What most of us don’t understand is that interior design takes a very keen and knowledgeable eye. We may be out shopping and see something we love, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will look perfect in our home. Interior designers understand how color, lighting, room size, scale, and placement all affect how items look in a room and dictates whether they will make or break a room design.
If all else fails and you are too frustrated with all the decorating decisions and obstacles that you face, then hire a professional interior designer—they are knowledgeable and can help you achieve your dream home—without all the mistakes.
Always pick out your fabrics and textiles before painting. Image Source: Lucy And Company
If you disagree with the second opinion, then get a third. Listening to advice, doesn’t mean we have to take it—your home design is uniquely yours and if you love it, then that’s all that really matters, right?
This may be, perhaps, the most common mistake novices make. What you want to do is to push your furniture together and create an intimate setting that is conducive to good conversation. By creating this grouping you will create a flow that will allow people to move in between and around the furniture.
A few small tweaks to your space can make all the difference. Knowing right from wrong can transpire a cramped and chaotic space into one that is organized and tranquil, can create a sense of order and balance. Read on as we help clarify what’s right and what’s wrong.
We are all prone to impulse buys. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t buy something that you fall immediately in love with, but maybe just keep the receipt in case it doesn’t work the way you had originally thought.
When it comes to decor less is definitely more. The nicest rooms with the most pleasant feeling always have accessories…just not too many. Unfortunately, conquering clutter is about more than just organization. Yes, you need to have enough storage space to stash your belongings out of sight, but there are many other ways that a home can feel cluttered. Too many accessories, a huge number of pillows, too many things on the shelves, artwork hung without a plan — these are some of the examples. This can be a particular problem for people who collect things. In all cases the cure is simple: editing. Clearing clutter doesn’t mean you can’t display your favorite things, it just means you shouldn’t display them all at once. A carefully edited collection of accessories or collectibles makes more of an impact than a large jumble. From time to time, you can swap out what’s on display so that you can enjoy all your items.
Whether your decor is a design driven collection of items or a set of pieces you’ve acquired in while traveling. When it comes to decor and knickknacks, less is definitely more. It’s perfectly fine — and very desirable — to display some decor and mementos to add personality to keep your space from feeling like staged space. That said, you want to be judicious because too many knick knacks equals a cluttered feeling. Don’t feel like you have to throw some out, just change up the display as you would with any collection.
Bring in all the things you love, making your home a unique oasis that welcomes you at the end of a hard day, and also tells an intriguing story to your visitors.
As you have read, there are a lot of common mistakes that can be easily made when it comes to interior design. Luckily, there are also plenty of easy solutions to fix these mistakes—sometimes it’s as easy as getting rid of a hand-me-down that you hate but felt obligated to keep, while other times you may need to enlist the help and keen eye of a friend.
Why is this? Because it is simply much easier to find fabrics that we love and then pick out paint to match. While it is much harder to find a fabric that we love, that also just so happens to match the paint we have already put on our walls.
Hanging art at the correct height is key to a space looking as it should.
While it is really fun to look through showrooms that are full of brand-new modern furnishings, don’t get carried away and buy everything at one time and one place.
No matter what the accessory is, it is best to display them in arrangements and groupings. There are some steadfast rules to arranging items into groups—called the rule of three. So, gather what you love into groupings and display them proudly and properly.
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A focal point gives you direction and order. Find that one thing that you want people to take notice of when they enter a room. It should be something large and bold – something that makes a statement. Opt for something like a large bay window, fireplace or a large piece of artwork. Work from there and build out and around it. Your room will look well thought out, organized and balanced. It is possible, and acceptable, to have more than one focal point.
We all have hand-me-down furniture. Some are prized possessions, while others are weighing us down with distaste and guilt.
View in galleryAdding an accent wall of color elevates a neutral space.Bad Lighting
You can literally turn any wall of your home into your own personal art gallery. Everyone should display some form of art in their home—whether it is a rare oil painting or a cherished drawing from your child’s pre-school days. The road block that most encounter is how to properly hang art.
