Learning from mistakes is key when dealing with interior design, and as designers we have all made mistakes. So we thought we'd share some mistakes that we have made, as well as some we see homeowners making all the time- so you can avoid making them in your own home.
1. Don’t back your furniture up against the walls.
This is probably the most common mistake homeowners make. It makes sense to use your walls to anchor your furniture, but what you need to do is to push your furniture together and create an intimate setting that is conducive to good conversation. We aren't telling you not to place any furniture along the walls, we just don’t want you to put it all there… unless you’re planning on having a dance party, then by all means push it, push it real good!
2. Getting furniture without first checking room dimensions.
This is a mistake we are guilty of making. When shopping online it is so easy to purchase a sofa that is too short, or a lamp that is too tall. Oversized furniture will make the room appear small and cramped if not handled correctly, and petite apartment furniture can make a normal sized living room feel like a great hall. And the most important thing is to be sure that your furniture will fit through the door, hall, or elevator that leads to the room you are furnishing!
3. Not enough variety.
Don’t buy all your stuff from the same source or store. You do want everything to coordinate, but you don’t want everything to match. A well decorated space has personality and dimension and this simply cannot happen if everything looks the same. You should attempt to curate your space over time. Not everything needs to look like it popped out of you favorite mail order catalog.
4. Not enough, or bad lighting.
Lighting is key. It is one of the most important elements of design. Your space should have as much natural lighting as possible. Do not block natural light sources with poorly placed curtains and accessories. Every project can look good in the dark, but what happens when you turn the lights on? You should have more than one source illuminating your room. Add proportionally sized and well placed lamps and sconces to enhance your lighting when needed. Your lighting should be bright enough to to function under but not so bright that it is jarring.
5. Buying paint before fabrics and furniture.
It is much harder to match furniture to an already painted wall than the other way around. Do bring fabric swatches to your paint store to help select your color palette. Bring several paint swatches home and test again at home. We also strongly encourage you to test out several shades of your preferred color on your walls before you start painting them.