8 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look Terrible

How to finally get your home looking more organized and beautiful than ever.

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Living room with white sofa
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1. Your Wall Art Looks Disorganized

Decorating your home with artwork can be difficult. Marissa Sauer, interior designer and founder of Design MACS, recommends that each piece of artwork connect spatially to something else in the room. So, if you have a five-foot sofa, choose a four-foot painting.

“It’s important to pick pieces that are to scale with the wall that you’re putting them on. A piece that is too small could look a bit random, and a piece that’s too big can make the room look small and cluttered,” she says. “The art has got to connect to something.”

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Dark-coloured kitchen
Photo: iStock

2. You Decorated Your Home with High-Maintenance Furniture

Steer clear of high-maintenance furniture if cleaning every surface in your home is the last thing on your list of chores. Dust will be more noticeable on dark-stained woods and fingerprints will show up quicker on mirrors and glass. If you want your home to look less messy, be mindful of furniture that gets dirtier faster, and clean them first.

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Living room with designer sofa
Photo: iStock

3. Your Walls Look Dated

With current colour trends leaning toward lighter and airier looks, duller colours with brown undertones could make your home seem dated and dirty. “It’s not that they’re bad,” says Sauer. “It just feels a bit dated, and people often connect things that are older with things that are messier.”

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Picture frames displayed on shelf
Photo: iStock

4. Your Picture Frames Aren’t Arranged Properly

If you want to organize multiple pieces of art, roll a large sheet of paper to the size of the space you’d like to fill. Place the sheet on the floor and shift around your picture frames until you finds a setup you like. Traces each frame and mark where each nail needs to go to hang them. Finally, tape the paper to the wall, put all the nails in where the dots are, and tear the paper down.

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Photo: iStock

5. You Have Exposed Cords Everywhere

Nothing says clutter – and danger – like a bunch of exposed cords and power strips around your home. Identify each room’s problem spots and look into creative ways to conceal. For example, your computer’s power strip can be hung in a basket underneath the desk.

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Vases on shelf
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6. You Over-Decorated

When organizing objects on tables and shelves, keep everything in groups of three, five or seven. Also make sure there’s a clear focal point and lots of white space, advises Sauer. To keep things interesting, put objects of different heights together, and if you have a square table, position them on a 45-degree angle.

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Colorful living room
Photo: iStock

7. Your Rug is Not the Right Size

To pull your living room together and make it look like one unit (as opposed to randomly placed furniture), make sure the front feet of each piece of furniture in your seating area is on top of the rug.

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Flowers in living room
Photo: iStock

8. Your Sofa and Pillows Look Flat

Fluff everything up and make sure your upholstery is in top shape – a wrinkled slipcover can make your living room look messy, while deformed pillows can make your bedroom less inviting.

Related features:
5 Tips to Make Your Home Look Fabulous

7 Budget-Savvy Decorating Secrets from Sarah Richardson
8 Tips for Decorating Any Room

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