Showcase your art collection like an art gallery. Image Source: House and Home Palm Springs
Doing this results in a common interior design mistake—buying everything matchy-matchy, resulting in a home that lacks character. How do we add character? Slowly, over time. It can take years to have your home fully complete and fully designed.
The votes are in on fake flowers, and the world is split down the middle. Most designers say that obviously fake flowers and plants are a “design don’t,” but many people love silk flowers for lots of reasons. If you have to have silk flowers, make sure they are new and as real-looking as possible. Otherwise, try adding potted plants that flower, using real flowers whenever possible, or cutting branches and greenery from your yard to display. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, low maintenance plants like cacti and succulents can be a good choice instead of faux flora.
Arrange your collections properly. Scattering them throughout the home is a big decorating mistake. Image Source: Christopher Stark
Lighting is key. It is one of the most important elements of design. Your space should have as much natural lighting as possible. Do not block natural light sources with poorly placed curtains and accessories. Even a cloudy day allows for a lot of natural light to pour in. Enhance natural light with the placement of mirrors directly across your source to allow the light to bounce around the room. You will want to add to your overhead lighting.
The other way to think about this is decorating in layers. Take a look at the room below. Yes it has a formal air, but it is certainly not stuffy. The sofa on the right has a wooden frame and is very formal. The armchair across the room also has wood, but it is white, and the second sofa is more casual with no visible wood at all. The coffee table and side tables are all different and not formal, yet they work well with the grand chandelier and gold-framed portraits on the walls.
It happens to everyone— you are shopping and see the perfect home decor accessory. Immediately you think, Oh! this will look perfect in my TV room!
Go into a showroom with a plan in place, helping you know what you want and making sure you stick within your budget. Buyers remorse is an awful feeling, so plan first and shop later.
View in galleryEvery space needs different levels of lighting.Too Much Furniture
Plan and budget before shopping the showroom floor. Image Source: LMK Interiors
So, with budget and room size in mind, go for a shopping excursion. Look through samples of fabrics, rugs, pillows etc… Find what you love and then once you are happy with your design choices, pick out a paint shade or shades from the chosen textiles. Now you can pick up the paint brush.
View in galleryConquer clutter with good organization and the judicious use of accessories.Matching Everything
Scale is the hardest interior design trick to accomplish. Image Source: SLC Interiors
Interior designers and talented friends can offer you a lot of helpful design advice when struggling over design choices. Image Source: Sublime Group
Don’t be too eager. Don’t buy too much. Don’t buy everything all at once. And don’t overspend. Buy the best that you can afford today – not what you think you will be able to afford tomorrow. Make a budget and stick to it. You don’t have to have everything all at once. A well decorated space is one that is curated over time so it’s best to go slowly and build slowly.
Sometimes it’s not a matter of too much furniture, but the placement of the furniture itself. If after moving a piece or two around, your space still feels tight, then remove a piece altogether. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Overly furnished rooms not only make your room seem smaller than it is, but can also make it hard to maneuver around. This tip is extremely important when trying to sell your home as it will turn off potential buyers. For more essential tips of interior design when listing your home ideas, take a look here.
Ask a friend for an honest opinion on color choice, fabrics, or room arrangement. If it is feasible, hire an interior designer for guidance—you don’t have to hire one for an entire design project, as there are plenty of designers who charge by the hour. Interior designers are full of clever design tips and tricks that can transform your home.
Copyright 2017 StyleBlueprint,LLC Site: Bailey Graphic Design, Inc.
Well, let’s start with the improper way, and the mistake that most of us make— scattering pieces of the collection throughout your home. One little bird may tweet from a fireplace mantle, while another little bird somehow flew all the way over to perch on the coffee table.
5. Don’t pick your furniture before you pick your paint colors.
When it comes to area rugs, bigger is indeed better. Choosing one that is too small is among the most common mistakes homeowners make. If you’re using a rug in a living space, it has to be big enough to reach at least the front legs of every item of furniture in the grouping. In a dining room, it has to extend far ought past the edges of the table so that when guests are seated, all four legs of the chair are on the rug. This means that before you order up a rug on sale, measure the area you need to cover so that you don’t buy the wrong size. The correct rug anchors the space and visually pulls all the elements together into a cohesive grouping. A small area rug in front of the sofa or under the coffee table definitely won’t cut it and your room will always look like something is off, even if you can’t immediately identify why it feels that way.
