Living Room Decor Mistakes

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Making decorating mistakes in your living room can lead to wasted time and money.

Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, it’s easy to choose the wrong layouts, furniture pieces, styles, and accessories that leave your space looking haphazard and unfinished.

Common blunders like selecting items that don’t coordinate, overcrowding the area, or ignoring lighting and conversation groupings create rooms that simply don’t function well.

This optimal living room decor guide will highlight the 26 most prevalent interior design fails along with clear solutions to avoid them.

By sidestepping these pervasive pitfalls, you can finally create a polished, pulled-together lounge you’ll be thrilled to host and relax in.

Living Room Decor Mistakes

26 Common Living Room Decor Mistakes

1. Choosing the Wrong Size Furniture

Choosing the wrong size furniture for the room is a common mistake. When your couch barely fits along the wall or your coffee table overpowers the whole seating area, it throws off the whole balance of the space. Take measurements and sketch out different arrangements before committing to pieces that could overwhelm or get swallowed up.

2. Failing to Designate Clear Seating Areas

Failing to designate clear seating areas makes a living room feel choppy and disjointed. Floating chairs randomly or competing conversation pits pull focus in too many directions. Anchor separate zones for watching TV, casual chatting, or reading nooks with area rugs and coordinated accent seating.

3. Poor Furniture Positioning

Poor furniture placement really diminishes functionality no matter how nice the pieces may be. Floating everything randomly rather than anchoring conversational groupings to focal points like fireplaces or views makes a living room feel disconnected. Map out traffic flows and ample walkways too – nobody wants to contort around cluttered coffee tables to reach the sofa.

4. Overcrowding the Space With Too Much Furniture

Overcrowding the space with too much furniture is an easy trap to fall into. But cramming in more cabinets and display shelves or expanding your sectional to add more seats just makes things feel cluttered. Edit ruthlessly to showcase favorite treasures and keep the layout breathable.

5. Putting Overly Trendy or Quickly-Dated Pieces in the Room

Putting overly trendy or quickly dated pieces in the room risks decorating faux pas once they fade out of fashion. But timeless classics and subtle modern or vintage twists elevate a living room for the long run. Mix enduring silhouettes and versatile neutral backdrops with punchy patterns and colors to change up.

6. Excessive Decorating

Overloading with decor distracts from actually enjoying a living room when every surface accumulates tchotchkes and accessories. A few meaningful artifacts displayed artfully arouse interest, not overwhelm. Edit regularly to spotlight favorite finds against clean backdrops. Trim back what’s fallen out of curation to breathe sophistication into vignettes.

7. Choosing Pieces That Don’t Coordinate Well Together

Choosing pieces that don’t coordinate well together makes a room feel disjointed like a furniture showroom. Build cohesion through color schemes, finish selection, and repeating decorative details. But don’t match everything for a hotel-sterile vibe. Thoughtful pairings and custom upholstery keep eclectic collections refined.

8. Neglecting Lighting

Neglecting lighting – not enough, or harsh overhead only – drains the life from a living room, casting unflattering shadows across seating areas. Layer ambient glow, task lighting, and accent shine to set the mood. Sculpt visual interest with directional spotlights or silhouetted floor lamps.

9. Misplacing Rugs

Misplacing area rugs shortchanges their spatial impact when positioned too small or randomly angled. Anchoring the front legs of the main seating pieces ties configurations together visually. Make sure scaled overlays leave at least an 18” border to ground the layout. Lining up geometric patterns parallel to furnishings and walls builds cohesion through alignment.

10. Ignoring the Importance of Texture & Decorative Accessories

Ignoring the importance of texture & decorative accessories is a straightforward path to a flat, blah living room. Robust knits, gentle sheens, and handcrafted wood grain turn up the depth for tactile appeal. Display collected mementos and curated art to infuse personality within completed furniture groupings.

11. Failing to Consider Traffic Flow and Conversations Areas

Failing to consider traffic flow and conversation areas bottlenecks a layout. Map out user-friendly routes between entryways and seated spots to minimize awkward dances around cocktail tables. Angle conversation groupings to promote engaged body language, rather than stiff TV-facing rows.

12. All Matching Furniture

All matching furniture looks sterile and hotel-like, even when initially stylish. Break out of rigid sets by varying wood stains, fabric patterns, and alternative shapes like oval coffee tables. Maintain linkage through consistent finishes and decorative detailing.

