Inadvertently Make Your Home Look Tacky

Back in the day as a preteen, you may have loved your flower-power or pirate-themed room with matching furniture set. And grandma may have loved her floral theme and matching living room sets. But that's just where themes and matching furniture belong: back in the day or in a preteen room.

Because, really, you don't want your home to look tacky. Right? Right.

Still, your aesthetic is your aesthetic, and you want to do you. But you want to do it in a way that doesn't look cheap, especially in your living room.

But what are the things that make your home look cheap and how do you avoid them, you ask?

To help, we've put together some do's and don'ts on decorating to keep you tacky-free. Keep reading to learn what not to do so your place can look fabulous, then get to work doing what you're supposed to do to put it together for an awesome space.

1. Stick With Styles Rather Than Themes

Don't go with a theme for your home. Do go with a decorating style. As mentioned, themes are great for kids and middle school-aged youth but from teen-hood on, a deco style is the way to go.

You can go with a color palette, like different shades of a single color, like various greens or an array of blues, or neutrals or earth tones. You can go with a style, like rustic modern, contemporary, country, mid-century modern, Scandinavian, or industrial, for example. Just don't go overboard with a theme, like pop art or disco or flowers or horses or pirates.

Think Southwestern style with raw wood furniture, a stone fireplace, Native American woven rug, and sunset colors, rather than cowboys everywhere, for example. 

2. Put Art on Your Walls But Make It Original

Don't hang a mass-produced print that hundreds of thousands in the U.S. and Sweden have on their wall. Don't leave walls blank. Don't hang art too high or low. Do find unique and original art and hang that at eye level.

You don't have to fork out a ton of cash for cool art that will look amazing in your space. Check Etsy. Go to local markets, swap meets, farmers' markets, and vintage sales. Artists often sell their wares. And there are a lot of great artists around.

Another idea is to blow up a great photo you or someone you know took and frame and hang it in a cool way. Also, some artists and photographers sell their wares. Check hashtags on Instagram for art and photography or areas of interest.

Mirrors and interesting rugs, like kilim rugs, also work. And remember, the centre of the art should be at eye level, not higher or lower.

3. Have Rugs But Make Sure They're the Right Size

Don't get a rug that's too small or too big. Do use rugs on the hardwood to bring the room together and add warmth.

A rug in your living room should be big enough to go under the front of your couch and chair legs. It shouldn't just go under the coffee table but not reach the sofas. It should appear to fill the centre of the space but not the entire space. For example, it doesn't need to go all the way under the couch and out the back.

In the dining room, it should be at least two feet bigger than the table so that people can pull out their dining chairs without getting hooked on the rug.

If you have some of those itty bitty rugs that you love, try to put them on a bigger neutral rug. Ideally, you'd have a large neutral rug, like a jute rug, with a small bright-colored one, like a kilim rug, on top.

4. Love Your Kitschy Knickknacks In Style

We know you love that Knicks bobblehead, as well as the Harry Potter one. We also know you love that Bavarian cuckoo clock, Beer Stein, and a decorative plate. But your home only has enough space in its heart to love one or two of these kitschy treasures.

So, don't put out more than one or two of your prized items at a time. Do keep a few personal treasures out to show your style. Try rotating items if you can't decide. Think about having practical items of interest like a classy chess game set or backgammon that you can actually use too if you want to play with guests, friends, or your family. 

5. Have Window Coverings on Your Gorgeous Windows

Don't leave your windows bare, even if no one can see in. Do go for simple coverings that complement your space and windows.

Think simple bamboo shades or roman shades. Or grab a simple rod and go for a simple panel. Sheer curtains are great too if you want to keep it light.

Coverings are a must and will draw attention to your windows, so you want stylish windows too. Stylish can be simple, by the way. Not happy with yours? It's worth it to look into replacement windows to keep your home on the up-and-up when it comes to style.

6. Keep Your Entry Neat and Organized

Don't let your entry get messy with coats and shoes and other items piling up. Do provide hooks to hang coats and a way to keep shoes and other items organized. Think about getting a bench that doubles as a storage box. 

7. Freshen Up the Scene With Real Plants

Don't ever have fake plants. Do have several real plants around the house. Think big pots with inside trees. Cut flowers are also great. 

8. Mix Furniture Up Within One Deco Style But No Match Sets

Don't get a matching furniture set. Do get furniture that fits together and complements the decoration style you're going for.

The furniture sets are for those preteens, remember? Instead, pick a style for the room and add furniture that builds your room in that style. If you're going for a modern look, find an awesome modern sofa. Then separately pick a modern coffee table. You can mix and match brands and shops. A great shop will offer a few options for your style. 

Don't Let Your Home Look Tacky But Do Let It Look Cool

Now that you have the skinny on how not to make your place look tacky, you know what to do. These tricks are simple and your place is going to look great.

You can also keep reading for some decor ideas from fashion experts on how to use your style to give your bedroom a fashion makeover.