Decorating a home is a great way to make it cozy, comfortable, and inviting, but it's easy to go overboard and end up with a messy, cluttered looking space. Here are five decorating mistakes that make your home look messy and how to avoid them!

By Heather Luckhurst

1. Using Too Many Colors

Decorating with too many colors is guaranteed to make a home look cluttered and messy. Use one or two hues combined with neutral colors to give your home a cohesive, relaxed look. This living room has been decorated with various shades of blue to create a gorgeous, cohesive space. The neutral-color walls, rug, window coverings, and furnishings allow the room to breathe as well as make the room look more spacious and open.

2. Adding Too Many Accent Pillows

Placing too many accent pillows on a sofa or bed will instantly create a haphazard and untidy look. This living room looks pulled together and well-decorated because the sofa isn't laden with numerous decorative pillows. Two accent pillows on each end of the sofa are the perfect amount to decorate this room with beautiful color and pattern.

3. Pushing Furniture Against Walls

Arranging all of your furniture up against the walls will make the space look cluttered and messy. Solution? Pull the furniture away from the walls and toward the center of the room as in this living room seating arrangement. This grouping of four chairs around a coffee table creates the perfect conversation area. Ground the furniture with an area rug.

See Fabulous Furniture Makeovers

4. Placing Too Much Decor On Tables

Placing too many decorative accents on the entire surface of a table will make a room look cluttered. Instead, edit the number of decor accessories and then decorate the table in a vignette style (one grouping) or create two groupings as in this photo. First, edit what you already have on the table top. Only display what you love and what is functional (for example a small dish for storing car keys and sunglasses) and remove the rest. Group many small objects in a jar or bowl. Elevate small objects on a stack of two or three books to give it a purposeful look.

In this photo: Yellow in a monochromatic palette sets a stylish, yet calming tone.

5. Hanging Pictures Randomly

Pictures and wall art hung in haphazard fashion across a wall will make a room look chaotic. Group pictures in a gallery wall arrangement; the space will instantly look organized and balanced. The art hung above the headboard in this bedroom, demonstrates how several pieces can be hung to create a visually pleasing and curated look.

Comments (3)

January 6, 2020
Your suggestion for pulling furniture into the center of the room and away from the walls only work if you had your home custom built with floor outlets. Your home is suppose to look and feel welcoming, but you need to be able to live in it! Most people when relaxing, need to plug in a lamp for reading, or doing hand mending or embroidery while watching TV. My home is neat, organized, and comfortable, people who come to visit always say they love my home, and many take photo's so they can implement my ideas into their own homes. Your room is beautiful, but I would hate it because I like to cross stitch, do embroidery, go through the mail, all while relaxing and watching TV. I could not do that in your pretty, but useless room. Having wires running across the floor to reach an out let on the wall is dangerous.
June 8, 2019
The examples are terrible. If they are going to show pictures of supposed decorating mistakes show actual examples...or was this written on opposite day?
June 7, 2019
Speaking of decorating mistakes: Why do most decorators think you should put items on top of books? So books are for decorating and not for reading? Really?