Three Living Room Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

It’s probably a fair statement that we all want to have a Living Room  we love. You know…as soon as you walk into the space you start to relax, unwind and feel a bit less stressed, maybe even a lot less stressed.

For many clients that I’ve worked with, though, that just isn’t the case. The Living Area is a continuing source of frustration as they try to find the right pieces for their budget and lifestyle. And, the cost of the pieces that usually make up the space make your palms sweat when you think about making a mistake. Yes…the dreaded living room decorating mistakes.

I can help you eliminate three potentially costly mistakes in Living Room Decorating, right here, right now. So, take a deep breath and read on!

Living Room Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: Never purchase a large ticket or large size item for your Living Room without measuring first

Transitional Style Living Room

Can you relate to that? Many of us can. We’re in the store, we see the ‘perfect’ sofa, for example, and get so excited that we jump on the purchase. After all, it looks to be the perfect size in the (huge, massive) showroom, right? Wrong.

Always, always, measure the piece you are thinking about purchasing AND the space it is going to be put into. What seems perfectly logical in the show room can end up being much, much too large for your space. Don’t let yourself be pressured into making a purchase until you do both of those things. Any sales associate/retail store will have a measuring tape you can use, or the dimensions will be printed on the item’s ticket.

A similar result can occur with a Living Room space that is really, really large. You might fall in love with a cute little accent chair and then find that it’s dwarfed in the space. Sometimes it can work if you use a pair of small chairs; but, it may also be that the piece will have to find a home in another room.

So remember…measure first, then buy.

Mistake #2: Never try to literally recreate a Living Room that you see in a magazine or on TV

Casual Living Room Design

It looks so perfect…color palette, furniture, arrangement, accents…everything you’ve envisioned is right there on the page (or on that TV show). You must have it!

So what’s wrong with duplicating it in your own home?

If you’re really fortunate, the project may turn out well. But there are several factors that may alter the result significantly:

  1. The size and shape of your space…unless your Living Room is the same on both counts, it is going to be really difficult to recreate the exact same look. You could end up with an overcrowded space, or one that looks incomplete, or just plain wrong in your room.
  2. Lighting, both natural and artificial…no two rooms in a home reflect light in exactly the same way, much less a totally different home in a unique location. So that paint color, sofa fabric, wall covering, etc, that looks so awesome on the magazine page (and don’t forget the photographer’s lighting) might be disappointing in your Living Room, and worse, not pretty at all.
  3. The style of the room vs. the rest of your home…it’s important to think about how the new furniture, colors and decor will blend with the other areas of your home. If you go in a totally different direction with it, you might end up with a new project – restyling the rest of your home.

You might find that by using the color palette, for example, or the sofa, or perhaps the furniture arrangement, customized for your own living space, will give you more success and satisfaction in the long run.

Mistake #3: Never make a decorating decision because someone (you know, your best friend, a co-worker, relative) told you it would be great in your room

Living Room in Shades of Yellow and Green

Our friends and relatives mean well, and sometimes they have really good advice for us, or we solicit their opinion. What I’m talking about here is being persuaded to make a purchase because someone else thinks it’s awesome, not because you do.

If, after considering the size, style and cost of the piece(s) you come to the conclusion that it’s the right purchase, then wonderful…go for it. Just make sure it is what YOU want to do, not what someone else thinks you should do.

So, what now?

The best advice I can give when it comes to Living Room decorating is to come up with a plan for style, color, size and budget before making any purchase decisions. I help clients all the time with this, for every room in their home, but most often it’s the living space.

Here is something you can do right now, my friend, to help you avoid those living room decorating mistakes:

Use my expertise in a more personal way with my decorating guide, Love Your Home, now available on

You’ll be on the right track to creating a Living Room that you’ll love and want to spend time in. What more could you ask for?

images courtesy of