Decorating is a process, and there will undoubtedly be hits and misses — but you don't have to learn every interior design lesson the hard way.
Save yourself some heartache and dollars by avoiding these regrettable decorating disasters.
#1. Painting Without Testing the Color First You see a color you like, so you buy it and start painting your walls, right? Wrong! Colors can look completely different on your wall than they do on the paint chip. Painting swatches on your wall and seeing how they look in different lights might postpone your paint job by a week or two, but it will save you so much frustration down the road.
#2. Buying a Shag Rug With their plush pile and cozy-chic demeanor, shag rugs, like on-trend flokatis, are easy to fall for. The problem is they shed more than a Labrador Retriever. A few homeowners get used to living with the snowstorm of wool that no amount of vacuuming can completely eliminate, but most find that it's not worth the effort and get rid of the rug altogether.
#3. Installing Marble Countertops Like that sexy pair of designer stilettos that no amount of logic will convince you not to buy, marble countertops are too pretty for many homeowners to resist. They purchase them starry-eyed, believing that the beauty of the material will make up for the high-maintenance upkeep; however, they inevitably regret their decision as soon as the first scratches and stains set in, which is right away. For a more durable alternative, consider the new and improved quartz countertops.
#4. Decorating With an Aggressively Colored Sofa You can always up the "wow" factor of your seating with easily changed accent pillows and blankets, but when you buy the actual sofa in a loud color or over-the-top print, you're stuck. It might seem on-trend and appealing at the time, but a couple years later when your entire living room design is held hostage by the sofa's dominant design, you'll be dreaming of a neutral sofa.
#5. Rushing to Decorate Trying to complete all your decorating at once is a huge mistake. Sure, having a full furniture set in every room shortly after you move in feels good, for a second. Then you actually live in the space and notice that the curtains you bought don't block enough light in the sun-facing living room, find an antique bed you like more than the sterile matching bedroom set you purchased online in one mouse click, and realize that the office and guest room spaces should be swapped. Unfortunately, you've already blown your budget, and now you're stuck. Great design takes time. Don't rush it.
#6. Putting Off Basic Renovations Until After You Move In The floors are scuffed up, but is it really worth pushing back your move-in date to resurface them? The answer is a resounding "yes" if you ask any homeowner who had to live through a floor resurfacing project, major paint job or kitchen reno. Staying put for another month while the work is done is much less painful in the long run than having to live alongside the construction or, worse yet, putting it off inevitably because there's no convenient time to do it after you've moved in.
#7. Purchasing a Cheap Piece of Furniture That Needs Reupholstering That out-of-this-world deal on the tufted armchairs you found on Craigslist might not be all it seems. If reupholstering is a prerequisite for putting a piece of furniture in your home, make sure you price it out before you buy it. The cost of reupholstering can be shockingly high and is often more expensive than just buying the furniture brand new. If you don't do the math, you could end up stuck with a heinous '70s floral-fabric-covered loveseat or a musty, moth-eaten sofa in your living room.
#8. Covering Floors With White Carpeting Clean white underfoot seems chic and alluring, and if you're a clean person who doesn't have any pets or children, it might even seem feasible that you can keep white carpeting or a white area rug looking nice. Let us debunk that idea for you right now: You can't. Even if you make your house shoe-free and vacuum every day, a dirt-tinted discoloration is inevitable.