7 common decorating mistakes

Decorating is supposed to be fun. It's easy to get overly-involved in a design idea or color scheme. It's important to create a plan for a room or your entire home. Be willing to edit that plan, changing colors and hues or adjusting the type of window treatments you need. Like a good watercolor painter, you have to know when the room is done.

Embracing themes with too much gusto - It's great to have a vision for a space. Maybe you envision a Moroccan theme or a color scheme that reminds you of the beach on your honeymoon. Draw inspiration from these themes. Use colors, shapes and designs from the theme, but don't overdo it. A room decorated in a theme from ceiling to floor will look like a novelty hotel room. The exception is a kid's room. Theme works are great when your eight, but not much when you're in double digits.

Relying on one light - An overhead light should not be the only source of light in a room. A well-lit room has multiple lights allowing you to create ambiance.

Forgetting to edit, edit, edit -

Less can be more when decorating a room. This can apply to everything from picture frames on a table to nicknacks.

* If there are so many pillows on a couch or chair that you have to remove them before you can sit down, you have too many. Nobody needs that many pillows. The same is true for throw pillows on a bed.

Punishing the furniture - Why is all of the furniture in the living room pushed up against a wall? Let the room breathe. Create more interesting arrangements by pulling couches and tables away from the walls. Consider the traffic pattern in the room when arranging couches and chairs.

Not measuring anything - If you think you can trust your eyes to know the right size of everything you need in your room, you're setting yourself up for more than one design mistake, not to mention multiple trips to the store.

* Window treatments

1. Measure the interior of the windows if you want to hang shades. If you live in an older home, measure the windows in each room. They may not all be the same.

2. Measure the height and width of windows when buying curtains, if you're hanging them directly on the window frames.

3. Take a third set of measurements if you're considering hanging the curtains above the window frame or on the outsides of the frames. Multiple measurements will give you more options when you are looking for the right curtain sizes.

* Rugs - An area rug in a living room should not "float" in the center of the furniture, like a lonely life raft. The front feet of the furniture should be placed on the edges of the rug. The biggest mistake people make is buying a rug that is too small for the room.

Ignoring the color wheel - Stop fearing color. Beige, white and shades of gray will only get you so far. You can your walls can handle color.

Following fads, not your true heart's desire

- Forget that owls are in. Forget that retro is cool - again. Instead, decorate in a style that you like. Fad items will look old fast and buyer's remorse will haunt every corner of your home. Identify styles, colors and fabric designs you like and fit your family's style.

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