6 Mistakes To Avoid in Home Design

Mistakes in home design - ZenQ Designs

You don’t have to be an interior designer or into home design, but the fact remains that we all love to feel cosy in our homes. After a long and stressful day, the idea of coming home, our safe harbour, is more than appealing. Thus, it can be quite frustrating when we come to a home that looks unfinished. Ironically, that unfinished look doesn’t stem from the lack of love for our home, but quite the opposite- we want our home to look perfect. And in this pursuit we rather often get stuck due to various reasons: the lack of time to dedicate to home design or us being indecisive about what to change in our homes. An unfinished home isn’t just a home that looks unfinished; it could be that it looks perfect but that you don’t like the style or you just feel something is off. Whatever the reason for this “unfinished” feeling might be, the point is: if your flat doesn’t make your heart skip a bit when you enter it then you should change something about it.


(Not) Matching Furniture Sets At Home

A grey sofa with cushions - ZenQ Designs

Matching furniture sets


Let’s immediately get one thing straight: there is nothing wrong with the matching sets of furniture like kitchen chairs and a dining table, or an armchair and a sofa. Most of these matching combos come from our desire to have a place that looks coherent, a place that tells a story in a way. However, quite often, out of that desire we tend to “overmatch”. If you overdo it, you can end up with a bit of a sterile look or your room might look like the furniture shop showroom and it might lack the feeling of warmth and coziness you actually wanted to achieve. In case this happens, no worries. Try breaking it up with some other type of chairs, different fabric or some small accessories like cushions or throws. And remember, just because it isn’t matching 100%, it doesn't mean it is incoherent.

Arranging Furniture Against The Wall

Open-space concept - ZenQ Designs

Furniture away from the wall


Speaking of stepping outside your comfort zone, imagine actually not putting your sofa against the wall. Humans are creatures of habits, and when it comes to furniture arranging we are definitely used to having our sofas put against the wall. Again, there isn’t anything wrong with that. According to interior designer Betsy Burnham, people tend to push everything up against the wall, mistakenly thinking that would create more space in the room. If you want to create a bit more intimate atmosphere it can’t harm to try pulling some chairs closer together, or moving them closer to a sofa, which you should also move away from the wall. This concept works extremely well in open and broken plan- spaces.

Colours To Avoid On Your Walls

 A girl having fun painting the walls - ZenQ Designs

Painting the room

When you are about to do a total home makeover, you probably think you should start from the colour of the walls. Truth be told, it sounds logical. However, if you start with painting the walls first you might encounter one problem: it might be much more difficult to match it with fabrics and textiles like rugs and curtains. You have to admit it is much harder to find textiles and fabric you love, so you’d better start with that first. Once you think you’ve found what you were looking for, it would be much easier to find a suitable colour for your walls.

Now that we’ve settled that, let’s see how we should choose the right colour for our walls. It goes without saying that there isn’t a universal answer to this question, but there are certain things you should bear in mind. First and foremost, think about the room you’d like to paint and its function. The world won’t stop turning if you choose bright red for your bedroom, but it might overpower the space and fail to create a harmonious and relaxing space as a bedroom should be. 

Avoid Cold White Colour In Your Home

 We’ve already written why it might not be wise to have all-white walls or furniture. White hues that have too many blue undertones can give your room a cold, almost clinical feeling. If you are a fan of white colour, no worries. There are many warmer hues of the colour white, the ones that have red or yellow undertones. These shades would soften up the white on your walls and add atmosphere and warmth.

Let Your Home Shine (B)right

Fireplace and lights - ZenQ Designs

 Interior Design Lights


Most of us probably think of lighting in our homes as something that is implied, something that doesn’t take much planning. If you are in that majority, you are in for a surprise. Lighting is crucial for any space. It does boil down to personal preference and taste, but as a rule of thumb, it is much better to have different and various light sources than just the main, overhead lighting. Don’t forget that strong overhead light might radiate too harshly and too bright ( especially if they are white or fluorescent), whereas warmer lights immediately create a more cosy and intimate atmosphere. If you take advice from Athena Calderone, founder of EyeSwoon, you should buy soft white bulbs. Athena also suggests a layered lighting to create different ambiances. By layered we don’t only mean various types of lighting such as floor lamps, table lamps, wall lamps, but  also having lights at different heights. What is definitely worth mentioning are dimmers on your lamps because that way you can adjust the light to your moods and needs. Don’t forget that good lighting can transform even the most unappealing place, and vice versa.

