Decorating Mistakes

The 2012 Annual Gold Edition of Queensland Homes has interviewed a number of Queensland based Interior Decorators and posed the question, “Is there a decorating mistake you see over and over again and how can it be addressed?”

Fae Rentoul says, “Badly hung artwork, often hung too high. It is well worth spending what is often a small amount of money to get a professional to hang any artwork.”

Artwork hung too high

Paintings, when hung as a single piece of artwork, should be placed at a height so the average person looks straight into the middle of the piece. Naturally if you are hanging more than one artwork, such as a pair underneath each other or a photo wall, then the centre of the overall size of the combined pieces should be at head height.

Suzie Beirne says, “A complete lack of attention to balance, proportion and lighting. If you don’t know what you are doing, even with the tiniest budget, ask a professional for one good session to guide you on your way. I can’t count the number of times I have been asked to try to fix expensive mistakes that cannot be returned. Men are particularly stubborn when it comes to this – women seem to understand that you don’t fill your own teeth, cut your own hair or make your own clothes unless you are skilled – so why decorate your own home without professional guidance. The time to ask for help is before you buy, not after – it’s often too late. How can this problem be addressed? Not many people are prepared to throw away new furniture and start again but it has been done, believe me.”

Out of proportion

It’s true, so many people try to fit their old furniture into their new house, or set about making changes and then realize it doesn’t fit or they have made a drastic mistake with their choices and then call in the professionals. It pays to engage a decorator as early as possible and formulate some sort of plan so you can then move forward at your leisure.

Helen Glover said the mistake she sees the most is, “Bad bathroom tiles! Generally by the time people are choosing the bathroom tiles, they are over the process and are often under pressure from the builder to “just pick one”. Eeek – this can be a 15 year decision and one that can plague you every morning when you brush your teeth. Don’t rush this one, get professional help if you need to but don’t tick the box until you feel comfortable with your choices – remember that trends will change over the life of the bathroom as will you and your family, so go for neutrals or something that really matches the home you live in so that as it ages, it ages gracefully.

So many choices

NEVER feel pressured by your builder. Don’t get yourself in that position in the first place by making sure you choose everything in advance. Too often I have seen clients leave it until the last minute and then the item they have their hearts set on is out of stock or won’t be available in time. Somehow, nothing matches up to our first preference and we have to make do.

Tonie Robertson said, “The most common decorating mistake I see is not knowing when to stop. People get an idea, which can be a good one, and then want to use it everywhere, so the initial idea is no longer special. Keep it simple, if it looks good then leave it.”

Too much pattern

I laughed at this one. Sometimes it is very hard to stop, but keep on telling yourself – less is more!

And Deborah Atkins went in to bat for us all. “Not using an interior designer! Good interior designers will actually save you money by avoiding costly mistakes that can easily be made by the inexperienced.”

Call in a professional

Hear Hear!

If you would like to avoid making costly mistakes, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


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