8 Decorating Blunders That Make Interior Design Pros Shudder
If your home features any of these decorating mistakes that interior designers find irksome, consider avoiding them with just a few easy solutions.
1. Blunder: Ill-Matched Appliances
Mismatched appliances in varied finishes and from different time periods tend to be bothersome to designers.
How to Fix It: Because kitchens are a place for families to gather together, it’s important for design choices to be cohesive. In other words, above all, appliance finishes should match — even if the manufacturers and time periods aren’t the same. Another tip? Make sure handles match as well.
2. Blunder: Neglecting Lighting
Disregarding lighting in a lively room like the kitchen is a huge no-no for designers.
How to Fix It: Pair overall lighting with task lighting in a kitchen setting. Take note of what tasks are done in each area of the kitchen and decide what type of lighting will accommodate that task best. When it comes to kitchen lighting, think aesthetics as well as function matching form. Also, don’t forget undercabinet lighting — it can’t be beat.
3. Blunder: Pairing Patterned Furniture With Zebra Rugs
Mixing patterns is not the easiest thing to pull off. Despite best efforts, patterns often clash and lack fluidity.
How to Fix It: Try pairing zebra with solid colors. As a bold statement in itself, a zebra rug doesn’t mean you have to amp up the other prints and color choices in the room. Instead, go with more classic furniture pieces and accents in solid colors. Doing so will showcase the animal print and allow it to become part of the design without overwhelming the space visually.
4. Blunder: Isolating the TV
Integrating the television into a home’s decor without it being an eyesore is a frequent obstacle for today’s homeowner.
How to Fix It: Your television doesn’t have to stand on a wall all by itself. Work it into the room’s design by including it in a mixed-media gallery wall. Make it the focal point and surround it with items like art and family photos to capture attention when the TV isn’t being watched. Floating shelves positioned on either side of the TV is another way of creating a balanced look. Adorn the shelves with cherished personal items for a touching display that’s sure to inspire conversation.
5. Blunder: Haphazard Coastal Decor
A well-designed coastal-themed space requires more than just tossing in a few seashells.
How to Fix It: When developing an effective coastal design, rely on colors and texture to set the tone rather than seashell or other beachy motifs. For example, use a strong contemporary piece of art and woven fabrics to hint at a nautical theme. Another tip? Also, try adding something fun to your ceilings, like grasscloth.
6. Blunder: Dull Dining Space
It’s true that dining areas should be functional first and foremost, however they don’t have to be boring.
How to Fix It: Use bold art and furniture to make a statement. Start by painting the room a subdued color — including the ceiling. Let that hue serve as the baseline for your color palette. Then bring in pattern and texture through art. Remember, large-scale pieces work especially well in a small room as they tend to make tighter spaces feel larger. As far as a table and chairs are concerned, get creative! Keep in mind that dining sets don’t necessarily have to match. Once you discover pieces you love, simply match them up with something similar in style. For an extra pop of color or pattern, try upholstering your chairs with a vibrant indoor/outdoor fabric.
7. Blunder: Messy Open Shelving
Open shelving is popular these days, but in many cases it comes off disorganized and messy.
How to Fix It: Take the time to be purposeful when displaying items on open shelves. If the items are more storage-oriented, find a way to organize everything so that the overall effect is orderly and pleasing. For example, use matching storage containers. If displaying a collection or other accent pieces, consider what to showcase as well as the style and arrangement of the shelves so that you hit on the perfect look.
8. Overlooked Windows
A huge design asset in the kitchen, windows are often underappreciated by homeowners.
How to Fix It: Two words: Roman shades. Install Roman shades above your kitchen windows to create the illusion that they are taller and broader. This gives your windows a stronger presence and adds depth to your overall design.