When Bad Decorating Happens to Good People

As an Interior Designer people are always asking me if I mentally redesign homes I visit, even when I am not working.  Of course, the answer is yes.  I just can’t help it. There is always great potential in all the homes I visit, and many frankly are just perfect.  However, when things aren’t working it is because of one of these common mistakes:

  1.  Furniture pushed up to the walls.  Better to arrange furniture in conversational groupings.

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2.  Rugs too small.  Better to have large scale rugs that anchor conversation.

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3.  Lamps too small. Lighting should be layered, with the ability to dim and brighten, but attention to scale is a must.

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Lamp heights too different. Ideally the base of the shade should be at eye level for reading.  Do layer your lighting. Every room should have more than one light source. Dimmers are an easy install and give a lot of flexibility. Have several lamps providing task and ambient lighting.

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4.  Art work and mirrors too high. The ideal center of an art piece or painting should be 54 inches from the floor.  If you are hanging a grouping the center of the group should be at the 54″ mark.

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5.  Seat heights too different. Best is to keep the range of seating to a difference of two to three inches.

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6.  Occasional tables too high or too low in relation to height of chairs, sofas, and beds. A practical consideration. Similar heights allow for easy access with cups and glasses.

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7.  Window treatments too long/short.   Just like pants, they need to be the correct length.

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8.  Absence of focal point. Essential for drawing the eye into space.

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9.  Lack of visual flow from room to room. Ideally the room colors should compliment one another. Some think of this as a cross pollination type idea. For example, red room with green accents and a green room with red accents.

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Congratulations!  Follow these guidelines and your rooms will be perfect!

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