The Most Expensive Decorating Mistakes You Can Make

Decorating mistakes happen to the best of us. And when it’s something small like the wrong throw pillow or a silly accessory it’s no big deal. But when it’s a mistake that costs you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars it’s another story altogether. Unless you have unlimited funds and unlimited time, you’ll want to make sure not to make any of these costly errors.

Uncomfortable Sofa

How many times has it happened? You see the perfect sofa at just the right price so you order it and have it delivered. Then you go to sit it in and – yikes! It’s so terribly uncomfortable nobody wants to actually use it. This problem is more common than you may realize, so if it’s happened to you don’t be too hard on yourself. But this is why it’s so important to test out a sofa before buying. Sofas are very expensive, in fact, they’re likely one of the most expensive pieces of furniture you’ll ever buy for your home. So when you fork over the cash only to discover it’s too uncomfortable to use it’s a huge waste.

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Original Artwork You Don’t Love

Original artwork is a great way to add something unique to your home. It adds more personality than something that’s mass-produced, and it gives a room a certain amount of character that’s hard to achieve in any other way. That said, original artwork can be very expensive – particularly if it’s a known artist, or if it’s something particularly rare and/or unique. Many people have found themselves guilty of making an investment in a piece simply for the sake of having it, and that can be a big mistake if it isn’t something you truly love. So when it comes to original art look for artists that don’t already have a huge following (online sites like Etsy, or local craft/art shows are good places to start) in order to get a good price, and make sure it’s something that makes you smile every time you look at it.

The Wrong Wallpaper

If you want to add a punch of personality to a room wallpaper might be just the thing you need. But before you take the plunge and cover your walls with the first pretty paper you see, make absolutely sure it will work in your room. The wrong wallpaper can completely overwhelm the space and make you regret it day in and day out – and replacing it doesn’t come cheap. High quality wallpapers can cost in the thousands of dollars, and when you factor in installation and/or removal, it can practically cost the same as a college education! (Well, maybe not quite.) So if you want to decorate with wallpaper either make sure it’s something you can live with for a long time, or use it in small doses. After all, there are more places for wallpaper than just the walls.

The Wrong Window Treatments

It’s important to get window treatments right – for the sake of your decor, but also for the sake of privacy and light. And window treatments can be very expensive. Sure, ready-made panels can be purchased at a low price, but pretty much everything else can take a chunk out of your wallet. Whether it’s shutters, roman shades, blinds, or custom drapes, you can spend a pretty penny outfitting your windows. And if your home has a lot of them, or if your windows are particularly big, get ready to fork over a lot of cash. That’s not to say you should opt for cheap window coverings (you can regret them just as much!), just make sure you’re comfortable with the material, the size, and any mechanisms for opening and closing before you take the plunge. Be sure that they fit the light and privacy requirements of the room, and if you’ve chosen a strong color or pattern check how they look with the paint and furniture in the room.

The Wrong Lighting

Lighting can make or break a room. As a general rule you don’t want to go too cheap with your lights because the overall effect can be dull and weak. In order to get the best light you want to have a mix of different types of lighting and they should be dispersed evenly throughout the room. But the right lighting is not necessarily inexpensive. By the time you have a good mix of ambient, task, and accent light (through use of overhead lighting, wall sconces, table lamps, etc.) you can spend a good deal of money. Particularly if you opt for high end fixtures (which can be a worthwhile investment). So before you purchase lighting for your home make sure you’ve come up with a good lighting plan.

A Bad Paint Color

Paint is generally thought of as a cheap and easy way to completely change the look of a room. And while this can be true in many instances, there’s a big caveat. If your space is large, has high ceilings, or is in any other way awkward, painting can be a huge pain – and an expensive one! While anyone can pick up a paint brush and cover a wall, a professional paint job that includes ceilings, stairways or complicated trim is an expensive undertaking. It’s also a huge pain as it can take several days and you won’t have use of your space. Make sure you’ve done your due diligence when it comes to choosing paint colors.

The Wrong Fabric

If you are having your furniture custom made, or if you’re having soft furnishings upholstered be very careful about the fabrics you choose. Make sure the material suits your lifestyle, the color suits the room, and the pattern is something you can live with for a long time. An inexpensive sofa should last you 10 years while a high-quality sofa should last about 25 years. So unless you want to go to the expense and hassle of reupholstering you may be living with this fabric for the next two or three decades. Remember, upholstery can cost as much as purchasing something new.