Furniture selection, paint swatches, rug textures, fittings, applicances, accessories… there are hundreds of decisions to be made when decorating your home. And interior designers have seen it all! We asked Lisa Capezio, from one of Canberra’s top interior design firms Capezio Copeland, what the most common errors Canberrans make when decorating their homes. “It’s about thought, balance, visual and sensory needs, and the space itself,” she tells us.

Check out Lisa’s solutions to the most common interior design mistakes – as well as some cool images we found to inspire.

The mistake: not having clear goals

Creating a stylish, distinctive space in your home starts with a clear plan. Whether you’re working with a blank canvas, or slowly adding individual pieces, you need an organised direction.

The solution…

  • Write a brief, thinking through all the possibilities, and considering the shape, size, and function of your room.
  • Decide on a unique design, one that reflects your personality and function needs. Choose a symmetrical or asymmetrical layout, and decide where your furniture will fit.
  • Go for quality over scale: take a less-is-more approach when planning the layout.

The mistake: missing the mark when working with colour

Including colour in your home is a very personal, individual decision. Rather than trying to make a statement, colour should create cohesion, proportion and subtlety to a room.

The solution…

  • Structure your colour palette with one main colour, up to two accent colours, and a neutral or white.
  • Consider the context of the space, external architecture and function of your room.
  • Choose carefully: light colours can make a space appear larger, while dark colours provide sophistication and warmth.

The mistake: buying furniture you’re not in love with

The look, style and functionality of the furniture you choose is crucial when creating a successful space. But the choices can be overwhelming…

The solution

  • Go for quality over quantity: you’ll never regret investing in good-quality pieces
  • Before you buy a piece of furniture, consider how it’s design, shape, form and texture will fit into your room
  • If you’re not in love with it, don’t buy it!

The mistake: using the wrong type of lighting

Lighting is powerful in a room: it can change the mood, perception of size, and add or subtract from the overall colour of a space. But the most important role of lighting in a room is functionality: it must serve a purpose.

The solution…

  • Remember: ceiling and floor lighting brightens a room; directional lighting softens wall colour, and recessed lighting illuminates floors, not walls.
  • The colour temperature of your lights is important: warmer light promotes relaxation and cooler lights enhances concentration.

The mistake: forgetting about art

Artwork can make a room or space. The right piece will make a room come to life, give added interest, and create a mood from its colours. It’s an important component in creating happiness through your interior design choices.

The solution…

  • Use the textures, patterns, and fabrics of the interiors to direct you in the selection of artwork.
  • Allow art to be a focus in the space, not an afterthought.
  • Hang art at the right height: mid point of artwork should be at average eye level.
  • Most importantly, choose a piece of art you love!

Images via Capezio Copeland + Emily Henderson + H&M + Homes To Love + My Domaine + The Urbnite + The Zoe Report