Like pretty much anything else in life, we succeed through perseverance and through trial and error. This is no less true when it comes to interior decor. Think about it — can you say you were perfectly content with your first attempt at decorating a room in your home? Such failures are not a cause for shame, provided that we learn from it. After all, even the world’s greatest composers, directors, and artists needed to learn to walk before they could run.

 With that, we’ve put together some of the more common mistakes people make when designing their interior spaces.

Uninspired Design

Shopping for decor is a lot of fun, and as such, there’s no reason to temper your enthusiasm. Before heading to the store, spend some time online looking at what other homeowners have done in their living spaces. Pinterest and Instagram are excellent places to cultivate some design inspiration.

Avoid buying pieces without considering the overall style of the room. Set a budget, and look at each new piece critically to get a sense of how it will play with your other items before adding it to your cart.

Selecting the Wrong Sofa / Couch

Your sofa can make or break your room. Period. If you’ve set about the task of redesigning your living room, be open minded about swapping out your sofa. Holding onto it because it’s still in good condition or relatively new can be a roadblock to getting the room that you want.

If you’re committed to change, you have to be prepared to make some tough choices concerning living room furniture you might really like. With that said, research and plan out the purchase of new furniture to ensure it is the style you want. Keep it simple by avoiding overly ornate shapes, legs and patterns, and you should fare well in most cases.

 Buying an Area Rug That Doesn’t Fit

Rugs that are too small are painfully obvious to guests. In most cases, the standard living room should have a rug measuring at least 8 x 10 (unless the living room is on the small side).

Before you get too fixated about an area rug of a particular style, consider how it will play in the room. Purchase a rug that’s right for the space, don’t try to make the space conform to the size of the area rug — that is a battle you just can’t win.

Showroom Look vs Practical

Let’s be clear. The showroom look works in the store, but it can make for a very impersonal room in your home. Essentially, you want to avoid the impression of having purchased everything from the same store.

While doing so may be easier than hand selecting your accent pieces or furniture, it lacks any personal connection to the room. Consider what your guests would say upon entering the room — can they see the “you” in the room? Adding a few vintage, eclectic pieces throughout the room can add a lot of personal panache.

Too Much Furniture

Having a lot of furniture might seem like a good idea, but over furnishing is the first step to creating a cluttered, unconhevise look and feel. At the risk of indulging an old cliche, remember that when it comes to furnishings, less is more. Again, thinking critically about each piece before you buy it can really help you keep your room’s aesthetic on track.

Layout Planning Gone Wrong

For a truly impactful living room, think beyond the placement of the television. Television and sofa positioning often dictate the room layout, but this shouldn’t always be the case. Think outside of the box. If you entertain frequently, create a seating layout that favors conversations rather than TV binging. Consider the different views from the various sitting positions around the room; can you take in the rest of the room/windows/fireplace from where you’re sitting?

Hanging Art Incorrectly

Hanging pictures and works of art might seem easy, but it can get tricky when you get right down to it. An incorrectly hung piece of art can distract the eye and throw the whole room off kilter. Having said that, it’s important to plan out where you intend on hanging each piece.

The general rule of thumb when hanging artwork is to hang the pieces at eye level. While this rule should be followed in the majority of cases, you might need to make a few minor adjustments if your ceiling is low. In this case, divide the height of the wall into quadrants, hanging the picture in the third quadrant. While this may result in your artwork hanging below eye level, it will be more aesthetically pleasing.

When designing the interiors including the living room area, there are a lot of common mistakes everyone makes. The easiest way to avoid all of these common pitfalls of home decor is to take your time, do some research, and think critically about everything you purchase.