Top 5 Design Mistakes (And How To Fix Them!)

Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to go through our home and point out various design flaws. Absolutely no one likes to hear it but it’s necessary as our eyes grow accustomed to what we see everyday. Obvious design issues can go unnoticed. Often, convenience takes precedence over decor in an effort to keep up with our busy schedules. Instead of putting the canister of pens in a cabinet, it will stay on the countertop for easy access.

My mother is my “fresh eye” as she’s an incredible designer with a particular artistic talent for home decor. If I’m planning for a party or want to give my abode a fresh lift, she will assist in helping me see my errors. She’s taught me well over the years and I have created a list of my TOP 5, TOTALLY fixable decor mistakes.

1.  Too Much Clutter

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We are all guilty of having too much clutter from time to time. Whether it congregates on our kitchen counters or on our family room bookshelves, clutter has a way of sneaking into our homes and inviting its friends to join the party. Before we know it, there’s less and less room on surfaces and only a sliver can be seen of our gorgeous kitchen countertops.


Go through your cluttered items and decide what you must keep. Place them in a cabinet close by so they are easily within reach but out of sight. Try looking for home organizing solutions but the best option is for these messy-looking items to be tucked away.







2.  Overly-Karate Chopping Pillows

For those of you who have never heard the term “karate chop pillows” before, it literally means to ident the top of a pillow with your hand. It is an interesting design element that I’ve found perplexing over the years. Some designers will tell you it’s an outdated design tactic while others will say it’s still a current look. My thoughts? I think people can overdo the chop so much that it has the reverse intended effect.


You want the pillows to look effortlessly placed and inviting to sit down so try placing just a slight bend in the top. And, by the way, there IS such a thing as too many pillows. Sometimes that balance is hard to see. I usually know when Chris points it out and asks where he’s supposed to sit on the couch. I simply reply, “they’re called TOSS pillows for a reason!”

3.  Placing Furniture Against Walls 

Have you ever walked into someone’s living room to find every piece of furniture placed against a wall? It’s like walking into an elementary school dance where the boys and girls congregate on opposite sides of the room for fear of having to socialize. This is not a good look.


Bring the furniture off the walls. Create a more social, conversational look by grouping your furniture. If your room is on the smaller side, and your sofa needs to remain on a wall, try bringing two smaller chairs closer by placing them side by side or on each side of the couch.

4.  Bright Light

To me, nothing ruins ambience more than bright lights. Your home can be arranged and designed beautifully but, if your guest is blasted with light when entering, it creates an unwelcoming atmosphere.


If you are handy and can replace the light switches on your own, this is a $20 fix. Otherwise, hire an electrician and dim every room in your home. Check out some dimmer options by clicking here.

Dimmers are a cheap, quick way to create gorgeous ambience

5.  Hanging Art Too High 

Art should be appreciated and seen. If it is hung too high it cannot be valued and, simply put, does not look right. It should be connected to the piece of furniture it floats over (sofa, console table, bed, etc) and not placed high above toward the ceiling.


The basic rule to follow is hang art at eye level and adjust from there. Since “eye level” can vary significantly from person to person, you can also follow the rule of hanging the piece so the center is 58” from the floor. If you have 10 foot ceilings, the center should be 60-63”. If you are placing art in a dining room, consider hanging even lower as your guests will be sitting the majority of the time enjoying a meal. Click here for a multitude of picture hanging sets.

Stay tuned for more design tips and tricks!

What are your top design flaws and solutions? Please share with me in the comments below!

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