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Parker Beck - 10 decorating mistakes and suggestions on how to remedy them

Even with the best catalogs and decor magazines on your desk, you still cannot seem to create the perfect home you desire. Endless trips to the stores, an exorbitant number of purchases and returns, and still no final product to cherish. You are surely not alone on this endeavor.

Here are 10 decorating mistakes and suggestions on how to remedy them.

Beige: Just because builders and real estate agents have a close relationship with beige does not mean that it is the right color for every room in your home. Accent walls add depth to a space, vertical stripes add height, and borders add width. By utilizing paint and even unique wallpapers, you can transform a hollow space into a cozy den without breaking your wallet.

Heights and widths: It is easy to fall in love with a gorgeous piece of artwork or even an elegant settee on the showroom floor, but will the style fit in your home? Art should be relevant to the furniture around it and vice versa. Also, wall accessories should be hung at eye level or a minimum of 10 inches above the furniture or chair rail.

Sets: Companies make coordinating pieces to sets so that the consumer can pick and choose which pieces would work best for their abode. However, many people will perpetually buy all the pieces for one room. Instead, try utilizing a few pieces and add in something complimentary from another company, some personal memorabilia, or even an antique, in order to make the room truly yours.

Cookie-cutter rooms: It is extremely easy to fall into a cookie-cutter design. An episode of the television show "Friends" in which Rachel fills her living room with the exact items in the Pottery Barn display window is a good example. If you love the look of Ethan Allen, go ahead and copy some of the design elements, but do not force your home to adapt to what is hip and trendy if it does not fit the vibe of your home.

Jungles: Some people have a green thumb and the rest of us barely manage to keep one plant alive for more than six months. If you have been blessed with the ability to nurture and care for plants, do not fill every crevice of your home with them. Place groupings of complimentary greenery in specific areas and keep the rest outside in their natural habitat. This also holds true for silk arrangements, as faux plants are difficult to keep dust free. Try rotating arrangements for different seasons if it will help you pare down your displays.

Editing: Everyone is a collector of something. The trick is to not display everything throughout the home. Organize accessories by grouping collections together on a table or shelf. Use similar objects and colors together, and remember that using odd numbers of items looks better to the eye. Be an editor and learn the art of choosing and placing. Try rotating furniture and decorative items as well. After all, holidays and season changes give us the perfect excuse to make some changes.

Stoic: Don't take interior decoration too seriously. Have a sense of humor and some fun with your space. Whether it's what you purchase or how you orient items, you have to live there so make sure it's enjoyable. If a room feels sterile or overly proper, it will not feel like it was designed for real people. Remember that we don't live in catalogs, we live in real spaces.

Cliches: Styles like minimalism aren't for everyone. Don't fall for all the design cliches because they seem to be in fashion. Feng shui and French country may not be your cup of tea, perhaps art deco or colonial? The style should reflect your own personality and taste.

Copycat: It's natural to see a beautiful dining room in a model home and want to rush out and recreate it in your own space. However, you should not let other homes dictate what you to do in yours. Just because you've seen it work somewhere else does not mean that the look and style is right for your home as well. Think about how you live or how you want to live in a particular room and decorate accordingly.

By taking time to figure out what you need from your home and what decor fits your style and budget, you will surely be able to create the perfect space for your family.

Parker Beck is the owner of Plan B ReDesigns, an interior decorating and home staging business in Conyers. She can be reached at Parker@PlanBReDesigns.com.