Want a fresh look for your home, and want to do it yourself? Here are some decorating mistakes to avoid:1. Too many colors. Try to keep the paint colors in your home to a minimum – two or three at most. And, if possible, use one carpet throughout the entire house. A plethora of colors will make your home feel chopped up and stop the visual flow of your spaces.

2. Busy fabrics on large pieces.Think of your sofa and sectional as background. Select simple fabrics for them, preferably without much color or pattern variation. Think of these large furniture pieces as something akin to your “basic black” dress. You can dress them up or dress them down. Save the patterned fabrics for pillows or drapes.  Use accessories – like art, area rugs or throws – to bring the “punch” into your rooms.

3. Layout unbalanced. When arranging your furniture, be careful not to put all the heavy pieces on one side of the room. If you have something tall (like an armoire) on one wall, try to balance it with, for example, a large picture on the opposite wall.

4. Too much stuff. A good rule of thumb is this: Think of everything you want to put into a room, and then cut it in half.
5. No theme. The eclectic look is great, but – for it to be successful – it needs a theme, be it style, topic or color. In our Stillwatermodel home at Newport Cove, our waterfront development on the Chain O’ Lakes, the theme is nautical and color-centered, using a palette of white, blue and tan. This 2,215-square-foot home offers three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a full basement with nine-foot walls and an optional bonus room over the 2.5-car garage. It is in the community’s Cottages neighborhood, an area where the homeowners’ association takes care of all landscaping maintenance and snow removal.

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