View in galleryReal plants and flowers are preferable over faux flora.The Wrong Window Treatment
Balance in your furnishings is approached in two ways. The first is the pieces themselves. No matter what the style of the decor, you want a balance among the pieces to keep if from feeling too heavy or crowded. This living room is a good example because the sofa has a very hefty feel because the thick frame sits directly on the ground. The occasional tables on both sides are leggy, which balances out the heavier sofa. The style of the table lamp and the multi-light floor lamp also contribute a lighter feeling. The second way to consider balance in a space concerns the placement of furnishings and accessories as well as the size of the room. Big, heavy furnishings will never feel right in a small space and vice-versa. How your furniture feels in the space in relation to the doorways, windows and any other architectural elements that are present is also key, and this comes down to placement. To remedy this, it usually takes just a little re-arrangement.
Almost everyone is guilty of at least one common design error. The best course of action is to educate yourself and then take a look around your home for anything that you might need to correct. That way you can be comfortable and stylish in your home.
When meeting people, first impressions count and the same holds true for your home. When people walk through the door, the feeling they get from your entryway will set the tone for what they expect from the rest of the house. If your entryway is boring, they aren’t going to expect much when they walk around the corner. Depending on how much space you have, the entryway is the perfect place for a killer light fixture and some art. If you have room for a console or small table and a chair, make sure that you choose dramatic upholstery or statement accessories. No matter what your decor style, this is where you want to elicit a “wow” from your family and friends. This attractive entryway by Shawn Henderson show how you can turn a tight entry hall into a design statement.
Unless you’re stuck with a small living room, don’t automatically push your sofa — and all the rest of the furniture — against the wall. This arrangement immediate creates a giant empty space in the middle and usually leaves the seating too far apart to be comfortable for conversation. Especially in a larger space, the sofa can help define the main area by moving toward the center of the space or to one side, depending on the configuration. Most designers feel running the furniture around the edges is a major no-no that lacks style and practicality. Even if the space isn’t big, adding a console between the wall and the sofa can add just enough space to change the feeling of the room. Rather than sitting along a wall, this sofa from Erba delineates the grouping and directed traffic flow between the sofa and the display units. This arrangement also helps highlight a spectacular sofa.
Art is the easiest way to add style, personality and color to a space, and, if hung incorrectly, the easiest way to make things look off. Hanging a piece too high is probably the most common mistake, say designers. It should be hung at eye level. According Martha Stewart, art should be hung so that the middle of the piece is 57 to 60 inches above the floor. If ceilings are tall, you can go a little higher for balance. If you’re trying to hang a grouping or gallery, consider the middle of your grouping as the center. Also, make sure you pit the right-sized piece in the appropriate place. One or two small pieces above a sofa isn’t going feel right compared to a larger piece. Speaking of larger pieces, big art can be hung so that the frame’s bottom is 8 to 10 inches above the sofa back.
Even the most skilled designers make mistakes. It can be difficult to spot our mistakes when we have been muddling over the same room design for months—sometimes a room needs a fresh set of eyes to spot the problems.
While others put too many large, bulky items in one room, making it look stuffed and small. The secret to proper scale is a mixture of different shapes, heights and sizes. If there is only one thing that you hire an interior designer for, it is help with proportion and scale. With the right scale your room is well on its way towards a successful design.
We suggest you find a new purpose for all those hand-me-downs that you hate. Whether you paint it, hand it off to another relative or give yourself permission to sell it and buy something you love in its place. Set yourself free and make your home full of things that make you happy.
View in galleryBalance the weight of your furniture as well as its placement.Clutter!
With pillows it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.
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Have fun with your arrangements, playing with size, color, and texture, remembering to avoid the number one mistake that most people make—scale (see number 1 above).
Some rooms are simple—in a TV room the focal point usually ends up being the TV and the unit it is placed on, while all the other main objects in the room (i.e. couches/chairs) are focused and pointing towards the TV.
