The Decorating Mistakes We'd Avoid If We Could Do Things Over Again

Updated 09/11/19
Bauer Media/ Trunk Archive

When it's your job to interview interior designers and write about beautiful homes, there's no doubt you learn the dos and don'ts of decorating. But we'll be honest with you: Styling a statement room involves a certain degree of trial and error, and few know this better than MyDomaine editors.

If we're not sourcing investment furniture or trawling through flash sales for bargain buys, we're experimenting with trends and testing decorating tricks in our own homes. And yes, it doesn't always go to plan. To save you time and effort, we tapped our team of editors to share their biggest decorating regret—the trend that doesn't translate, the décor that's impractical, and the items we'd never buy again.

"I had this dream of living in an all-white apartment just once in my life (while I'm single and living alone). But between friends' dogs trampling everywhere and friends walking around in their boots or accidentally spilling glasses of wine, I can say with certainty that a white rug is a bad idea, no matter how diligent you think you are."

TRNK “Tres” Flat Weave Dhurrie Rug $1988

"When my boyfriend and I moved into our new apartment, I bought nightstands that matched our bed because I thought it was better to have a whole set. It would normally be fine, but in our small space, the nightstands are way too big. While it's nice to have the complete set, I should have looked around for furniture that actually worked with our specs."

Bludot Note Side Table $299

"I bought a platform bed because I thought forgoing a headboard would look sleek and minimal in my small bedroom. I now realize that headboards help anchor a space and look luxurious—and I keep losing pillows down the gap. Fail. Platform beds are never a good idea."

Amerie Headboard King
West Elm Amerie Headboard King $699 $489

"When my son was a toddler, he wandered over to our Noguchi coffee table—a design icon we splurged on—and put a dinner plate on top of it. I'm not sure if it was the angle he put it down or the velocity, but the glass cracked right through the middle and fell to the ground in two perfect pieces. Needless to say, I was devastated.

"My husband, however, being the calm, cool, and collected one, said, "It's only a material object, at least Neon is safe and unhurt." True, but I'm still not over it. So even though you might not want to design a family-friendly-specific home that revolves around your children, truth be told, for the first few years at least, you really do have to consider it."

Consort Home Beau Coffee Table $1790

"I love my white linen sheets, but I wish I opted for the fog color instead. I can't even manage to keep a white T-shirt clean for 12 hours; I'm not sure why I thought all-white bedding would work for my type-B self. I also don't have a washer/dryer in my apartment, so I'm constantly hauling them to the laundromat across the street."

Parachute Linen Sheet Set $169

"If I could decorate my apartment from scratch, I would focus more on the big picture rather than finding individual, unique pieces. Instead of planning ahead and slowly curating a cohesive look, I was quick to fill my rooms with necessary furniture as quickly as possible, which left my space without a clear style. Thankfully, my accidental eclectic, mismatched décor has become its own look, but I would love to start over with a real vision in mind before making any rash purchases."

Skovshoved Møbelfabrik OGK Safari Chair $700

"If I could redecorate my apartment from scratch, I wouldn't hang a television in my bedroom. Although convenient for binge-watching The Office on a lazy Sunday morning, it isn't optimal for the feng shui of the space."

Kristin Texeira Dreams in Tucson $625

"When I moved into my first one-bedroom apartment, I just couldn't be bothered with getting the details right. I wanted to make sure my personality was in there, so I went to a flea market and bought a houndstooth midcentury-modern sofa (cute but highly uncomfortable), an Aloha-print armchair and ottoman, a colorful table lamp, and pretty much anything rattan that I could stuff into my SUV (dining room, dresser, shelving unit, magazine rack… you name it). I loved each item on its own, but they didn't work well together. If I could do it again, I'd be more slow and thoughtful while curating pieces. Also, I'd buy the basics, like a side table for the table lamp I just had to have."

Article Horizon Bench $299

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