Being an interior designer for over 25 years I’m quite familiar with the most common mistakes most people make (even some professionals) when decorating a home. Decorating should reflect our taste and style, and it is a very personal thing. However there are a few decorating blunders that should be avoided. Below is a list of mistakes and fixes.
MISTAKE 1: The Line Up…lining up the furniture on one wall. I see this done a lot especially in bedrooms, where several different size dressers are all shoved against one wall. This creates a “cluttered” look and feel. It’s also unbalanced.
MISTAKE 2: Furniture Placement…many people think pushing the living room sofa against the wall and by having the open space in the center of the room will make the room appear larger…False. This type of arrangement makes it difficult to carry on a conversation.
MISTAKE 3: Fear of Color…when I first moved to the dessert I was shocked at how many beige / cream colored houses I went to. Floors, walls, ceilings and furniture were all beige, which tends to look boring and lacks creativity. Many of the clients told me that they love color but were afraid to use it. Many think using a paint color, other than off white; will make the room look smaller and be difficult to match with furniture.
MISTAKE 4: Too Many Patterns… using too many patterns can become distracting to the eye, busy and overbearing. However, you don’t want to be “matchy-matchy” either. There are many ways to introduce patterns to the décor of a room but there is also a fine line with how many to use and where.
MISTAKE 5: Hanging Artwork Too High…you shouldn’t have to strain the neck and eyes to view art. In most situations art should be hung at eye level for proper viewing and balance.
MISTAKE 6: Hanging Window Treatments Too Low…I see this mistake often too. In most homes the art is hung too high and the window treatments are hung too low.
MISTAKE 7: Too Many Knickknacks…I think it’s important to display personal collections, things that you love to look at or have sentimental value. However, you can’t display all of them or have collections displayed in too many places, it becomes too messy and cluttered looking.
When decorating a home it’s imperative to have a plan and budget. When you have a plan and budget you’re going to make better decisions and purchases. I find that most people struggle with scale and proportion when selecting furniture. Use books, Internet and furniture showrooms to gather ideas and to get familiar with what works. Visualization is difficult for most people and if you’re really stuck it is best to call in a professional. In the long run you’ll save time and money but most important you’ll get the job done right. Hiring a professional can turn a stressful project into an enjoyable one!