18 of the Biggest Interior Design Mistakes Homeowners Make

How do you make your home your own? You’re not alone with that question. Millions of Americans have this discussion on a daily basis. Whether you’re in for a total gut or just redecorating, there’s more than you may think that is involved. Learn from the most common blunders, below, to save yourself time, frustration, and dollars and get a great outcome while making your house, your home.

1. Starting renovations too soon

Live in your house for a while, so you get a good idea of what you truly need and how you use your space.

2. Underestimating costs

Most projects run over budget and take longer than expected. Add 20% to your estimated budget just to be on the safe side so you can handle any unexpected renovation surprises.

3. Expecting everything to go according to plan

Be prepared that it never all goes according to plan.  Typically, surprises come during the demo phase when previously unseen spaces are opened up.

4. Not hiring an Interior Designer from the start

When spending on your largest investment, hire a professional to guide you.  An Interior Designer can help you avoid problems and direct you to optimal solutions via the ins and outs of products, difference between manufacturers, installation methods, updated materials and design trends. 

5. Going for the lowest bid

Good, professional help is worth the investment.  It is an added cost, but remember, it’s just a fraction of your overall budget and will probably end up saving you from costly mistakes and bad purchases.  This means hire a good, experienced Interior Designer, Contractor and Architect.

6. Hiring a professional that’s not a good fit

Just because someone is great at their profession, doesn’t mean they are a good fit for you.  Do they ask questions and listen to you?  These are crucial to ensure your project will represent your wants and needs.

7. Not asking for references

Contact previous clients, use referrals or visit job sites.

8. Pretending to understand a design scheme

You aren’t trained to read blueprints or understand CAD drawings.  Ask your Interior Designer to walk you through each space.

9. Not asking enough questions

There is no such thing as a dumb question and besides, you need to know about your project.

10. Making too many changes along the way

Changes may appear easy, but they can stall the process, add more cost to your project and may make you lose your place in line with the subcontractor.  Make sure every change is approved and priced before moving forward.

11.  Not purchasing early

All selections should be purchased as early as possible, preferably before the job starts demo.  This allows for as few stoppages as possible and if something is backordered, a replacement can be found by your Interior Designer.

12. Forgetting about interiors

If you really want to love your space, leave room in the budget for furniture and accessories, even if only for the main entertaining areas. 

13. Underestimating psychological stressors

Understand that even the simplest of projects can be fraught with stress.  It’s hard to have people in and out of your home all day.  It’s also difficult when owners don’t agree.  Be kind to yourself and have an impartial third party such as an Interior Designer or a patient Contractor be there to help facilitate your choices.  Also, precautions will be taken, but a bit of dust and dirt can be cleaned when the project is over.

14. Skimping on quality

Spend wisely on things you touch every day like door hardware, doors, faucets, appliances, cabinets and your main furnishings.  It shows the quality of your home.

15. Splurging where you should save

Try to keep with a budget and spend on those items you will use the most.

16. Buying giant or tiny furniture

Measure your rooms to see what fits and also what fits through the door.  Know your measurements for mirrors, furniture, rugs, appliances, etc.

17. Buying the correct size of rug

Undersized rugs are the most common mistake.  For your bedroom be sure that the bed doesn’t take up the entire rug.  With your living area, make sure that at least the front legs of your furniture pieces fit on the rug.

18. Trying to be your own general contractor

Aside from their experience with construction, materials, and sources, General Contractors also offer accountability.

Now that you’ve learned about the biggest mistakes homeowner’s can make on their own projects, call the Coton House design team to help avoid those missteps.  We can help prevent upsetting surprises, budget overruns and added stress that you can suffer when you do your project by yourself.


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