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8 Design Mistakes That Make Your Home Look Cluttered


Do you often spend hours cleaning your home but never really achieve the clean and clutter-free space you were hoping for? There are several factors — or “clutter culprits” as we like to call them — that could be making your home feel messy and disjointed. From colors that clash to poor lighting, it’s not just the stuff we accumulate that can make our homes look cluttered. Here, we pinpoint six common design mistakes that can make your home look cluttered and how to fix them to keep your space looking neat and tidy with next to no effort.

1. Cluttered Countertops

Your home will never feel clean and tidy if it’s overrun with clutter. Rather than leaving things like paperwork, lunch boxes, pantry items, and other knickknacks strewn all over your kitchen counter or dining table, create specific spots for these to be stored out of sight.

Countertops HTL

Photo: Eve Wilson (Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

2. Cord Clutter

With technology taking over, we are constantly introducing new gadgets into our homes, along with cords that connect and charge these devices. To keep tech organized, create a designated space where phones, iPads, and laptops can be charged that is discreet and out of the way. This can be a specific drawer or shelf in a cupboard.

Gaming wires, cords, and handsets seem never-ending and need to be managed. If the humble TV unit can’t hold everything, try a stylish storage basket as a quick and easy dumping solution.

3. Lousy Layout

There’s nothing like a nonsensical layout to make a room feel overcrowded and uninviting. Furniture placement will greatly affect the flow of a space, big or small. Also, take into account the size of your furniture. Is your couch taking up way more space that it should? Is your coffee table out of proportion?

4. Styling Slip-Ups

You can’t just throw a bunch of stuff on a shelf and expect it to look good. Too many items look like clutter and you’ll lose the sense of your room’s theme. Step back to get a view. Move anything that catches your eye in a bad way. “Take a photo to see what it looks like through the lens,” says Jessica Bellef, head of styling at Temple & Webster. “It’ll help you to tweak it.”

5. The Wrong Rug

Size and shape are the most important elements to get right when choosing a rug. If the carpet is too small, can make a space feel smaller than it is and therefore, overcrowded and cluttered. Unlike dining settings, living room furniture should be positioned half-on and half-off your rug. This pulls the look together rather than having floating pieces that end up looking disjointed.

Color Scheme HTL

Photo: Sharyn Cairns (Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

6. Crazy Color Scheme

Is your home a kaleidoscope of color? This can be one of the major “clutter culprits.” While there are some unusual color combinations that work, there are plenty that don’t. Adding color into your home can be a game of trial and error, but, to keep it simple, stick to one or two core colors and complement these with neutral tones.

Can’t decide on a color scheme? Draw from any artwork or statement pieces you currently have and continue that theme throughout your home for a consistent look.

7. No Negative Space

Don’t feel like you to need to furnish or decorate every square inch of your home. Negative space is your friend when it comes to creating a clean and clutter-free aesthetic. Think of that blank wall as breathing room.

8. Lack of Light

Dark rooms tend to feel cramped and confusing as our eyes struggle to define the dimensions, true colors, and negative space. To brighten up a room, consider hanging a mirror directly across from a window to reflect the natural sunlight. Opt for light, neutral furnishings and furniture where you can and use floor lamps in dark corners to brighten the space.

This article was written by Homes to Love editors. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.

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