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There is a multitude of decisions—both big and small—that factor into the styling of one’s perfect space. Furniture selection, color experimentation, and the selection and placement of art and accessories all contribute to the overall effect. With so many variables t

o consider, it is surprising to learn that even a single slight mistake has an oversized effect on a room. For the typical layperson, who might endure a handful of redecorating process in a lifetime, this is probably news. However, interior designers who take on the task of transforming spaces day in and day out understand this well. Here, in their words, are some of the biggest décor mistakes to avoid:

No Variation in Height and Scale

“Without sounding like a drama queen, scale and proportion are the holy grail of design,” says London-based interior designer Abigail Ahearn. A room that incorporates everything of the same size and height is fundamentally flawed. She advises to think of the space as a city—any cityscape is a unique mix of shapes, sizes, heights, and proportions. A room should incorporate the same variety.

Using Dark Furniture in Small Spaces

Heavy, bulky, and dark furniture are classic choices, and they have their place. However, that place is most definitely not in a small room. According to Tali Roth of Homepolish, dark furnishings will instantly make a small room feel even smaller. She advises opting for a light-reflecting color palette, especially for a room’s central fixtures like sofas.

The Wrong Rug Size

Small rugs—or at least, rugs that are too small for the space they are being used—is a pet peeve for home style expert Emily Henderson. Choose a rug that is large enough for the space it is intended. For a living room, for example, it should form the foundation for the seating around it. As a general rule, a rug should be able to fit the legs of at least two chairs or sofas on it.

Showcasing Art Incorrectly

Designer Max Humphrey knows that when it comes to accessorizing a space with art, choosing the piece is only half the battle. Hanging a piece too high, too low, or being too obvious about the placement of an item can detract from the overall desired effect. Says Humphrey, “Just because you spent some money on artwork doesn’t mean it won’t still look awesome over a sideboard in the hallway with a lamp and a pile of books right in front of it.”