How to Avoid a Decorating Disaster

Home Stager with All About Redesign Center
Having a master plan is essential to success. Often times a person will purchase an entire furniture grouping because it is what they see in the furniture showroom. If you think about it, that's how most high ticket furnishings are marketed. Furniture retailers want to sell you a sofa, love-seat, chair, accent tables and all the lamps in a grouping. The reason for this? They make MORE MONEY and the salespeople get to THINK LESS! This is an example of one size fits all decorating. In some situations this is fine, but It usually lacks character and personality. If you want to create a room that is unique and special...
Here is a list of mistakes you can avoid.

Furnishings that do not fit the room.
This is the most important design element and should be addressed first. Many rooms contain too much "stuff" and make the space appear smaller than it actually is. Measure your room and bring the tape measure with you when shopping for large pieces. (Everything looks smaller in the store!)

Poor furniture placement.
Often large pieces are placed too far apart. This does not create a comfortable, cozy conversation area. Consider creating two intimate seating arrangements in a larger room

The room does not function.
Besides looking good you will want to create a space you can live in. You will need to determine how the room is used and if there are any specific needs of family members or pets. Proper traffic flow is essential. You do not want to create a pattern that constantly walks in front of the television!

Artwork hung too high.
This is quite common. Mirrors should never be in a dark corner. Instead place them adjacent a window. Remember what will be reflected and position items appropriately. Too many pictures on the wall. In this case, less is more. Think about what your favorite pieces are and showcase them! Remember it is a good idea to leave one wall void of accessories to create a resting place for the eye.

Improper lighting.
Often not enough light sources. This is common as many people will purchase two matching lamps and think they have decorated! (remember the furniture showroom?) Essential to a properly lit room are General Lighting, Task Lighting and Accent Lighting.

Stuck in a the past.
Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of this. We may have items that were purchased twenty years ago. This is great if your theme is retro but if not, consider a few inexpensive purchases to update the decor.

White walls.
Many people have a fear of color. They think that white goes with everything or have the mistaken idea that white walls will make the room appear larger. Don't be afraid to try a bold paint color. It will dramatically change the feel of the room and enhance the decor.
(see selecting the right paint color)

Good Luck and Happy Decorating!
Author Julie Rieman
Instructor ~The All About Redesign Center

Comments (5)

Randy L. Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
Thank you for the tips.  I am struggling with the placement of furniture in our home as we speak.
Jul 28, 2007 07:12 PM
Lorinda Ward
Keffer Realty - Norfolk, VA
Serving, Hampton Roads Virginia. Norfolk, Chesapeake, Va Beach
I would like to thank you for the tips also, I always have a problem hanging the art work to high or to low.
Jul 28, 2007 07:22 PM
Pete C
TBA - Kailua, HI
Hawaii Mortgage Loan and Refinance
Good stuff!  I also picked up some good ideas from a couple Feng Shui books.  Thanks Julie!
Jul 28, 2007 09:33 PM
Doug Aaserude
Inactive until May. 2009 - Beaverton, OR
great info........ how the home looks and flows inside is just as or more important than the curb appeal
Jul 28, 2007 11:52 PM
Jason Fleming
Jason Fleming Agency INC - Coon Rapids, MN

I really need some help decorating.  All of these things seem so simple, but I still have WAY to much stuff in every room.  I think I need to get a dumpster and get rid of things that I never use!

Nov 29, 2008 04:50 AM