Many people tell me they’re “design challenged” when it comes to decorating their homes. They feel like they’re not doing it right, but don’t know what to do about it. Here are a few common mistakes I see (first off, get the chair out of the road!) and some easy fixes that will have your rooms looking more polished in no time.
INTERIOR DESIGN MISTAKE #1:
This room has several issues, but don't get me started. Mainly all the furniture is backed up against the wall leaving a large empty space in the middle of the room. Everything looks all sad and lonely, plus it makes it hard to have a conversation with the person in the chair waaaaay over there.
(Photo from Hippie Home Improvements and Smart Space Interiors)
Pull the furniture out from the walls and get cozy. Sometimes the size of your room may not allow you to do this with all the furniture, but try to do this with at least one piece to create some flow in the room.
Try putting a console table behind the sofa with a lamp and some nice accessories. In this room I might pull the two sofas closer together and use that table under the window as a coffee table. Or turning them on a diagonal and making either the TV or the fireplace a focal point.
At any rate, you’ll be surprised at how pulling furniture out into the room can actually make your space look and feel larger.
INTERIOR DESIGN MISTAKE #2:
If you look again at the room in the picture above, an area rug all by itself in the middle of the room looks lonely and makes the room look unplanned. Rugs should be used to anchor furniture groups in the room and define a specific area for conversation, reading or whatever. And of course complete your décor.
Pull the furniture in from the walls and put the front feet of the sofa and chairs onto the rug. Or get a larger rug and pull the furniture entirely onto the rug like the photo below.
If the rug is too small (5 x 7 or less), move it to another area of your home and consider getting a larger one. (Lovely room photo from Freshhome.com)
INTERIOR DESIGN MISTAKE #3:
Curtains hung too low
Curtain rods that are hung just above the window actually make ceilings feel lower and the room smaller. And they make windows look smaller too.
Hang the rods as close to the ceiling as possible if you have standard 8’ ceilings. (If you have 9’ or higher ceilings, try hanging the rods at 2/3rds of the distance between the top of the window and the ceiling.) This will draw your eye upward making your ceilings feel higher and your room more spacious (even if it’s not)!
(Photo from blindsbydesign.com)
Future mistake alert:
Suddenly hanging your existing curtains higher may result in a case of “high water drapery.” Don’t let this happen to you! Purchase longer curtain panels and measure for the new, correct height before hanging the rods.
OR buy some coordinating fabric and sew a large band across the bottom or the top for a nice accent to your room. I can recommend a great seamstress if you like this option. :-)
(Designed by my friend Toni Berry of Marie Antoinette Interiors)
If you find you’ve made any of these mistakes, try a couple of my quick fixes to solve the problem.
And what about you? Any mistakes you wanna share or ideas for other quick fixes?
As always, I’m happy to help you correct a design mistake you might have made. I make house calls, so don't hesitate to email or phone me to set up a visit today. :-)