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Wednesday, October 12

my top design sins

I am sure that everyone has some type of opinion when it comes to what they like and don't like.... but here is what I seem to run across the most when working on a design project.

Number 1 on my list is Wimpy Houseplants
Sure it's fine to show off your green thumb inside your home.  Just don't scatter too many small houseplants around the room. There will be a much better effect if you buy just one large-scale plant that makes a bold statement.  Remember the quote ‘less is more’?  This one plant will be easier to take care of and less time to water. A plant brings LIFE and WARMTH to a room so this design option is a great choice.
And speaking of plants…

2.  Silk Plants
I am going to let you in on a little secret.... I DO NOT HAVE A GREEN THUMB, I mean when I walk into stores, the silk plants shiver because they are afraid I will take them home... so any plant that I place in my own home is SILK.  Silk plants can be beautiful, but they can also become dust traps. And if the arrangement never changes, eventually you reach the point where you don't even see it anymore. Either update your silk designs regularly, or make your own simple arrangements with inexpensive fresh flowers or greenery from the backyard.  There are so many beautiful artificial plants out there right now that you almost have to touch them or smell them to confirm that they aren’t real. Remember those “horrible silk plants” from your Grandmother’s house… STAY CLEAR of following in those footsteps.

3. Unedited Accessories
We are all natural-born collectors. The trick is realizing that every object, gift, or family treasure does not need to be displayed at once. Take care of Grandma’s fruit compote, but tuck it away when not in use until the next family gathering. You can organize accessories by grouping collections together on a table or shelf but don’t scatter them throughout the whole house – they will lose their impact and then they can’t be defined as a collection.  The actual definition of a collection is three or more similar objects grouped together in an arrangement.   Also, you can use similar objects and colors together when accessorizing, and remember that using an odd number of items (not even) in a grouping is more appeasing to the eye.

4. Matchy-matchy d├ęcor
When everything matches, the room becomes so safe that it's boring. Buying a set of furniture of the same design went out decades ago. And although many fabric and wallpaper manufacturers offer coordinated patterns to simplify design for the do-it-yourselfer, use those coordinates as a background for something old, something personal, something that makes the room your own.  You can give your room your ‘character’ by adding the impression that thought and care went into the design of the room.  This practice will lend “history’ in any room and this “history” will give family and guests the impression that your home is a warm and inviting place.

5. Armchair Covers
Armchair covers are dinosaurs -- they're akin to leaving cellophane on lampshades. Today, fabrics can be treated for durability and stain resistance. Whip those covers off and take them along to remind you of the color and pattern when shopping for other fabrics and accessories for the room. And don't dare put them back when you're done

6. Family Portraits in the Living Room
Ok, I know I may be treading on hallowed ground here, but the point is this: Contemporary paintings of the family can lend an imposing, elitist air to the room where you most often receive guests. Save portraits for the bedroom or spaces that are reserved for family.  Photographs (especially, casual posed ones) add that warm feeling to the living room that keeps family and friends comfortable when in there.

And last but not least – 7. High Art
I’m not talking about art that is unusually thought-provoking. I’m talking about art that's literally floating out in that void somewhere high above the sofa. Art should relate to the furniture below it. A rule of thumb is to separate artwork and furniture by no more than 10 inches.  You can read more about this here “Hang Art Like a Pro”

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What Design Sins are on your list?