View in galleryA cohesive look of mixed, not matched pieces is best.The Wrong Lampshade
Do you have one of those “guilty” objects in your home? You know, that piece that was handed down to you—you hate it, you want to hide it in the basement, but you can’t because it was a gift from Grandma? Why make this decorating mistake? Why have something in your home that doesn’t bring you joy and happiness?
If anything in the home is trendy, it is accessories and decor pieces. It’s fortunate that this is also the easiest part of your decor to switch out in order to get a fresh look. If you’re still displaying that lava lamp or have too many mason jars on the counter, it’s time to change it up and get rid of the old trends that are on their way out — or are already history. Peruse design and decor accessories on line, see what current trends fit in with your style of home and incorporate some of them, retiring the old pieces. This doesn’t mean you have to change everything, just the outdated ones. It’s an inexpensive way to move into the current era without breaking the bank.
View in galleryRugs have to be large enough to anchor the room properly.Furniture Against the Walls
It might be one of the last things people think about in a home, lighting, however, is critical to a pleasant environment. Generally, bad lighting equals bad design. Relying on one source of lighting — like a ceiling fixture — is never a good idea. Different types of lighting need to have different purposes: task lighting, ambient lighting and general lighting. Evaluating a space and deciding on what type of lighting it needs is an important design decision. In addition to a ceiling fixture, a room needs mid-level lighting for warmth and tasks like reading. Some spaces way benefit from ambient lighting that helps create a mood. Accent lights are important for highlighting special accessories or art. and, regardless of how many different types you incorporate, placement is also important. Making sure that lighting casts the proper shadows is vital to effective illumination and remember — dimmer switches are your best friend.
Every room needs a focal point—it offers a place for the eye to rest and assigns a room with a function (Note: Larger rooms can have more than one focal point). This is a very common mistake—forgetting to give each room a purpose or point to focus on.
Yes, there was a day when matching furniture sets were all the rage, but that is definitely not the case now. There’s nothing that screams “I don’t know what to do,” than a match bedroom or living room set. Mixing and matching is the way to get a comfortable and stylish room. Of course, this does not mean that the room should be a random jumble of mismatched pieces. There should be one dominant style that account from 75 to 80 percent of a room and the remainder can be anything else.
Scale is the number one mistake that almost everyone makes when it comes to interior design. This is probably the case because it takes a talented eye to decorate a room with impeccable scale. Some people put too many small things in a room, thereby cluttering the room and not giving the eye a place to land.
By pushing the pieces together you’re creating a small scene. Of course, we are not telling you not to place any furniture along the walls, we just don’t want you to put it all there… unless you’re planning on having a large party and want to create a dance floor in the middle!
Changing outdated accessories is the speediest way to more current decor.
Not everyone has training in interior design but most people decorate their own homes — and everyone makes mistakes. It’s inevitable. You find things and think they’ll be great in the living room, and you bring them home without any plan or idea of what’s would be the right addition. On the surface, decorating your home is about what you like. Beyond that, however, there are elements of design like color, scale, lighting and placement that should be taken into consideration in any space. They all affect how the space will look. Given the considerations, almost everyone makes at least one of these most common decorating mistakes:
You should have more than one source illuminating your room. Add proportionally sized and well placed lamps and sconces to enhance your lighting when needed. Your lighting should be bright enough to to function under but not so bright that it is jarring. Dimmers should be added to all ceiling and overhead lighting.
Your home should speak to who you are; it should be like a personal memoir of your trips, your loves, your life. There is nothing worse than walking into someones home to be greeted by beige walls, brown furniture and one mass-produced print on the wall, pretending to be art.
Of course, you give in to the impulse buy and excitedly bring home your new-found treasure— only to discover that what looked liked the ideal accessory looks hideous when put in place, and you are left saying, What was I thinking? Where did I go wrong?
