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5 Common Decorating Mistakes Solved

A small study nook is inset in a white painted wall. The alcove includes a white desk with a white metal chair. There is another small alcove to the left with a white bench seat, a brown blanket thrown on top, and patterned black and white spiral wallpaper in the alcove wall. The ceiling above is painted teal and the floor is beige tiles

Image Source | Three Birds Renovations

The start of the year can be a great time to give your home a little TLC, with mood boards, colour schemes, and checklists for the hottest decorating trends all making the rounds after New Year’s. But, if you’re giving your space an overhaul, there are some decorating pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Read on for 5 all-too-common decorating mistakes, and our expert solutions.

1. You want to use colour throughout your house, but don’t know how to keep it from looking crazy

An entryway of a house. White french doors are visible on the left. The floor is dark grey tiles with a multi-blue tone striped rug on top. The wall s adjacent to the door are covered in blue floral wall paper and a circular mirrors hangs on the main wall with silver spikes surrounding it. A gold ornate light shade hangs from a white painted ceiling. A turquoise side table rests against the far wall with brass legs, on top are various ornaments. A wall is visible in the foreground on the white. It is dark blue with white trim and the edge of a white framed painting can be seen.

Image Source | Burke Decor

Solution: Use a consistent colour as a bridge between all the rooms

By choosing a staple colour throughout your home, you can make your space as bright as you like without going over the top. Remember that the key here is consistency, but you can still have a play with tones for a touch of difference from room to room. For example, you could use your chosen colour in a bold way in one room by applying wallpaper in that colour. In the next room, you might keep things subdued by painting the walls in a more muted tone.

A wide hallway with a dining room visible at the back. The floor is light brown floorboards in a chevron pattern and the walls are painted mint green. The ceiling and trims are cream and a beige round pendant light hangs from the ceiling. There is a window on the left wall with beige blinds and a large artistic piece hanging on the right wall. In the dining room beyond there is wall paper of brown palm trees on the wall, along with a wooden dining table and chairs upholstered in the same colour as the mint green/teal walls.

Image Source | Atelier CVD

Another tip is to keep base boards, cornices and trims consistent throughout, usually in a neutral tone to offset any colours you use. If you don’t want to use the same colour on every wall of the house, find other colours adjacent to it on the colour wheel or in the paint deck to compliment your chosen colour. Then, make sure to carry the bridge colour through on furnishings and accessories to tie all your rooms together.

2. You want to experiment with wallpaper but it feels like too much of a commitment

A white bathroom vanity sits against a wall with white tiles above and on the adjacent wall. On the wall above the vanity is a soft blush pink and white wall paper in an aztec style pattern. Two circular mirrors hand on the  wall surrounded by cream wooden beads. a simple silver hand towel rail is attached to the wall on the right with a white handtowel hanging from it. There is an open window to the right and blush pink accessories on the vanity. A small orb shaped light hangs from the ceiling with white macrame decor on the outside of the glass

Image Source | Kara Miller Interiors

Solution: Experiment with self adhesive wallpaper and decals

If you want to give wallpaper a go, but are afraid of the work involved, or what to do should you change your mind, there are ways to play without making the commitment. Our tip is to experiment with self adhesive wallpaper and decals. There are a lots of 'peel and stick' options available from sites like Etsy, which are an affordable and often temporary alternative to traditional wallpaper.

A wall is decorated with patterned blue and white wallpaper. A two-sided gold lamp is attached to the wall with simple white lamp shades. A doorway is visible on the right through which a black painted wall is visible with various paintings hanging on the wall. The floor is beige with a round jute rug

Image Source | Gen & Ben Soh

via One Kings Lane

Make sure to start in small space, such as in a powder room or desk nook to get comfortable with the pattern. You’ll also want to start down low, as you’re sure to get more comfortable with the application as you go on - no one wants that first decal to be wonky or bubbled in the middle of the wall! Don’t be afraid to give it a go, and remember, if you find it’s not your style there are ways to remove it and try something else.

3. You want to incorporate art into your home but don’t know where to start

A cream wall with an assortment of paintings hanging in brown timber and gold frames. A wooden side table rests against the wall with two simple vases with leafy grennery.


Solution: Have a broad look online to find your style

If you’re new to the world of art, it can be daunting to know where to look for the perfect pieces, and what they’re really worth. For investment pieces, have a browse through online sites such as 1st Dibs and Chairish. These marketplace style sites curate vintage and antique pieces from around the world, providing you access to furniture and artwork of the highest quality. For unique artwork on a budget, have a chat to local art students who might be interested in creating bespoke pieces, or check out sites such as and Etsy.

