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10 decorating mistakes to avoid right now

Irene Curtis—homify Irene Curtis—homify
Tropical style bedroom by Andreia Louraço - Designer de Interiores (Contacto: atelier.andreialouraco@gmail.com) Tropical
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It’s a new year, people. Don’t you think it’s time to finally let go of these infamous decorating mistakes that we practically grew up with? From lola’s bahay (house) to your spanking new condo – ‘fess up, we’re guilty of perpetuating these home accessorizing bloopers through generations. It’s never too late to turn over a new, more inviting leaf – but you must take that first step and admit that, yeah, you have, at one time or another, been guilty of one or two of these home decorating sins:


“Just because you saw that a style or design or a particular piece was trending does not mean that it would suit your lifestyle,” says decorator Gwyn Guanzon.

Getting rid of a “fad item” like a beanbag chair, a lava lamp, mounted antlers, sunburst mirrors, mahogany or heavily distressed furniture can be a major pain once you’ve tired of it, or worse, it goes out of style.

Decorator’s tip: Decorate according to your needs, not according to what’s trending on Pinterest. Choose your own style – it’ll last you longer, especially if you know how to creatively recycle it.

Installing improper or inadequate lighting

Every room in the house requires different lighting, and your pick for each should be based on light color, quantity and placement. Ask yourself first: How much light do you need in this particular room? What purpose does this room serve? How would the lighting function at various times of the day?

Your cheap, easy-to-install solution? Dimmer switches. If you can afford it, then add layers of lighting – recessed cans, chandeliers, pendants, table lamps. Both allow you to adjust your lighting depending on your task or mood.

Light placement is also key. “Dining table drop lights should be head height centered to the table and not the room. You’re lucky if your table is at the center of the room but if it is not, anchor your lighting on the furniture under it,” says Guanzon.

Decorating with no sense of scale and proportion

We see it all the time. Tiny sala, giant sofa. Fat-bottomed couch, titanic coffee table. See, what may look great in a spacious showroom might be a problem once it’s in your living room.

What to do: Measure your room before shopping for furniture. Balance furniture pieces – partner that fat couch with a light glass table and a tall, thin floor lamp for visual stability.

Buying a complete set

Westbury Painted 125cm-165cm Dining Set with 4 Chairs Country style dining room by The Cotswold Company Country
The Cotswold Company

Westbury Painted 125cm-165cm Dining Set with 4 Chairs

The Cotswold Company

Your home is not supposed to look like a page from a home catalog. Real people live in it; real moments take place in it – let it show. When everything is perfectly coordinated, a house feels more like a product showcase rather than a warm, personal living space.

“It’s so easy to go for the ready sets – bedroom furniture, bed frames with matching nightstands and dresser, bathroom set of bath mat, toilet mat, shower curtain, even the trash bin! – but these sets are so outdated and boring,” says interior designer Issa Villar-Ching.

Decorator's tip: Mix and match to give your space a lived-in look. Slowly build up a look by putting together things from different shops, using a mix of high-end and low-end items. Up-style rooms with ready-made furnishings by mixing in accessories and accents that spell “character”.

Sticking to a theme or design style to a T

“Just like buying a complete set, following a complete style down to the very last detail makes it look like you bought a full showroom. It doesn’t reflect your personal style,” says Villar-Ching. It’s great to have a theme or “peg” to follow – such as the tropical styles here – but your home should be authentic and realistic.

Her tip: Make it personal. Display things that you actually love, not items that hold no meaning for you simply because they are part of the theme. If you love the beach, don’t turn your whole house into a beach resort. Instead, display your coral collection on a shelf or place a large, eye-catching seashell on an end table.

Remember, decorating too much of the same print, color or design is just that – too much.

Pushing back furniture against the wall

This is a boxy look, especially if you have a large, open-concept house. Furniture arrangement, especially for seating, should create a warm, intimate setting while allowing free movement within the space, so push that furniture in.

Choosing color without testing

In the kitchen with brio by Studio Prospettiva Eclectic
Studio Prospettiva

In the kitchen with brio

Studio Prospettiva

Like lighting, color – be it on your wall, ceiling, or furniture – has a big impact on a room’s whole look and feel. Doing a color swatch will help you avoid this mistake. Mix colours and try them out first before deciding on your pick. Choosing the right color will spell the difference between classy and tacky. Want to know what's the hottest color for 2017?

Knickknacks that end up as clutter

modern  by 0dot0, Modern

Filipinos love to collect whatnots and for many of us, the more, the merrier. But when it comes to displaying your various collections, less is more. You don’t have to display them all at once and on every surface. A small group in a single surface would be sweeter on the eyes.

Photo frames on every surface

How many times have you knocked back a frame of a long-gone relative while trying to get a better look at your mom’s framed baby portrait? Now stop taking up precious space on that table and instead, hang those photographic memories on a pretty gallery wall.

Tacky displays

Plastic sofa covers. Souvenirs from weddings, baptisms or debuts. Fake flowers. No. No. And again, no.

Accent that sofa with a stylish throw blanket. Get rid of that cheap memento, especially if it has the face of the baby/birthday celebrant/bride and groom on it. Trade those plastic flora for a fresh flower centerpiece or glass fruit bowl.

Modern home by Casas inHAUS Modern

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