Your area rug is probably too small.

By Drew and Jonathan Scott
October 04, 2019

After being in the business as long as we have, it's safe to say we've seen it all when it comes to decorating mistakes. (Including one home that greeted potential buyers with a life-size nude portrait!) Although every home is different, there are a few errors we see time and time again. If you happen to fall victim to one of these blunders, don't worry—there are simple solutions that will have your house looking expertly designed.

Kritsada Panichgul

1. Overlooking the Layout

When it comes to the kitchen, many people will spend a significant amount of money on renovations, but they won't change the actual layout of the area. They'll swap out finishes, such as counters, a backsplash, or cabinets, but everything is in the same exact place. Any time you're investing in your home, you want to focus on the aesthetics, but you also want to look at the actual function. So if your kitchen is crowded, or there's a wall closing things off, it's pointless to spend money to update it if you're just going to ignore those issues. Your home should make your life easier.

2. Tackling Major Projects the DIY Way

If you're trying to address your own electricity, plumbing, or anything to do with the structure of your house—stop what you're doing right now. Those are not areas an inexperienced person should be working on, and they should only be handled by professionals. If you attempt these tasks, you could compromise or even ruin your entire home. It's just not worth the risk.

Courtesy of Kohl's

3. Hanging Art (and Curtains) Too Low

Maybe it's easier for us because we're two tall dudes, but we have met plenty of people who don't know how to hang window coverings or wall art. When it comes to artwork, we'll often see it placed way too low on the wall, and then there's this giant void of space above it. With window coverings, we notice people tend to hang the rod way too low. A design trick that we learned over the years is to hang the rod toward the top of the wall. It draws the eye up and gives the illusion of more height.

Related: How to Pick the Perfect Art for Your Gallery Wall

4. Picking the Wrong Rug Size

We can't tell you the number of rooms we've seen with rugs that are way too small for the floor. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to area rugs, at least all front furniture legs should fit on the rug. This grounds the space and makes the room feel more cohesive. (And don't forget: measure twice, buy once.) If you notice your rugs are too tiny, you don't have to get rid of them. We suggest layering them on top of larger rugs for a unique look.

Related: How to Choose an Area Rug

David Tsay

5. Tipping the Scales

There's a little something we like to call the scales of injustice—also known as when homeowners don't know how to scale for a room. There are two completely different ways we see this happen. The first is when a space is too sparse. The furniture doesn't quite fill the area and it feels awkward. The other instance is when a room is cluttered because someone is trying to fit in too many things. One of the most frequent lessons you'll see on our shows is how to properly fit your furniture design to your space.

Believe it or not, even some of the most seasoned decorators make design mistakes. Luckily, many slip-ups are simple to fix.

As told to Jennifer Aldrich.

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