You’ve seen the gorgeous room scene in the store or on the pages of Architectural Digest. You know where you can get knock-off’s of all the furniture online. And you’ll just install them all at once. They can renovate an entire home in a day on Extreme Makeover, after all, so why can’t you install a room in a few hours? Easy peasy, right? — Wrong!
When you try to do everything yourself and rush through a room design or home renovation, important things fall through the cracks. It can be really easy to make expensive and time-consuming mistakes. From choosing the wrong shade of paint to the more devastatingly expensive construction mistakes, here are just 5 of the common design disasters we get called in to fix and the best ways you can avoid them.
Ordering the wrong size sofa has become a more common mistake since online shopping has become popular. Similarly, when ordering on your own, it’s easy to make the mistake of ordering an L-shaped sofa with the L arm on the wrong side. It’s always a good idea to consult with a designer to be sure you’re getting the right thing, but if you must order on your own, here’s a great guide to buying the RIGHT sofa (Pin to Pinterest for Later, it’s long!):
TV’s and fancy media systems used to be expensive, but now that they cost less than some of our cell phones, it can be tempting to buy the largest size TV, just because you can. This is a HUGE mistake! There is definitely such thing as TOO big. Some spaces can handle the biggest screen, but more often than not it will cause neck and eye strain. A good rule of thumb is to measure how far away your seating is going to be from the TV or projection screen to determine the most comfortable size. Here’s a simple guide:
It’s common to fear hating a paint color after you’ve painted an entire room, so people tend to shy away from color. But we love color! We encourage you to consult with a color specialist or designer to avoid any paint disasters! Also common is painting a room that gets a ton of sunlight a blindingly bright color (like a cherry red, for example). Check out this other extensive post we wrote for more guidance on choosing paint colors. You don’t have to be afraid! 😉
Not investing in good rugs is a common mistake, or opting to carpet instead of tiling. We always recommend tiling your floor for sustainability and maintenance purposes. Then you can cover with an assortment of rugs which are decorative, frame the space, providing a great anchor for the furniture in the room and walkways, and are easier to clean/exchange. Not to mention: good rugs have resale value and can last for generations! Another common mistake is placing rugs under furniture incorrectly. For more guidance on flooring tips, check out this post. And for more tips on choosing the right rugs, give this post a read.
Perhaps one of the most common mistakes we see amongst DIY’ers is prioritizing vanity or cosmetic projects over the less glamorous projects that need fixing first (mold in walls, rewiring etc.)
Not getting an inspection from a general contractor or other expert before beginning renovations is a HUGE no no that often stems from having an unrealistic budget and timeline. And that stems from watching too much HGTV shows, which can be a great time but set unrealistic standards for how long it takes to get your project done. If you’re curious to delve further in depth about all those unfun-but-totally-necessary home improvement projects you have to do before you wallpaper your dining room ceiling, this is a great guide.