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10 Design And Decor Pet Peeves That Even Designers Are Guilty Of, And How To Avoid Them

Ok, A long title I know, but I don't ever like to point out problems without giving solutions, thus the "How To Avoid Them" part :-).

As a designer, I have seen some things that consumers do in their homes that I may not love, but totally understand why, because they are not trained or experienced in interior design. I just love to see homeowners take that step to creating the home they desire. If you are that person, I commend you for that, and please know that we are committed to being a resource to you here at Casa Vilora Interiors. But I consider it a duty to also share some of the design and decorating mistakes I see happening all over Pinterest and Instagram, even by designers in some cases.

I have rounded up the top 10 things I see that are more of a pet peeve for me. These are things that may look fine in spaces, but I think could be so much better if done a bit differently. Some you may agree with, some you may not. Please chime in with your two cents in the comments below

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links that if you click through and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. It's just the vendors' way of thanking me for sending you their way.

OK, so let's get this started in here!

  1. Sprigs in jars

Image Via Wix Gallery

Sprigs in jars are not all bad, but what I often see is a jar with a small handful of dried branches, greenery or cotton. They often look cluttered and out of scale and have no strength in the space. Therefore they distract and are not cohesive

What to do instead?

Add a vase or jar with actual greenery or high quality faux floral. Like this ONE

In this image of an Afro-inspired living room in Richmond Texas, you can see that instead of lightweight sprigs, we used faux greenery that looks very real, and has strength to bring this vignette together. Notice that it doesn't take away from the composition, but add some fullness and strength to it.

2. A decorative square or rectangle accent tile on the backsplash above the cook top

Kitchen Image Via Wix Gallery

This is another pet peeve item that can actually be beautiful in some applications. I see designers pull this one off beautifully sometimes, but I personally think that adding the same material throughout the entire backsplash is better than having an accent above the cooktop. Especially when it is a stove, and not a cooktop like I have seen many times.

Marble tiles, encaustic patterned tiles and subway tiles still make a great statement for full coverage of a backsplash without the accent piece. Unless well thought out, as a focal point, I don't see the point of them.

3. Wall niches with tchotchkes

Builders are notorious for adding wall niches in the oddest of places and consider it an upgrade. Wall niches are typically meant for the homeowner to add decorations to and be an accent to break up a large wall. In some cases, for example, certain architectural style like Spanish style homes, they make perfect sense, but often times, they are dust-accumulating wasted spaces. An even bigger faux pas with these niches is when unnecessary tchotchkes are added with no rhyme or reason. Typically the result is clutter and no purpose.

What to do instead?

Laser Cut Wood Decorative Panel Installed In A Wall Niche In Katy Texas

**Sheetrock over them and treat them as a regular wall

**Keep it simple and not overdecorate. Whatever you do, do not add trailing plants

**Give them a function by adding storage - like a plate rack if they are located in an area like a dining room, breakfast room or kitchen area

**Add a mural or accent it with wallpaper

**Add a decorative laser cut piece that fits the wall exactly as shown above.

4. Several different flooring throughout a home with weird transitions

I see this one a lot, several different flooring installed throughout the same space. I love a well layered space with several materials and textures coming together beautifully, but when it comes to flooring, keep in mind that several different patterns and weird transitions will make the space feel smaller and disjointed. You want flow, especially in main areas. For bedrooms and others areas that are closed off, it is ok to use a different flooring, but it should all still feel cohesive to the overall design of the home

What to do instead?

Carry the same flooring through as much of the space as possible - especially in open main areas - even in the kitchen. Yes, you can use wood in the kitchen as well if you are using wood in the living and dining rooms. I would also carry it through the powder room and study. Then use area rugs to define certain areas and groupings.

Here in this space we used this beautiful 30x30 porcelain parquet style tile throughout the entire main area of this home for a seamless flow. Similar look tile HERE

5. Side splashes

Another design element that might be ok in some applications but for the most part takes away rather than add to the design.

A backsplash is meant to be on the back area between the bottom of the upper cabinets and the countertop. It is not necessary, or even aesthetically pleasing to continue the backsplash on the sides where there are no upper cabinets

What to do instead?

Kill the backsplash wherever the upper cabinets end, even if the countertop extends beyond.

Another solution is to continue the backsplash to fill the entire wall. This is more of a dramatic statement, and of course a more expensive option since you will be using more tile.

Here we carried the geometric clay tile all the way beyond the backsplash to cover the entire wall, and killed it right at the door. Because of the thickness of the tile, we added a small pencil bullnose to cover the edges.

