Decorating Mistakes Joanna Gaines Says You Should Avoid

Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines | Joanna Gaines via Facebook

Are you ready to take on your home design project? Before you begin, take time to go over design mistakes so you can save yourself the stress. Here are a few mistakes Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines outlines in her book Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave.

Trying to decorate like someone else

Don’t try to decorate like someone else. Joanna says the only way to make a space truly yours is to design it in a way that reflects your personality. It’s OK to look to others for inspiration, but you should be careful about copying someone’s style. You might decide later it’s not for you. Joanna encourages readers to “create rooms that look and feel like you.”

This is what Joanna had to say about what defines style: “It’s defined by how we feel when we enter a room—the things we notice, feel drawn to, or even find ourselves resisting. These subtle prompts help to inform our own personal design bent. And once we understand what it is, we can work to create a home that is not only inviting but feels meaningful to us as well,” she says in her book.

Decorating only to make a design statement

Living room with palm print wallpaper

Palm print wallpaper | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Another mistake some people make is only decorating with the purpose of making a design statement. Although it’s nice to have the latest style, it’s also important to personalize your space. Joanna says your home should tell a story. “Our home is layered with family photos, artwork, and objects that weren’t chosen simply to make a design statement, but rather to tell the story of who lives there,” says Joanna in her book. “I believe that what we surround ourselves with—the colors, the materials, the things—can be random and meaningless or they can convey some of the most important truths if we let them.”

Trying to decorate a perfect space

TV above fireplace

TV above fireplace | hikesterson/iStock/Getty Images

Your home design doesn’t have to be picture perfect. Just create something that looks and feels like you. And don’t forget to have fun doing it. “Allow yourself the freedom to mess up, whatever that means, or simply change your mind. Go ahead and paint the room a color other than beige… You tried, you risked, you learned—and hopefully you had fun with it,” Joanna says.

Not taking time to find your personal style

Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines | Joanna Gaines via Facebook

It’s hard to get started or even finish a home design project if you don’t know your personal style. Joanna recommends taking time to learn about the basic design styles, so you can see what resonates with you. This will save time and money down the road. In her book, Joanna provides photos and detailed descriptions of some basic design styles. She says it’s important to familiarize yourself with different styles, so you can easily navigate your design project. “As you find yourself responding to a certain look of a room, this will help you put language to what it is that you’re seeing and feeling,” she says.

Joanna’s biggest design mistake

Although Joanna is talented, she has made some design mistakes. She told HGTV she made a big mistake when choosing the paint color for her first high-end flip. “For our first high-end flip, I chose a tan stucco color. After it was painted, I pulled up to the house and it looked like a big yellow school bus.”

Read more: How Much Money Did Chip and Joanna Gaines Charge on ‘Fixer Upper’?

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