All-Time Worst Home Decorating Mistakes
There are some people that would tell you there are no mistakes in home decorating. They are dead wrong.
While it is advisable to follow your heart and decorate your home with the things you love, sometimes your good intentions don’t equate to good design sense. We’re all guilty of making decorating mistakes. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes, so we’re not doomed to repeat them.
Here are some of the most grievous home decorating mistakes. The good news is they all have easy fixes!
Toilet Covers and Rugs
Ewww! Not only do they look like grandma’s house (sorry, grandma), they collect all sorts of filth and germs. You know which germs I’m talking about. I realize you can get a tank and seat cover, plus that nifty U-shaped toilet rug for one incredibly low price. Please don’t do it.
They also make adorable sets to match your nautical bathroom theme. During the holidays, you can even dress up your toilet to look like Santa. Promise me you’ll resist the urge. A bath rug in front of your tub, shower and vanity are quite acceptable. Just say no to the toilet.
I have been guilty of this home decorating mistake. We all have at one time or another. Accessories are designed to complement the furnishings and architecture of a room. Used with a heavy hand, they become nothing more than clutter.
A good way to gauge if you have an overabundance of accessories, is to calculate how much time you spend dusting. If dusting your tchotchkes takes say, more than 30 minutes per week, chances are you have too many.
This rule also applies to throw pillows and framed family photos. An average couch needs no more than two accent pillows. If you have to push pillows aside on your couch or bed to find a place to sit, you probably have too many.
Tables, bookcases, shelves and walls are the perfect place to display framed family photos. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be sentimental and want to show off special occasions, vacations and dear friends. However, a mass of picture frames can be overwhelming. It’s OK to display a few at a time, but don’t go overboard. Use albums and memory books to catalog your keepsake photos.
Another common home decorating mistake involves artwork placement. The point of enjoying artwork is the ability to view it comfortably. If you have to crane your neck to see your art, it is too high on the wall. A good rule of thumb is to hang pictures at eye level.
Oversized prints should obviously be placed a bit higher—use the top of a doorframe to line up the top of your picture frame. When hanging artwork above a sofa or bed, position the lower edge six inches above your sofa back or headboard.
One final note, take the size of your artwork and available wall space into consideration when you plan the placement on your wall. A small print can be overpowered by a large, gaping space. Create balance and mass by grouping several small prints together.
Never put an area rug in the middle of a room without using furniture to “anchor” it in place. A lone rug adrift in the center of a room will look lost and rather ridiculous. It is imperative to connect the rug to your furnishings.
Make sure the rug is large enough to ground your furniture—place the front feet of sofas and chairs on the rug. This will give your seating group a sense of cohesion. If you are unsure, simply purchase a rug that is large enough to accommodate all of the furniture pieces in a given group.
Another tip is to use painter’s tape on the floor to outline the ideal size rug before making your purchase. Use a measuring tape and record the dimensions to ensure you end up rug that is the right size for your room and furniture.
Modern technology can ruin the best home decorating schemes. Most electronics come with a series of cables and cords, which need to be connected to a power source. Unfortunately, cables are extremely unattractive and can pose a child safety hazard. Many people have the innate ability to ignore them. I cannot.
Purchase cable ties to cinch a series of cables together. Insert them in cable channels or covers available from office supply retailers. Most cable covers can be painted to match surrounding surfaces. Attach them along walls or baseboards with double-sided tape. If you are dealing with a single long cord, you may be able to get away with hiding it between your baseboard and carpeting.
Use common sense when creating seating arrangements. Don’t make the home decorating mistake of relegating your furniture to the perimeter of the room. Bring furniture into the space, creating intimate conversation areas. Why make people shout across the room when you can easily arrange a cozy furniture grouping?
In addition, this type of furniture placement just looks plain awkward. Your furniture is a beautiful investment; it should take center stage. For example, pull your sofa away from the wall and place a console table behind it. The table makes a great spot to add a lovely lamp or flower arrangement.
Lighting conjures up a myriad of home decorating mistakes. You may have a single overhead fixture that bathes the room in bright light. Or you may be relying on a single table lamp to illuminate the entire room.
Tame that bright ceiling fixture with a dimmer. Dimmers are inexpensive and a breeze to install. That way, you can adjust the light to suit any activity or mood.
If you have to rely on lamps for illumination, make sure you have several that will provide ambient and task lighting. In an average size room, two table lamps and a floor lamp will provide ample light.
If you have money in the budget, and have an attic, enlist the services of an electrician to install recessed fixtures or a ceiling box for a chandelier or ceiling fan with a light kit. You can add dimmers to those as well.
This mistake is particularly common in the bedroom. Avoid purchasing a bedroom-in-a-bag that includes everything from comforters to window treatments. While these sets are economical and require little thought, they can also leave you with a soulless room where everything matches perfectly.
One of the joys of decorating is coming up with unique combinations of colors, patterns and textures. That’s the beauty of eclectic style—it gives you visual diversity. You tend to tire more quickly of colors and fabrics designed as part of a group.
If you are at a total loss for inspiration, just grab a couple of the latest home decorating magazines from your local newsstand. They provide a wealth of ideas to help make your room as individual as your personality.
© 2012 lindacee