White furniture is just a disaster waiting to happen. It’s challenging enough to walk outside in a white t-shirt without getting it dirty, and a couch is really no better, especially if you have kids. White furniture may look nice but it just isn’t practical. Even if you are careful, dirt will be drawn to your couch like a magnet.
Colored furniture is your best and when we say colored, we mean colored. Not light colored or pastel. You want stuff that is going to cover up dirt. Unless you don’t mind steam cleaning your couch often or replacing it as soon as it gets disgusting looking, then by all means…
Choosing the Wrong Paint or Wallpaper
Choosing the wrong paint color or wallpaper can be a costly mistake, not only in terms of money but also time. Sure, you can do these things over again if you mess up, but it is certainly not easy to do them and it's time-consuming. You want to test your paint colors and wallpaper with samples.
Some paint colors might not work in your space for a variety of reasons. Maybe the paint color doesn’t match your décor or maybe it just doesn’t look right with the lighting in your space. For wallpaper, its easy to get a pattern wrong by choosing a pattern that’s too small for a larger space or too large for a smaller space.
Choosing the Wrong Lights
Choosing the wrong lighting can ruin the entire look of your space and potentially lead you to changing the furniture items in your space when changing up the lighting could be the right solution. It many cases, the wrong lighting can interfere with the functionality of your space.
For instance, in a bathroom, lighting that is too dark will inhibit your ability to put on make-up, polish your nails and your other day to day activities. In a living space, you want lighting that is warm and inviting rather than something ridiculously bright like you are in a showroom.
Tiny Tiles are a major mistake, period. Whether in your kitchen or bathroom, tiny tiles just make your life more complicated, so they will end up being a waste of time and money. Many people that purchase tiny tiles end up replacing them and so that’s a big chunk of your money going down the drain.
Tiny tiles mean more grout to clean and that’s the worst part of tiles, to begin with. Installing them is also difficult but maintaining them is worse. You are also dealing with smaller grout lines so cleaning them is going to be even more difficult. And with the tiles being smaller, it’s going to be more noticeable if there’s a crack in one.
Not Picking Furniture in Person
Buying furniture items online can be a huge mistake, especially if you can’t return the items. Rarely, does something you buy online actually look like what you get in real life. It might not be as large as it looks in the picture, it might not be the right color or it might be cheaper quality than you expect.
Nevertheless, that’s just money going down the drain if you end up having to buy something else. Be sure to shop at stores, where you can see the item in person. Only there can you really judge what something is going to look like. Sometimes it might even be more appealing in person. Sometimes seeing is believing as they say.
Not Measuring Furniture
Not measuring your space and your furniture items can be a costly mistake, especially when you can’t return the items you’ve purchased and opened. Its not enough just to pick the right colored furniture items, they need to be the right size too! And not just for the sake of the room but the other furniture as well.
Purchasing furniture that takes up to much space in your room is ultimately going to lead to you replace that item as you discover just how much it limits your space. On top of that, you need to measure the height of furniture, such as chair legs when you are trying to fit them for table and couch length to ensure its not too wide for your space.
Too Many Accent Colors
Many people just don’t know how to implement accent colors. Many people just try to fit as many colors as they like in a space and it just doesn’t work. Its easy to go overboard on accent colors and make your room look super busy and far less welcoming than you might hope for.
When it comes to accent colors, less is more, and when we say less is more, we really mean a lot less. You want to stick with like two or, better yet, one accent color. You don’t need all the colors of the rainbow to express that you have a unique personality. People will get that from the décor you use, not the colors you choose.
Not Planning Out Your Space
Not planning out your space is a huge mistake many people make. Often people will just buy whatever they like and try to make it work in their home, but that’s really not the way to go. That’s how you end up with a room with a lot of mismatched pieces and really just too much going on in it.
When shopping for furniture, you don’t just want to consider looks either, you also want to consider your budget as well. You might end up spending too much money one one or two things and end up budgeting where you really shouldn’t have. And with that said, that brings us to the next thing…
Cheap Window Treatments
Do not neglect your windows. It’s easy to find cheap window treatments for your space but these are a bad idea for a number of reasons. One reason is that they cheapen the look of your home and make everything else you have look cheap too, or out of place. But that’s just part of it.
You might be thinking that buying cheap window treatments is going to save you money, but it is certainly not. Ultimately, cheap window treatments will have to be replaced, sooner rather than later and that means that you’ll end up spending more money than you would if you purchased something better that will last longer.
Too Many Designer Pieces
On the other side of things, some people will end up spending too much money on designer goods when they really don’t need to, and that’s just money you are throwing away. Some people think getting a luxurious look to your home means buying luxury everything, but that’s not the case.
A few luxury pieces can be enough to establish a focal point in your space, and really larger items are going to be the thing that everyone notices. You can balance your budget and the look of your space with more affordable accents surrounding your more luxurious pieces. For instance maybe you have a designer end table, but on top of it: a budget lamp.
