Five home interior mistakes to avoid & alternative inspiration

Last Updated on : 18th January 2024

We all have the best intentions and ideas when decorating our homes, but a little advice might help you avoid common mistakes and take your interiors to the next level.

Johanna Endres-Castillo is the director of Speaking of Interiors Ltd, a Clapham-based interior design studio. Before establishing her studio in 2020, Johanna specialised in high-end interiors, working for several renowned London-based international studios.

Here she shares some expert insights exploring common pitfalls and finishes you may want to avoid when redesigning your home.

Johanna Endres-Castillo is the director of Speaking of Interiors Ltd, a Clapham-based interior design studio

Grey wood flooring

This type of finish is particularly popular in new-builds or homes which have been newly-refurbished by developers. “This flooring colour is very cold and plain. It drains vitality from any space and usually devalues the overall look and feel of the room”, Johanna explains. “Instead, consider using wood flooring in warmer tones, which are more inviting and harmonise better with most colour schemes.”

Scale of furniture and accessories:

Johanna cannot emphasise enough the importance of using the correct scale for furniture, accessories, and rugs within a space. “One common mistake is opting for small-scale furniture in smaller living spaces. I encourage my clients to go for larger pieces,” she says. “Well-proportioned furniture can make a space look and feel more expansive and luxurious”.

This project in Stockwell illustrates the before and after of the first two mistakes to avoid. The room style feels instantly elevated with minor changes, such as replacing the grey wood flooring with light oak flooring and selecting the correct size of rug and accessories. Photos via Speaking of Interiors.

Wallpaper accent walls

Trends come and go and wallpapering only one wall of your room is one trend that Johanna tends to avoid. She’s all or nothing when it comes to this. “I know this one might be a little controversial, but when I see only one wall wallpapered in a room, it gives me a sense of being unfinished – as if the person ran out of budget halfway through! It immediately draws my attention for the wrong reasons,” Johanna explains. “Go the extra step and wallpaper all the walls to achieve a more elevated look.”

Go all in. Wallpapering all the walls instead of just one instantly gives your space a high-end finish and an elevated look and feel. Photos via Pinterest

Matching bedroom sets:

Contrary to the showroom appeal of matching bedroom sets, Johanna discourages their use in real homes. “Investing in mismatched yet complementary pieces adds personality and character to the room. By curating a thought-out collection of furniture rather than purchasing a pre-matched set, homeowners can achieve a designer look.”

Phrase art

‘Live, laugh, love’ might be a perfectly fine motto to live life, sure. But that doesn’t mean you should have the phrase plastered on several different surfaces throughout your home – at least, that’s what Johanna would avoid. “Another controversial one, but I find generic ‘phrase’ art to be cold and often cheapens the final look. When selecting art for your home, try to find things that are more personal and resonate with you. Sometimes you can find treasures on Etsy or small artisanal markets that reflect your personality and give you a bespoke feel without the heavy price tag.”

Design your bedroom with style and personality. Stay away from generic artwork and matching furniture sets. Photos, top: via Pinterest, bottom: via Speaking of Interiors.

Johanna Endres-Castillo’s insights offer a fresh perspective on avoiding common mistakes that can cheapen interior spaces. By paying attention to furniture scale, artwork, flooring colour, and ditching matching bedroom sets, you can transform your home into a luxurious haven. Johanna’s approach emphasises the fusion of style and functionality, proving that an elegant and sophisticated home is within everyone’s reach.


About Speaking of Interiors Ltd.

We’re a small yet thriving interior design studio in Clapham. We offer a range of expert, affordable and personalised services for residential and commercial projects in south-west London. If you’d like to discuss your project with us, book a complimentary initial consultation call to speak to our expert team.

t: 0203 488 6190
WhatsApp: 0755 131 7374 

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