Your home living room needs to be comfortable and look good. This is the room you entertain in or hang out in with family and friends. You want it to reflect your style while also meeting your comfort needs. Many enthusiastic homeowners run out and purchase décor with the intent on accomplishing these goals but, end up making some wrong decisions on the fly that they find themselves having to live with. I would like to discuss some common mistakes to avoid when you’re planning to decorate your living room.

How to Avoid These Common Living Room Design Mistakes

Selecting The Wrong Living Room Color

The dreaded oops moment when you realize the color you bought did not quite end up looking like the one you saw on that HGTV show, what happened? Well, let me tell you, there is a talent in picking the right color. Some of us have it and some of us don’t and if you don’t I would recommend hiring a professional for a one-hour consult, it’s affordable and it is the best money you will spend. Designers charge anywhere from $75.00 to $200.00 for room consult. Now, if you think you got the talent then you need to also consider some other factors when selecting the wall color:

  • Test your choices on a small spot on the wall. See how different times of day offer different lighting and how it effects the color of choice. It might actually look different in daylight versus night time when things are lit by artificial lighting.
  • Consider how your furniture will look with the paint of your choosing as a backdrop. You want to make sure all the finishes in the room play friendly with one another.

Avoiding Living Room Clutter

Accessorizing Your Living Room

Decorating is all about finding the right balance and sometimes people become overzealous with their accessorizing and the effect is clutter. Too much clutter feels suffocating, so you want to find the right touch of adding textures and personality without overwhelming the room, a little goes a long way.


Another common mistake is having too much furniture in the living room. Once again, I think it is money well spent to have a professional do a room layout so you know exactly what the room needs and you can go shopping for those specific items knowing they are the right size and style to fit the space.


Don’t get carried away with throw pillows. Too many become a nuisance and people end up throwing them on the floor so they can be comfortable sitting on the furniture. A rule I use when deciding on pillows for my couch is to look at the design of the couch back cushions and chose a pillow with the same shape but, on a smaller scale.

Not Enough Seating

Make sure you have enough seating for everyone and that it is arranged in a way that allows people to socialize without cranking their necks. It’s not cool to have to drag in chairs from another room to accommodate guest when just a little upfront planning would eliminate this problem. There will be sometimes when you happen to be entertaining more people than you have living room seating for and a great bag sofa for your living room is a good solution. They come in different sizes and are perfect for more casual entertaining and when you are done they are easy to store away in a closet.

The Dreaded Wires

One of my biggest pet peeves is how to hide unsightly wires from lamps and entertainment systems. A lot of older homes do not have floor outlets or even with new construction the floor outlets were put in the wrong place and are of no use to you when laying out your furniture. Built-in entertainment centers are a good way to systematically conceal the wires with an electronic system and also create a pretty focal point of shelving to add some accessories.

If you do not have it in the budget to have a custom built-in then perhaps you can run your wires behind moldings and then fish the wires up behind the drywall to where the TV will be hung. I have become very creative in finding ways to run lighting cords under area rugs and furniture. If there is a will there is a way but, you definitely want to hide them and doing a furniture layout ahead of time will be helpful in figuring out where you can hide your cords.

Kid-Free Zone

Now, I don’t mean making your kids stay out of the living room because that would be just wrong. I am saying to not let your kids clutter your space with their stuff. Make it a rule that they put their things in an organized sports closet, toy closet, etc. The living room should be free from in articles that don’t speak to entertaining or relaxing.

What’s Outside the Windows

Think about your outdoor spaces. If you are sitting in your living room and looking out the glass doors onto a cluttered mess it will change the whole feeling of your living room design. Don’t just spruce up your living room and avoid your views. Perhaps fresh outdoor furniture or landscaping will complete your living room design.

Other posts you might enjoy:

When Clutter Becomes A Problem, Identifying The Severity

What Clutter? Got Time?

Closet Organizing Tips To Reduce Clutter

Drawer Organizing Hacks

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and talent offering design tips.