Top 5 Decorating Mistakes Made by Many

Author // Jeanne Westmoreland

And how to fix them!

As a Home Staging professional company in Atlanta for nearly 20 years, we have stepped inside thousands of properties. We consistently encounter these decorating missteps.  We also offer small changes that make a big impact on home interiors. These simple tips can be applied for both staging to sell or staging to live!

Here’s our Top 5 Decorating Mistakes we see and how to fix them:

1. Scale Fiasco: Wrong-Sized Furniture for the Space

  • Nothing will make a room feel small, like a huge couch or sectional. And vice versa, a large room will feel cold and uninviting with dainty furnishings. 
  • An oversized room demands decor that takes up visual space. Do this with larger-scale furniture, art, and accessories rather than many small items that make the room feel cluttered.
  • A small room requires carefully curated furnishings to ensure comfort in the space but not overwhelm it. Rather than a vast sectional, consider a two or 3-cushioned sofa paired with two beautiful side chairs. 
  • Always consider your traffic path through the room and to exits. Leave enough room to open doors and to walk into seating areas. 


 2. Color Chaos: Too Many Hues

  • As Staging Professionals, we often advise Sellers to neutralize the wall colors and stick to pops of color in the art and accessories to add interest. This is good decorating advice, even if you're not selling your house. When trends change, simply buy new pillows instead of having to re-paint. 
  • Too many wall colors throughout the house can be jarring to the eye. No, you don't have to paint every room the same color, but still with either a warm or cool color palette throughout. Imagine lifting the roof off of the house and looking down in. Walls should all coordinate. 
  • A big blunder we see if dark rooms on every wall in a room with no natural light. If it's a theater space that's ok, but as a rule of thumb, darker colors need natural light to make a space more inviting. 
  • Accent walls or not? Sometimes and sometimes not. It depends on the current trend. Pay attention to what you see on TV in the rooms of a favorite sitcom or movie! 
  • Wallpaper? Is that what you said?? YES, the wallpaper is back on trend in a BIG way. It is a perfect way to add color to a room. Bathrooms and powder rooms look amazing with carefully chosen statement wallpaper. This is a tough sell for those of us who have finally removed all of the old wallpaper in our homes! 


3. Impulsive Decor Shopping: Collecting rather than Curating 

Many of us are guilty of this one! "It's on sale!" or "I love dog decor!" No matter how tempting the purchase, ask yourself these questions before buying it! 

  • Where will it go?
  • Does the size, color, and style suit that room?
  • Is it a good quality?
  • Will it replace something else?

Sometimes, it could be the opposite, and you may fear a purchase because you "don't know if it will look good". Remember, most items can be returned. You'll never know if you don't give it a try! This happens to me- do you ever have something in your cart and question whether you want to buy it, and someone else compliments it? All of a sudden, you LOVE IT! LOL. 

To prevent a mishmash of clutter when shopping, pick your favorite items, find a home for each, and decide if they make sense together. How does each item contribute to your space's narrative or story? Your home will appear more curated and cohesive. 


4. Furniture Against the Wall Syndrome

Contrary to popular belief, pushing all your furniture against the wall doesn't make a room look bigger. Instead, it creates a sense of emptiness and detachment. Embrace the art of floating furniture, allowing for cozy conversation nooks and improved traffic flow. 

Find the focal point of the room. It could be the fireplace, a large blank wall, or even an outdoor view. Most people still look for a TV wall, which can also be a focal point. Arrange the furniture with these spaces in mind. Use the focal points as a frame of reference for centering your arrangement. 


5. Looking Up at Art

Most wall art we see in homes is hung way too high. Doing this disrupts the visual flow of the space. Here are some tips on hanging art properly:

  • When it is an accent wall, and art is the only item on that wall, hang it at eye level by measuring from the center point of the art to the floor 60". 
  • When possible, art should be placed over a piece of furniture. Over a sofa, console, etc., the bottom of the art put it 4-6" above the furniture piece. 
  • There are exceptions to every rule—for example, gallery walls. Choose the center point of the grouping and work out from there. Gallery walls are a whole category of thier own. 


Do any of these decorating blunders sound familiar?   No fear! Classic Staging LLC offers in-home Decorating Services from hourly consultations to a complete re-design. Call or text Classic Staging at 404-234-6908 or click "Get a Quote" above to get started. 

About the Author

Jeanne Westmoreland

Jeanne Westmoreland

Jeanne is the Owner & Creative Director of Classic Staging, LLC and has over 20 years in the home decorating and staging fields.  Classic Staging, LLC. is a premiere home staging company based in Woodstock, Georgia. Jeanne is deeply entrenched in the home staging industry and respected among colleagues around the world. She has achieved the highest level of accreditations through IAHSP and HSRA. Classic Staging LLC is respected and referred by the top Real Estate Agents in Atlanta.