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Top 5 Biggest mistakes people make that Interior Designers help you avoid

by : Jessica Neeson | Interior Designer, Tailored HQ

Many people are intimidated by the idea of hiring an Interior Designer or think of doing so as a luxury investment. However, the reality is that hiring a professional may be one of the smartest decisions you can make. By utilising the skills of a trained professional, you can save yourself two of life’s most sought after commodities: time and money. It might seem counter intuitive that you would save money when having to pay the additional design fee, but the truth is that hiring a designer can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Here are the top 5 biggest mistakes that Interior Designers can help you avoid:

1. Diving in headfirst without a plan


The first and biggest mistake that we see as designers is people diving headfirst into an idea without stopping to properly consider the decisions that they’re making. Have you ever bought a piece of furniture that you absolutely loved the look of in the store, only to realise that it’s too big (or small) once you got it home? Ever painted numerous times trying to find the ideal colour palette? A designer already has a trained sense of what needs to be done and also the timeframe it should take to be completed.

They are also familiar with anticipating and handling any obstacle that may inherently arise. Interior designers can also help with the overall vision and cohesiveness of your space. If you were to rush ahead buy every item that you love without considering the entire scheme as a whole, everything will end up looking like a mismatched mess. While you don’t have to go overboard and have everything completely matching (another common mistake) it is important that everything makes sense together. Interior designers are trained to know what will work and can provide you with the confidence that your entire home will be carefully considered and beautifully curated.

2. Not measuring a room / Not paying attention to dimensions / Incorrect scale


As Interior Designers, this is the biggest mistake that we see over and over again when entering clients’ homes is the failure to measure their space and/or pay attention to the dimensions and scale of the objects they’re choosing. Scale and proportion are arguably the most important aspects of Interior Design. Think of the story of Goldilocks and the 3 bears, you can’t choose something too big or too small, it has to be just right.

For example, we commonly see people making the mistake of choosing a rug that’s too small (one of our biggest pet peeves!), or a sofa that’s too large for the spaces they’re intended. A too small rug will actually make a small space feel smaller, as the result is a space that looks disjointed and cluttered with a ‘choppy’ aesthetic created.

Another common mistake is choosing all of your furniture and furnishings to sit at the same level. It’s important for a space to resemble a city skyline. There should be objects of numerous heights, shapes and sizes, that come together to form one cohesive idea.

3. Incorrect placement of artwork


Too often we see a beautiful space that’s ruined by the artwork being hung too high or in the wrong location. It’s important to remember that an artwork does not always have to be centred or stand – alone. Often when a reasonable amount of money had been invested in an artwork the temptation is to have it front and centre, even though it may not be the best aesthetic solution for the space.


Often the ideal position is one that is unexpected. For example, your Interior Designer may suggest hanging the artwork over a side table and have it partially obscured by a lamp or a stack of books or other accessory items. This layered approach might seem slightly unusual, but is exponentially more effective in providing depth to your space.

4. Following Design trends that will date


It’s so easy base your design purely what’s currently on trend. While it’s great to have your finger on the pulse and incorporate elements of what’s ‘cool’ right now, it’s important to remember that trends are fluid and transient. What’s currently trending on Pinterest and inside the pages of your favourites glossy magazines and lifestyle shows will quickly change and evolve to the next biggest trend.

Often by the time it hits Kmart,the design world has already well and truly moved onto the next fad and you’re left with a home that looks similar to everyone else’s. Interior designers are aware of the forward momentum and can save you from the trap of basing your entire design on one single movement, as it will inevitably date faster than you can say ‘I wish I hired an Interior Designer’.

5. Shying away from investment pieces


It’s easy to understand the fear and caution related to taking the plunge and spending significant amounts of money on investment pieces. As mentioned previously, as with all areas of design, trends come and go and it’s inevitable that this years ‘must have’ pieces will not be so desired next year. But that doesn’t actually always need to be true. Fewer, high quality investment pieces are in my opinion far more favourable than multiple inexpensive items that have to be replaced over and over again.

People often make the mistake of thinking that this disposable mentality is going to save them money, however not only does it often work out to be the more expensive in the long run, it is also a mentality that contributes to landfill and excess waste. So how do you know what pieces are worthy of your investment? That’s where an Interior Designer can help you!

Design trends are cyclical; we often see them repeating throughout history. By considering the form and functionality of key pieces an interior designer can help you chose classic styles that have been proven to stand the test of time and ensure you don’t make the mistake of shying away from an investment piece that will serve your purpose much more effectively than its more affordable counterparts.