I’m an interiors expert – here are 7 common mistakes that make your home look cheap & the quickest way to banish clutter

TRYING to achieve a lavish, expensive-looking home that will impress even the most upmarket guest on a shoestring budget isn’t the easiest task.

Especially as there are so many common mistakes we’re in danger of making that can actually ‘cheapen’ the look of our home instead.


When it comes to interior design, every little detail is super important to create a cohesive lookCredit: Getty

From the colour you choose to paint the walls, to the light fittings you buy – every little detail has a huge impact on your home’s overall aesthetic.

Here interior design expert Georgina Burnett, who has featured on This Morning and vlogs for The Home Genie, reveals the common errors you could be making that are making your home look more budget than boujie…

1. Chaotic cupboards

While you may love to display your most prized possessions for all to see, if you’re verging on the cluttered side with your drawers stuffed to the brim, it can have a negative impact on the feel of your home.

Clutter can make your home feel chaotic and cheap


Clutter can make your home feel chaotic and cheapCredit: Getty

Georgina says: “A luxurious gaff looks minimalist and doesn’t have the chaos of clutter sitting on surfaces or spilling out of cupboards and drawers.

“The good news is that there are tips and tricks that not only make your place seem more lavish, but actually regain square inches and give the illusion of even more space. 

“To get the look, you’re going to need to get rid of some of your clobber.  

“You want to make your decluttering efforts strategic – it’s not just about stashing trash that will eventually find its way out again.”

2. Cutting corners

If you’re not sure where to begin when clearing out, Georgina recommends using the ‘PAD’ technique – Prioritise, Assess and Deadlines.

She says: “Prioritise which rooms are most in use and therefore most urgent. 

“Assess your clutter ‘weak spots’ and which areas are usually the messiest. 

“Deadlines are everything when it comes to getting things done – put a date in the diary to sort each room or area and give yourself enough time to do this properly – I always say, ‘a corner cutter leads to clutter’.

“If you need help with this, give it the ‘ex test’. Imagine you have left said belonging at a hated ex’s house. Do you want it enough to go back and beg for it? If the answer is ‘no’, then it’s got to go!”

Georgina shares her tips to make your home look and feel worth a million dollars


Georgina shares her tips to make your home look and feel worth a million dollarsCredit: Matt James

3. More ‘shabby’ than ‘chic’ furniture

Of course, even if you do have a clear out, many homes don’t have enough storage for even the essentials.

But a tatty old chest of drawers or some old broken shelves can really make your home look more shabby than chic.

Georgina says: “This may sound like an expensive problem to solve, but it doesn’t have to be.

“Second-hand furniture costs so little these days, but even the most outdated item can look sharp with a little TLC.  

“Check out the likes of Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, local charity furniture shops and you can even pick up decent items for nothing on Freecycle.org. 

“Once you have your storage you can work on making it look worthy of an interiors mag.” 

4. Following the crowd

Upcycling can be quick, simple and affordable, and the end result is a bespoke and unique item of furniture, as opposed to a cheaper looking high-street option. 

Georgina adds: “The key to an expensive and spacious looking room is for storage items to blend in.

“Painting them the same colour as the walls is how you achieve this.  

“Clean it, paint it with a multi surface paint that will adhere to most finishes, and then finish off with a couple of coats of eggshell the same colour as your walls.”

5. Not sizing up your space

Getting the size of your furniture right is important


Getting the size of your furniture right is importantCredit: Getty

When buying pieces for a room, make sure you’re getting the right size for the space.

A plush-looking pad always makes the most of the dimensions of a room, whereas a place that appears small and cramped will look cheap.

Georgina says: “Make sure furniture isn’t crammed in, looking awkward.

“It either fits perfectly, or is given enough space around it to become a feature.

“Don’t forget to use the trick of placing a large mirror on the wall opposite the entrance too, as this will give the illusion of the room continuing beyond its four walls.

“A smaller room can appear much larger if you paint woodwork and ceilings the same colour too, because the eyes aren’t drawn to start and end points.”

6. Thinking ‘more is more’

Wallpapering the chimney breast alone can make a room feel smaller


Wallpapering the chimney breast alone can make a room feel smallerCredit: Getty

Another mistake people can make is thinking ‘more is more’ when it comes to décor – and there’s always a risk it can end up looking brash.

Georgina says: “You don’t want too much going on.

“Firstly camouflage radiators by painting them the same colour as the walls so they don’t stick out like sore thumbs.

“There are specific radiator paints on the market, but I’ve often used eggshell which works well if you sand the surface lightly first.

“If you’re desperate to include feature walls or you can’t tear yourself away from the current maximalist trend, then you need to find an appropriate home for your bolder patterns.

“For example, most people paper a chimney breast, which actually makes a room feel smaller.

“If you paper the recesses either side of the chimney, it actually makes it feel bigger and classier.”

7. Failing to prepare

Finally, when it comes to decorating and achieving a fancy finish, it’s important to invest time – and a little money – into the right tools before you even start.

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Georgina says: “Never skimp on the prep.

“It’s worth getting decent brushes or rollers which will help to get that high-end finish you’re after.”

Painting your radiators the same colour as your wall can create a more streamlined look


Painting your radiators the same colour as your wall can create a more streamlined lookCredit: Alamy