7 New Home Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

Decorating a new home can require a big investment of time and money, and no one wants to get it wrong. Here are seven new home decorating mistakes to steer clear of.

One of the most exciting things about buying a new home is putting your personal stamp on it with furnishings, artwork, and color. You might have been scouring Pinterest for new home decorating ideas for months – or even years – just waiting to get your hands on the blank palette and make it your own. As you work out what you’ll do after moving into one of our new homes for sale in Pierce, King or  Thurston County, it might be worth noting some of the new home decorating mistakes other people regretted, so you can get it right the first time.

7 New Home Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

Keeping Something You Hate

This HGTV.com tip is an important one in our list of new home decorating mistakes. If you didn’t like an item that was on display or in use in your former home or apartment, moving to a new home presents an ideal opportunity for you to donate that item to thrift, sell it before you move, “lose” it in the shuffle or transfer it to storage. Examples might include family heirlooms or gifts which, while they have sentimental value, you don’t like or which don’t compliment your new home’s style.

Ignoring the Front Entry

Like the entrance to a business, the entry way of your home is the first impression many people have of your new home, and it’s a great place to set the tone for your preferred decorating style and ambiance (relaxed, formal, kid-friendly, glam, chic, rustic, etc.) Pinterest offers ideas galore for people who want to decorate their entryway, proving that even a small foyer deserves special decorating attention.

new home decorating mistakes in entry ways

This is an area where form meets function, so think through what people might need when they first arrive (a place to set bags, a purse, footwear, keys, etc. as well as what they might need when they’re leaving (their keys, shoes, jacket, purse, a mirror to double check their hair, etc.) Tables, shelves, mirrors, and small benches can all be chosen to reflect your home’s character and style to serve form as well as function. Here are two ideas from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens to inspire you.

Top new home decorating mistakes

Personal Photo Overload

Displaying photos of loved ones, family members, friends, children, your significant other – it all adds up. Over time it’s possible that you’ve collected dozens of differently-framed and sized personal photos. If you try to display them all at once it can end up looking like an incoherent jumble where nothing stands out and everything collects dust. Instead of creating those dust-magnet photo collections, consider placing a few digital photo frames (like this Amazon.com best seller which even has a motion detector to start the show) throughout your home in the spots where you and guests are most likely to enjoy them. Digital photo frames give you the ability to display hundreds of your favorite personal photos and cherished memories all in one frame which is portable, easy to reload, and instantly engaging for guests.

When you do want to display framed photos, use multi-photo gallery walls like this Pinterest example from SheerLuxe.com and keep frames consistent to ensure a cohesive display. You can also pair gallery walls with shelving to create a true focal point where people can gather to take in photos of your favorite trips, people, places, occasions, and other memorabilia.

New home decorating mistakes - photo displays

Ignoring Comfort

You may have a clear vision of the style you want in your new home’s furnishings. Home renovation and decorating shows on HGTV as well as magazines, and sites like Pinterest provide a visual playground where you can find furniture that looks amazing. However, it’s a mistake to choose furniture based on looks alone, particularly if it’s furniture where you’ll be sitting or sleeping. If you’re buying online, choose sellers that have a trial period and gracious return or exchange policy so you’re not left with furniture that looks great but feels terrible.

Furniture that Doesn’t Fit

From size to style, if your furniture overwhelms or looks like it’s lost in another time zone, country, or century, it isn’t going to look right in your home. And if it doesn’t look right, it detracts from the way people perceive your style and taste level to be, and may be so overwhelmingly out of place that it even makes people feel uncomfortable.

When it comes to size and scale, before buying furniture, measure! Use grid paper and a printed floor plan to place furniture to scale and ensure that passage ways won’t be blocked or furniture will have to be all jammed in together. If you’re moving to the Pacific Northwest from another region, use Pinterest or your favorite home decorating ideas web sites to discover the Craftsman style and envision how your furnishings will look.

Not Working from a Color Palette

Got swatches? Working from a color palette can help ensure that everything you choose – from home furnishings to rugs, accent pieces, artwork, window coverings, wall colors, bedding, towels – even table ware compliments not only your new home’s style but is in harmony with your home’s core color palette. Keep a scrapbook or keyring (like the one pictured here) with swatches and paint samples so that when you’re out shopping, you have the exact colors and prints with you to eliminate guess work.

New home decorating mistakes - choosing colors

Wrong-Sized Area Rugs

All area rugs aren’t created equally. Floating rugs are one of the common new home decorating mistakes you can avoid with a little space and furniture planning. Ideally, your area rug will ‘touch’ all of the furniture in a room or area, anchoring and connecting the pieces and creating natural space definition. In “20 Rule of Thumb Measurement Rules for Decorating Your Home” on drivenbydecor.com, self-acclaimed design-lover Kris offers three rules for choosing the appropriate size area rug for dining rooms, bedrooms, and rooms with furniture (such as great rooms or living rooms):


  • “Rugs under a dining room table should be at least 24-30″ wider and longer than the table, allowing the back legs of the chairs to stay on the rug even when the chairs are pushed out.
  • Area rugs under a bed should extend at least 18-24″ beyond each side of the bed.
  • For most typically sized rooms, there should be approximately 12″ – 18″ of bare floor between the edges of the area rug and the walls of the room. For small rooms, approximately 8″ of exposed floor is a good rule of thumb.”

On her site, you’ll also find rules for hanging artwork, drapes, and light fixtures as well as a link to measuring for dining tables, chairs, and ceiling fans. Below you’ll also find an infographic from worldmarket.com with a visual for choosing the right size area rug for rooms in your new home.


infographic - choosing the right size area rug