Not Buying Enough Wallpaper
Wallpaper can be a costly mistake if you don’t buy extra. Why am I saying that? Because you want enough wallpaper to do the whole job at once. You can’t just order more wallpaper because sometimes, even if you are buying the same thing, it won’t look exactly the same in most cases.
Sometimes the pattern or colorways might be slightly off and if that’s the case, it won’t quite look right and you’ll end up needing to replace the whole thing. So how much more should you get? It is recommended that you purchase up to 20% more than you think you need. That also leaves you room to make mistakes too.
Don’t disregard the scale of your room. Measure your space and plan your furniture accordingly. Don’t try to shove too many pieces in one space or try to fit a couch or bed that’s too big in a small room. At the same time, you also want to ensure your couch is big enough and you don’t have too much extra space.
A big couch might sound comfy to you on paper but in a small space, it will make your room look cramped which will have a negative effect on you mentally and become decidedly not cozy at all. To sum it up easy for you, make sure everything you buy is proportional. This might seem like a no brainer but not everyone pays attention to that at all.
Trying to Fill a Room Quickly
When it comes to interior design, you really don’t want to rush. Buying a lot of things just to fill up your room is never a good idea. You’ll end up buying things you really aren’t crazy about and end up replacing them later. You’ll also end up buying cheap items that won’t last you.
And just as we said about the window treatments, filling your space up with cheap furnishings will make your room look cheap and cost you money to replace everything when it inevitably wears down. If a price is too good to be true, then it probably is.
Buying Small Rugs
Smaller rugs might seem more appealing because they usually cost a lot less than the bigger ones, but rest assured, they are costing you more when you run the numbers. You could end up needing to buy multiple rugs that cost you more money than the one big one, but moreover, it just won’t look right.
A rug in your home shouldn’t look like a random piece of art on your floor or a sticker, or whatever. It should be a unifying element that pulls the look of the room together. Smaller rugs in a large room just look tacked on and ultimately are a waste of your money.
Not Measuring Your Access Points
By access points, we mean doorways, elevators, etc. Its easy to get so caught up in designing your home and how everything looks in your space that you actually forget if everything can actually physically fit. That is to say: can you even get it through the door?
Even if it’s something you end up building in your home, like something you bought at Ikea, you may eventually have to get it out the door if you plan to move. And if don’t account for that luxury couch you bought fitting through the door, it may have to go back and that means you are going to get stuck with a restocking fee.
Painting Before You Buy Furniture
Home decor is a bit like math in that you need to follow an important order of operations. Although it may seem harmless to choose the paint for a room before the furniture, this could actually end up being one of the costliest mistakes in your home.
The problem stems from the differences in color availability between paint and furniture. While our options are always increasing, furniture colors are going to be much more limited than paint colors—which is basically available in any shade under the sun. Get your furniture knocked out first because it will be much easier to match paint colors with it than vice versa.
Outsourcing the Entire Process to an Interior Designer
If you want to redo your home but want to offload all the design decisions on someone else do you really want to redo your home? Interior designers can be a big help in helping you realize your vision while keeping you on track during the process, but letting them deal with everything is a terrible idea...especially from a financial perspective.
If you can't be bothered to have some input on your own home, why not just save some money and leave it as it is without hiring an expensive interior designer? Plus, don't be surprised if they push you to make expensive luxury purchases, which is going to make your renovation that much more costly.
High-Price Items with No Practical Purpose
Impractical as it may be, who doesn't want to live in the lap of luxury? While there's nothing with bringing in some high-cost items, if you're going to be spending an arm and a leg, it's important to be smart about what you're buying. This is not the time to buy frivolous things with no practical purpose.
Save the big bucks for pieces that you will actually get some use out of—like furniture. Sure, that Faberge egg collection might look gorgeous, but what a waste of money for something that you're only going to look at. Make those big purchases count by only spending on things that will have a practical use for you.
Going Crazy with Wall Decor
What's wrong with hanging a picture or two on the walls? Absolutely nothing! However, wall hangings come with some hidden costs that we don't always immediately think of. If it's artwork you're interested in, don't forget that you're going to have to shell out for frames as well as the pieces themselves.
Plus, whether you're hanging art, TVs, mirrors, or anything in between, you'll have to also invest in various mounts for getting all that stuff to stay stuck to the walls. You could skimp on that step, but then you'll just end up paying more when your flat screen crashes to the ground and you have to buy a new one!
Not Testing Your Dining Room Chairs Before Buying
When it comes to redecorating your home, you can't go wrong by testing everything out before you buy it. However, it's especially important when you're looking to purchase something like dining room chairs. Without a proper test drive, you might be in for one uncomfortable ride at dinner time.
The issue is that many dining room chairs look absolutely fantastic but are downright painful to sit in. If you're buying your dining room chairs on looks alone, you run the risk of being stuck with chairs you hate to sit in. Then, your only options are to tough it out or shell out even more money for chairs that are actually comfortable.
