5 common decorating mistakes and how to avoid them

First off, lower that artwork!

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1. Matching everything to your sofa.
Not everything in a room has to match. Instead, find pillows, blankets, rugs and accessories that complement the focal colours of your space. The photo below is a great example. The tones in the carpet and pillows are inspired by the wall colour, the green plant picks up on the couch colour and the bowl’s interior makes the pouf pop.

Don't match everything back Photo, Sian Richards
Try using multiple shades of one colour in your space. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

2. Forgetting about lighting.
That one ceiling-mounted light in the centre of your living room won’t do! Try layering lights throughout your room, on side tables and floors. This will create ambience and add softness to your space.

Statement lighting instantly ups your room’s decor. Add bedside table lamps to balance the look. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

3. Not using a rug or using the wrong size of rug.
Rugs are such an important element of a room. They pull everything together, ground the space and define areas in open-concept homes. If you’re already using rugs throughout your house, make sure they are the right size. You want one that’s big enough to ensure couch or dining chair legs don’t hang over the edges.

Not using a rug Photo, Roberto Caruso
A rug can instantly change the look and feel of a room. (Photo, Roberto Caruso.)

4. Not testing wall paint before you apply it. 
Most paint stores will give you a sample of the colour you’re thinking of using to test before you commit. Paint small squares on your wall to see how the new colour will look out-of-the-pot and against your furniture.

Follow out ombre DIY to get this look. (Photo, Sian Richards.)
Looking for a weekend project? Check out our ombre wall DIY to get this look. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

5. Hanging art too high. 
As a general rule, hang or place art at eye level. You shouldn’t have to strain your neck to view the art on your walls.

Hang art at eye level Photo, Sian Richards
A picture rail is a great way to display your art. This, too, should be placed at eye level. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

Related:
7 simple, inexpensive ways to update your living room
10 mistakes to avoid when decorating a small bedroom
6 genius furniture ideas for small living rooms