Archive for December, 2010

Decorating Mistakes We All Make

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
By Lana Torre
I really hate to admit it, but even after years of experience in the home design business, I too have encountered decorating mishaps, broken basic design rules and have panicked over a very minor error. We are creative. We are inventive. We are on a mission to make our homes more functional and beautiful, while creating interest to our spaces.
  • Mistake #1: The Wrong Lighting
Lighting is the most important element in good design. Most homes are well under lit. Make sure your table lamps have enough wattage in the bulb. Use 3 way bulbs in lamps when you can. To save energy, swap out incandescent bulbs for CFL’s. These are compact fluorescent bulbs that use much less energy and last up to seven years longer than conventional bulbs. If you have dark corners in your room, use up lights. These lamps are placed on the floor and shoot the light up. They can illuminate your walls and look great behind plants. Lastly, use dimmers when you wish to create mood in your space, nothing is worse than a romantic dinner with screaming bright overhead lighting.
  • Mistake#2: No Color Flow
Your home should tell its story with color.  If you start with a pastel palette, then continue with that thought. If you paint your family room earth tones, then use that color flow throughout the rest of your home. When in doubt, use your color wheel. It will tell you which colors are most complimentary, like green and red.
  • Mistake#3: When Christmas is over take down exterior lighting
The rule is, right after New Year’s Day, it all comes down and is packed away until next year. I just hate to see strands of lights draping over garage doors. The only exception is possibly an arbor that is adorned with tiny white lights, or other garden accessories, but that is it.
  • Mistake #4: Too Small Area Rugs
We have all seen these little itty bitty rugs in the center of a large room or foyer. Here is where you have to think proportion. Try to place that area rug in front of the sofa, with the coffee table on top of it. The rest of the furniture in the room does not have to be on the rug, but should be placed around it to form conversation areas. The rule in the dining room is to have the rug be large enough to have all the chairs legs on it, even when the chairs are pulled out [ usually, another 18” per chair ].
  • Mistake#5: Toilet Rugs
I could have placed this mistake in the last paragraph, but I thought it deserved it’s own. I really hate toilet rugs, and plastic flowers they are both nasty. Ditch your carved out toilet shaped rug, and purchase new white [bleach friendly], vanity rugs.
  • Mistake#6 Plastic Flowers
The faux representation of nature blooming is usually a huge no-no. The only time I find that they are acceptable is in very early spring when the crocus are still asleep. If you select very beautiful fabric flowers, and stuff your window boxes full, they can be rather cute- until the real flowers are ready for planting. All rules were meant to break, even decorating rules. The only rule never to be broken is the ‘toilet rug rule’