Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Decorating Mistakes

I thought I'd share a list of decorating mistakes from House Beautiful today.  I'm always up for some good ideas and I liked what the designers interviewed had to say.

Overzealous Decorative Painting.
Decorative painting can be a beautiful addition but you have to know when to stop!  Four feature walls in a small space is not OK.  Mary Douglas Drysdale says "brilliant painting is elegant and polished, but go too far and you end up with vulgarity".

Image from here

Bright Overhead Lighting
There's nothing worse than feeling like you're on stage shrouded in spotlight!  Barclay Butera recommends using dimmers and soft white bulbs, "lighting shouldn't wash down on you, it's harsh and unflattering".

Image from here

Single Source Lighting
And while we're on the topic of lighting, a single light source is a no-go-zone as well.  The key to good lighting is layering it at different heights.  Alex Tanksley says, "don't rely on only one kind of light source.  Mix a variety of overhead and floor or table lamps".

Image from here

Furniture Pushed Up Against Walls
Don't set furniture up as though you're waiting for a main act in the centre.  Furniture placed around the wall creates a seating arrangement that makes conversation difficult.  Whitney Stewart believes that the guiding principle should be to "create intimacy, how can you have a conversation when you have to shout across the room?"  When setting up a room she imagines the sofa talking to the chairs and the chairs talking to each other.  I like that.

Image from here

Out-of-Proportion Lamps
Lamps that are wildly out of proportion on either ends of a sofa drive David Kleinberg crazy. "Don't get too creative with lamps, keep it simple".

Image from here

Karate-chopped Pillows
Don't over fuss with your living room pillow arrangement.  Steven Sclaroff can't live with karate-chopped pillows, "that look would never occur in pillow nature".  Pillows have a nature now?  No, but I agree, don't like the karate-chop look either (though would never have thought to describe it so perfectly).

Image from here

Hope you're all having a nice day :)



  1. Love it. I am big on dimmer switches. I have them everywhere. In fact our bedroom doesn't even have an overhead light. It doesn't need it. (!) Confusing for burglars too.

  2. I like dimmer switches too! Must see if I can change that in my current house. And I think my colour scheme on Crawford Rd needs an update? 4 different colours in 2 rooms? Hmm. Yeah. But I do love my purple entrance way ;)!

  3. Couldn't agree more, dimmer switches are a must. Next wave of renos, will have to include them on our switches. Jane, I love that your bedroom doesn't have an overhead light.


  4. I am so all over those! My friends moved in to an apartment where EVERY wall was painted in a different shade of blue. What the hell? It's like the previous owners opened a colour chart to the 'blue' page and said "One of each!" Classic :)

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