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The Top 10 Interior Design elements to avoid

Before figuring out what to do, I think it is helpful to know what pitfalls to avoid.  I compiled a list of the 10 biggest no-no’s in interior styling below.


1. Matching Everything – Purchasing everything right off the furniture store display.  Try to avoid using all matching furniture sets, matching frames, etc.  By mixing it up, it will create more interest and depth in the room.  If you have a room full of all matching furniture, swap the chair or ottoman with one from another room and see the difference it makes.

2.  Spreading Out a Collection – You might think by displaying one of your treasured collectibles in every room of your house, you are getting the biggest impact.  When in fact, you are diminishing the impact of the collection.  Instead, display all the same type of collectible in one place for the biggest bang.

3. Grouping Objects in Even Numbers – It is better to place objects in odd number groupings, like 1, 3, or 5.  Groupings of 3 objects with varying heights always works.

4.  Everything the Same Height – Vary the height of things grouped together to create interest in that collection.  If you are grouping things in threes, as suggested above, make sure they are three different heights.

5.  Ignoring the Rule of Thirds – The rule of thirds is commonly used in photography and art to describe the best place for the subject.  Draw imaginary lines on a picture vertically at 1/3 and 2/3, and horizontally at 1/3 and 2/3.  Compositions with the subject placed on those lines, especially at the intersection of those lines, are the most interesting.  The same rule can be applied when looking at a vignette in your home.  Instead of placing an arrangement in the center of the shelf, try placing it 1/3 of the way in from the edge.  It is more pleasing to the eye.

6. Empty Space Under a Console – This is one of the most commonly un-dressed spaces and you might think it is minor, but it ends up looking unfinished and uninviting.  Tuck a stool or basket under the console table for a quick fix.

7.  Over Accessorizing – There is a fine line between a well-styled space and over-accessorizing, which looks cluttered and messy.  Keep it simple and realize sometimes less is more.  Try one big statement piece, instead of a bunch of smaller accessories.

8.  Lots of Little Things – A bunch of small items together looks like clutter.  Remember the grouping? When you have the option of small, medium, or large…go large.  Small accessories quickly get lost and create visual clutter.  Fewer, larger accessories make a bigger impact.  You might think you are saving money by buying the smaller version of the vase you love, but to make the smaller version work in the space you will have to buy other items to fill out the space.

9.  Fake Greenery – Fake vines don’t look good in anyone’s home.  Try easy to care for plants, like succulents.  Another option which is better than fake, plastic greens, is to use natural elements like branches, natural vase fillers, or some dried greenery.

10.  Lack of Meaning and Personality – Model homes and show room floors don’t have the lived in look, because they aren’t.  Don’t forget to breathe life into your space by using personal touches and family photos and mementos in your decorating.

Take a look at a sample of my work here.

Julie Wieman


Based in O‘Fallon, IL, Wieman Homes has been helping clients realize their dreams of a custom-built home for more than 20 years. We are a full service residential remodeling company, known for our dedication to going above and beyond the expectations of our clients. We service the O’Fallon, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, Edwardsville, as well as St. Clair County and the Greater Metro East areas.

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