It’s fun to check through all the lovely, professionally designed rooms here on Houzz — such as those within this ideabook — for great ideas and inspiration. The designers make it appear simple, don’t they? But if you take a look at the Houzz Design Dilemmas segment, you understand that people frequently have a hard time getting it right and bump into mistakes all of the time.
That will help you get it right, I’ve compiled a private collection of the top 10 decorating mistakes individuals make. See Part 1 here, along with photos showing how Houzz designers have successfully handled these decorating issues.
If a few of those design mistakes are familiar — oh, yes, I am not exempt; I’ve heard some of this the hard way — I hope that you find that this ideabook helpful.
RYAN ASSOCIATES GENERAL CONTRACTORS
This residence is a great illustration of a beautiful color palette that harmonizes with the exterior and flows throughout the house. The colours are warm and vivid, holding their own against the magnificent view of the ocean and landscape.
Notice how all the colours come in the painting, and the yellowish and terracotta have exactly the identical intensity. The square support column beyond the room is the main color of the home’s exterior — almost precisely the same as the wall color in this room.
This averts Mistake No. 6: Lack of color or poor color palette
I often see houses that are a sea of beige and brown with no variation in tone, texture or pattern. Snooze! You don’t need to paint your walls a bright shade, but for heaven’s sake; include just a little shade through art or accessories. Those are equally low-risk approaches.
Artwork is a terrific starting point for a color palette. For adding colours if you find some art you love, use that as your manual.
RYAN ASSOCIATES GENERAL CONTRACTORS
The bedroom of the same home demonstrates how you can use the same color palette in another room to find a different look. Terracotta and yellow would be the main colors again, yet this time, the white is about the walls and ceiling rather than the carpeted flooring.
The hardwood flooring in this room is not technically terracotta, however it is a really similar color. The art also picks up the mixture of colours and adds blue, which will be in full harmony with the ocean view.
The yellow and blue of the dining room may look like a surprise if you had only seen the living room revealed previously, however the exterior of the residence is terracotta and blue and it plays off of the ocean perspective beautifully.
This averts Mistake No. 7: Poor color flow from room to room
I’ve been in houses where it seems every wall is a “accent wall” and each room has a different color scheme with no link to any other room. A Cirque du Soleil point set springs to mind! Outstanding for the queen, however to your house. Bless their hearts for being courageous enough to put color in their houses, but using a well-planned color palette that flows from room to room really makes the house feel larger!
The 3 photos of this home show that each room can look quite different by varying the proportions of colours used from room to room and such as colours in some rooms but not others while still having great color flow.
Garret Cord Werner Architects & Interior Designers
Just like in the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, everything within this dining room isn’t too large and not too little, but just right. The art is the right size for over the fireplace. The rug is big enough to allow the seats to be dragged back without going over the border and not overly big for the room. As is the centerpiece the dining table room is in proportion to the dining table.
And if you look at the back of the room, you can see that the mirror is just the right size for the wall area and sideboard and that the group of candle holders are big enough to be the only accessory on the sideboard.
This averts Mistake No. 8: Incorrect scale and ratio
The most common places where I see scale and ratio out of whack comprise:
1. Art that is too little for the wall on which it is placed: Try to cover 2/3 of the available area.
2. Bedside lamps that are too little for the side tables: The bottom of the shade needs to be about even with or just over your shoulder when seated in bed.
3. Sofas that are way too large for the room: No easy guideline here. If you are having an impossible time placing the couch, it is likely too big.
4. Accessories that are only too small: Just like the phrase “Go big or go home,” a few big accessories will probably always look better than a bunch of small objects.
5. Area rugs that are either too big or too little: there are lots of ideabooks composed on the various considerations here.
Tip: To help you get scale and ratio right, print several large photos of all of your rooms and write down dimensions of current furnishings and room dimensions. Carry them with you and store where you will find artists to assist you get sizes right. Again, I emphasize providing big photos of your spaces or rooms. There’s nothing more useless to some designer than a tiny picture in your cell phone.
John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA
I just can not say enough about the beauty and the wonder of built-in cabinetry. This bedroom cabinetry includes 15 — count ’em — 15 drawers in which to hide your pants, shirts and what-have-yous. The display space above provides an opportunity to respect a collection. Beautiful!
This averts Mistake No. 9: Inadequate or unsightly storage alternatives
I encounter poor storage most frequently in bedrooms and home offices. Do you have a giant armoire plus a few dressers lined up across the wall in your bedroom? I run across this scenario frequently.
One dresser or armoire won’t deal with the storage needs, so another and yet another is purchased and lined up like they’re in a firing squad. Whenever two or even three storage pieces of furniture are lined up at a row on one wall, the room looks busy and oppressive, even if the furniture pieces are good quality and fine looking.
Rather than buying several storage pieces, put your cash to a well-designed built for the best utilization of storage area. Customized cupboard storage is better than regretting several dressers at a room.
Warmington & North
Here is yet another bedroom with beautiful built-in cabinetry. Incorporating window chairs and building at around the windows was a superb idea. They have a single armoire into the left and the rest of the storage needs are cared for by the built-ins. So much nicer than extra dressers would have been.
Ana Williamson Architect
If you have an office lined with a conglomeration of plastic drawers and bathtubs holding everything and have piles sitting on the ground, look at this slick cabinetry made of plywood. Storage solutions don’t need to be high-end to hold all you want and look great.
Michael Abrams Limited
This last space seems to embody everything I’ve been talking about up to now. The window treatments are all impeccable. Furnishings are nicely proportioned, comfortable, durable and therefore are arranged to encourage interacting. The color palette and lighting are all beautiful. Just how does a room get everything? This space was clearly well planned out.
This averts Mistake No. 10: Lack of planning
Have you ever done something and then had to reverse that something in order to do anything else you should have done before? This sentence will make perfect sense to you in case you did not plan your house project nicely.
One of the first things I have my clients do is sit down and compose an inventory of all their wishes and desires for their property. Many clients don’t execute all their decorating or remodeling plans at a single stroke for many reasons. The list is ensured by sense of urgency and budget, but we also evaluate everything to be sure projects follow along at the perfect order.
As an example: if you’re planning to paint the interior walls and ceiling, and you wish to include lighting fixtures at the ceilings or walls, then you should do all the electrical work. Otherwise, you might find yourself having to cut open a wall or ceiling to run wiring and then having to repair drywall and paint all over again.
Coming up with a master plan provides you the best shot at good design. It stops you from making expensive mistakes and out of boxing in because of decisions that were made without respect to future endeavors.
This finishes my best 10 common decorating mistakes. Check out Part 1 out of this week for help on the other five stumbling blocks to good design.
How on your experience? Is there another mistake that you think belongs in the top 10?
How to Receive Your Own Window Remedy Right
How to Acquire the Pendant Light Right
How to Layer Patterns Right
How to Receive Your Area Rug Right