So, let’s get back to the term layering that we’ve mentioned and see in which ways you can make it work for your home. Here are some tips on how you can bathe your home in light and make it shine (b)right:

Natural Light and Mirrors 

If possible, use as much natural light as possible. What can help are also mirrors which would help reflect the light.

The Main Lights in Home

Now, it’s time to think about the main light(s). Don’t just toss the lights according to your liking. Have a plan, think about the areas in your home or a room,which area needs more or less light.

Task Lights at Home

After that, you might want to consider so-called task lights, such as a desk lamp for your work, a bedside lamp for reading in bed, a pendant light  above the dining table or the kitchen island.

Ambient Lights

Now that we’ve covered the essential lights,you can start considering softer, warmer lights to create more of an ambience. What could these be? Well, various floor lamps, wall lights, table lights. 

Decorative Lighting for Home

And if you just can’t get enough of lights in your home, incorporate some decorative lighting like small lamps or candles, some LED strip lighting that would make your home glow.  The ceiling is the limit.

Home Art, Hang It Right!

Frames on the Wall at Home - ZenQ Designs

Art on the Wall


There is no doubt that pictures and paintings largely contribute to that homey feeling, that they give that personal touch and vibe. You can think of a wall as a huge canvas on which you can “draw” what your heart desires. Release that inner creativity and make your wall into a personal art gallery. From family photos, to paintings, your own drawings perhaps, there is really no limit to what you can hang on your walls. But ay, there’s the rub.

 How to arrange all of these so that you don’t make any unnecessary drilling and that everything is at the right height? 

Layout Of Wall Artwork In Your Home

 You actually might enjoy the following tip because it unleashes your creativity and let’s you play ( and we all know how important it is to have fun in what you do). Before you do any drilling, trace the frames on the paper and cut them out. Then, use those paper cut-outs, tape them to the wall and start playing and rearranging until you reach that WOW moment.The rest we leave to you, play with different colour frames, their size and texture. What might come in handy is to try to have at least 10 cm between frames

Positioning Of Wall Artwork In Your Home

No matter where you plan to hang your art, it is important that it is nicely centered. This is very important if you are hanging a piece of art above furniture or a fireplace.  As a general rule, hanging art at an approximate eye-level is a good starting point. Don’t try to make every piece of art a central piece; don’t forget some perhaps not so obvious places where it can fit just as nicely and lift the place a bit.

The Importance of Scale and Proportion in Your Home

The Importance of Scale and Proportion in Your Home - ZenQ Designs

Measure Your Home

Although the saying tells us that size doesn’t matter, when it comes to home design it definitely does. Many home designers claim that the wrong scaling and proportions are the number one mistake that people make when designing their interior. According to Linda Floyd it is a mistake to have everything in the room at the same level or the same size. There are two typical mistakes that people make:

  1. They either put too many small things in a room or home making it look cluttered and incoherent, or
  2. They put too bulky and big items making the room look smaller than it is.

Everything is about balance. 

 We all imagine that perfect piece of furniture that we would like to have, or we see a great photo in some designer magazine. Sadly, what fits in one home doesn’t necessarily fit into yours. Putting any piece of furniture in your home requires some serious planning and measuring. And with measuring, we don’t mean you envision it in space, but that you do a proper old-fashioned measurement with a tape ( ok, if you want to be more modern you can use a laser measurer). You need to know both the size of your furniture and the room. That is the only way to avoid falling into the trap of the two mistakes we mentioned a few lines ago.

Small spaces might not benefit from too many pieces of small furniture or too many small decorations. On the other hand, a huge dining table with 6 or more chairs does look a bit odd in a small area where every cm counts. 


Wooden sign Home and flowers - ZenQ Designs

There's no place like home

As you can see, we all tend to make mistakes when it comes to home design and interior. But you can also see that many of these mistakes can be easily avoided or at least easily fixed. The key takeaway from it all is that you should let your personality colour your home. Fill ( not clutter) your home with personal things, photos, memorabilia, make it your own and let it tell the story to whoever comes to visit. Let it be the place for new memories and beautiful gatherings. The most important thing is that you love the layout in your home, that you enjoy it and find peace there. 

“Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.”

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