5 Design Mistakes That Make Your House Look Cheap
Even if you can’t afford a luxury home and all the trimmings, you can decorate like it’s worth a million bucks. Your prowess with paint, furniture, and wall hangings will make your small home look like a lifestyle choice rather than a purchase of financial necessity — but only if you’re decorating the right way.
Unfortunately, many homeowners aiming for a luxury look miss the mark. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a home that looks luxurious, but you must be tasteful in your design choices.
Here are some classic mistakes that cheapen the entire look of your home.
1. Using Builder’s Grade Light Fixtures
The home experts at Green Residential, a property management and real estate firm in Houston, say that the light fixtures can’t be ignored, but often are. “If you’re going to spend some money on something, make it nice light fixtures,” they say.
Many novice designers updating the look of their home fail to replace the light fixtures with more updated versions. The classic “boob” light is a builder’s grade standard that often blends into the original design of your home, but when you update it to a modern light fixture, it’s incredible what it can do to update the look of the place!
2. Choosing the Wrong Hue in Paint Color
Color is everything in design, but many don’t recognize the difference in paint hues. Take the many hues of white, for example. Although more color is entering the design scene, white walls and furniture are still popular among homeowners.
You might think choosing white paint colors is simple. White is white, right? Wrong. It’s surprising how many different shades of white there are, and choosing the wrong shade will cast a ghastly shadow on your home.
The wrong shade for your home depends on the lighting, your furniture, your floor color, and other elements in your home, but typically, blue or yellow shades of white are the worst. They make the entire room look off-color, and it almost hurts the eyes!
Lucie Ayres, the principal designer at 22 Interiors, says that when considering a paint hue, you should always search online for practical uses of that color. “There are so many websites and resources with designer-favorite blues, greens, taupes, etc,” she told Livabl.com. “Go with what’s tried and true and do a bit of research before putting it on the wall.”
3. Making Other Paint Mistakes
There are many other painting mistakes you can make that drab down a room. Here are some definite things to remember when painting for an upscale look.
- Ditch the accent wall. This was trendy for about 10 seconds before designers realized how much it could debase a room.
- Don’t paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. A little contrast between the ceiling and walls does wonders for opening up the room. White ceilings are always in style.
- Never choose a paint color in the store without testing it at home. Your lighting will be starkly different from store lighting, and you should always see the paint swatch in the room you’re painting before you buy paint.
- Try to come up with complementary colors for every room. Painting the entire house a single color diminishes the emotional connection of your house. The function of each room is different, and different colors throughout the house can reflect that.
- Hire a painter. They’re experienced and will deliver the finish you want with far fewer mistakes. It’s often more expensive and time-consuming to do the painting yourself than it is to just hire someone at the start.
4. Putting Too Much in a Single Space
Simple design is usually best when it comes to luxury spaces. Over-decorating or cluttering up a space are two of the biggest mistakes designers make. “One of the fastest ways to cheapen any space is to have too much of a good thing,” says design expert Ashley Knierim in an article for The Spruce. “Indulge in subtle expressions of style for maximum effect.”
Even if you have builder’s grade countertops in your kitchen and plain white tiles on your floors, a decluttered, tastefully decorated space can feel expensive and updated. It’s strange that such a simple thing could make such a big difference, but it works!
5. Designing with a Theme in Mind
In creating a luxury designed space, many amateur designers try to create a theme. Instead, aim for a decorating style.
For example, instead of giving your entryway a “jungle theme” that might belong in a 10-year-old’s bedroom, focus on decorating styles that hint at rainforest origins. A brightly colored rug, a tall tree in the corner, handcrafted vases on the console table, and a blue-green watercolor painting on the wall can create a unique decorating style that’s perfectly stated.