6 Common Home Design Mistakes That Will Cost You

It’s easy to get carried away amidst the excitement of designing a new home. It signifies a fresh start, you get to decide every single detail in a brand new space you are going to live in with the people you hold most dear. What could go wrong?

Oh, you’ll be surprised. 


Photo Credit : Home Philosophy (buying the right furniture helps with the overall look!)


1. Doing It Yourself. 


We’ve seen this happen over and over. Many homeowners, especially first-timers, assume it will be easier on the wallet to design their own home. Unless you are savvy in what goes into designing and building a residential space, you actually risk being penny-wise, pound-foolish by allowing yourself to possibly make mistakes that will cost you way more to reverse than if you had gotten a professional on board in the first place.



Photo Credit : Ethan Interiors (knowing your own lifestyle and preferences will help the interior designer alot!)


2. Not Knowing Yourself.


How well do you understand your own lifestyle and the space requirements that come along with it? Take some time to observe your own living habits. Do you wash dishes messily - which may mean you need a deeper kitchen sink? Do you have the habit of drying your hair right after your shower? You should plan for a dry area in your bathroom with a vanity and electrical outlets for a hairdryer. Do you absolutely hate having the morning sun rise up on your sleeping face? You may want to plan for black-out blinds or drapes in your room. Do you wear more dresses than tops and bottoms? You will really want to plan your wardrobe space - especially if it’s built-in - very meticulously so you don’t literally leave room for regret. Take it from someone with yawning unused spaces in my hanging closet, and drawers that have folded clothes exploding out of them.


Photo Credit : Jia Studios (a great example of great design with great function!)


3. Form Over Function.


If it’s pretty, but it’s useless, then it’s pretty useless. There is absolutely no sense in having a beautiful space that serves as nothing more than a white elephant. A home is meant to be lived in, you are not running a gallery here. With a good designer, your living space should be functionally harmonious with your lifestyle needs while achieving your desired visual appeal. Form and function are not mutually exclusive, but function should always take precedence. You can thank us later.


Photo Credit : The Local Project (do not block out your windows to allow plenty of natural light in!)


4. Let There Be Light.


And not just overhead lighting. In Singapore, most of us HDB dwellers tend to rely solely on overhead lighting. It’s the most convenient option and most of us grew up used to flicking on a light switch and that would be all the light we were going to get. What’s new right? Oh, a whole new world, that’s what’s new. From tri-coloured lighting to smart home lighting systems, there is a plethora of options to choose from - so why limit yourself? Experiment with standing lights and table lamps where necessary so you don’t have to strain your eyes in a room that’s trying too hard to seem cosy. Great lighting can help you experience a room differently, and shrewdly placed lights can highlight focal points or special features of a room.


Photo Credit : 13th Design Studio (even the basics of doing site measurement will make a great design!)


5. Measure Everything.


No matter how great you think your spatial visualisation is, don’t wait till you’re standing in your house with a couch that looked real tiny in the showroom but now takes up half your living room before you realise it was probably a good idea to bring that measuring tape along to the store. This applies to every space you need to plan for. The depth of your cupboards; will your hangers fit neatly in them? The height of your windows; are your curtains too long, or short? The length of your TV console; will your TV set fit on it? If you are really tall, does it feel like you’re doing dishes in a kitchen sink built for a child? This is the most easily avoidable mistake, and all you needed was the measuring tape. 


Photo Credit : Koze (white fluted panels paired with mirror textures and marbled feature wall!)


6. Too Much White… Won’t Look Right. 


We get that white is a popular colour to have in the room. White walls, white everything; it looks clean and minimalist, right? Not really. You run the risk of what is supposed to be a cosy living space looking very harsh and clinical. Break up the monotony with some colour accents. Interesting throw pillows on the couch, some hanging art, photos from your trips around the world. Your home should reflect who you are, and display some of your character and personality. 



Posted on 18th March 2022


Rachael Sia,

SiXiDES Writer


Related Tags