Create your dream home with minimal trial and error by avoiding these five common interior design mistakes.


The professionals might make it look easy, but the subtle art of interior design takes an instinctive eye for detail and many years to master. In fact, it’s not uncommon for seasoned decorators to make mistakes when attempting a new style or working with unfamiliar materials, colours and textures.

Here, we have pulled together five of the most common interior design errors to help you avoid them when it comes to your own project.


The Five Biggest Blunders in Interior Design


#1: Impulse buying

All of us can hold our hands up and admit to having bought on impulse at some stage in our lives. It takes a strong character to walk away from something they’ve fallen in love with and consider its suitability before deciding whether or not to go ahead with the purchase.

Avoid impulse buying for your interior by visualising exactly what you want and establishing a clear budget before you go shopping. Take measurements and plan the ideal size and placement of each piece, and make sure you have a good idea of the colours, styles and textures you’re looking for.

It might help to take a photo of the room and bring this out with you along with any floor plans, colour swabs and fabric samples you might need.


#2: Failing to consider scale and proportion

One can often tell whether or not a professional interior designer has been involved in a particular scheme by looking at the use of different shapes, sizes and heights. A delicate balance of scale and proportion is vital when it comes to making the most of a room and preventing it from looking cluttered or overwhelmed, yet this fundamental rule of interior design is all too often overlooked.

Avoid this issue by varying the shapes and sizes of your furniture, decorative accessories and window coverings. Getting this right can be difficult to the untrained eye, so if you're at all uncertain it may be worth consulting an interior design expert.


#3: Buying from collections

Are you a sucker for magazine features, where seemingly disparate items are conveniently grouped together as a perfect whole? Ever tempted to buy out the entire section of a showroom or a matching soft furnishings collection just to make your life that little bit easier?

Don’t be. Taking shortcuts like this may seem like a simple way to achieve professional results, but your interior design scheme will lack character and finesse. In other words, it’ll look just like it did in that showroom, magazine article or blog feature: perfectly matched, but somewhat dull.

If you must buy from collections, be sure to give the space your own personal twist with an unusual focal point or surprising contrast of some kind. Better still, stay away from collections altogether and learn how to mix and match different colours, patterns and pieces of furniture for yourself. Kit Kemp’s tips for Elle Décor on balancing colour and pattern are a good place to start.


#4: Being afraid to bend the rules

This point may appear to contradict the whole premise of this article, but it’s an important one nevertheless. If you really want to make sure your personality shines through and take your home design from satisfactory to spectacular, you need to develop a sense of when and to what degree you can afford to ignore the rules and do your own thing.

Unless you have years of experience in the art of interior design, this is likely to involve a certain amount of trial and error. So go ahead and experiment with unconventional furniture arrangements to see what effects they have on the space, and don’t be afraid to buy that unconventional work of art – just be sure to keep the receipt.


#5: Not seeking a second opinion

It’s important to remember that even interior design experts run into hurdles once in a while. When you have invested so much energy into planning and designing a room, it’s easy to miss things that might appear obvious to someone viewing it through a fresh pair of eyes.

Rather than trying to second-guess the solutions to your interior design conundrums or hoping that the answers will become clear later on, share your ideas with friends or family members and ask for their honest opinions. The more numerous and varied the perspectives you can get, the better: after all, you don’t have to follow every piece of advice you are given.

Even better, seek the opinion of a professional from a reputable organisation like William Woods Interior Design. With years of experience and numerous qualifications behind us, as well as a bank of helpful contacts from whom the very best materials can be sourced, we can help you create a space that looks fabulous and reflects your unique personality and style.

No matter how big or small your project, we can help you avoid interior design errors such as these and arrive at a solution that meets your unique requirements and budget. Call 01423 530111 to discuss your ideas with an expert, or browse our website for more information on our company and the service that we provide.