Not Doing the Necessary Prep Work
If you're just doing a simple redecoration by switching out a few items on tables and shelves, there's not a lot of prep work. However, if your redecorating plans are more akin to a renovation, you definitely don't want to skimp on the prep work or you may end up spending a lot more money than you anticipated.
One of the most common expensive pitfalls is not prepping your walls before repainting them—it's not as simple as just throwing up a new coat! Any cracks or other damage will need to be plastered over first, or you'll just end up with a wall crack covered in a fresh coat of paint.
Not Child-Proofing Your Decor
Kids may enrich your life, but when it comes to home decor, they have a tendency to trash it. If you've got kids in the home (or are planning on having them) but have no intention of child-proofing everything, get ready to shell out extra to replace all the things they break.
Child-proofing your stuff (especially the expensive pieces, like furniture) might cost a little extra up-front, but you'll save tons over time as your stuff manages to stay in good condition despite all the wear and tear from the kiddos. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Not Testing Paint in Different Lighting
Choosing paint based solely on the swatch cards at Home Depot is absolute lunacy, so we’re going to assume you’re not doing anything as bad as that. However, even if you’ve done your homework and actually seen the paint you want in person, it may not be enough.
Ideally, you’re testing out your paint in multiple different light options—what it looks like at the hardware store won’t be what it looks like on your walls at high noon…which won't be what it looks like on your walls after sunset. If you’re not testing your paint out in different lighting, you may just find yourself having to go back to the store to buy a different shade.
Winging It When It Comes to Your Budget
We get it—sometimes you don’t want to make a big to-do about your redecorating. However, what begins as a simple, small redecorating job can quickly balloon into something much more complicated…and much more expensive! Winging it will not do you any favors—in terms of your decor or your wallet.
While there’s usually no need for an in-depth, line-by-line breakdown in your budget, if you don’t have at least a vague idea of what your spending limit is, you’re definitely going to end up spending way more than you intended to. At the very least, do some price comparisons on the items you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Choosing Lights Based on Aesthetics Only
We’re not suggesting you go completely practical with your lighting and just install some hospital-style fluorescent bulbs in your home, but going for looks only could cost you in the long run. Lamps and other fixtures aren’t just there to look pretty—they serve an important purpose.
While your lighting scheme may look adorable and fit perfectly with the style of your house if you can’t see two feet in front of your face, you’re just going to have to shell out even more for additional lighting to make your home actually hospitable. Make sure that your lights are enough to actually illuminate your home before you go spending top-dollar on expensive fixtures.
Re-Doing a Room From Scratch
Whether you’re smart with your money or not, redecorating your home is probably going to cost you a pretty penny. That’s why it’s important to see what current pieces and items in your home can stick around before you start buying new things to replace things that don’t actually need to be replaced.
While it can be tempting to start from scratch and rip out everything in your home down to the foundation, that’s rarely the most cost-effective way to redecorate. It’s fine to ditch the things you truly hate, but switching up expensive items and features just for the sake of switching them up is just money down the drain.
Chasing Modern Trends
Whether it’s fashion or home decor, chasing trends is a neverending treadmill of buying stuff that you don’t need, only to replace it with more stuff you don’t need a few weeks later. While decor trends can help give you ideas for your space, it’s best not to take them too seriously.
Trend chasing is definitely going to be expensive because people love marking up stuff that’s become the “hot new thing.” However, it’s also just a generally terrible way to decorate your home—it should be a reflection of you, not a reflection of what other people are telling you to like.
Going DIY to Save Money on Labor
We realize that this slideshow is all about saving money, but when it comes to redecorating and renovating your home, sometimes it pays to spend a little extra. While small redecorating projects might be perfectly doable by amateurs, there are times when you should leave the hard work to the experts.
Obviously, you don’t need to consult an expert to help you put up your latest Pier 1 haul, but if your redecorating involves making substantial changes to the “bones” of your home (walls, lighting fixtures, etc.), you may want to contact a contractor. Doing shoddy DIY work will end up being more expensive in the long run if a professional has to come behind you to fix your mistakes.
Buying Cheap, Low-Quality Furniture
While IKEA may be the worst offender, there are plenty of places to buy cheap (and cheaply made) furniture these days. Going this route in your own home will save you some money up front, but you’ll eventually burn through all those savings…and then some.
This kind of shoddy furniture is going to need to be replaced much more often than higher-quality furniture. That expensive sofa might be three times the cost of the cheap sofa you saw on Amazon, but that thing is also going to last about ten times longer than the shoddy items.
Not Double Checking Natural Materials
Incorporating natural materials like stone has become all the rage in home design. And while these natural materials might be incredibly durable and able to last for decades or longer, they can still leave you with some unexpected expenses—and they can often be a pain to replace.
The biggest problem with natural materials like stone is that Mother Nature doesn’t care about quality control all that much. Color and texture variations are basically unavoidable, so it’s always important to see the exact materials that will be going into your home. You might not think there’s much difference between shades of stone, but sometimes the difference between one batch and another can be incredibly drastic.