Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Monday, April 9, 2012

Decor 911: your rescue from decorating mistakes

1. Buying area rugs that are too small.

An area rug should never look like it is just floating in the middle of a room, so when selecting an area rug be sure to have a 12-16 inch border of flooring around the perimeter of the room.

2. Purchasing furniture BEFORE measuring a room.

This happens all of the time! Part of the excitement of a new place is the new stuff you get to purchase. Working off of a floor plan is very tricky (even for pros). A floor plan with images of furniture can help you out with placement but those images of items are not always to scale. Plus don't forget about the doorways - the furniture needs to actually be able to fit through the door, SO wait until you move in (or take possession) before you buy - not all return policies allow for returns.

3. Picking a pale wall colour.

A pale wall colour is fine especially if you have big and bold art pieces but if you have a large space to paint adding some depth with rich and sophisticated colour plan is a good idea to really show off your space. Ask a paint professional for some ideas, look at magazines or ask a designer for some assistance. Your paint colour should set the tone for your entire look.

4. Going without a headboard.

We are seeing more of this especially in the condo lifestyle. The headboard is the focal point of any bedroom but there are other ways to create the same impact. Try painting that wall in a dramatic or bright colour, or add an accent wall with wallpaper or have a huge art piece instead.

5. Decorating around something you do not love.

I say to all of my clients "if you love it you will always find a place for it". If you don't love an art piece or a furniture piece chances are you will not change your mind. Figure out if you made some modifications (like paint it or change the upholstery) would you love it. If the answer is no, then it's time to let go.

6. Too much accessorizing.

Accessories are fun and inexpensive plus they can really change up a look of any room but try not to be wasteful. You could spend that money on something of quality that will last much longer and still give you a big impact. Also, over accessorizing can cheapen the look of a space - keep it simple.

7. Hanging artwork too high.

This is a habit shared by many and it drives me crazy! When art is too high you don't get to appreciate it, you end up with a cranked neck!! Here's a tip - the bottom of the art piece should measure 8-10 inches from the top of the piece of furniture (headboard, credenza, sofa). If you are hanging art in a hallway or stairwell, hang the art so that the middle of the piece measures 66 inches from the floor or the step.

8. The garage as a focal point.

The garage door shouldn't be your main focus but there are a lot of designs out there where the garage is one of the first elements of the home that we see. So to avoid that add some attention to the front door - paint it in a richer colour tone, add some decoration like planters or a wreath or both, keep it clean and clutter free.

9. Wimpy trim and mouldings.

So traditional design highlights trim and moulding with bright and fresh white but if your trim is smaller that 3 1/2" do not highlight it - choose a colour that is close or identical to the wall colour to minimize the wimpy trim and mouldings.

10. Displaying your collectibles all over the house.

Your home should reflect your style and personality but somethings are just too much. when we stage homes we tend to see a lot of collectibles and some displays are fine but others are over the top. Keep them confined to certain areas - so if you collect figures have a shelf in a room dedicated to just that collection, if you love family photos create a gallery wall in a room dedicated to your memories. This will still reflect your interests but also keep the look clean.

11. Only one focal point in a room.

Most don't know what the focal point is in many cases it ends up being the TV but the focal point should be something like the fireplace, the view, an architectural feature, a headboard which ever you like best draw attention to that instead of the TV or other electronics.

12. Maintenance free gardening.

Some say it's tacky but I see why many opt for this type of gardening (it's easy and mess free) but that doesn't mean you can just let it go wild - keep it dust free by wiping it down with a feather duster and a damp cloth - that will keep it looking real plus why not update your 'fake' plants regularly? In the spring add some bright colour and in the fall, add those rich red, gold and orange tones

13. Don't be matchy-matchy.

It's a very unoriginal, cookie cutter look - true personal style takes time to build and develop, so take your time to find the pieces you love. Who says your room or entire home need to be fully decorated within a day? My family and I moved into our home in Sept 2011 and we are still putting rooms together.

14. Mixing too many wood tones.

Many people actually go the opposite way trying to match all of their wood tones - when you do that the result is a very washed out room but when you have too many wood tones the room becomes a confusing mess. So here's the simple rule - 3 wood stains, that's it - this includes, flooring, furniture, cabinets, tables etc...

15. Choosing the wrong colour hue.

This is why many homes are in basic beige. Here's a simple way to create a chic and timeless look - dark on the bottom and light on the top. So your floors can be dark, walls in a medium tone and ceilings light. I have been in a number of condos with dark floors, kitchens and walls it feels cave like and small, contrast is important.

16. Don't second guess your hired professional.

It's OK to ask questions and provide input but if you know how you want it done - just do it. Don't hire a team of professionals and ask for their input only to disagree with everything - it creates a frustrating work environment. Contractors, painters, designers have the education and experience to help you reach your design goals, so work with them.

17. Don't be a trendy Wendy.

I love a fresh patter, a funky floral and sassy stripes but not for a long term furniture item. Stick with a basic colour and fabric for long term pieces and add some visual interest with pillows, maybe a chair, art etc...You won't regret it!

18. Light fixtures that are too small.

Remember this formula - for every foot (width of the room) multiply by 2 for the diameter of the chandelier. So if the room is 12 feet wide, the chandelier diameter should be 24" (12 x 2= 24)

19. Too much stuff.

If you have lived in your space for a while and you don't tend to purge, you probably have too much (many people do) so the rule here is to get rid of 30% of what's in your room. Editing a room takes time and for many it can be very tough (especially if you are in the home you grew up in or the home you raised your family in) but you will feel better as clutter contributes to stress.

20. Positioning you furniture along the walls.

This is the easiest way to furnish a space but it doesn't create a welcoming room that encourages socialization and conversation. Try playing with furniture placement, it's OK to have the back of a sofa or chair showing. Create areas for conversation and areas for TV watching - you can find lots of furniture placement ideas online.

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