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Interior design can be a little tricky. It’s about so much more than just getting the color scheme right and having the perfect accessories. Everything has to fit together, both aesthetically and functionally, so your spaces look great and feels comfortable.

If you’ve got all the major pieces in place but something’s still not looking quite right, it’s time to do a little troubleshooting. Chances are you might be making one of the common mistakes we see time and time again — and for which we have simple fixes.    

  1. The height of your end table is off. When you’re finally all settled on the couch, seated in the perfect position with the blankets just right, the last thing you want is to have to stretch to put down a cup or grab the remote. But if you’re end table is too high or too low, that’s just what you’ll be doing. Instead look for an end table that’s approximately the same height as your sofa’s and everything will be in perfect reach. We like to stick within a 3″ range, measured from the sofa’s arms.  

  2. Your prints are all the same scale. Let’s start by giving credit where credit is due. We applaud you for daring to mix patterns! But having multiple prints of the same size in a single room can lead to sensory overwhelm. Opt instead for patterns of different scales — if you have large thick stripes on your pillows, you can totally can do a small butterfly print on your armchair. The different proportions are much more pleasing to the eye.

  3. Your decor is too generic. There’s a reason stores set up perfect little spaces for you to browse — they’re hoping you’ll buy the entire collection right down to the accessories. But if you bought everything in one place (or even at a few major retailers) your home might be feeling more like a hotel. Mixing in some personal items is the perfect antidote. They don’t have to be expensive or even personalized, but they should reflect your interests, experiences, or personality. A decorative piece from a special trip, a custom piece of art, or even an inspiration piece will make your space more unique and give your guests something to talk about!

  4. You haven’t left enough space between the furniture. Do you have to suck in your belly to move between your seating? Do your knees bang into the coffee table? If you’re nodding your head, it sounds like you neglected the spaces in between your pieces. You need room to move throughout your home! We always aim for walkways of 36” wide between furniture, give or take a few inches.  

  5. Your rooms don’t have any color. So many of our clients love neutrals in their own homes, and we totally get that! It’s soft, comforting, and gives you maximum flexibility to swap out accessories. That said, an exclusively neutral room will read a little flat. You need a little splash of color to bring everything else to life. But don’t worry — a little goes a long way. Try adding in color with accent pieces, like a throw pillow or piece of art.  

Let us know if any of these fixes worked for you. Got a different design dilemma? Send an email to or post it on our Facebook page and Betsy can address it on her weekly Facebook Live sessions. 

Interior Design for Every Budget. We Make Design Accessible, Not Intimidating.

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© Affordable Interior Design by Uploft

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