12 Ways You Are Making Your House Look Cheap and Tacky

12 Ways You Are Making Your House Look Cheap and Tacky
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It’s good to make your home feel like you, but there are also a slew of decorating choices that will make the place look chintzy, basic, or even plain creepy. If you’re going for that kind of vibe, fine. If not, consider changing any of the following decor-don’ts that are a part of your home.

Boring art

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Whether it’s faux-rustic cottage scenes or inoffensive abstracts, hanging generic, mass-produced “art” on your walls makes your place look like a motel room. The art on your walls should say something about you, instead of saying, “well something had to go here.” Don’t pick up whatever is currently trending at IKEA; do shop local artists, or at least pore over art websites for something with some real character.

Sidenote: In defiance of popular wisdom, it’s cool to hang Van Gogh’s Starry Night in your living room, as long as it’s the original instead of a print.

Blank walls

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There is one thing worse than generic art on your walls: nothing. Blank walls say, “I’ll get to it someday,” and that’s bad for your self-esteem. Minimalism is fine (if you have a whole minimalist thing happening) but an otherwise normal room with entirely blank walls is disquieting.

Unframed posters

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Unless you’re a teenager, you probably shouldn’t hang unframed posters on your walls, except in the garage. I’m totally in favour of framed posters, though, because you can buy a poster of almost anything for very little money, providing your guests with an easy way to judge your personality and values. I certainly like being able to judge others as easily as possible, and visitors to home will appreciate it too.

Grubby baseboards and carpets

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Even if your place is clutter free and generally clean, grubby baseboards, doorframes, or carpets makes your whole house look way worse than it could. Brightening up the corners may be the easiest, most inexpensive home improvement possible.

A lack of visible books

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I don’t like when people don’t seem to own any books.

Clutter

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No matter how careful and tasteful your design choices, a cluttered house makes you look like you should be on Hoarders. A disorganized, junked-up place also makes your life worse in a number of ways, from attracting more dust to negatively affecting your mental health. This is a very difficult thing to combat, I find, because I don’t notice my own clutter. Only other people’s.

Visible cords

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The profusion of cords from the growing number of tech devices in our homes creates an eyesore. Like actual clutter, my brain edits-out my own wire-clutter while zeroing in on other people’s, so I try to look at my home as if I’ve never been there. Suddenly, a million exposed speaker-wires, charger cords, and power-strips appear, as if by magic.

Displays of weapons

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Katanas are cool, and I am aware of your commitment to our second amendment, but it’s scary and weird to hang weapons on your walls. Maybe the point of weapon-displays is to keep people like me from visiting. If so, I respect the choice.

Overly themed rooms

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Unless you’re decorating a child’s bedroom, you don’t want your house to look too themed. Themed rooms are shallow. Think in terms of a design instead of theme — it’s the difference between mid-century modern and a pirate ship.

Not considering scale

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The super-stuffed sofa you want to put in your house might be comfortable, but if it’s too big for the space, it’s going to throw the entire look of the room off. This applies especially to televisions. It’s very hard to make a huge TV work in a small room.

Following trends too closely

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When I first toured my house, I loved the oversized, black, volcanic-rock fireplace in the living room. I liked how it referenced a forgotten decorating trend of the 1950s, like someone who lived here long ago once dreamed of Polynesian fire-gods. I didn’t love it for long, though, because it’s way too big for the space, it sucks all the light from the room, and it’s permanent. Don’t do this kind of thing to the unfortunate future resident of your home.

Decorating with words

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When people hang up signs in their home that read “This is a home of love” or “Live, Pray, Laugh, Live, Laugh, Love, Pray, Laugh, Live, Eat” who are they talking to? Are they reminding themselves of their own values? Your guests probably already know you like wine a lot or feel life is better at the lake. Instead of a “music is my life” sign, maybe stand some guitars in the corner. As they say to writers: Show, don’t tell.

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