When you’re designing your home, you probably have your personal set of do’s and don’ts in mind. However, if you’re designing for the first time, you’re likely to go through a lot of trial and error before settling on the perfect design. If you don’t head the warnings of homeowners who have braved this trail before you, you’re going to end up with a lot more “error” than you need. When decorating your home, avoid these definite decorating don’ts.


Don’t Paint Without Testing the Color

If you’re planning a big repainting project, you can save yourself time and a headache by testing the color first. While you may have liked the paint color you chose in the store, it’s impossible to tell how that color will appear in your home. Paint color may change depending on your home’s lighting — both natural and artificial — and what colors or products you’re painting over.

To avoid painting the whole room only to realize you don’t like the color, paint just one section of the wall. Then, wait a couple of days so you can see what the paint looks like dry and in a variety of lighting situations.

Don’t Go for the Cheapest Pieces

When it comes to furniture and design, you get what you pay for. Therefore, if you opt for a cheap sofa, it’s not going to be as comfortable as one you invest more money in. Chances are, it will end up lasting you half as long, which means you’ll end up spending more on your furniture in the long run.

Cheap items can also give an uncomfortable vibe, making your guests feel like turning right back around and heading home when they step in your door.

That’s not to say that you can’t buy quality items at an inexpensive price. By simply buying last year’s models, for instance, you can save money while still enjoying your brand new pieces. Buy what you can afford for your home, but avoid going cheap and sacrificing quality.

Don’t Overwhelm the Space

Shopping for décor pieces is an exciting experience, but it’s all too easy to go overboard. Too many patterns, for instance, will overwhelm the space, even if the colors match. Likewise, rooms can feel overwhelming when you incorporate too much furniture or furniture that isn’t sized for the space, hang artwork too high or too low, or overdose on the knick-knacks.

It can even seem like too much when everything matches and is in perfect order, as it can feel like your home came out of a catalogue rather than feeling like it was designed to be lived in.

Think about how each piece works together so that the room becomes a cohesive whole rather than a collage of individual items you like, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

Don’t Settle for Design Over Comfort

One mistake many homeowners make when designing their décor is focusing solely on the aesthetics. Sooner or later, however, you’re going to regret your decision if your comfort doesn’t measure up to your home’s beauty.

It’s a lot like buying shoes. You may find a cute pair that you can wear once for an hour or two, but when your feet start to hurt, you’re going to want to burn them.

You don’t want to feel that way about your couch or office chair. Focus on finding furniture pieces that are both comfortable and stylish. To really get a feel for what you’re buying, it’s a good idea to go shopping in brick-and-mortar stores instead of online, or go for a brand or retailer you know and trust.

With these tips in mind, you can move forward with your design project with a better understanding of what to avoid.