Common Design Mistakes and How to Fix Them
After you have found your ideal new home, the time to design and decorate begins. If interior design is not your forte, chances are high that you might accidentally fall pray to some of the most common design mistakes. Don't worry, we've made a list of some of them, and how to fix the mistakes if you've already made them, to help.
Problem: A Visually Cluttered Kitchen
Although this problem is not unique to the kitchen, visual clutter is commonly found in kitchens and takes away from any design elements you want to feature. A cluttered kitchen is less functional, and far less appealing to the eye. Even if the items filling up the counters and tables in the kitchen are not exactly clutter, because they are practical items you use on a regular basis, they may function as visual clutter if they fill the space and take away from the decorative appeal.
Solution: Decluttering and Organization
Start by decluttering your kitchen of anything that doesn't need to be there. Donate or move to other storage anything that you are not using at least monthly, and consider whether everything that is living on your counters needs to be there. There may be a better home for that stack of mail, or perhaps the blender you are currently storing on the counter can live in the pantry, instead.
After carefully decluttering everything that is visible in the kitchen, make sure the remaining things are organized. Even if something is practical and functional enough to earn a place on your countertop, there is likely a way to make it look better while it's there. Try placing small items together on a tray, buying a fruit bowl or basket that coordinates with the design, or hanging hooks that can move some things from the counter to the vertical space in the room.
Problem: Lack of Light
Many homes lack enough light, taking away from interior design that is otherwise beautiful. If your home is dark and gloomy, or even if it is too bright from overhead lights, you might be suffering from a lack of diverse lighting sources. The best lighting will incorporate a combination of natural light, overhead light, and soft lighting from lamps and candles.
Solution: More Natural Light and Lamplight
Explore any ways you might be able to amp up the natural light in the space. This might include changing the window coverings, trimming a tree or plant that blocks the light, or installing a solar tube or sky light in the room.
Every room should also feature some lamplight. The ambience a room has when lit by lamps is far more comfortable and welcoming that overhead lights alone, so make sure you have enough lamps in the room to comfortably light the space at night.
Problem: Choosing Style over Comfort
There are a few places in the home that people commonly choose style without considering comfort, and eventually regret it. One common place this happens is the dining room. Watch out for choosing dining room chairs that make a statement but are miserable to sit in for more than a few minutes. The same is true for any seating in the house.
Solution: Combine the Two
An ideal design combines both comfort and style. Consider an upholstered dining chair set where you and your guests will comfortably chat around the table for hours, without sacrificing a beautiful aesthetic in the room. Couches and armchairs should follow the safe rule of thumb; even if something is totally beautiful and fits the space, make sure you can comfortably curl up in it for a movie night, too.
Problem: Designing around the TV
As you choose the layout of your living room furniture, it is tempting to design everything around the placement of the TV. This can end up making the TV, likely one of the least attractive features in the room, the focal point.
Solution: Allowing the TV to Work into the Design
Orient your living room furniture in a way that showcases other decorative elements, a fireplace, or the windows in the space and is conducive to conversation when the seats are filled with friends and family. You will almost certainly be able to find a home for the TV that makes sense after prioritizing these other design elements.
Problem: The Wrong Paint Color
It is all too common to choose a paint color you love on the swatch, purchase all the paint you need, spend the weekend transforming a room, and then realizing the color is not at all what you had in mind. The color you saw on the paint chip is not always the one that will end up on your wall because of differences in lighting, flooring, and other decor in the room.
Solution: Test Multiple Colors Before Painting
Avoid this unpleasant predicament by first bringing home samples in a variety of colors. Paint a patch of each potential color on a few places in the room and watch how the color changes throughout the day with morning light, sunset, and artificial light. Pay attention to how the color contrasts with major furniture, art pieces, and flooring to be sure that it is something you will love with the entire design.