I like to follow decorating trends to see what’s new. Decorating my own home to be warm, cozy and inviting is a priority. Peaceful, calm, warm and inviting are the words that describe how I want my home to feel. To do this, I’ve added pillows and fabric, color and warm quilts to throw over my lap when I watch TV.

When reading up on the decorator trends, I realize that my home has some of the following decorating mistakes that designers would say, “FIX!” It doesn’t matter because I’m doing these anyway.

#1: Draperies

I decided that our huge triple window sliding glass door did not need drapes. I know that the timeless design of drapes makes a room softer, brings color and interest to the room, and is a designer’s trick to make the home feel cozy. There’re millions of choices – from soft sheer to dramatic color designs.

Some of these can beautifully transform a room adding a polished and finished look. Drapes provide privacy and sometimes a sound or weather barrier to the outside world. Going without draperies could be my missed opportunity to add class and design to my open concept living, dining and kitchen area.

But instead of drapes, I chose cordless shades that fold up into a few inches at the top of each of the three big glass windows. They are light filtering rather than light blocking shades, so when the northern sun shines too bright or too warm, I pull them and still have a room full of filtered light.

The window is 100% exposed when these shades are folded up at the top, and 100% covered when the shades are all the way to the floor. I skipped the decorator tip of dramatic and stunning drapes, and I love it that way. Daylight streams in with the view to the outside unhindered.

#2: Walls Painted Neutral Everywhere

All my walls are painted in a soft light gray. As you sit in my open living, dining and kitchen area, the paint you’ll see is exactly the same. Trends right now say to add a pop of color with paint or even peel and stick wallpaper design. I’d rather add my color in furnishings, rugs, or pillows instead of paint.

There’s something about my neutral walls that’s soothing. I know that a decorator would call it safe, but to me, it’s beautiful. When I hang a painting or wall hanging, it stands out on the wall.

All the frames of my gallery wall are dark and look stunning against the light gray. Is my neutral paint color because I’m not daring enough to take the chance? I don’t think so but could be! Whatever the case, this so-called decorating mistake of neutral painted walls is in my home to stay.

#3: Seat Cushions for My Dining Chairs

I made the seat cushions for my chairs because I couldn’t find any patterned ones that fit my taste. They are a funky weave with a diamond dark gray repeat pattern on an off-white background. I tried to make the ties to keep the pads in place on the chair, but they looked bulky and distracting when tied around my black chairs. My solution? I left the ties off.

Putting rug stabilizers under the chair pads was supposed to work to keep them in place, but I gotta say, it doesn’t. This results in the cushions shifting around and looking off kilter on the chairs after people get up, or even while they are sitting on them!

Even though I need the ties, these cushions are simple with no fuss. The string ties around the back made the look too fussy for me.

#4: A Welcoming Entrance to Your Front Door

I live in a town home community. You know, the kind where every single door and home look exactly alike? The way to tell if you are in the right home is by the house number. The steps up to the door are bland concrete with a pipe railing for support. All the doors have the same, HOA approved outer screen doors on them.

I thought a lot about how I could make the entrance appealing and warm but gave up. The curb appeal to my town home is zip, zero, nada! I guess my guests will have to experience the warm appeal of visiting me after the door is open and I greet them.

#5: Lighting Under Cabinets

I ordered magnetic lights to clip under my kitchen cabinets for help in reading my recipes and generally illuminating my space. Can you ever have too much light in the kitchen?

The ones I chose are motion activated, which I thought would be great! It would save batteries as they’d only come on when I needed them in the kitchen then off when I left the area. They had superb customer ratings and were recommended by decorators.

But this completely backfired. The lights would come on when I approached the counter area but not stay on unless I was actively moving about. When I would be studying a recipe from a cookbook, they would go off due to lack of movement.

Then, when I was not in the kitchen, my cats walking on the floor past the cupboards triggered the lights. The batteries were used up fast, probably due to cats roaming. I got rechargeable batteries to save money, but they were a hassle due to recharging about every two days to give the light I needed.

What a designer mistake. I need the built-in electrical under cabinet lighting to solve my problem. The money spent on this designer suggestion was a waste.

#6: My Rechargeable Vacuum Is Right in Sight

I absolutely love my cordless vacuum. What a wonderful invention! It would be even better if there were outlets in closets to set the vacuum in for recharging. Mine has to sit out in the room – by an outlet and on the charger – to be ready whenever I need it.

It doesn’t exactly fit the décor, but with two cats, a husband, and myself making messes, it’s going to have to stay ready and be right there in plain view.

You may get the idea from reading my decorator mistakes, that my home needs a designer’s help. I don’t think so. It feels cozy, warm and inviting to me. It’s full of light, open and airy, with comfortable light gray recliners for my husband and myself.

We have a beautiful navy-blue sofa with an area rug that gets lots of guest compliments. The walls reflect us, with a gallery wall of our favorite pieces. When you walk into our home, it’s homey and safe, with a feel of love that fills our rooms.

My view is that we don’t need a decorator to help us design our dwellings to feel like home. Tap into what makes you feel good when you walk in the door. My “so-called” decorating mistakes are part of what makes it my home… and they are here to stay.

What makes it feel like home when you walk in your front door? Do you think you need help from a decorator to feel at home? Are you doing some well-known decorator mistakes? What advice would you give someone to make their home cozy and inviting?

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