13. Neglecting Comfort

Neglecting comfort dampens the appeal of even the most beautifully adorned living rooms. Cushions lose their spring, scratchy throw blankets take over, and glaring light makes visitors wince. Refresh sagging cushions, test fabrics for softness, and install dimmers for adjustable ambiance. Don’t let the backdrop diminish real-life enjoyment.

14. Putting a Sofa Under the Window

Putting a sofa under the window blocks the light and wastes an opportunity to showcase the exterior surroundings through framed views. Float seating inward and hang solar-control sheers to diffuse sunlight from behind. Transparent glass tables also reflect light to brighten from below.

15. Insufficient Storage Solutions

Inadequate storage solutions strain to contain our modern media and gear overflow behind closet doors. Built-in bookcases integrate storage for display with style while maximizing potential display real estate otherwise occupied by bulky cabinets. Customize inserts and hardware to sort items conveniently.

16. No Color Variation or Contrast

No color variation or contrast flattens a space through monotonous hues and tones. Inject vivid accent chairs or abstract art in complementary colors to intensify the core palette. Highlight focal points by framing polished metallic finishes against matte-painted walls for maximum pop.

17. TV Too Small or Wrongly Positioned

A TV too small or wrongly positioned strains comfortable viewing and dominates attention. Mount generous screens at optimal sightlines above the central seating axis. Conceal wiring and components within an integrated media console to minimize tech-heavy distractions.

18. Ignoring the Architecture of the Space

Ignoring the architecture of the space forfeits a built-in sense of balance and proportion. Embrace the footprint through furniture scales and placement suited to open concept or intimate niches. Reflect ceiling height through vertical floor lamps and gallery walls or elongate a narrow room through horizontal layering.

19. Art That’s Too Small for the Wall Space

Art that’s too small for the wall space gets visually stranded, no matter how fantastic the piece is. Measure to select bold works scaled at 60 – 75%+ of their backdrop for a confident presentation. Group eclectic combinations across large expanses, curating mismatched pieces into a statement mosaic.

20. Shoving Furniture On the Wall

Pushing furniture against walls may streamline foot traffic but cluster seating distances awkwardly far apart. Floating configurations inward invite conversation and prevent neglecting the lovely interior architecture details in many homes. Adding perimeter lighting keeps pathways visible for safe navigation if space allows.

21. Too Many Patterns Competing Visually

Too many patterns competing visually undercuts their individual impact in a dizzying mishmash. Edit down to highlight hero prints; restraint spotlights quality over quantity. Frame intricate designs within solid-colored seating and neutral window dressing to let them shine.

22. No Designated Space for a Focal Point

No designated space for a focal point makes a living room layout feel centerless. Arrange seating to orient inward toward a statement coffee table, vibrant rug, or built-in media showcase as the priorities permit. Repeating finishes, proportions, and accessories strengthen the influence.

23. Clutter of Accessories for a Messy Look

Clutter of accessories for a messy look drowns out intentional details. Build intriguing vignettes through thoughtful compositional layering across side tables, mantels, and built-in shelving. Balance collections between displayed artwork and decorative open space.

24. Cheap Bargain Furniture That Won’t Last

Cheap bargain furniture that won’t last is a disappointment waiting to happen. Invest in resilient wood frames, corner-blocked joints, and stain-resistant textiles even on a budget. Check reviews and warranties to confirm quality construction for enduring luxury and comfort.

25. Forgetting Window Treatments

Forgetting window treatments leaves an incomplete look even with your dream furniture arranged. Frame views and filter light through euro shades and softening sheers mounted near the ceiling. Contrast billowing drapes over accent seating nooks for an inviting reading retreat.

26. Flooring That Competes Too Much With Furnishings

Flooring that competes too much with furnishings detracts from your decor accomplishments. Lighter tones keep the focus on furniture configurations and eliminate concern over contrast. Sophisticated medium wood builds flexibility for evolving accent palettes through the seasons.

Final Thoughts

Sidestepping the most common living room decorating mistakes allows you to create a polished, functional space you’ll actually enjoy spending time in.

Follow design best practices for proportionate furniture, thoughtful lighting and storage solutions, coordinated colors and textures, and edited-down accessorizing.

Arrange seating to enable effortless flow and conversations while playing up architectural details.

With strategic guidance, you can avoid prevalent pitfalls and establish a pulled-together lounge perfect for gathering friends or relaxing at the end of a long day.

Now you’re ready to host happily in your flawless, on-trend sanctuary.

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