6 Common Mistakes of DIY (Do It Youself) Renovation

DIY (do it yourself) renovation is an exciting process that allows you to bring your ideas to life and create a cozy space. However, without proper planning and knowledge, you may encounter some common mistakes that can impact the outcome. Let's explore the key errors to avoid during home renovation and interior design.

1. Purchasing and Ordering Furniture Before Receiving Keys to the Property

At first view, this may seem like a convenient and logical step to move in faster and avoid delays. However, it can lead to some serious issues if not properly planned and informed.


When you don't have a complete understanding of the materials that will be used on the floors or walls, ordering furniture can be a risky endeavor. The chosen furniture's shade or texture may not blend well with the surrounding finishes, creating disharmony and disrupting the overall interior harmony.

Moreover, the lack of a detailed furniture layout plan and room zoning can result in the selected furniture not fitting properly into the designated spaces or not serving the intended purposes. This could lead to inconvenience and inefficient use of space.

Equally important when ordering furniture is the color selection. The furniture's shade should harmonize with the overall style and color scheme of the interior. Mismatched furniture color can disrupt the design unity and give an impression of incompleteness.

In interior renovation, it's essential to remember that everything starts with a general plan and then moves on to the details. Therefore, before making the final furniture order, it's recommended to use 3D modeling or create an image with furniture of a single color to evaluate how it blends with the functionality and ambiance of the interior. This will help avoid unforeseen issues and make a more conscious and successful choice of furniture for your renovated space.

2. Matching colors

One of the common mistakes in interior renovation related to colors is combining them without proper knowledge of color theory. While some people may accidentally or due to good taste create acceptable color combinations, it doesn't mean this approach works universally. Truly successful color combinations can be the result of keen observation, developed visual experience, or inspiration from the surrounding world.


However, for most individuals without professional knowledge of color theory, attempting to combine colors on their own can become a real headache. When choosing colors for the interior, it's better to adhere to some simple rules to avoid imbalance and unpleasant visual effects.

Read this article based on a real example from my practice when a client ordered furniture and sought my assistance because the delivered furniture didn't match anything, and color and material selection became her stumbling block.

One reliable way to avoid color mistakes is to create a light interior using pastel tones. This way, you might achieve a modern Scandinavian-style interior. The popularity of Scandinavian design lies in its simplicity, and nearly anyone can create it on their own. Pastel colors are neutral and easily blend with other colors, creating a calm and cozy atmosphere in the living space, which is especially important for living areas.

Basic colors such as white, black, gray, beige, and blue are universal and safe choices. They complement each other well and go well with various decorative elements.

However, this doesn't mean that the interior should be entirely devoid of color. You can add vibrant accents in the form of chairs, stools, sofas, or cushions to bring freshness and individuality to the space. These bright details highlight the main interior style and add depth to it.

But painting entire walls, floors, or ceilings in bold colors without professional knowledge in design can lead to imbalance and visual chaos. Colorful interiors require a delicate sense of proportion and harmony, and to create them, it's best to consult an experienced designer who can balance the color palette and design an interior that reflects your style and preferences. A professional designer will consider your vision and help create a unique and harmonious space that is pleasant and comfortable to use.

3. Playing with Contrasts

Contrast is a technique used to make compositions more expressive and appealing. In DIY interior renovation, creating contrast often involves using a black floor with light walls. Returning to point 2, why not opt for a light interior?


When walls and floors strongly contrast in color, although this combination may seem striking at first glance, it can create visual tension and make the space less pleasant to live in. A black floor may look luxurious, but it can also highlight every speck of dust and shoe mark, making cleaning more laborious and frequent.

Dark doors against white walls can also cause an unpleasant sense of imbalance. Visually, the doors may appear too contrasting with the surrounding environment, giving the impression that they stand out too much and do not harmonize well with the interior.

To avoid excessive contrasts, it's better to introduce contrast through details and accents. You can add contrasting elements through furniture, decorative pillows, rugs, wall art, and other accessories. For instance, in an interior with white walls and a light floor, you can incorporate black or dark chairs or tables. This way, the contrast will be present, but it will be more balanced and cohesive with the overall interior style.

It's also important to consider the functionality and practicality of elements with black or dark shades, as they may require more meticulous care and maintenance. Contrasts in the interior should enhance the style and character of the space, rather than create visual imbalance and inconvenience in daily use. With the right approach to using contrasts, you can create a harmonious, stylish, and cozy space where you will enjoy spending time.

4. Center-Only Lighting in Rooms

This mistake arises from the lack of action plan, absence of room zoning, and furniture arrangement. Consequently, the only option left is to install a central ceiling light. This is a missed opportunity to complete your interior design. Lighting design is a design within design. A good interior stands out with multiple levels of lighting, including ceiling, wall, and horizontal surface lighting. Lighting should be strategically placed to create accents and a cozy atmosphere in the room.

