10 Common Interior Design Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
By Kathryn Marsh
There are common mistakes people make every day when it comes to decorating their homes. Below are ten of the more common errors and how to avoid them.
1. Scale of furniture in a room
Most people tend to buy furniture that is too large for the space.
This is a very common issue and one that I see time and time again.
When purchasing furnishings, keep in mind the size of the room and
the amount of space each piece will occupy and still allow for ease of
movement. I suggest using painter’s tape to mark out the space
that each piece will occupy before making purchases.
2. Rugs that are too small
A common problem in even otherwise well designed rooms is using a
rug that is too small. Rugs should ground a furniture group.
Legs of the chairs should sit on the rug, or at the very least, the
front legs should be comfortably on the rug. With a dining table,
the rug should sit under the chairs, even when pulled out.
Having the right size rug can even make a space seem larger.
3. Inadequate lighting
Unfortunately, most spaces are designed with inadequate lighting
right from the get go. Lighting should be layered within a space,
taking into account ambient, task and accent lighting.
The guidelines of layering are function, mood and harmony.
Function is based on the activities that will take place in the room,
Mood conveys the feeling that you want to express in the room.
Harmony asks if all of the lighting elements in the room work with each other.
4. Art hung too high
There is a tendency among some homeowners to hang art too high. Art should be hung at eye level, although small pieces can be hung lower. As a guideline, when art is hung above furniture, make sure that it is 8 inches above the top of the furniture piece. It should look like they sit together.
5. All matching pieces
Most people pick pieces that match due to the fact that they lack the confidence in creating a space that has personality and a coordinated look. The result is rooms that look “matchy matchy” and boring. Let your personality shine by mixing in pieces you truly love and want to live with. Break away from the tendency to have all pieces in the same color.
6. Picking wall colors too quickly
People have a tendency to rush out and pick wall colors without considering all the other elements in the space. Don’t pick a paint color without considering all the other elements that will go into your space. Once you have picked a color, test it out. Paint your sample on a piece of foam core board and look at it in different locations in the room and at different times of the day. Designer’s rule of thumb: “Paint is the last thing you pick but the first you apply.”
7. Furniture against the walls
It is natural to want to place furniture against walls. Some room designs will force you to do so, while others will allow you to take advantage of the benefits of pulling furniture away from the walls. These advantages include a more interesting room design, creating a space to encourage conservation while making a large room more intimate.
8. Following trends
Too often, people allow themselves to be influenced by the latest article in a magazine or feature on a TV show. Since trends tend to change quite often, following them tends to be an expensive proposition. The furnishings in your home need to reflect your personal preferences and match your lifestyle.
9. Too many colors and contrast in a room
The biggest mistake you can make is using too many colors and contrasts. The result is a visually disorienting space that people are not comfortable in. Limit the colors you use. Experiment with various shades of the same basic color. This can still create interesting and dramatic effects.
10. Collection overload
Collections can easily overtake and dominate a space if left unchecked. Create a specific display area for your collection. Limit the number of pieces that will be displayed. Grouping your collectables in a specific location will show them off better than scattering them through your home. Avoiding these common mistakes
will give your home a more cohesive feel and enhance your living experience.