Interior Decorating do’s and don’ts


Decorating a living space can be a lot of fun, especially if it’s your first apartment or home that you’re not sharing with roommates. However, there are some things that you’ll want to remember as you decorate, especially if it’s your first time. Here are some interior decorating do’s and don’ts to remember.

Do make it personal

It’s your space so you should feel free to decorate it as you like. Many first time decorators head out to a home décor store and buy everything from a single collection. You don’t want your home to look like a picture in a magazine so choose items that fit your personality and make the space yours.

Don’t overcrowd a room

You shouldn’t feel like you need to fill every open space in a room, it’s good if there’s some room to move around. Your eyes also need to rest and if there’s something going on in every spot in every room, it will look cluttered. Remember that less really is more.

Do use colors and patterns

Bright colors and slightly out there patterns will improve your mood and make your home look lived in so don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with colors and patterns.

Don’t go crazy with the pillows

An accent pillow here or there can be the perfect finishing touch that a room needs. However, too many homeowners think of pillows as their fallback for every open space in a room. You don’t want to be constantly moving pillows around in order to sit or lay down only to have to return all the pillows when you get up so exercise some restraint when buying pillows for your home.

Do check with your landlord

If you’re renting an apartment, it’s always a good idea to check with the landlord before putting holes in the wall or painting a room. Most landlords are okay with a few nails in the walls but if you’re mounting a television or shelves that require drywall anchors you may not get your deposit back when you move out. Most landlords won’t allow you to paint the walls but if they do you’ll be expected to repaint it before you leave so it’s probably better to add color to your rooms in other ways.

Don’t be afraid to splurge

You don’t want to be cheap and buy inexpensive furniture or décor items that won’t last more than a couple years. It’s better to save up, spend a little more, and accumulate things slowly do that you’ll have high quality belongings that will last.

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Ten home décor mistakes to avoid


Any interior designer could tell you within minutes all of the design mistakes that have been made in a space. Some are obvious and some are more subtle. Here are ten common home décor mistakes as reported by interior designers. These are the mistakes they’re quick to spot when they enter a room.

Over decorating

Every room needs “visual pauses” where the eyes can rest. If every single possible space has an item filling it, chances are you’ve over­decorated. Remember that less is more and a little empty space never hurt anyone.

Too many materials

When there are too many different materials being used in the same space, the effect is overwhelming. If you want a clean, timeless look, try to be a minimalist when it comes to selecting the materials for a space.

Playing it safe

It’s clear to a designer when a homeowner has been too afraid to make any bold decisions. The space ends up looking cookie-­cutter with no personality. Make one wall an accent wall and paint it a crazy color. The great thing about home décor is that it’s easy to change it up. So do something a little wild and if you don’t like it after a few days, switch it out.

Curtains mounted low

Many homeowners make the mistake of hanging their curtains just above the top of the window. But if instead homeowners would hang their curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, the ceilings will appear higher and the room will appear larger.

Small furniture

A mistake many homeowners make with smaller spaces is trying to find small furniture to match the scale of the room. But furniture should be comfortable first even if it’s a little large for the room. Besides, you can’t trick the eye into thinking a space is large by filling it with small things.

Lack of contrast

A space doesn’t have to be all classic or all modern. In fact it shouldn’t be. While you don’t want too many styles clashing in a space, a little bit of contrast can go a long way in creating visual interest in a space.

Nowhere to set your drink

Even when you’re going for a minimalist design, you can’t forget about functionality. If a room is designed for people to sit and socialize, for example, there needs to be end tables or somewhere where people can set down a drink.

No inspiration

Don’t go to a single home décor store and buy everything you need for a room. Sometimes that perfect piece that will complete the look is sitting in a thrift store somewhere. Don’t buy everything from the same store, show room or collection. It will take more time and effort but it will be worth it.

Under­scaled rugs

A rug that’s too-small throws off the scale of the whole room and makes things seem unbalanced. If you’re putting a rug beneath a table and chairs set, the rug should be large enough that all of the chair legs stay on the rug even when pulled out.

No rule breaking

Rules are meant to be broken and the same goes for interior decorating rules. The key is to make sure you’re breaking rules with a purpose and not on accident. It’s obvious when a rule has been broken on accident.

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Seven interior decorating tips that won’t get you in trouble with your landlord


There are several advantages to living in an apartment. When there’s a problem with the plumbing, air conditioner, or heating, you don’t have to worry about fixing it. It’s the landlord’s responsibility. Of course there are some downsides as well. One of the most frustrating things about living in an apartment is the frustration that comes with not being able to make any major changes to the interior without losing your security deposit. Fortunately, there are some ways to make the space your own while you’re living there without compromising your deposit. Here are just a few:

1. Use removable wallpaper and/or decals to add personality. Real wallpaper is a major pain to remove and your landlord won’t appreciate the extra work. But if you purchase wallpaper that comes with a pre­applied adhesive, it will peel right off when it’s time to move out. It’s a great, inexpensive way to add some of your own flair to a room.

2. Swap out outdated hardware. Does the cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bathroom scream “70s”? If so, replacing the hardware with something more modern is one of the easiest and least expensive things you can do. Head to a local home improvement store and you’ll find dozens of options at a range of prices. Just make sure to keep all of the old hardware in a safe place so you can reinstall it before you move out.

3. Use mirrors to make a small space seem larger. Something most apartments have in common is that that there’s not enough space. Simply hanging a mirror or two in a smaller room can make it appear larger than it is. Other ways to create the illusion of more space is to make use of the height of a room. Use floor to ceiling bookshelves and curtains to maximize the height dimension of the room.

4. Is your apartment building older? If so, you may have those unsightly baseboard heaters from decades past. You can modernize the space by purchasing inexpensive baseboard heater covers. They can be installed in seconds by snapping them in place and they’re equally easy to remove when it comes time to move out.

5. Use alternative adhesives. Any landlord will tell you that one of the main reasons a renter loses his/her security deposit is the excessive number of nails that were driven into the walls. Use alternative adhesives like wall putty to hang pictures and other lightweight things. Of course you’ll want to stick with nails or even screws if you’re installing shelves or mounting a television. If in doubt, ask your landlord first before putting holes in the walls.

6. “Remodel” the kitchen. Nothing dates an older apartment like the kitchen. Since you aren’t free to tear out the counters and replace them with something more modern, you can purchase faux granite wrap countertops that peel and stick to the existing counters. You can also purchase faux stainless steel wrap to give old appliances a new look. Not only is it a lot cheaper, but it’s easy to remove when you have to move out as well.

7. Finally, you can invest in textiles like area rugs, throws, decorative pillows, and drapes. The best thing about textiles is you can take them with you and use to decorate a new space so it’s an investment that you can get a lot of use out of.

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