If you’ve ever accidentally hung your wallpaper upside down or painted your bathroom a color you hated, you are not alone. These are both common home decorating mistakes we have all made at one point in time. In a world filled with a million colors and color hues, and more prints and patterns than you can shake a stick at it, it’s easy to get confused and make mistakes. The good news is, there are a few tricks you can use to fix common home decorating mistakes without having to replace the materials you’ve already bought.
Did you hang it upside down? Wallpaper is a great way to bring color and texture to any room of the house, but it can be a bit overwhelming to hang yourself. In the midst of tackling the project, you may have accidentally hung one or two strips of wallpaper upside down. If so, you’re not the first one to do it and you certainly won’t be the last. The good news is if YOU didn’t notice it right away, others probably won’t either. Instead of stripping off the wallpaper and rehanging more, you can try to camouflage this common home decorating mistake. Here’s how:
When people walk into a room, they see what’s directly at their eye level. Therefore, you can fix decorating mistakes you make by placing something at that level. For example, move a piece of furniture in front of the upside-down strip, or cover the space up with a large piece of artwork, or several small photographs. Hang a curio cabinet in the spot, or use a tall plant, or several small hanging ones, to disguise your mistake.
Did you forget the plumb line? An important step many do-it-yourselfers overlook in hanging wallpaper is to start off with a plumb line. Since not all walls are even, a plumb line will give you a level line to start hanging wallpaper with. If you forgot this important step, your wallpaper is probably now looking a bit ‘off’, especially in the corners. Here’s what you can do to fix decorating mistakes like this one:
Head to your local home improvement store and purchase some wood trim or molding. Paint it a neutral color that will match your wallpaper and nail it in place along the top and bottom of the walls. This will help to break up the pattern of the wallpaper and will give the room smooth, even lines that will draw the eye away from the mistake. You’ll also find that when you reposition your furniture and accessories, it will help to camouflage this home decorating mistake fairly well.
Did you rip or tear the wallpaper? If you’ve never hung wallpaper before, you will likely rip it a little as you install it. Fortunately, it’s not that big of a deal. The glue on the back of wallpaper doesn’t dry quickly and most wallpaper materials are fairly forgiving. If it rips or tears, you should be able to piece it back together as it hangs. If not, a little Elmer’s Glue will hold it in place. If the rip is extremely bad, go ahead and finish hanging the wallpaper and then conceal the rip with a photograph or other artwork.
Do you hate the color? One of the most common home decorating mistakes involves choosing the wrong paint color. We’ve all done it. Sure, the color looked nice on the sample but when you got it on the wall….YIKES! You can fix decorating mistakes like this one by painting over it with a textured or faux paint technique. The boldest paint color will take on a soft look when you sponge paint, lime wash, or use suede paint over the paint you hate. (How-to articles located at the end of this piece)
Not-so special order
When you buy something from the store that doesn’t really work with your décor, you can simply take it back to the store and exchange it. But…when you special order a product, in most cases, you are pretty much stuck with it. There are very few things more frustrating than being stuck with a $ 200.00 light fixture that you just cannot use. If you’ve ordered something that is the wrong size, the wrong color, or the wrong style, know that this is one of the common decorating mistakes. It happens ALL the time. Try these ideas to fix decorating mistakes like this one:
Wheel and Deal – Take your item back to the store and ask to speak with the manager. Let him or her know if you plan on tackling more home improvement projects in the future and which products you will require. In some cases, the prospect of future business will be enough for the manager to allow the return.
Offer to pay a restocking fee – Companies that offer special ordering frequently see customers order the wrong thing. Some will allow the return, but charge a restocking fee. If you don’t see a policy in place regarding this, offer to pay a restocking fee yourself. The standard fee is between 15% – 25% of the total retail price of the item.
Sell it – Fortunately, auction sites such as Ebay exist. When all else fails, sell what you can’t use to the highest bidder. One person’s decorating mistake is another person’s treasure.
As with everything in life, we learn from our mistakes. Therefore, the more home decorating mistakes you make, the more you’ll learn and the better you’ll be in the future! Keep a positive attitude and have fun with your next decorating project.
Read these helpful how-to paint technique articles:
Suede Paint Technique
A Simple Guide to Sponge Painting
How to Lime Wash Walls
Personal knowledge and experience