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7 Biggest Decorating Mistakes

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Many clients and I meet for the first time after they place an SOS call to me about an expensive piece of furniture purchased, that is dead wrong for the room.

Has that happened to you?  You either try to make it work in the space, or call gift it to a friend or relative because it truly won't fit in your home.

There are a number of design pitfalls my clients fall into, and they soon realize they would save money if they just hired a designer in the first place.

Today's article will help you prevent, or repair decorating don'ts in your home.

How Many Decorating Mistakes Do You See In The Photo?

Decorating_Donts1.  Uncomfortable Seating: Never settle for an uncomfortable piece of furniture! Sit in a chair before you purchase it.  If it is a dining chair, it must be inviting and comfortable to sit for 30-45 minutes.  For sofas and easy chairs, consider your height, can your feet reach the floor?  Is the back cushion supporting you adequately?  Would you want to take a nap on the sofa?  If so, lie down on the piece in the store, be certain it is worthy of living in your home.

2.  Visible Clutter: Not only is clutter unsightly, it can be a hazard in the home and raise stress levels.  With proper design, everything can be stored away so that you don't have to look at piles of laundry or stacks of old mail.  Create systems for dealing with life's stuff before it turns into clutter.  Then maintain order and you will feel so much more relaxed in your home. Professional organizers are available if the clutter is beyond your control.


3.  Huge Furniture /Small Space:
That sofa you purchased may have looked


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average size in the warehouse showroom, but in your family room, it is gigantic.  Before investing in furniture draw out a floor plan and consider how you want to use the room.  With proper measuring and a clear focus on the function of the room, you will be on the right track for selecting the right scale of furnishings.

4.  Ugly Lighting:  When you light everything in a room, as in one ceiling light, you really light nothing.  A single light source makes a space flat and one dimensional.  First, think about how you will use the room.  If it is an office, task lighting is very important to avoid eye strain. Showcasing artwork, then spot lights are a must. For overall room lighting, consider adding levels of lighting; table lamps, up lights and recessed lights.  Dimmer switches  are my design secret.  They are easy to install, affordable and allow you to influence the mood and feeling of the room.

5. Furniture Against Walls:  Don't let your furniture be a wall flower.  Pull the seating together to make for friendly conversation grouping. Have a side table or cocktail table within reach of every seat to place a drink. A console or sofa table placed behind a sofa is a spot to add lamp lights or family photos. This one tip will transform your living room into a much more functional space.

6.  Naked Windows:  In SCV homes, we have high ceilings and big furniture.  All the visual weight lands on the floor, below eye level.  To balance the height of the ceiling and draw the eye upward, add drapery panels to windows.  This vertical element balances the visual weight of the furnishings and visually expands the space, while providing privacy, insulation, beauty and sound absorption.

7.  Color Phobia: Many clients show me inspiration rooms full of color, yet they live with white walls.  Do you have color phobia?  More than any other design element, wall color can affect the feeling of a room.  Stimulating, serene, calm or romantic, color has a dramatic effect on how we feel.  So consider the end result, how do you want to feel in the room?  Then choose a color that will provide that feeling.

Good news! All of these design mistakes can be easily avoided by engaging the services of a professional from the start of your project.  I am here to help you, and I have a passion for great design.  Please call me at (661) 430-0127

Tami Smight Interiors, a full-service interior design firm, has been gracing southern California homes with warm, accessible designs since 2004.

As a certified professional interior designer, Tami Smight shares expert design tips, tricks and trends in her column. Check out her articles in our SCV "Your Home Inside And Out" section.