I’ve said it before — I’m not good at home decorating yet. I just haven’t found my stride with it. So in the meantime my bedroom looks like a college dorm. We didn’t win the “Angie’s List Worst Bedroom Makeover” contest. But the good news is that I’m totally fine with not being the worst at anything! There will be other opportunities to transform my space — like this list right here. Expert designer Lauri Ward gave me a list of the most common decorating mistakes and how to fix them. Are you guilty of making these?
by Lauri Ward
Everyone makes the same errors when it comes to decorating, no matter the style of their furniture, the size of their home or their budget. An example of these errors is using questionable traders. When you are decorating your home you want it to look as beautiful as it possibly can. This makes using a reputable trader essential when deciding who to use. For example, if you were to purchase bespoke wardrobes, you would not be wise to settle for a untrustworthy trader that hasn’t been checked by a credible source. But this is just one of the errors that people always seem to make!
The “Use What You Have Decorating” system is the most cost and time efficient way to fix design mistakes. Just correct each error and check them off this list to make any home more beautiful and comfortable.
1. Not defining your priorities
Before redecorating, ask yourself a few questions: How long do I plan to live here? How will I use this room/furniture? How important is durability? The answers will help you make conscious decisions that could save you time, money and mistakes.
2. An uncomfortable conversation area
If you have an L-shaped seating area, which is awkward for chatting, you’ll need to create a more comfortable U-shape so that people can face each other instead of twisting to have a talk. A sofa and a pair of chairs are ideal to create a U-shaped grouping.
3. Awkward traffic patterns
Check to be sure that traffic patterns throughout every room are open and flowing and not blocked by any furnishings.
4. Badly lit rooms
Do you have just one lamp on the side of your sofa or bed? Opt, instead, for a pair of lamps to flank both sides. A pair will provide more light and look more balanced.
5. Furniture of different heights
Avoid having a combination of high and low seating pieces grouped together, which creates a roller coaster effect. Instead, keep seating height aligned as much as possible – no more than 3″-5”.
6. Rooms that are off-balance
Any room that has high furnishings on one side and low pieces on the other will look like the Titanic sinking. Instead try to keep both sides of the room fairly level (i.e. use a tree on one side to balance a tall cabinet on the other side of the room).
7. Ignoring a focal point
If you have French or sliding glass doors with a view, a fireplace or a large television — any one these might be your focal point. Be sure to face the seating area towards the focal point so it receives the attention it deserves. If you have a big picture window, place your sofa underneath it with its back to the window so the view and conversation area invites people to sit down. Also why don’t you add something like these Grey Cushions to make your sofa more inviting.
8. Improper use of accessories
Most people have too many bits and pieces scattered around which makes their rooms feel cluttered. Select and display only your best and favorite accents and put the rest of your accessories away. Group collections together, in one spot, too. Accessories also come in the form of features that you can use to make your room just that little bit extra. For example, some people wouldn’t class a rug as an accessory, but I would for sure. This is because sites such as bazaarvelvet.com show you how by adding such a high quality piece can enhance the look and feel of any room. Just consider this next time you’re thinking about redecorating.
9. Ineffective use of artwork
As with accessories, it’s best to be selective. Hang only your favorite pieces and put away the rest. Instead of trying to use the “eye level” concept (which doesn’t work), remember to hang all of your artwork 3″ lower than you think: most people hang art too high.
10. Poor furniture placement
If all of your furnishings are pressed up against the walls it creates a “wallflower” effect. Instead, turn some of the furniture perpendicular to the walls. Turning a desk or a pair of chairs flanking a sofa will help to make the room look more aesthetically pleasing and spacious.
Best-selling author and home design expert, Lauri Ward revolutionized the interior design business with her money-saving and green “Use What You Have Decorating” concepts. She has trained hundreds of interior decorators from around the globe and has redesigned thousands of homes across North America.