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Five of the Costliest Decorating Mistakes (& How to Avoid Them)

Decorating can be one of the most exciting parts of having your own place. From the paint colors and cabinets to the décor, decorating your home can be fun and therapeutic – but potentially costly. Here are five major decorating mistakes that can cost you both time and money, and tips for how you can avoid making them.

The Wrong Paint Color

Paint can look quite different at the store under harsh fluorescent lighting than it does on the walls of your bedroom, living room or kitchen. And even though painting is often considered an inexpensive way to change the look of a room, when you factor in the cost of primer, painting tools, and, if you’re outsourcing, the labor for painting, it could be quite expensive to choose a color that you end up hating. Lauren Flanagan stresses the importance of doing your due diligence when choosing paint colors. “A professional paint job that includes ceilings, stairways or complicated trim is an expensive undertaking,” she says. “It’s also a huge pain as it can take several days and you won’t have use of your space.” Before you start painting, paint a small sample somewhere and make sure you LOVE it.

Buying Art You Don’t Love

Although artwork can be an easy way to add character to your home, the pitfall comes when you purchase a piece of art just because you think it might be valuable one day. Ultimately, you shouldn’t splurge on something you don’t love. If you cringe every time you look at a piece of art, it doesn’t belong in your home- regardless of how valuable it is. Also, stay away from artwork that matches your current décor. If you decide to change furniture or your room’s style a year from now, the artwork won’t fit anymore. Instead, Buy art that calls to you and you’ll have it for life.

Furniture that Doesn’t Fit You

That beautiful white couch might look great in your living room, but does it bode well for life with little kids? Or perhaps you love that dark navy armchair, but is it a great idea when you have a white, shedding dog will lay in it all day? Before you go out and purchase new furniture, consider your lifestyle. It can be extremely costly to furnish your home with items that you’ll come to regret a few months down the road. We all have an idealized design style, but it has to mesh with your day-to-day life. Be honest about your lifestyle and cleaning habits before you buy, as you want to enjoy the items you purchase for many years to come.

Choosing Lighting Based on Looks Alone

With so many lighting options out there – chandeliers, sconces, pendants – it’s hard to know what the best fit for your room is. The easiest option might be to pick whatever you think looks nice, however, this could end up being a costly decision. Since calling an electrician over two or three times to change fixtures or add dimmers can be costly, you need to make sure your lighting choice delivers the amount and kind of lighting you need for the room it will be installed in. Choosing an incorrect light could end up being an expensive decorating mistake. Always make sure you have an in-depth conversation with a knowledgeable salesperson before making a purchase.

Starting to DIY – and Then Not Finishing

A lot of home decorating projects can be done yourself in order to save a great deal of money. However, if you don’t end up actually finishing the project – or if you do it wrong – it could be the complete opposite. Before you plan on starting a project, think it through from start to finish. Is this something that you can actually finish as planned in a normal amount of time? Are the savings worth it? Nancy Mitchell recommends first doing an estimate of how long it will take to complete the project. “Be honest with yourself about whether this is realistic for your schedule and your abilities,” she says. You would hate to invest a lot of money into something that won’t come to fruition. Additionally, if you’re new to DIY, it may be wise to first start with a small project before tackling something bigger.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can prevent a costly mistake from occurring – and decorate your home in peace.

Author: lacarpet

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