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DIY Home Projects: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The world of DIY is truly limitless. The idea of it is to save money while expressing your uniqueness and creativity. If you’re new to DIYing, it’s easy for projects to get out of hand. You can be armed with a library of how-to books, or YouTube video tutorials, but HOLD UP, because we got something better for you. To help you out with your upcoming DIY project and to warn you about common mistakes, we talked to our favorite interior design experts who know how to do it all themselves and make it all look spectacular. Here, they’re sharing most common mistakes they’ve seen and their advice so that you can start your project on the right foot and be thrilled with the results. Enjoy!



Decision Fatigue

“Homeowners choose the cabinets and countertops, then can’t figure out what they want for backsplash (so do nothing) and can’t decide on hardware (so do nothing) and can’t find the right wall color that goes with everything in their home … and end up never pulling it all together.”

Space Invaders

“On paper, the space looks good to keep adding more and more features, but when things are installed, the kitchen doesn’t flow well. For a complete remodel, it’s best to clear the space and then tape things out on the floor and see what your view is, are you accessing things with the preferred hand, and can 2 or more people work together in the space?”


That’s a bit tricky to do with the lead-times on cabinets these days, but it’s important to get a sense of the space, flow and lighting you’ll be in everyday.




→ Kristine Porter

Styling and Staging



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Not paying attention to color hues

“When creating the ever so popular “white kitchen”, pay attention to the white hues when choosing your cabinets, countertops, and backsplash. The whites need to “play nicely” together. Be careful when one white is colder (blue undertones) or warmer (yellow undertones) than the others. It is very unsettling to see and not an easy fix.”



→ Angie Graham

Compliment Design Interiors



Impulse buying

“I find that one of the biggest mistakes that people make when designing or decorating is impulse buying items that they like, but are of different styles, and don’t relate to. Some styles can be mixed, but some cannot. It takes a trained eye to pull off mixing styles effectively.”


“Clients choose wall colors that are almost colorless because they are either afraid of color or because they have made a mistake previously. On the other extreme, they choose colors that are too bright and clear. I always choose colors that are a bit muddy, meaning that they have some gray or brown mixed in to dull down the brightness. Bright colors give too much energy and are not restful. Wall colors should complement your decor but never be the focal point and steal the show.”


→ Carol Fisher

Decor by Carol Fisher LLC


Image Source: Pinterest

DIY a love and hate relationship

“As an interior design professional, DIY is often a reason people call me. Too often and because of DIY TV, people take on what they consider “fun” projects they believe will be less expensive if they do it themselves. What the average person does not understand is, that these DIY people are professionals! Then after trying to complete it or completing it, they are left with a mess. Too large, too small, not right, etc. I get the call and half if not most of the original budget has been spent and I’m left with a lesser budget to gut and redo the entire project.”


DIY TV is not realistic. The budgets they use are often false and every region in the country has different pricing and most importantly these are in fact professionals!



Here are a few common remodeling mistakes:


  • Window treatments



  • Bathroom makeovers


Paint and finish colors, may be my number one issue and why many call me for help. Choosing color and all colors/finishes for a space is an interior Design Science, not a guessing game or color popularity contest. The right color and finish has to do with many variable such as light and space and how it works with the rest of the connecting spaces and sad that I need to say this, that you actually like the color.



→ Maria Bortugno

B Designs


Forget lighting

“One of the most common (and easy to solve) remodeling mistakes is to not make changes to your lighting. It can be as simple as changing out harsh LED bulbs for a softer white Kelvin color, or even adding a dimmer for flexibility. Even the most beautiful remodeling work needs good lighting to look its best.”

→ Dawn Bach

Eye to Eye Interiors, LLC



Image Source: Pinterest

Don’t watch for color undertones

“Watch out for color undertones when selecting countertops and wall colors to go with your new cabinets. Not all whites (or grays) are the same: there are over 900 shades of white, for example! The wrong combination can make your walls or cabinets look dirty or dull. The type of lighting in the space can also skew the appearance of colors. An experienced paint color consultant can assure that all the pieces will work in unison, as well as offer fresh ideas for pops of color in your space!”


→ Susan Mintz

America’s Color Consultants


Timeless classic foundational elements

“Be aware of sinking a ton of money into design trends on your home improvement projects. Instead, invest in timeless classic foundational elements. And then have fun adding new or trendy decor items which can be easily switched out without breaking the bank. Often a simple change of paint, pillows, artwork, hardware, and even small furniture items can completely change the feel of a room.”


→ Siv Gilbertson

Lustre of Midday Interior Design



Too many HGTV programs

“I find that people watch too many HGTV programs and think they can do a remodel or project themselves. What they don’t take into account is that there is an entire crew of craftsmen on board behind the scenes to make that so-called “DIY” project look easy.”


→ Mary Cox

a Little Accent



Not hiring a professional

“The kitchen is the heart of the home and a hub of activity so planning its functionality and design is critical. One of the biggest mistakes I see homeowners making is not hiring a professional to help them navigate the myriad of choices and decisions right from the start. We receive many calls from frustrated and stressed out homeowners who are overwhelmed and are desperate for help once their project has begun.”


→ Stephanie Stroud

Stephanie Stroud Interiors


Low-Quality Products


“I feel a big mistake is to not purchase quality products in remodels or new construction.  In the end, you lower the value and overall outcome of the hard work and money spent.”

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”


→ Lori Gentile

Lori Gentile Interior Design


Image Source: Pinterest


Nelson Cabinetry provides free design services. We have a team of professionals that will help both you and us ensure that every project is a success. They’ll recommend their very best advice for choosing the right cabinets and layout that will stay within your budget yet be perfect for your wanted kitchen design.


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Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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