What do small rugs, fake marble wallpaper and inspirational wall art have in common?

They are all no-nos when it comes to stylish interior design, according to Houston-based designer Bilal Rehman.

The 23-year-old has built a loyal fanbase on TikTok with more than 300,000 followers, thanks to his witty videos about design dos and don’ts.

Here he shares with DailyMail.com the 10 worst crimes one can commit when it comes to interior design, with these things ‘instantly making your home look cheap’.

From messy cables on display to mass-produced pieces of Ikea art, scroll down to see Bilal’s biggest interior design blunders…

1. Incorrectly hung curtains

Houston-based designer Bilal Rehman has revealed the ten interior design touches that make a space look cheap - including badly hung curtains (stock image)

Houston-based designer Bilal Rehman has revealed the ten interior design touches that make a space look cheap – including badly hung curtains (stock image)

‘The fastest way to make your ceilings appear shorter and instantly cheapen your space is with inappropriately hung curtains!

‘Cut that rubbish out and elevate your space by ensuring you bring your curtains all the way up to the ceiling and let them hang down until they are approximately 1 inch from the floor.

‘This is the best way to achieve a taller sexier space that will make everything seem more appropriate and luxurious in scale.’

2. Sticky back LED strips

‘Even if you’re in college there is still no excuse for these tacky strip lights that will fall off in exactly four hours.

‘Skip the strips and head straight for color-changing bulbs, my personal favorite that I swear by are the Philips Hue bulbs but there are plenty of other budget-friendly options that you can choose from, just please save yourself from those strips that were never in, to begin with.

‘They tend to damage your wall when you remove them, resulting in the need to paint and repair your space when you can have achieved the same look without the hassle.’

3. Small rugs in big spaces

Small rugs in big spaces won't help elevate the room, Bilal says (stock image)

Small rugs in big spaces won’t help elevate the room, Bilal says (stock image)

‘This is one of my top rules when designing spaces for my clients, you’d be surprised at how getting a properly-sized rug can help expand your space.

‘My method for picking the perfect rug has always been to make sure the rug extends past the largest item in your room and can allow for at least the front two legs of all chairs, sofas, and/or benches to sit on top of it .

‘Think of an area rug as a frame for your space, the larger the frame the larger your space will feel.’

4. Marble contact paper

Faux marble paper is 'tacky and instantly cheapens the look of any space', says Bilal (stock image)

Faux marble paper is ‘tacky and instantly cheapens the look of any space’, says Bilal (stock image)

‘Consider no one fooled when it comes to contact marble paper. One splash of water and suddenly your most recent DIY project is curling up by the edges and everyone can see it.

‘There are so many other options out there that should prevent this from ever entering your Amazon shopping cart, to begin with.

‘Fake marble is so tacky and instantly cheapens the look of any space. Instead, opt for getting a piece of glass or genuine stone from a home-salvage yard or stone yard.

‘Oftentimes, they have scraps that didn’t quite make the cut (literally) and they sell them dirt cheap which could easily elevate your next DIY project.’

5. Mirrored furniture

Instead of mirrored pieces of furniture, Bilal says opt for reflective metals such as chrome (stock image)

Instead of mirrored pieces of furniture, Bilal says opt for reflective metals such as chrome (stock image)

‘This item doesn’t just belong on my ‘don’t’ list, it belongs on my ‘don’t even think about it’ list.

‘Mirrored furniture not only reflects everything (including your messy room), but every spec of dust and fingerprint it has ever encountered as well – so unless you’re constantly wearing gloves or have a lifetime supply of Windex, I would stay away.

‘Steer towards reflective metals such as chrome which is making a fast re-entrance in 2023 but keep it to one item of this finish in every room unless you’re working with nightstands, side tables, etc.’

6. Sign with words

Bilal describes inspirational wall art as 'eyesores' and says unique pieces are much better (stock image)

Bilal describes inspirational wall art as ‘eyesores’ and says unique pieces are much better (stock image)

‘This is an immediate jail sentence in my books. We are not ‘living’, ‘laughing’, or ‘loving’ these horrible signs.

‘I wake up in cold sweats just thinking about them. Replace these eyesores in your space with real unique art pieces.

‘Find a piece of art that highlights a staple color in your kitchen and ties the room together rather than breaking it apart with a dull ‘the secret ingredient in my kitchen is LOVE’ wall hanging.

‘Another option for decorating your space without hanging anything up is using beautiful faux florals. These are great as they never die and just require a bit of dusting every now and then.’

7. Plastic light switches or plug covers

‘Never underestimate how even the smallest details can affect your space. You’d be surprised how many beautifully designed spaces get visually broken up due to things as small as outlets or light switch covers.

‘Builders often put in those cheap white plastic covers which scream basic. However, this is something that can easily be fixed whether you own your space or rent.

‘I believe everything in your home should be an experience, including turning the lights on/off.

‘The easiest way to have these covers seamlessly blend into your space is by looking into these amazing inexpensive paintable light switch covers which you can paint the same color as your wall and they literally make your light switch disappear, they are my go-tos for inexpensive ways to upgrade your space!’

8.Exposed cords

'By tucking away cords you can enhance the sophistication of your home,' Bilal says (stock image)

‘By tucking away cords you can enhance the sophistication of your home,’ Bilal says (stock image)

‘Exposed cords detract from the overall aesthetic of a space, giving the impression of neglect or lack of attention to detail.

‘They can make a home appear cluttered and unorganized, creating an overall cheap and unsophisticated appearance.

‘By tucking away cords or using cord covers, you can enhance the sophistication and elegance of your home.’

9. No overhead lighting

‘This rule is something I never shut up about but its true – no overhead lighting (unless you want everyone to look like a zombie or like they’ve experienced a 48-hour travel day).

‘Instead, I strongly suggest building layers of lighting in your space. Not only is it important to create a beautiful design in your space through furniture and beautiful art pieces.

‘Personally, I emphasize the importance of experience in all of my client’s projects. You always want to evoke all the senses and create an ambiance via lighting is the first way to achieve it.’

10. Mass-produced art

‘Need I say more? A huge part of interior design is the unique and brilliant pieces we source from local artists, small businesses and creatives in the industry. Interior design wouldn’t be what it is today without the aspect of unique one-of-a-kind artwork.

‘I always do whatever I can to support artists in my area or worldwide and you should too. Take the same money you would’ve spent on a mass-produced three-piece set from Ikea or HomeGoods and invest it into a piece you’ve commissioned or purchased from a local artist.

‘If you’re interested in getting even more creative, make your own piece! Grab a canvas, some friends, and some paint, and get to work, creating a beautiful piece that will forever hold memories within your space.’

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