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10 Things That Make Your Living Room Look Cheap

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When you don’t pay close attention to décor details, you might easily make your living room look cheap. That doesn’t necessarily refer to the monetary value of your furniture and decorations. It’s more of a visually jarring effect happening when the elements of the room aren’t properly mixed together or décor items seem out of place. There’s nothing wrong with compromising on some design choices when decorating your living room, but you need to avoid some solutions that make the space look cheap. Here are the most common living room decorating mistakes that give off an unappealing vibe.

1. Too Much Glamor

Living Room With Excessive Amounts of Gold Accents

Gold accents and shiny elements have an important place when it comes to adding a sense of glamor to the room. However, it’s easy to overdo the look by including too many glam-styled pieces. Moderation is key if you want to obtain a sophisticated look. Adding just a few well-selected elements will make the living room seem more luxurious instead of cheapening the effect by bringing in lots of sparkly furnishings and glossy accents. If you want to go extra bold, it’s better to focus on a single gold element that makes all the visual impact instead of dressing up everything with multiple smaller items.

2. Poor Lighting

Outdated Living Room With Poor Lighting

Finding the right lighting balance is critical if you want to avoid a cheap look in the living room. Use very bright light fixtures and you can make even the smallest design flaws stand out too much. On the other hand, having really dim lighting is also not a good idea because it can give a cave-like vibe to the room. Figuring out which lighting solutions work best can take some time because not all living rooms are built in the same way. The rule of thumb is to get a good feel of the right kind of atmosphere needed in this space and choose lights that harmoniously match the mood.

3. Mass-Produced Art

Modern Living Room With Mass Produced Artwork

A gorgeous piece of art can instantly elevate the visual appeal of any living room. It’s understandable that not everyone has the money to display some luxe art but you should avoid mass-produced prints at all costs. They cheapen the vibe of the place and make the living room appear without personality. You want your personal space to feel distinctive and unique, not like it’s featured in some furniture catalog. Visiting flea markets or shopping on places like Etsy can help you discover some original art pieces that are reasonably priced and full of character.

4. Thematic Look

Nautical Themed Blue and White Living Room

A kid’s bedroom can have a specific decorating theme but things are a little different when it comes to adult spaces. Instead of focusing on themes, living rooms look best when you take a design approach based on décor styles. To get a theme right, you need to use lots of elements if you truly want to properly express all the particularities of the design. This results in an overabundance that cheapens the atmosphere of the room and makes it look tacky. A common example is using a nautical theme. Instead of a complete thematic look, you could try embracing the coastal style with just a few select décor pieces or subtle color scheme changes.

5. Inconsistent Flooring

Open Space Living Room With Different Floor Than the Kitchen

If you like the appeal of hardwood flooring in the living room, make sure you pay attention to visual consistency before tackling a big makeover project. Although the floor in the living room can look very elegant, the whole vibe can suffer if your other rooms make use of a totally different material, texture, or color. It’s a jarring visual effect to step from the dining room to the living room if the qualities of the floor are inconsistent. Decide on a particular look and stick with it to craft a uniform flooring style throughout the house.

6. Excess Clutter

Cluttered Living Room With Outdated Furniture

A living room that’s packed with clutter will inevitably give off the vibe of a cheap place. The lack of order and the addition of so many items can negatively affect all proper design choices. This is why you need to be very careful about avoiding clutter and organizing the space to maintain it as neat and tidy as possible. You don’t necessarily have to go all out on minimalism but you should pay close attention to smart storage ideas and decluttering solutions. Getting rid of that sense of disorganization can breathe new life into your living room.

7. Wrong Rug Size

Large Area Rug in Small Living Room

Shopping for a new rug can be difficult considering the multitude of available options. It may be tempting to just buy the first model that seems good enough. Getting the wrong rug size can be a big mistake in terms of making your living room look cheap. Having a very big area rug might be manageable but if it’s too small, it can seriously affect the rest of the room’s overall proportions. Tiny rugs will appear especially awkward in large living rooms. Although there’s no need to splurge on a very expensive rug, it’s recommended to pay attention to the size and get a balanced option.

8. Kitschy Decorations

Kitschy Living Room With Cluttered Decorations

When you focus too much on the big picture, you might overlook some important details. This can happen in the world of interior design if you pick unsuitable decorations. As opposed to more personal areas of the home like the bedroom, you should avoid indulging in too many cutesy decorations in the living room. It’s easy to create an unsophisticated look by using too many kitschy accessories. To make a beautiful statement, focus only on those décor pieces that truly speak to you and reflect your character.

9. Dated Elements

Old Couch in Traditional Living Room

Although traditional interior designs are still very popular, you shouldn’t be afraid of mixing things up to add a touch of modernity to the living room. Even if you have some experience decorating interiors, it’s very easy to end up with a cheap look when you feature too many dated furniture pieces and accessories. The living room can seem particularly unflattering if you refuse to try out some fresher interior trends. Other rooms of the house can get away with an old and traditional look more easily.

10. Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn Ceiling Texture in Living Room

The popcorn ceiling is a remnant of older times when the bumpy texture used to be the common pervasive style for classic homes. Nowadays, however, it can immediately make the living room seem cheap and lacking in sophistication. A popcorn ceiling doesn’t just suggest that you don’t want to bother with the old paint texture in your home. It pretty much looks terrible by itself and is very difficult to maintain clean. You’re much better off getting rid of it and restoring the surface of the ceiling to a sleek and neat appearance.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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