10 Most Embarrassing Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid in Your New Home as a Divorced Man

This article (3rd in a series) is about creating the space, the right home environment in your life from where you can make things right again, and move forward most joyfully and productively after your divorce. As with your finances, your car, and your health, for excellence in design you call on a professional. Design is not about buying furniture and getting the biggest discount. Creating your personal, unique home environment – your 3-dimensional painting in which you get to live – is about making the right decisions and purchases within a proper context. You’re marrying your functional requirements to your architecture, and all of that to your own energy, tastes and style. Here we outline the most common interior design mistakes to avoid as a divorced man in his new home.

interior design mistakes divorced men

Stacey Lapuk, ASID

Designing rooms and selecting furniture is a difficult process with many decisions needing to be made. And each decision will impact the next – like a game of dominos. Knowing where you want them all to fall will help you prevent embarrassing or expensive interior design mistakes.

Getting your life and living space together after a divorce takes time. But once you have the inclination to get it done, the time and knowledge can be provided by a designer whose job it is, to support you. The very worst interior design mistake you can make – living in an empty, unfurnished house – is not going to help you get your life back on track. It won’t support you emotionally, shore you up and instill creativity and a lightness in your heart – all attractive qualities to a woman looking for a potential mate. A messy or unfurnished house can hurt your chances with a new relationship, because women often see a man’s living space as a reflection of their character, and his potential as a future romantic partner.

This being said, simply filling up your home with a random assortment of furniture and decoration is another common interior design mistake. This is because the design itself makes an enormous difference, and can be your “dating edge” – you are setting yourself apart, becoming memorable in the most wonderful sort of way. Using colors, patterns and textures in ways completely your own, will communicate the qualities about yourself you’re hoping to express when you begin to date again. If you’ve simply picked up a “set” of furniture from your local retailer, you’re communicating lack of personality, imagination and the importance of art and design. The concepts of beauty are universal – such as balance, proportion and scale. Providing these “beauty touch points” for your dates showcases your personal creativity and passion, propelling you forward to deeper relationships.

Your home becomes special when it is an extension of you. It becomes your healing place. An interior should be like a perfectly tailored suit, it should fit your lifestyle well, make you feel great, and hint a little about who you are on the inside.

Here are 10 of the most expensive, and potentially embarrassing interior design mistakes to avoid with your new home:

  1. Running out and buying a “set” of furniture.
  2. Asking your former sister-in-law (or worse, the salesperson in the store) to help you pick out pieces.
  3. Thinking that leaving the walls white looks great and expansive, or painting them a questionable color.
  4. Trying to get your old furniture to “fit”.
  5. Forgetting to acknowledge that your children are going to be staying with you, and thinking that they’ll love coming to see you no matter what.
  6. Addressing the separate needs of clients, business associates, friends or even family who will be visiting.
  7. Not paying attention to your floor, color or lighting plans.
  8. Not understanding how much a home can do for you, how it should fit like a well-tailored suit, hinting at who you are on the inside and working for your own, unique lifestyle – far beyond a leather sofa and giant TV.
  9. Not allowing enough time to design and complete your new home’s interior.
  10. Installing your furniture, but no accessories, accents or personal items that will complete the 3-dimensional painting in which you get to live. Think of a landscape with the outline of the hills, maybe an indication of the sky, but no grass or trees, no foreground or background – no energy or movement. Not the way you would want to live.

Working with a Designer – Making Great Design Your Edge

Transformative Design Process


Review your Wish List and Research images, phrases and words.

Clarify Scope of Work and Design Direction.
Concept development including hard and soft goods selections, finishes, furniture, materials, fabrics, wall coverings, window treatments, floor plans, color selections, lighting design and other relevant design elements.
Design presentations including as needed, drawings, sketches, presentation boards, material samples and approximate pricing of goods and services.
Complete design development including collaboration with other parties as required, such as architects, artists/vendors, A/V, contractors and subcontractors.
Hard and soft goods proposals and approvals.
Purchasing and procurement.
Project management.
Installation coordination including installation of potential accessories and artwork (if not completed previously).
Final reveal.


How you choose to move forward will depend on your time availability, budget and how much you might value your result. Is your home for you alone, or will you find yourself entertaining, supporting children or hosting business associates? A short phone consultation can set you on the path that’s perfect for your unique situation and ensure that you avoid the costly and embarrassing interior design mistakes so many newly-divorced men fall victim to.

Embrace the change, and enjoy the adventure of stepping into this new (or not-so-new) phase of your life!

Stacey Lapuk, ASID

Stacey Lapuk, ASID is celebrating her 30th year with her firm. Named “One of America’s Ten Designers To Watch” by Design Times Magazine, one of the “Top 100 Interior Designer in North America” by Blink Art Resources, and the winner of multiple national design awards.  Her goal is simple: To co-create with her clients the home of their dreams with responsive and comprehensive solutions, and timeless, beautiful results. 

Her full service firm attracts clients desiring the finest workmanship, materials and custom design. Facets of work include partnering with architects on new construction, remodels, kitchen design and bath design, color consultation, custom furniture, flooring, area carpets, wall and window treatments, lighting design, art procurement and antique acquisition.  Service areas include but are not limited to Marin County, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Ross, Kentfield, Belvedere, Tiburon, San Rafael, and Pacific Heights. 

415-493-6469  www.staceylapukinteriors.com  stacey@staceylapukinteriors.com