the appeal of your decor, then of course no change is needed.

Decorating Mistake #6 – Too many heavy furniture pieces or too many light furniture pieces.

You want to make sure there’s balance in your furniture pieces. If not, your room looks a bit Alice In Wonderland-y. If you have massive furniture, I’m not saying that you should mix in a teeny ottoman, but you can go with medium scale living chairs (for example).

Decorating Mistake #7 – Visible clutter

When decorating, you’ll need to get rid of the clutter. Clutter makes a room look small, dirty, and congested. You can always use storage units, baskets, drawers, etc. to hide your clutter. If you collect small items and want them displayed together, it would look like a cluttered mess if the items aren’t clean and dust-free. Also, make sure that you’ve properly styled your collection. I’ll share more on how to best style a collection of items in a later post. (Sign up for my VIP email list to get notified when that post is live.)


Combat clutter by removing what isn’t needed and using decorative baskets and boxes to hide and organize items that you need to keep.

Decorating Mistake #8 – Furniture that doesn’t fit.

Yes, that sectional sofa can fit all 10 of your girlfriends, but if it spans wall to wall in your room, it shouldn’t be there (unless it’s some sort of man cave or mom cave that’s meant for lounging). A general rule of thumb to access if a sofa is too large for a small room: you should have enough space leftover to at least put a side table on each side of the sofa.In order to have a well decorated space, furniture should look as they were made to fit in your space(s). The same goes for chairs, coffee tables, and any other furniture. If it looks like there’s no way that piece was able to fit through the doors in your home, then it’s probably too large for the room.

Decorating Mistake #9 – Placing all your furniture along the walls.

If possible, pull your furniture away from the walls and in the center of your room. Many times if you have one sofa against a wall and another across from on the opposite wall, the sofas aren’t close enough for a comfortable conversation. Floating furniture makes a room feel cozier and can help define a space, especially in an open concept floor plan.

Decorating Mistake #10 – Fake (faux) flowers that look too fake.

Don’t decorate your home with cheap, dollar store, faux plants. They make your home look dated. If you’re concerned about having real plants and flowers, try succulents – they’re hard to kill and look great. Orchids are also really hardy and beautiful. Bring in greenery from outside your home, like tree cuttings or flowers from your yard. Go out and snip a few branches and put it in a vase. If you must have faux plants (maybe you’re allergic to real ones), make sure the plants are silk, they look much more realistic than the plastic plants. Try these from Wayfair.


Faux floral arrangements like these look fake and attract dust.

I know a lot of people won’t agree that these are “bad” when decorating, but I assure you, if you avoid these decorating mistakes, your space would feel a lot fresher.

Like I mentioned before, these are my opinions and from my experience, these mistakes make a home look dated, cluttered, and cheesy. If you love to do either of the above, please don’t change a thing. You guys know I’m only here to help!

decorating mistakes you should stop making today

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So, tell me, which one of these decor mistakes are you making in your home? Do you agree/disagree with any of them?

Till next time,



32 Comments on 10 Decorating Mistakes You Need to Avoid ASAP!

  1. Jacqueline
    October 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my gosh! I am so glad that someone else has the same view points as I do! Seriously those toilet rugs need to go…
    Jacqueline recently posted…Crazy About HoundstoothMy Profile

    • Whitney
      October 8, 2013 at 1:51 am (4 years ago)

      LOL, Jacqueling, we can start a petition. (Joking)


  2. Kristen from The Road to Domestication
    October 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm (4 years ago)

    Well, I’ve got to say that I have ONE around-the-toilet rug in one bathroom…only because the builder didn’t install the toilet properly and there are huge gaps in the tile around the base of the toilet. Is that allowed?! LOL
    Kristen from The Road to Domestication recently posted…Over the WeekendMy Profile

    • Whitney
      October 8, 2013 at 1:48 am (4 years ago)

      Kristen, LOL! I can understand that. But, there could be another solution, you can still go with a rectangular that scoots up to the toilet (if that works).


  3. Catherine @ Happily Ever Crafter
    October 8, 2013 at 12:50 am (4 years ago)

    Oh my heavens YES. All of these things! Haha. Especially the faux flowers! I absolutely loathe fake flowers. Yuck. I’m a little iffy on the toilet rug one though, gotta be honest. I have a really awesome one from Bed Bath and Beyond…not one of those yucky carpet-y ones. It’s like walking on a cloud! Plus our toilet is right by the tub so it’s nice to step onto a rug and not the cold tile!
    Catherine @ Happily Ever Crafter recently posted…1st Blogiversary! Celebrating with a GIVEAWAY!My Profile

    • Whitney
      October 8, 2013 at 1:50 am (4 years ago)

      I’ve seen some really, really cute toilet rugs in Target. Sometimes, they could work, especially if it’s the only rug in the room.