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View in galleryChoose furnishings wisely and don’t overcrowd the space, no matter how large it is.Unbalanced Furnishings
There are a lot of common mistakes that almost everyone makes when designing their interiors. Here we look at the 10 most common mistakes and how to avoid making them:
Have you made a massive decorating mistake without even realizing it? There are a lot of common mistakes to avoid. Image Source: Marcel Page Photography
Hanging curtain rods too low is a very common mistake. Curtain rods should be hung as close to the ceiling as possible to create a sense of height and largess. Rods that are hung too low make a ceiling feel lower, and can make a room feel a lot smaller than it is. A sense of scale and proportion has been tossed and most likely windows will appear dwarfed and valuable, natural sunlight will be blocked.
View in galleryA small entryway can still have a dramatic look.Outdated Accessories
A room needs a main focal point; a place for the eye to rest a minute, such as this large oil painting. Image Source: Shagreene
Character is built within your interior design by adding that odd chair you found at the flea market or the amazing painting that a street vendor was selling. Try a small shopping excursion on the weekend, slowly over time you will find things you love and build your homes character.
Like a pair of jeans that are too small, furniture must also fit. Furniture that is too small will make your room seem unbalanced and awkward and might even make it seem more like a dollhouse – this is certainly not a look we’re after! Conversely a room whose furniture is too large will also feel unbalanced and cramped.
Character takes time to build. Don’t make the mistake of buying everything all at one place and one time. Image Source: Austin Architect
The above-mentioned room just screams BORING! and we know our readers are far from boring. So, don’t be shy when it comes to your home decor.
Life is too short to have things in your home that you don’t love. Don’t make the mistake of holding onto items out of guilt. Image Source: Fougeron
Don’t buy all your stuff from the same source or store. You do want everything to coordinate, but you don’t want everything to match. A well decorated space has personality and dimension and this simply cannot happen if everything looks the same. You may want to recreate a look from your favorite mail order catalog, but chances are your space will still not look the same.
Despite all the rules, you should decorate your home in a manner that speaks to who you are—don’t be afraid to add your own personality. Image Source: Dapostrophe
View in galleryDon’t automatically think the sofa has to back up to the wall.A Plethora of Pillows
Before you move your furniture, and certainly before you purchase new furniture – whether couches, tables, dressers or beds – be sure to measure both the furniture as well as the room, for height, width and depth. Not doing so could end up being a very costly mistake.
The best way to ensure there are no mistakes, and nasty nail holes to fill, is to trace and cut-out the frames outline on paper. Simply tape the paper cut-outs onto your wall, trying numerous placement options until you have the desired outcome.
We love how Linda Floyd explains scale and proportion in design, she says, “When you enter into a room, it should be like a city scape…a combination of different heights. You never want everything in a room to be a the same level or the same size. Accomplish this with different heights/sizes in your furnishings, art placement and window treatments.”
View in galleryChanging outdated accessories is the speediest way to more current decor.Floating Rugs
We all have them—collections. Somehow it started with one little ceramic bird and now you have a collection of birds in various shapes sizes and colors that you have amassed over the years. What is the proper way to display a collection such as this?
A lampshade does more than just soften the light emanating from the bulb: It balances the height of the lamp and gives it enough visual heft to make it an important design element. Nothing looks worse than a lamp with a shade that is far too small for its base. According to Architectural Digest, there’s a simple formula to make sure you have the right size lampshade for a table lamp: Measure the base of your lamp as well as the height. Whatever shape of shade you choose, it should be twice as wide as the base, and about one-third of the lamp’s total height. The shade should also reflect the style of the base. When it comes to floor lamps, the shade should be at least 18 inches and Pooky notes that the larger and more open your room, the larger the floor lampshade can be. This living room from Jonathan Adler uses the same shade on both the table lamp and floor lamp, which lend the appropriate sets of balance and help freak the sofa.
View in galleryHanging art at the correct height is key to a space looking as it should.Too Many Knick Knacks
Unfortunately, there are many ways window treatments can go wrong. In most cases, they’re more than just decorative. Window treatments also control privacy in your space as well as regulate the amount of light entering the space. Taking into consideration what you want from your window treatments will help you choose the right type. Too long, too short and hung incorrectly are also big boo-boos that can happen with window treatments. The dining room below is a good example. Pleated panels can be drawn shut for privacy in the evening if desired, but because this is a dining room, privacy’s not a must. To make the room look taller, the drapes and cornice boxes are mounted near the ceiling to add height.