A living room. The floor is grey tiles with a faded red and blue aztec rug. On top of the rug is a white coffee table with wooden legs. A plant rests on top. The back wall is painted black with two large photographs of nature in white frames hanging on the wall. A light grey couch rests against the wall with blue and red cushions. To the right of the couch is a light wooden side table with photographs, plants and a simple table lamp on top. In front of it is a wooden Eames style chair with cream upholstery and a black cushion

Image Source | Juniper Homes

When it comes to displaying your artwork, the options are endless. For larger pieces, choose a room with a large blank wall to let the piece truly shine, and make sure not to clutter the space with unnecessary accessories. For smaller pieces, a gallery wall can look great in a range of spaces. Check out our guide on how to create the perfect gallery wall, and see our 2020 art series blogs here and here for more inspiration.

4. You want a brightly lit space but aren’t sure how much lighting each room needs

A kitchen/dining space. The floors are timber floor boards and the walls and ceiling are painted white. A granite island bench with a white bench top is visible in the background. Wooden stools rest against it with a fruit bowel on top. Down lights are visible in the ceiling above. In the foreground there is a large 8 seater black dining table with cream and wooden chairs. A silver bowel rests on top of the table and a large pendant light hangs from the ceiling; it is gold with modern triangle shaped light shades, a large double ended one on one end and three smaller ones on the other end. A large wooden display cabinet sits against the wall behind the dining table, it is full of glassware

Design: Design Sarah Davidson | Photo: Prue Ruscoe

via Vogue

Solution: Start with your overheads and assess on a room by room basis

Lighting can really set the mood of a room, so it’s important that you get the balance right, especially in public areas - you don’t want your guests sitting in a living space that’s too dark to walk around in, but you also don’t want to blind them with too-bright lights! In most rooms, you’ll want overhead lights as a base - we recommend either down lights and/or a statement pendant. Remember that dimmers are your best friend, so if you can put them in, do it wherever you can.

A photo of the same room as the previous image but from a different angle. We now see the room from the other side of the dining table, with a closer look at the pendant light above. In the background there is a set of stairs, a beige couch and a large circular mirror hanging on the wall. A black table lamp with a square white lamp shades rests on a side table

Design: Design Sarah Davidson | Photo: Prue Ruscoe

via Vogue

Once your overheads are sorted, have a think about other styles of lights that suit the setting and style of the room. Table and floor lamps are a great addition to many rooms, and are really versatile. Have a think about areas of the house you might want extra, concentrated lights such as where you’re applying makeup or studying. Finally, don’t forget the benefits of natural light. Opening the blinds and letting natural light in will save your electricity and your eyes, and can also make a space feel warm and open.

5. You want a cohesive space, but don’t want it to look like you just “bought the set”

An interior living room. The floor has a large patterned rug in navy blue, faded red and cream. Two vintage chairs sit on the right, they are wooden with brown leather seat and back. A beige couch rests on the fall wall with a white and navy cushion on top. A modern white tall, circular table sits on the right with a small pot plant and a table lamp with a conventional lightshade on top. A striped coffee table is in the middle of the room with a brown wooden bowl on top. The wall above the couch is painting white with four large black frames hanging on it. Inside the frames are four nature photographs with a large white matte

Image Source | CC and EM Interiors

Solution: Aim to have at least one vintage piece in every room

Many people think of vintage pieces as being either outdated or too expensive, but there’s plenty of cool options out there, even on a budget. Have a look around both online and in second hand stores for pieces that accentuate the style of your home and pair nicely with your modern furniture.

A dining room. The floor is covered in a grey rug. The dining table is black faux timber with a bench seat on the right and a white cushion on top. There are three cane chairs around the table. On top of the table is a large class vase with native flowers. The walls are painted white and a brown hutch rests against the far wall with a framed photograph on top, A doorway is visible on the left through which beige curtains covering glass doors are visible. A large pendant light hangs from the ceiling above the dining table. It is painted grey metal with 2 bars across each other, four naked light bulbs are attached, one on each end of the 2 poles

Design: Jake Arnold with 4C Design Group | Photo: Monica Wang

via Architectural Digest

Our number one tip is not to go too matchy-matchy with your modern and vintage pieces. Don’t be afraid to mix furniture pieces, eras and styles... in fact we encourage you to do so! Also, make sure not to only stick to one timber - mix darks and lights, and lots of texture to keep the room from falling flat.

What decorating projects are you working on this year? Let us know below!

A millennial woman, residential interior designer based on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, Australia. She is wearing a white and grey tweed blazer with a white cami, jeans and black framed glasses. Her hair is dark blonde and she is smiling with her legs crossed and her arm rested on a marble and walnut side table surrounded by native Australian flowers and plants. A watercolour abstract painting in a matted and brass frame hangs on the wall behind her as do charcoal drapes.

Krista Collard Interiors is a full service design-build firm focusing on creating timeless spaces that honour sustainability and functionality across the Greater Sydney area.

Ready to transform your home? Get started by booking a complimentary Discovery Call with us!


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