green cloth on bathroom counter

12 Interior Design Mistakes That Are Just Plain Baffling

Originally contributed by • last updated 4/26/2021


Design is hard. It’s notoriously easy to mess up, leaving you stuck with something that either looks bad, doesn’t function, or both.

Interior design is arguably harder than other types of design because it can also directly impact the function of a room (presenting an even bigger risk). It’s also a lot harder to fix than, say, adjusting a drawing or small-scale project.

Nobody wants to admit that the money they spent on a design was wasted, but as these design fails will show, it happens a lot more than you’d think.

It probably would have been better to just spend the extra money to get it right the first time.


The Space Between This Shower And Vanity Is Too Hard To Clean


Sometimes having a good amount of space between your sink, toilet, and shower just isn’t feasible.

When it isn’t, you can run into issues like this; a tiny space between the shower glass and the vanity, which is way too hard to actually clean.

What makes it even worse is the fact that you can see that dirty corner from inside the shower. It can’t be a super pleasant thing to look at every day.


A Shower With A Narrow Ceiling


It’s really never a good idea to build a shower underneath a steep slope in the ceiling. Depending on how low the slope goes, you may not even be able to fit under there without bumping your head.

While there are plenty of short people who will have no problem taking a shower, taller people are straight out of luck. And considering the fact that there are a lot of tall people out there, this kind of design just won’t do.


Double Staircase


Though this isn't exactly an example of interior design, it's a frustratingly bad layout nonetheless.

How could anyone build these stairs and think it was a good idea? There’s barely enough room for a single person to get through, so you can probably imagine how impossible moving furniture would be.


Curvy Stairs


As cool as these stairs look from an aesthetic standpoint, they’re just downright unsafe. The way they curve to one side is a total tripping hazard. Yes, there’s a "good section" that acts as a proper staircase should, but what about when groups of people are trying to go down at once?

Just knowing that the temptation is there to try and climb the curved parts already spells disaster.


Obstructive Bedroom Beam


I'll say it, that’s a pretty odd place for a beam. For starters, it takes up too much room in an already small space.

It also partially covers the window, making it a lot harder to access. And, if you wanted to put up blinds or a curtain, you’d probably be out of luck.

It may be against the wall, but it also seems like the kind of thing you’d stub your toe on. Like, all the time.


Strange Stair Security


This seems like kind of an odd security choice. Considering how easy it would be to climb over the railings to get on or off the staircase, the grate in front really isn’t doing much.

As far as theft deterrent goes, this definitely won’t keep the common thief away. So only one question remains: why would anyone go through all of that effort for something that probably isn’t going to work?


Compact Bathroom


This bathroom is literally a box. There’s barely any room to stand, but especially in the bathtub/shower combo, where you couldn’t stand upright at all.

And the fact that the sink is right up against the toilet means you’d have to stand off to the side to access the sink. You also wouldn’t be able to open any of the vanity drawers.

But hey, if you only want to use the toilet and tub, at least those probably still work fine.


Why Is The Toilet Like That?


And yet another strange toilet that has nothing going for it. While water closets aren’t uncommon, this one shouldn’t exist.

There’s a weird platform that abruptly ends at the edge of the toilet, meaning you have a weirdly tall toilet that’s less than optimal for regular use.

Also, the window behind the toilet is off-center, just to add a little bit of icing to the cake. What a mess.


Sideways Shower


There’s a reason why shower heads usually go along the length of the tub or shower and not the width; water kind of goes everywhere.

This shower would have water spilling out the entire outer side. And the fact that the glass pane only partially covers the edge means that water is for sure going to escape and get on the floor.

 It seems like a lot of mess for one lousy shower.


Another Carpeted Bathroom


And of course, there’s nothing worse than a carpeted bathroom.

Unless you get out of the bath completely dry (which is kind of hard to do), you’re going to track water onto the carpet. Can you imagine the smell? When will people learn that carpets and bathrooms shouldn’t mix?


Hallway Beam


Either someone was trying for a vaulted ceiling and failed, or they thought they could incorporate a beam into the hallway design at random.

Hopefully there’s another way to access that hallway, but even if there is, talk about a fire hazard.

Perhaps this cabin was built for a family of gymnasts or master cat ninjas or something to that effect. That would be the only explanation that doesn’t involve a lazy designer.


An Optical Illusion


It probably wasn’t a good idea to have the same pattern on the steps and the floor beneath it. This optical illusion is a tripping hazard waiting to happen.

You can’t properly climb steps if you can’t actually see them. Style isn’t worth more than safety in the slightest!