6. Double sinks in tight areas

This one is a major one for me. I see it a lot here in my area (Katy Texas), as new construction is still booming here. One of the things that homebuilders sell as an upgrade is double sinks in the master bathroom and even secondary bathrooms.

Often times, the vanity area is too small to accommodate two sinks and that does not leave enough room for things you need on the countertop. The rule of thumb is one sink on any vanity surface that is less than 72"

What to do instead?

If you are in the midst of a remodeling and changing the layout to accommodate a wider area for double sinks is an option, go for it. Or maybe two separate vanity areas can be squeezed out of a small bathroom.

In this bathroom, we changed the layout of the space entirely. The vanity area was once the shower. We used just one sink to keep counter space open for toiletries, makeup and accessories

7. Misplaced accent walls

Before you do an accent wall in your home, ask yourself what is the purpose. An accent wall is meant to draw attention to a certain feature of the wall - maybe it is architecturally strong, it is the room's focal point, or you want to make it the focal point.

Often times what I see is a wall painted a different color from the rest of the room with no clear purpose. And it is usually a wall you don't need to draw attention to.

What to do instead?

An accent wall should make sense for the space. Choose a wall that you want to highlight a strong feature that will stand out in the room. Maybe it's a gallery wall, or a fireplace wall or the back of bookcases.

Here in this vignette of an open space in our design studio in Katy Texas, we wanted to define the space as the dining space. We used a grasscloth wallpaper as the accent, while keeping the other wall in the space a white. The wallpaper helps to unify the space

8. No cabinet hardware at sink drawer

This one is more of a me thing, as many designers think that because the drawer underneath the sink in the kitchen or bathroom is not functional because of the plumbing, there shouldn't be a pull on the drawer. Or it may not be the best idea having hardware there because it will get in the way when the sink is being used.

I beg to differ however, because having every other cabinet door and drawer with hardware except for one single one looks very unfinished to me.

What to do instead?

Add the hardware, but choose hardware that won't stick out too far like these clover knobs in our Katy Texas guest bathroom (similar clover style hardware can be found HERE and HERE). Or, if this is an option, don't place a drawer at the vanity sink, but use full cabinet doors. It is better for being able to access the plumbing underneath

9. Pendants over island out of scale

I see this very often, beautiful kitchens with pendants that are a bit on the smaller side, or hung too high or too low. Selecting pendants for above an island can be tricky, so it is important to map this out before specifying light fixtures.

What to do instead?

In this kitchen, my client and I wanted the pendants to be substantial but not overpowering, so we chose these acrylic pendants for over the island (Find similar ones HERE, as we get many requests for these and they are no longer available)

Instead of doing three tiny pendants, two larger ones are more impactful. One large chandelier is also an option

10. Naked windows with not so valid reasons

I may be just a bit biased with this one because I love window treatments so much! But on a serious note, as a designer, I don't see many rooms that would not benefit from custom drapery or some other window covering like woven wood shades, roman shades or roller shades. Now I do understand that some spaces may not need it or it may take away from the design, but often times homeowners choose not to do custom window coverings for not so valid reasons, like:

My cat will destroy them - does your cat destroy everything you own? There is a happy medium - choosing the right fabric that the cat won't be so attracted to


They are dust magnets! This one is pretty common for sure, but the truth is.....everything is a dust magnet. Vertical dust is just as bad as horizontal dust. It is all about maintenance


They are too expensive! Ok you got me! They can be! But there are alternate options. For example our newly launched CVI Custom Drapery Program makes buying drapery panels easy and affordable


I'm a minimalist and draperies read as clutter! Not true! Ok, maybe a teeny tiny bit of truth there! If they are done well they can be right at home in any setting - even in minimalist settings and they will not read as clutter.

What to do instead?

Book a drapery consultation and we will show you how to have custom drapery made specifically for your unique design needs. We create draperies for the space and your individual style, lifestyle and functional needs

In this maximalist living room, we went with these orange silk drapery panels that were meant to look casual and effortless. We didn't want too much structure in this application to fit our maximalist, layered look. The color palette and mood was driven by this gorgeous sofa

It still makes my heart flutter just a bit. You can check it out HERE

Ok, so tell me! Which ones do you agree with and which ones do you disagree with. Drop me a comment below.

Now go forth and create your beautiful home, and never forget that we are here to help!

Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!


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2 opmerkingen

Veronica Solomon
Veronica Solomon
16 jan. 2021

Haha. I am so glad that I am not the only one. Thanks for stopping by!


Onbekend lid
16 jan. 2021

Great tips! I completely agree on the accent tile and that top drawer without a knob drives me nuts 😂

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