Common Decorating Mistakes

I subscribe to a blog written by a decorator friend of mine, Colleen Lora and I like what she has to say.  The following article is one she has written for our readers.  Thought you’d enjoy a different “voice” for a change!-Kate

Common Decorating Mistakes

I am often asked, “What are the most common decorating mistakes?”  So, I’ve compiled a list – now some of these are simply my pet peeves while others are based on sound elements of design.  The good news is, that most of these mistakes cost little to nothing to fix.  Here are my top 10, for more please log on to my blog at

too little lampsmirrorno window treatment

Wimpy Lamps                                Misplaced Mirrors                       Missing Window Treatments

  • Wimpy table lamps. If you are sitting in bed, the light should flow from the shade to the top of your shoulder.
  • Lining your room with furniture. Furniture is best in groupings that float in front of your focal point.
  • Ignoring a room’s focal point. That means don’t place the big screen TV in front of your fireplace, how sad.  Same with having a beautiful picture window with no soft window treatments.
  • Improper lighting. Every room should have three types of light: overhead, task and accent.  If all you have is an overhead fixture you are in essence, lighting nothing by lighting everything.
  • Art hung too high. Take a cue from art galleries where the center of the art is hung at or just above eye level.  For above a sofa, art should be hung 4-8 inches above the back.
  • No window treatments – or just blinds. Enough said, it’s like getting all dressed up and forgetting your earrings, it just looks unfinished.
  • Matching suites of furniture. That is so 1960’s.  Furnishing your space should not look as though it were done in a day.  Matchy-matchy lacks originality and does not reflect your personality.
  • Mirrors hung over beds. Mirrors should only be hung where they reflect something worth seeing or to expand a small space.  As seen in the photo, the mirrors hung over the bed do not reflect anything pretty and should be replaced with artwork.
  • Little knick knacks. Choose fewer accessories that are larger in scale and group together in odd numbers.
  • Forgetting the floor. Area rugs are art for your floors and anchor your seating arrangement – that is now floating away from the wall.  (Yes, you can put area rugs over wall to wall carpet.) The area rug should be at least the length of your sofa.  You never want your walls, ceiling and floors to be all the same color.

If you found these tips helpful, I now have a FREE monthly e-newsletter full of such design tips and inspiration.  If you wish to receive my newsletter, simply email me at and type “newsletter “in the subject line.

Colleen A. Lora, CID is a nationally-recognized and award winning interior decorator and owner of Décor & You, located in New Albany, Ohio.  To experience the Décor & You difference, Colleen encourages you to contact her at 614-855-1700.

Until next time,

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