Interior decorating blunders: Live and learn

I became a homeowner at age 24, ready to dive head first into any interior decorating projects I could handle since I now had decorating freedom. Unfortunately, I was inexperienced and made a few decorating mistakes that are cringe-worthy when I look back. Thankfully, my interior design talents have improved greatly, and I did learn much from those early mistakes. Here are a few suggestions you can use from my past blunders to prevent making the same mistakes.

Wallpaper woes

I first attempted wallpaper borders on my plastered bathroom walls. I decided it would be too messy to soak the wallpaper, so I opted to simply wet the backsides with a sponge. Bad idea! No sooner did I get one section pasted into place then it would fall down. I went back and forth, re-pasting piece after piece until I finally gave in and did it the right way. Motto here is to do it right the first time!

Don’t over-stack your shelves

Another time, I tried to install a shelf over a kitchen window using a board and some brackets I already had. I had just finished putting up the shelf and arranging all my cute little jars and odds and ends, when I heard this enormous crash 10 minutes later. Everything had crashed to the floor, shattering most of my displayed items. Thankfully, all the kids were out of the house, and no one was injured. Lesson learned! Never install a shelf improperly and always make certain your shelf can safely support all of the weight you place on it.

Paint bare spots ASAP

When painting my family room, I purchased paint then realized as I reached the end of the paint cans, there was more wall than paint. I didn’t go out right away to buy more, instead placing a large piece of furniture in front of the bare spot. It was not noticeable, but I knew we needed to fix this and went to have another gallon of paint mixed of the same color. This was at least a year later, and even though it was the exact same paint, you could always see “the spot” that was newly painted sticking out like a sore thumb from all the rest of the walls. Rule of thumb, never let an unpainted spot go, cover it up as quickly as possible with exact paint brand/shade.

Mix ‘n match curtains aren’t a good idea

When first moving in, trying to save money, I tried to consolidate some used curtains to make a large curtain for a huge dining room window. I ended up with pieces of four sets of curtains, some being varying lengths. It served its purpose, but looked ridiculous. I soon ended up with tasteful lace curtains. Even if you have to sling up matching bed sheets for a large window covering in the “lean years,” at least they will match. Avoid visual chaos and learn from my mistake!

Use proper fabrics when reupholstering furniture

My last suggestion is when attempting to reupholster furniture, use real upholstering fabric. I once attempted to give my non-matching first pieces of furniture a uniform look by “upholstering them” with matching furniture throws. I purchased several throws at a great price and made slipcovers and cut and sewed pieces to cover all my furniture. It looked nice, but then… it happened. The fabric on all the furniture began to pill and I had little fuzz balls all over it. Every day, along with shaving my legs, I also had to shave my furniture with a fabric fuzz ball shaver.

Ah, a trip down interior decorating memory lane. I’m happy to report I have taste now. Hey, I was young! Hope all of you learn from my decorating disasters.