We’ve all be invited to a “do-it-yourself” neighbor or friend’s home to see the reveal of an interior they just renovated. Horrified by a room that is out of balance or a paint color that’s disjointed from the rest of the house you smile and think of the most diplomatic thing to say, coming up with, “Wow, you all put a lot of time into this space.” But inside, you know there’s nothing you can do but pity your friend’s mistakes. Everyday homeowner’s decorating dreams of a beautiful interior fall short when they make some of the following mistakes.
The first mistake many people make is underestimating the importance of a room’s background. If your flooring is outdated or in bad condition, your walls are the wrong color or need to be painted, no matter how nice your furniture and accessories are in a room, nothing is right. It’s like eating a steak dinner at the local dump. The meal is good but the surroundings are pitiful.
Another mistake is hanging frames too high on the walls. Whether your walls are eight feet or twelve feet, wall hangings should be hung at eye level. The only exception is when hangings are to be placed over a high piece of furniture where there is plenty of wall space above it.
A third common mistake is using wall hangings, furniture, light fixtures, area rugs and accessories that are out of scale. When the scale isn’t right your room is completely out of balance. Larger scale furniture needs to be anchored in the room with a larger area rug heftier lamps, grander wall hangings and accessories. A light fixture that’s too small for a room looks like an earring dangling in a baseball stadium.
As electronics have drastically improved in recent years and become more affordable, the TVs gracing our living rooms have increased in size. But a 50” TV in a living room that’s 11’x12’ takes the “bigger is better” ideology too far and you need to accept the fact that you just don’t have the room for such a big TV.
Another interior decorating mistake people make is in their kitchens. Cabinets without hardware make a kitchen look outdated and unfinished. It’s like a woman wearing make-up without any lipstick. The look just isn’t complete. Beauty is in the details and cabinetry hardware is an essential detail.
The sixth mistake many people make is matching everything. Coordinating your drapes and a bed spread or comforter will give your bedroom a unified look but matching everything makes your house look like a page right out of a paint-by-number book. Coordinating gives your interiors depth and character.
Why is it we love some of our friends’ homes more than others? The answer is flow. This is accomplished through complementary paint colors throughout every room that pull a home together as a cohesive whole. Much thought and purpose are required when it comes to selecting paint colors and the result is rooms that harmonize each other rather than one room with an obnoxious color trying to upstage the others.
Finally, photographers know that lighting is essential to capturing clear and vibrant photographs. The same is true when it comes to lighting our rooms and relying on overhead lighting from a light kit on a ceiling fan doesn’t cut the mustard. While recessed lighting and ceiling fixtures offer good light, nothing beats the glow of lamps in a room. You should have between 3 and 5 lamps in every room to properly light all zones and create a warm atmosphere for your home.
By following these guidelines you’ll avoid many of the most common interior decorating mistakes people make. Understanding how to create a good atmosphere will make your home beautiful.