Choosing your paint color before your furnishings (couches, rugs, etc.) It will be much harder to match to match furniture to an already painted wall than the other way around. We suggest working first with your couch or couches. Do bring fabric swatches to your paint store to help select your color palette. This mistake is common and can create more work for yourself while designing your interiors. For 10 commonly made decorating mistakes take a look at these.
A common mistake that most of us are guilty of—painting first. Put that paint brush down! First, you need to pick out the rooms fabrics and main textiles, such as rugs and curtains.
There’s no need to over-clutter. In terms of accessories less is more, as with furniture. A sense of order balance, calm, flow and movement are essential to any well decorated space. When there is too much clutter there is too much distraction and order becomes discord. Clutter can be easily remedied by removing a few things. Take a look at what you have and divide them into three categories:
It doesn’t take much for a room to turn from well planned and thought out to one that closely resembles a dumping ground of collected furniture and accessories. Your furniture should fill your space and create a space that is both appealing as well as functional. There should be enough space in the room to create movement and flow. A room should never look and feel cramped. If it does, try moving or removing one piece to see if this helps.
Bring several paint swatches home and test again at home. We also strongly encourage you to test out several shades of your preferred color on your walls before you start painting them. While paint swatches are very accurate a room’s natural lighting at various stages of the day does change and this will affect the color of your walls. Leave your paint swatches on for at least 24 hours before selecting your final color.
Other rooms are a bit more difficult, such as sitting rooms or dens. Don’t just scatter furnishings about the room— first, find a focus or purpose for the room, and then place the furnishings around that focal point. For example a fireplace, a gaming table, a large painting, or even a coffee table that encourages guests to sit and converse.
Pillows can be transformative decor piece, adding a jolt of color or print, along with an extra dose of comfort. But just the same, you can have too much of a good thing. For a while, the trend was for piles of decorative pillows on the sofa, the bed and in armchairs. Now we know better because to many pillows can make an otherwise streamlined space feel cluttered. Instead, give more power to your accent pillows by using a carefully edited collection of colors, sizes and motifs to elevate your space. This chair features just one small but dramatic accent pillow. More of them would not make the chair any more special. Both are from Jonathan Adler.
View in galleryWith pillows it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.Faking the Flowers
View in galleryThe size of lampshades is critical to the look of a room.A Boring Entryway
Before heading to the furniture showroom, it’s best to have a plan and a budget well-established. First, your rooms need to be measured. The furniture placement and size need be planned properly. Luckily, there are a lot of online room arrangement tools that are free and easy to use.
With interior design, it’s entirely possible to have too much of a good thing, especially where furniture is concerned. Just as important as the pieces you put into a space is the sense of space itself. A room overcrowded with furniture will never feel spacious. All your pieces should be in an appealing arrangement and fulfill your needs with regard to function and comfort. Don’t let furniture impede traffic flow through the space or restrict movement. If a room ever feels cramped, remove a piece or two of furniture and see if it eases the feeling in the space. Rearranging the pieces in the space might also solve the problem. This Bamax dining room has enough furniture yet it feels open and airy.
Neutral palettes have been a trend for quite some time, and that has led to quite a bite of boring decor. By playing safe and sticking with neutral furnishings, walls and accessories, homeowners have created a wide range of uninteresting spaces. This doesn’t mean that you have to paint all the walls a vivid color and upholster everything in bright prints. Adding a single wall of an accent color can add a real punch to room, even when the rest of the decor is neutral. Don’t be afraid of adding color to a room — it adds punch. Incorporating color can take many forms: a colorful rug, a vibrant array of accessories, bold artwork or saturated textiles. Pick your favorite color and let it brighten a space in your home. This credenza grouping from Jonathan Adler has extra impact because it sits in front of an enchanting wall of color.
Learn the mistakes and avoid them, ensuring you achieve a well-designed home. Image Source: Carey Karlan