Today we’re going to go over some Top Design Mistakes And How To Avoid Them! Things usually start off great, you have the best intentions but somewhere along the way, the beautiful vision you had in your head ends up looking messy and unintentional. So you spend forever trying to figure out what is wrong with the space only to give up because now you think you aren’t capable of decorating your own home. Trust me you are not alone, I think all of us have been there at least a time or two!
Sometimes it could simply be one or two things that have thrown the entire room off. The trick here is to push through and try to figure out what the problem actually is instead of throwing your hands up and thinking you can’t tackle it. We all go through this even the most seasoned designers have to rearrange and move things from here to there before they get the gorgeous end result you see in the end. So don’t beat yourself up about it, decorating is just like anything else the more you do it the easier it will be.
Most of the time I think it is a lack of confidence that stops people from decorating. You have to know down deep that you are totally capable of doing everything that you see out there. Just takes a little time to learn and practice new skills, if I can do this with absolutely no background in design then so can you! So next time you are stuck and aren’t sure what the issue is, go back through this list and compare it to what you have done so far to see if it could be one of the things listed.
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- Everything Matches: One thing you will notice in 90% of the gorgeous homes you see online or even in person is typically things look like they were collected over a long period of time. Let’s take a living room for example Usually, the sofa and loveseat are different, or maybe they simply have a sofa and two chairs in a different color. They don’t look like they came off the showroom floor but instead were purchased at separate times but they still go together nicely and that is what gives you a collected over time look. Not going into one store and buying your entire furniture set and decor right there in one fell swoop. I am not at all saying this can’t look beautiful but I am saying if you want a look that is going to last, one that you won’t tire of in six months and if you want the wow factor you see in every image online mixing up pieces and decor is the easiest way to get it.
- Lighting: What is the first thing you do when you begin cleaning your house? If you’re like me the answer is opening the blinds and letting the sunshine in. Why do we do that? Because it feels visually lighter on the eyes, therefore the entire space feels more open and less cluttered. Even if you decorate the perfect space if there isn’t enough light it will feel visually heavy. I understand sometimes there just isn’t enough light maybe due to window placement or something out of your control but do everything in your power to get as much natural light in the space as possible then you can begin the process of layering in light with lamps, recessed and overhead lighting. Layering the lighting in a space will instantly make it feel cozy.
- Curtains: Hanging curtains low and narrow is one of the number one things that can make any space feel short and stuffy, no matter the size. Curtains should always be hung high and wide. What I mean by that is buy longer curtains no shorter than 96″ L and widen the curtain rod so the curtains fall outside the window frame instead of blocking part of the window with the curtains. Which in turn will allow less natural light in. Usually, I hang all of my curtains as close to the ceiling as possible or at least 12″ from the top of the window and at least 6″ outside the window frame.
- Clutter: This is the most important thing! if nothing else on this list can be fixed, fix this one. It won’t cost you anything but your time and it will make the biggest impact. I know, I know we all hate to hear it because most of us (myself included) are guilty, if your superwoman and have the clutter situation totally under control I praise you, but the truth is it’s something I struggle with. My biggest issue is the amount of stuff we have accumulated has been done over the course of many years and in my mind, I think I can get rid of it all right now. It just doesn’t work that way. Sometimes you just have to commit to starting with one area and doing a little at a time, this way it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. What I have decided to do since we will be redoing all of the rooms in our home is just decluttering the room before I do everything else and so far it is working. No, our home won’t be clutter free tomorrow but it is something we are gradually working on and it really does make a huge impact.
- Cords: Next is all those hideous cords! No matter what you do if there are cords hanging out everywhere you won’t get the look you’re going for. This is especially important to me since all of the tv’s in our home are mounted on the wall. There are several things you can do to combat the mess of cords in your home. The first option and the one that I prefer are the cable organizer kits that allow you to cut a small hole in the drywall and run the cords through the wall and out the bottom. The finished look is so clean and modern! The second option is a plastic cord cover, they have several plastic versions like this one, you can even paint it to match your walls so it blends in seamlessly. Third, you can use a chandelier cord cover like this one if you don’t like the look of the plastic option. It is basically a long piece of fabric you can slide your cords through. This would also be a quick DIY for very little money. Whichever option you choose will no doubt make things look much cleaner and put together.
- Too Many Colors: People have different taste when it comes to decor styles and the amount of color they are comfortable with. Some are fine with a completely neutral look but others want tons of color and to you color lovers, I get it! You may think your home will look boring or bland but let me assure you even with a completely neutral palette there are ways to make it anything but boring. The very first thing you should do before anything else is hands down come up with a whole home color palette. Choose 3-4 main colors that you totally love and use this as a jumping off point for your decorating process. This not only helps each room flow together but it also helps narrow down your options if you struggle with choosing decor pieces. Personally, I think it is best when the main pieces in the room are neutral, only because it isn’t overpowering, you won’t tire of it quickly and when you are ready for a change it will be so easy! Just think wouldn’t it be much easier to update the current red throw pillows on the sofa than having to purchase a new sofa because the entire thing is red and you are sick of it? Some may disagree with me but that is just what I have found works best and ensures you get plenty of use out of your main pieces. Use those extra colors in your whole home color palette to add in your favorite colors through decor pieces and art, this way you aren’t sitting there a few years later with an entirely brown ensemble that you hate like someone I know 🙂
- Too Much Decor: Yes there is such a thing and I think it is just in our nature to want to fill any empty space but there are times to rein it in. A good way to keep things from getting out of control is to use large art pieces or mirrors. It is an excellent way to not only fill blank wall space but you can keep it simple because the piece is substantial enough that you don’t need anything else. Things like built-ins and bookcases can quickly look cluttered and messy with too many tchotchkes aka knick knacks taking up every ounce of visual space. If you are second guessing yourself then it is probably too much.
- Small Rugs: Look I get it rugs can get expensive but I cannot tell you how important it is that the rugs in a space are the correct size. Too often our minds tell us we can get the same look without spending all that money on a larger rug. The truth is buying a rug that is too small for the space and furniture will actually make things look worse. Investing in a good 8×10 or 9×12 is worth its weight in gold and you can always move them room to room if you follow the whole home color palette. Once you are ready for a new one Craigslist, yard sales, or online garage sale sites are a great way to recoup some of your money.
- Layering: Okay you’ve made it through most of your process and it is time to style the room. This is one of those things that takes your design to the next level but without it the entire space can look unfinished and cold. A great way to do this is by using different heights and textures in decor pieces you choose. Also by adding in natural elements and mixing metal finishes. Look at the different textures and finishes in your favorite space what do you see? Try to pinpoint how they executed the layers was it with baskets, throws, layered artwork or maybe vases of different sizes and textures? When you put together an outfit you don’t just throw on a shirt and jeans, do you? Typically we add jewelry, scarfs, or maybe cute shoes which give the outfit more dimension and help it to look well thought out. The exact same principle applies to decorating because without it what you are left with will only look unfinished.
No matter what have confidence in yourself, this is just a process and you can tackle it! Don’t forget to pin the image below 🙂
Over the next several weeks I have some fun little projects planned that you can easily complete over the weekend. If you aren’t already signed up for the newsletter be sure and sign up so you don’t miss anything!