Lighting significantly affects the overall perception of a room. Installing lighting fixtures only in the center of a room can be limiting and miss the opportunity to create a more interesting and effective lighting. This could result in important interior details remaining unnoticed or poorly visible.

A good interior stands out with multiple levels of lighting, creating various atmospheres and accents in the room. This includes ceiling lighting such as chandeliers and spotlights, providing general illumination. Wall lighting, such as sconces, can add additional sources of light and give the room a softer and cozier character. Additionally, it's essential to consider lighting for horizontal surfaces, such as lamps and floor lamps, to create accents and highlight specific areas or elements in the interior.

Placing lighting fixtures strategically in accordance with furniture layout and functional areas of the room is important. For example, above tables and side tables, pendant lights or table lamps can be installed to provide sufficient lighting in those spots. If there are dense cabinets or other furniture elements in the room, the lighting should be shifted from the center of the room to half the width of the cabinet to create uniform illumination.

It's also essential to consider the style and design of the interior when choosing lighting fixtures to ensure they harmoniously blend with the overall look of the space. Centering light fixtures on the ceiling in line with furniture arrangement allows for balance and harmony in the interior.

In conclusion, successful lighting in the interior not only creates comfort and coziness but also complements the overall room design, accentuating its advantages and unique details. This requires careful planning and arrangement of lighting fixtures to create a pleasant and functional atmosphere in the interior.

5. Sharing responsibilities

Failure to agree on roles and responsibilities during the renovation process often leads to conflicts and misunderstandings. The absence of a comprehensive action plan and clear vision can result in overspending, financial difficulties, and stress when choosing materials and colors. A crucial solution to avoid such situations is to create a design project, which serves as a "guiding star" throughout the renovation.

When starting a renovation, many families face the problem of uncertainty and lack of clarity in dividing responsibilities among themselves. Often, situations arise where each participant assumes that others will take care of material selection, layout, decoration, and as a result, no one takes on a leading role. This can lead to endless discussions, conflicts, and misunderstandings, making the renovation a painful and prolonged process.

The absence of a comprehensive action plan and a clear vision of the final goal can also lead to overspending of resources and time. Without a plan, people may not estimate the scope of work and the cost of materials, leading to financial difficulties and the possibility of going into debt.

In this context, a design project plays a crucial role. It serves as a guide and action plan throughout the renovation process. The design project helps to define the color scheme, interior style, materials, and furniture, allowing participants to visualize the final result. This helps establish a common vision for the project and prevent misunderstandings among the participants.

It is also important to consider the roles and interests of each participant in the renovation process. If one partner is more knowledgeable in material and decor selection, while the other is better at financial matters, it makes sense to allocate responsibilities based on these skills and expertise. Communication and open discussion of roles and tasks facilitate more harmonious cooperation and prevent many renovation-related issues.

6. Lack of a Defined Renovation Budget

This can lead to undesirable financial surprises and unexpected expenses. It can be an extension of the previous point. Often, people have a general idea of the cost of renovation but do not make a detailed calculation or share this information with other participants in the project. This can result in selected solutions and materials being more expensive than planned, and some necessary work or elements may be overlooked.

When renovation participants do not have a clear idea of their available resources, there is a risk of spending more money than they can afford. Also, in the absence of a defined budget, decisions may be made to purchase expensive materials or furniture that turn out to be unaffordable. This can lead to some necessary work being omitted due to a lack of funds.

To avoid such situations, it is essential to make a detailed calculation and determine the renovation budget during the planning stage. It is crucial to consider all possible expenses, including materials, equipment, furniture, plumbing, services of specialists, and other costs. If there are questions or uncertainties, referring to the design project or creating a detailed list of necessary work and materials can help to more accurately estimate the total expenses.

In my work, I always start with a table where clients share how much they are willing to spend on doors, tiles, wallpaper, plumbing, curtains, sofas, etc. You would be surprised by the level of astonishment when we add up the total cost of the project. It's better to be surprised before starting the renovation than to get into debt during the process. That's why, in the beginning, you can experiment, seeing the overspending and then reduce the expenses on certain items or vice versa increase something.

Additionally, it is essential to discuss the budget with other participants in the renovation and keep them informed of financial limitations. This helps avoid misunderstandings and problems during the process. If necessary, responsibilities for certain expenses can be shared, or decisions on prioritizing certain work and materials can be made collaboratively.

To read about the reasons for the popularity of Scandinavian style, click HERE.
Read about 5 Secrets of Quiet Luxury in Interior Design: How to Create Elegant Spaces without Excessive Accents HERE.

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