3 simple design mistakes that are negatively affecting your interior

sitting room, blue sofa with multiple cushions
3 common design mistakes affecting your interiorHouse Beautiful / Rachel Whiting

No matter the size or style of our home, we all want to create a beautiful and functional interior. But some simple design and styling mistakes could be stopping your space from reaching its full potential. Here are three common interior design mistakes and how to fix them.

Mistake 1: Ignoring scale and proportion

A common mistake in interior design is not considering the scale and proportion of furniture. But by paying attention to these details, you can create visually stunning spaces that's also practical for everyday living.

For example, oversized furniture in a small space can make the room feel cramped, while smaller pieces can look lost in a large room. Be honest with yourself about what you actually need in terms of furniture, then you can prioritise pieces which are the perfect fit. Additionally, consider the height of ceilings and the size of windows when choosing furniture to ensure proper balance and proportion.

Daniel Ufland, co-founder of online interior styling platform, Flitch, states: 'When designing a living space, it's essential to consider factors such as scale, proportion, and functionality. These elements not only contribute to the overall aesthetics of the space but also impact its comfort and usability.'

Mistake 2: Neglecting functionality

storage bench

Another common mistake is prioritising aesthetics over functionality. While it's important for a space to look visually appealing, it needs to serve our needs and lifestyle. Interior design is about more than just making a space look pretty, it's about creating environments that enhance our lives.

'When designing a room, consider how it will be used on a daily basis. Take into account factors such as traffic flow, storage needs, and the activities that will take place in the space,' says Daniel.

Work from home? Factor in an office or desk space. Love to cook elaborate meals? Design countertops with plenty of space to get experimental. And, if you have a busy home (especially one with small children or pets) then choosing durable furniture is a must.

If you're short on space, it's worth choosing multifunctional items – such as furniture that doubles as concealed storage. That way, you get the most for your money and the most out of your space – without cramping your style!

Mistake 3: Overlooking the importance of lighting

a desk with a lamp
Apex desk lamp by Hay, available to buy at Heal’sHay

Repeat after us: Never overlook the importance of lighting. It's a feature that is often underestimated but insufficient lighting can make a room feel dark and gloomy, while harsh lighting can create glare and discomfort.

To utilise lighting, think about three things: what your daily routine is like, what you want to highlight in your home, and the feel you want to create. If you love to curl up and read, plenty of table and floor lamps are a must (especially those that can be angled). If you have paintings that aren't being shown off to the best effect, a carefully positioned light will brighten the area and draw the eye. And, if you want to create a cosy atmosphere, create a layered lighting scheme, rather than just relying on your ceiling light.

'Incorporate a variety of lighting sources into your space to create ambience and functionality,' suggests Daniel. 'This includes overhead lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Consider the natural light levels in the room and supplement with artificial lighting as needed. Dimmer switches are also a great addition as they allow you to adjust the lighting levels to suit different activities and moods.'

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