Design Time ~ Avoiding Over-Decorating

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Beam & Branch Realty TREC #547752

Oh boy, this is a topic that will hit some nerves. As a real estate agent, I visit many homes. When going through homes to either list to sell or to tour for buyers, I have seen it all. Unfortunately, many design mistakes can be avoided with a little assistance. 

Over-decorating mistakes are common. We can all get excited about a trend, a collection, or just accumulating too much stuff! The end result, however, can be a home that is over-packed, busy, and cluttered. Here are the most common over-decorating mistakes:

TOO MUCH FURNITURE. This common error happens all of the time. The size and scale of a room must be considered when purchasing furniture. A room will always appear to be smaller when it is filled with too many items. It also affects the flow of traffic through the room. A crowded room is not relaxing and when trying to sell, will not photograph well or present itself well. 

The FIX? Determine what can be removed. When selling, thin out prior to taking photographs. Make sure the size of the furniture is taken into account before purchasing. Moving homes does not always mean the furniture from one house will work in the next. You may need to sell some pieces and start over.

TOO MANY COLORS & PATTERNS. While this trend may have been popular in the 90s, this decorating style is not desirable today. It is difficult to relax in a room that has way too much going on. Also, overly aggressive decor can make a room feel as if it is closing in around you.

The Fix: Thin out the decor. Remove unnecessary patterns. Stick to a theme and remember that less is typically best. You don't have to be stark, just don't overdo it.

NO WARMTH -  Right now we are seeing a lot of stark, clean lines. While this is trending, you can go overboard and end up with an entire home that is devoid of warmth. Having some mix of textures, colors, and a few unexpected decorating items can help bring some warmth to a room.

The fix: Bring in some houseplants to soften an area. Pops of color here and there will break up the monotony a bit. Bring in various mediums such as natural wood, and an added antique piece that is unexpected will break up the plain decor.

Home decor is certainly a very personal thing. Using a few tried and true design guidelines can help you avoid making some decor mistakes. You can bring in your favorite things without going overboard. 

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Comments (5)

Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I am definitely seeing a lack of warmth in some of the new construction homes in the DC area .. this seems to be trending, but you can certainly warm it up with how you decorate 

Feb 02, 2023 08:10 AM
Trish Cole
Veterans United Home Loans of Puget Sound - Puyallup, WA

Great concepts and ideas!  I have seen them all when viewing homes.  Have a great day!

Feb 02, 2023 08:20 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Lise Howe - I see these stark trends as well and wonder how long this will continue. As agents, we get to see all sorts of trends through the years.

Feb 02, 2023 09:02 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Trish Cole - we do get to see all sorts of things. I often wonder how some people live in the clutter they have created.

Feb 02, 2023 09:02 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Paula-It's all out there when it comes to decorating. How you decorate your home when you live in it is always a personal choice. However, when you decide to sell, it's time to take a realistic look at what you have and how your buyers will see it. 

Feb 02, 2023 07:21 PM