Friday, September 17, 2010

Top 10 Design Mistakes

Being in the interior design business, I have lived these mistakes/ tips and have added my own commentary to each one, from real experiences.

Top 10 Design Mistakes - Writer: Jeffrey Bilhuber (Designer) House Beautiful, August 2004

  1. Always think about your house as a complete experience, not as a group of individual rooms. A common mistake is to decorate one room completely over the course of a year and then attack the room adjacent to it the next year. When the whole house is finally finished, everyone wonders why it doesn’t go together. Instead, make strategic decorating decisions on a smaller scale in different rooms simultaneously during your decorating program. PR Design Group: What that means is uncover your style…or styles, but keep that style consistent through every room (except kid rooms).
  2. Just because the library has a different feeling than the dining room doesn’t mean you should paint each room in colors that are completely and totally unrelated. Always be certain there is at least one color that runs throughout all the rooms in your house. This can be easily achieved with a consistent trim or ceiling color. For example, the living room can be pale coral, the library lacquered tobacco, and the breakfast room sky blue, but the baseboards and crown moldings in all the rooms are dove white. PR Design Group: This is what I tell clients. Make a color plan. Keep all colors that you want to have the same tone or base. I believe kids should have a say in the color of their room, but not the tone. So even though my kids’ rooms are pink, orange and navy, they are all the same tone. I picked those colors that all worked together side by side. They all have a lot of blue base. So when I painted my hallways to the rooms, I went with a camel color with a blue base. It’s subtle, but really makes a difference when trying to pull a house together.
  3. When hanging pictures, don’t start by attacking the obvious and expected blank wall above the sofa. Instead, take a mere objective view of your paintings, drawings, and photographs. Collect them all and lay them out on the floor to understand which ones have a cohesive relationship with one another in terms of size and subject. Then assemble them room by room, as if you were creating a collage. This “unifying” will ensure a positive result. PR Design Group: Or for bigger walls, hang four of the same medium size pictures that you might hang as a single, in a square above say a sofa or along a hallway. Now you have eclectic and interesting art…unexpected and is more personal.
  4. White rooms don’t make light rooms. If you like light-filled rooms as much as I do, paint the walls dark and then add furniture with light, neutral or pastel colored upholstery. You will be amazed at how your eyes draw to the light colored pieces first. PR Design Group: This is the contrast rule at its best.
  5. Be careful what you buy. Just because you can afford a new work of art or piece of furniture doesn’t mean its right for your house. A sound decorative purchase should have longevity and serve you well for an extended period of time, even through successive design evolutions. PR Design Group: When my clients hire me, we go on a buying “freeze”. If you don’t need it or have a spot and budget already figured out, it doesn’t get purchased. This lets you focus on what design element you really want and you want it bad enough to have figured it into your design plan (Top Ten Always…No.1 – Have a Design Plan).
  6. Anything you love is never out of style. Don’t make the mistake of falling for someone else’s idea of what gives you comfort, pleasure, and a visual sense of beauty. Stick with your instincts. No one knows what you really love better than you do. PR Design Group: Interior Design is personal and your home should make you happy right? I believe there is a trick to how you arrange personal things to create a more clean-lined, less cluttered look, but personal is what makes a home feel like a home.
  7. Lighting, especially with lamps can make or break a room. Did you know there is a difference between translucent and opaque shakes? Translucent allows light to emit through the shade; opaque prevents it. If you want to light a room use translucent shades. If you want task lighting, use opaque. This will avoid the common mistake of creating a living room that has all the allure of a lamp store. PR Design Group: This was my favorite class in design school. When you have a great feeling room, it is almost always created by the mood of the lighting. Play around, but know the basics - know the difference between ambient lighting (lamps, dimmers etc) and task lighting (can lights, track lighting and desk lamps). Every room usually has a need for both!
  8. Just because you like shine or luster doesn’t mean your house should look like it’s been underwritten by Slip ‘N Slide. The best way to appreciate that quality is to complement it with a contrasting material that has density, texture, and a matte finish. Think silk satin against hand woven linen. Remember the old adage: opposites attract. PR Design Group: I love mixing traditional base with bling, bling accessories. It keeps the traditional fun and the bling, bling on the classier side!
  9. When decorating your mantelpiece, keep it simple, use discretion, and remember that a four-foot-tall candelabra does not a better fireplace make. PR Design Group: Less is more and simple is elegant and if you don’t over accessorize your mantel, your fireplace may actually be the belle of the ball!
  10. If you’re going to buy a sofa, chair, mattress, or lamp without trying it out first, you might as well buy your shoes through the shop window. Always remember: Great decoration is about function first, beauty second. PR Design Group: Ok, so this one I disagree with. My desk is from Thailand where they are a small demographic. It’s old, exotic vintage, too short, too small and I love it…I deal with the bruises and the tiny desk surface because every time I walk in my office, this ‘personal item’ makes me smile! See Number 6!

No comments:

Post a Comment