  4. Prototype Mama
    October 8, 2013 at 1:15 am (4 years ago)

    This is such a great list– I so agree with all of these


    • Whitney
      October 8, 2013 at 1:47 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Chene!

    • Whitney
      October 8, 2013 at 1:47 am (4 years ago)

      You’re welcome, Joy! Thanks for visiting!


  5. Kita
    October 8, 2013 at 2:32 am (4 years ago)

    Lawd I am guilty of the first one I have them throughout all 3 of my toilets lol. I am no decorator actually my hubs does a better job so I leave him to it. I do have to do something with all these chords hanging around.
    Kita recently posted…Wasting FoodMy Profile

    • Whitney
      October 8, 2013 at 7:39 am (4 years ago)

      Baby steps, Kita! The cords are an easy fix. There’s so many decorative cord covers!


  6. Alli
    October 8, 2013 at 11:10 am (4 years ago)

    I agree with it all! I pretty much always have a tape measure with me because furniture that looks like the perfect fit in a warehouse type setting can overpower a smaller space inside the home.

    I read a great blog post the other day stating how the author got rid of all of her fake plastic fall decorations and went outside and brought nature inside. There is nothing I hate worse than fake flowers!

    Great list! Thanks for sharing!

    • Whitney
      October 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm (4 years ago)

      I keep a tape measure on me always, too, Alli!! You never know when you’ll find that “perfect” piece, so you have to make sure it’ll fit in the area you’re working with.


  7. Sam
    October 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm (4 years ago)

    Why no toilet bath rugs?! *sigh* I have one in my daughter’s bathroom but in my other two I dont. I dont feel so bad.
    Sam recently posted…A Man Doesn’t Complete MeMy Profile

    • Whitney
      October 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm (4 years ago)

      Hey Sam!
      I hope you don’t think I’m trying to make you feel bad, I’m not. 🙁

      Toilet bath rugs are dated decor (my opinion). If you love your bathroom with your toilet rug, then that’s great. It’s really your choice, because you want your spaces to be comfortable for you! Many times, when people are updating their bathroom, the toilet rugs are the first to go, it definitely makes a room feel more updated.


    • Whitney
      October 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm (4 years ago)

      Ha, I understand. Some men are like that. My fiance is, and it’s torture! LOL


  8. Anna @ Northern Homestead
    October 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm (4 years ago)

    Bathroom rugs are not just out but also yucky, I think. I remember a time where everyone had them, you were out Not having them. I always trued to stay away from them, out or not.
    Anna @ Northern Homestead recently posted…How to Freeze BeetsMy Profile

    • Whitney
      October 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, Anna!! That’s one of my personal issues with the bathroom rugs!


  9. Given Campbell
    October 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm (4 years ago)

    I agree with everything but would make it a list of 13. Adding that furniture on an angle has to go, putting bedroom furniture in front of a window because you insist on owing a 200 year old house AND a california king bed, and the last thing is to stop puddling your drapes.

    Great post as always.

    • Whitney
      November 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm (4 years ago)

      It’s funny that you mention the furniture on an angle, because I just saw a photo of a living room on Houzz with the sofa on an angle. I usually hate the look (just a personal opinion), but this living room on Houzz was beautiful. Thanks for the extra “no-nos”!


  10. Kenya G. Johnson
    November 16, 2013 at 2:26 am (4 years ago)

    Oh but I hate for my feet to touch the floor. I’m barefoot in the house 90% of the time. My name is Kenya G. Johnson and I have toilet rugs.

    • Whitney
      November 19, 2013 at 12:16 am (4 years ago)

      LOL, thanks for commenting Kenya!!

  11. Miss Daja
    November 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m laughing so hard at these tips because I agree with them all. ESPECIALLY #1 and #10. OMG no.

    • Whitney
      November 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm (4 years ago)

      LOL, thanks for vising Miss Daja! Although, I really do believe in these decor rules, I was hoping people found humor in them. I didn’t want to offend anyone, so I’m glad you laughed! 🙂


    • Whitney
      December 13, 2013 at 3:19 am (4 years ago)

      Hey Natasha,
      The toilet rugs are my pet peeve, too, but there are so many others that would disagree. 🙁

      Thanks for dropping by.


  12. diy crafts
    March 10, 2014 at 3:59 am (3 years ago)

    Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team
    of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same
    niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on.
    You have done a extraordinary job!
    diy crafts recently posted…diy craftsMy Profile

    • Whitney
      August 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Alyssa!!


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  1. […] because a big tangled mess of wires make a room look cluttered. I talked about this in my 10 Decorating Mistakes to Stop Making post. I’ll be creating a video soon about hiding and organizing cables and wires. In the […]

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