The top décor decisions people wish they hadn’t made include getting cheap furniture that later broke – and overcrowding a room with furniture that is too big, the study found
British homeowners have revealed the top 10 interior design choices they have made that they ended up regretting – with buying cheap furniture, that later went on to break, topping the list.
Other décor decisions they wish they had not made include clashing too many colours together, and, conversely, opting for a colour scheme that was too neutral, such as all-white, or all-beige.
Painting the ceiling, wallpapering a whole room in a bold pattern, and overcrowding the living room with furniture that was too big, are other creative choices they were left unhappy with.
And as such, one in six (16%) find themselves choosing the “safe” option when it comes to styling their homes – so that they don’t feel they have made a mistake later on.
Meanwhile, the same number lack confidence when it comes to making any braver, bolder choices – and 12% are keen to avoid any interior mishaps that may end up taking even more work to resolve.
The survey, of 2,000 adults, was commissioned by furniture retailer DFS, which teamed up with design and confidence expert, Tiwalola Ogunlesi, to reveal why we should trust our instincts and go with our gut when choosing interiors.
She said: “Making a decision on your home décor doesn’t need to be make-or-break – styling is a journey of experimenting, and discovering your personal preferences.
“You’ve got to be unapologetic about your choices. One person’s “bold and adventurous” might be another person’s “too busy and over-the-top” – what matters most is that your choices feel true to you and your own personal taste.
“If you do feel like you’ve made a bad move, like overcrowding a room, give yourself permission to go back to the drawing board and try something new or different. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn about your personal taste through experimentation.
“To stop playing safe and be bolder, there are steps we can take to feel more confident in our décor decisions, and curate a space that works well for us.”
However, it also emerged that four in 10 of those polled often have grand designs when it comes to refurbishing their home, with 26% keen to use more colours in their home, while 21% want to be more creative with their lighting.
And more than a fifth (22%) would choose a bright colour for their sofa, if they were to make a bolder interior design choice.
Exactly three-quarters of respondents believe it takes real confidence to make bold choices when designing the interior of a home.
And only 16% of the homeowners polled go as far as to say they love their interiors – with 23% ambivalent, neither particularly liking or disliking their home style.
Three in 10 (31%) don’t think their personality is reflected in the way their home is decorated – but 40% of people admit they’d feel more relaxed if it was.
For 13% of these, they’ve opted to make their home more practical than stylish – while 10% simply haven’t put much effort in. But over a third (37%) admit they envy those who are bold with their interior style, according to the OnePoll.com figures.
Kellie Wyles, head of upholstery at DFS, added: “Decorating your home is not just about furniture and colours – it’s a canvas for your personality, a place to bring to life “your thing”. When it comes to following trends, your home should tell your story, not anyone else’s.
“Home décor is not a one-size-fits-all, so have confidence in your unique style – mix patterns, experiment with textures, and watch your home transform into a true reflection of your taste.”
TIWALOLA OGUNLESI‘S TOP 10 TIPS ON HOW TO BE BRAVER WITH INTERIOR DESIGN CHOICES:
- Let go of fear. As with everything in life, mistakes will happen. Styling your home is a learning experience – what doesn’t work today, might lead you to something even better tomorrow.
- Gain confidence from small steps. Build trust and confidence in yourself by experimenting with small decisions first. Overthinking stalls progress – clarity comes from baby steps.
- Pause, reflect, decide. If you’re on the fence, don’t rush the process – take 24 to 48 hours to let your ideas or choices settle. Looking with fresh eyes can turn hesitation into confident decisions.
- Ask for help. There’s no shame in getting a second opinion, or speaking to an expert – talking through your ideas can spark even better creative solutions.
- Prioritise what’s most important. Is it the style, quality, availability, or cost? It’s not always possible to have them all, so start with what you value most.
- Work within your budget. A limited budget doesn’t mean you have to play safe – explore alternative products, look out for seasonal deals, or try your hand at DIY and unleash your inner creativity.
- Be unapologetic about your choices. You can’t please everyone, and that’s okay! Not everyone is going to like your design choices, but guess what? It’s YOUR home, not theirs.
- Know your taste. As with all manifestations and planning, creating a vision board that brings together inspiration can work really well, to help you decide on the interiors you love.
- Follow your curiosity. Your intuition is your best friend, so I suggest looking out for common patterns or styles you gravitate towards e.g. modern, rustic, eclectic, vibrant.
- Consider your lifestyle. You know yourself best, so try reflecting on how you want to live and feel in your home, then think about what functional elements and design features can help you achieve your lifestyle goals.
TOP 10 DESIGN CHOICES HOMEOWNERS LATER REGRET:
- Buying cheap furniture which went on to break
- Clashing too many colours together
- Overcrowding the living room with big pieces of furniture
- Opting for a colour scheme that was too neutral e.g. all beige, all white
- Following a specific trend that went out of fashion, or didn’t suit your home in the long term
- Wallpapering the whole room in a bold pattern
- Painting the ceiling
- Prioritising aesthetics over the practicality of furniture
- Following certain micro-trends that soon went out of fashion
- Dark wood flooring in the kitchen