Top 5 DIY interior design mistakes

Top 5 DIY interior design mistakes

Your home is a reflection of you. It is one of the few spaces that you have for yourself and can therefore be made into a reflection of who you truly are. With this in mind, it is important that a lot of thought goes into how the spaces in your home should look and make you feel.

Your home is where you may be spending most of your time and it is where you “come home” at the end of a day, so it has to be a space you really love. Bringing a bit of personality into the design of your home is guaranteed to improve the feel of the space. Yet, what stays out of your space is JUST as important as what goes into your space. This might seem like a daunting task, so here are a few key interior design mistakes you should be aware of while designing your dream interior.

5 key things you should keep in mind when designing your home interior

Keep the following things in mind while designing your dream home:

1. Don't think everything has to match

While making selections for your interior, you may think that getting matching sets of furniture, matching your upholstery and colour coordinated fixtures and paints is the best way forward. This could end up making your house less vibrant and more monotonous, similar to every other house you may have seen.

Instead, choose focal elements that stand out and opt for unique mixes and matches of furniture without overdoing it. This will help you achieve a more unique space which demonstrates your personal taste, rather than it looking like something out of a showroom.

2. Don't overdo design trends

You might find lots of articles in magazines and posts online about the latest design trends of the year. While it is beneficial to use them as a reference point for your space, make sure you refer to them only as a starting point, and not as a complete guide. Whilst designing your home, make sure you fill it with pieces that you authentically enjoy, instead of what has been dictated somewhere else. This will ensure that your space is your own, a place that you love, and a space that you feel connected to.

In order to make your space feel personal, opt for interior choices based on your specific likes and your personal aesthetics, rather than based on a trend in a magazine or on social media.

3. Avoid using dark furniture in small spaces

Having the appropriate furniture in your space is one of the most important things to consider. This aspect has the ability to make or break your space as the furniture influences how you will perceive it. In smaller spaces, opt for light-coloured, simple furniture, as darker furniture can make your space appear even smaller.

The scale and proportion of the elements in your space always matter. Heavy and bulky furniture could make your area seem quite overcrowded and cramped, therefore opt for lighter fabrics and finishes instead. Utilising a lighter colour palette, with even a focal wall or element of a bright colour, will tie your room together well and make the space seem more open and spacious than it actually is.

4. Don't be afraid of colour

A common mistake which is similar to the error of matching everything in your home is having everything in neutral non-colours. Before painting your walls, decide on your flooring, the counter finishes, and larger items of furniture that you want for your space. These elements take up maximum visual importance.

Once this is done, decide on the wall paint colour that you feel is best suited for your space, with the elements you have already chosen in mind. You should experiment with a variety of colours, or even look at having a few accent elements or focal walls in a different or brighter colour that would tie the whole space together. This will help tie the overall design together, reinforce the colour scheme, and give the room more texture and personality.

A home that is devoid of colour can feel cold and uninviting, so try to experiment with colour, patterns, or wall murals as accent elements that will add interest and colour to your space.

5. Don't have outlets and cords as an afterthought

Having electrical cords and wires in your house may be unavoidable, but there are ways of efficiently dealing with this. If you do not have the option of running them inside the wall, there are ways to disguise any exposed wires you might have throughout your home.

For example, you could paint them the same colour as your wall to make them less noticeable, or opt for small fixtures with built-in charging stations. Nowadays there are even cord covers available in a variety of colours, which can be used to effectively disguise cords and cables that run throughout your house.

Home is where the heart is

Consider your home as a space close to your heart, for in some ways it is the core of your everyday being. Creating a coherent design may seem difficult at first as there are many mistakes you could potentially make and end up regretting. Mistakes include choosing the wrong paint colours, picking the wrong furniture, not incorporating enough lighting and choosing wrong proportions just to name a few. These can all be avoided by carefully selecting each element for your space, always opting for timeless, durable and convenient design.

When designing your interior, recall the saying ‘Home is where the heart is”; choose elements that appeal to you instead of going for what may be “in” at that point of time. Trends come and go, and they may very well not be what might be apt for you. Therefore, we recommend referring to a lot of images but always choosing what describes you best. Don’t be afraid to add your personal touch to the space and let your character show through.

If all else fails, you can always turn to an expert. Hiring a professional interior designer who has experience and knows what they are doing could significantly help you to achieve your dream home, just make sure they keep your likes and interests as a top priority, instead of their own vision.

Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes


Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes

Architect, author, international speaker, Founder and CEO of AKKA Architects, Stephanie is part of a new breed of young visionary architects who operate beyond the nowadays restrained realm of architecture....

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