Decorating Disasters: 4 Ways to Turn Your Luck Around When All Seems Lost

Decorating Disasters: 4 Ways to Turn Your Luck Around When All Seems Lost

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Jennifer Hunter
Jan 14, 2015
(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Putting time, money and energy into decorating feels great—until it blows up in your face. But there are always ways to tweak your decor mistakes to make them work after all. Read on for four common decor fails and the ways to fix them.

The fail:

Your DIY project is a debacle.

The fix:

Stop! Then salvage what you can. There's always an element of the unknown when you take on a DIY. If things start to go south, you'll need to reevaluate your approach ASAP. Is the paint oddly soaking into what you thought was wood? Sounds like you need a primer. Is your "simple" reupholstery job spiraling out of control? It may be time to turn to a professional. If it truly is hopeless, make sure to salvage the legs, knobs or another other cool detailing before you ditch your project. You never know when those extras will come in handy.

The fail:

Your layout is lacking.

The fix:

Work backwards. If your layout isn't working, you need to identify just what you want your room to accomplish. Do you love to entertain? Make sure you have plenty of grouped seating to give everyone a place to join in the conversation. Do you want to open up your space and improve flow? Be conscious of the space between your pieces and make sure there are multiple ways to travel through the room without too many obstacles in the way. And remember, trial and error is your friend here. Live with a few different options before deciding what feels best.

The fail:

You picked a putrid paint color.

The fix:

If you recoil in horror when you see your paint pick up on the wall, you need to take a breath. You're probably tired and grouchy from painting all day. Maybe the lack of light is working against you. Either way, put down the tools, go to bed and look at it with fresh eyes in the morning. If you still hate it but it's close to what you had in mind, it's possible another, similar color layered on top will be a quick fix. If you're just going a little brighter or deeper, you won't need to prime. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll have to start from scratch. Consider living with it for a week or so to make sure you really want to make another change. It might grow on you.

The fail:

Your home is a black hole of personality.

The fix:

Since YOU are the personality, it's up to you to update your boring beige box. Look at rooms you love and really think about what elements of those rooms you could steal for your own space. If you love the moldings of older homes, you can buy them a la carte from any hardware store. If you're into neutrals, remember that layering textures can add much-needed dimension in place of a bunch of brights. And, by all means, display the things you collect or craft — that's the biggest clue as to who you really are!

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