The biggest no-nos and most valuable decor lessons.

August 21, 2019

In a world of instant gratification, fast fashion, and one-stop-shop décor stores, it’s easy to want to decorate our homes all at once but one of the biggest mistakes is not letting interiors come together organically, over time, and without urgency.

Here are 10 valuable lessons – along with the style mistakes not to make.


Everyone can spot cheap art, and this immediately makes a room look cheaper. The solution isn’t necessarily to spend big. Instead, use  online custom-art services or searching for unexpected pieces in flea markets or vintage stores. There are lots of cool custom art services available now, such as Minted and Leftbank Art, which allow you to affordably commission original art or have their prints framed and shipped.

The Fix: If you can’t bear to part with artwork you’ve already purchased, pay attention to the frame. One thing that can make a space look cheaper is mismatched picture frames.

Using a uniform frame material like silver or wood and adding a few mountings looks much more ‘expensive.’


Personalizing a rental? Updating light fixtures can be an inexpensive way to really help improve the overall aesthetic of any space, as well as giving a sense of sophisticated elegance and comfort.

The Fix: Lighting is like “the jewelry of interior spaces,” so it’s worth investing in. Consider it an upgrade that you can take with you if you want whenever you move.


Interior design experts agree—choosing the wrong-size rug can instantly cheapen a room. Why? Placing an area rug that is too small for a seating area instantly throws the room out of scale and gives the impression that you couldn’t afford the larger, correctly sized rug.

Make sure that the rugs touch every piece of furniture so they appear appropriately scaled and make all the furniture pieces in a room relate to one another.

The Fix: Thankfully, you don’t have to toss a small rug. The solution is to layer. If you have a rug you love but it is too small for the space – simply layer a larger rug under the smaller one. That will not only help highlight the smaller statement rug but also create the scale needed.

Image via B&B Italia House in Lake Como


A quality sofa is one of the first things experts notice when they enter your home; an inexpensive it can instantly elevate the furniture around it. “Invest in a good san inexpensive sofa won’t wear well and will date quickly.

Beware also of generic, overstuffed sofas.

The Fix: Choose the best quality fabric that you can afford – opt for something luxurious and durable in a colour that will outlast fashion. If you’re trying to elevate an existing piece, layer throw cushions in one colour and different textures for an elegant look.

Choose the best quality fabric that you can afford for your sofa – opt for something  luxurious and durable in a colour that will outlast fashion. Image via B&B Italia


One of the biggest faux pas are lid covers, dirty bath mats, and ancient soap. You don’t see these products at high-end stores for a reason. They are unsanitary and unsightly.

The Fix: Bathroom accessories can be magnets for bacteria, so make sure you launder and update them frequently. Thankfully, they’re relatively inexpensive to replace with fresh, sparkling new ones.


Updating hardware will instantly elevate an inexpensive cabinet.

The Fix: If your cupboards and dressers still have their existing stock hardware, it’s time for an update. Replace drawer and door knobs or pulls with quality, decorative hardware for instant drama.

Carefully styled accessories give your home character, but too many can look chaotic. Arrange pieces in pairs or uneven numbers. Image via B&B Italia


Carefully styled accessories give your home character, but too many can look chaotic. When a room is overcluttered with accessories, it instantly signals ‘cheap’.

Accessories should be grouped together to create a pleasing vignette, whether it’s on a coffee table, side table, or bookcase. Less is more.

The Fix: The best approach is to start with an empty space. Gather all the accessories together and take them out of the room – then look at the room with fresh eyes and select the spots where accessories will make the most impact and set the tone for the finished space. Arrange pieces in pairs or uneven numbers, grouping small items on trays for the best effect.


A quick way to elevate any wardrobe is to change the hangers. Mismatched hangers or leftover wire pieces from the laundromat cheapen any bedroom.

The Fix: It’s time to toss the jumble of plastic and wire hangers. Replace all hangers so that you have a consistent style and colour. We recommend Ikea wooden hangers as well as black velvet ones you can pick up online to organize your hanging space.

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