Home Sweet Home: Top Ten Decorating Mistakes

entryBy Cathy Osoria

Ignoring windows
A room can become warmer with fabric used to soften the harsh edges of the typical square windows. Window treatments are so important. They are like art and need to be framed.  The solution is to treat the windows with shutters, shades or curtains for warmth and privacy.

Ignoring the entranceway
The entrance to a home sets the stage for how guests will feel in the rest of the home. One solution is adding wallpaper or art or an interesting piece of furniture with a lamp on top for extra light.

toiletrugToilet rugs
Never use a rug that is cut to fit around the bottom of the toilet or a rug for the top of the toilet.  The solution is to keep the toilet top rug- free so that it is no longer a dust collector. Besides there is no need to draw more attention to the top of a toilet. A small square or rectangular rug can replace the rug that is cut to surround the toilet base.

Too formal
A comfortable inviting space is the desired effect in a home. The  solution is to use fabrics that are easily cleaned. Also furniture should be arranged in a grouping so that conversation is easier.

Improper lighting
A room that is over-lit can be blinding and unwelcoming, and a space that is too dark makes it non functional. The solution is to add proper lighting  which can help a room function properly ( as in the kitchen prep area) , showcase art, and provide ambiance lighting to set the mood for family and guests.

darkroomOut of place theme rooms
Everyone loves a beach resort, but your home in the city does not need to look like it belongs in a coastal magazine. Themes like coastal, western, Tuscan, lodge are good in small doses and accents.  The solution is to keep a flow going throughout the home that is minimalistic and neutral so that accents can be added when wanted.

Uncomfortable dining chairs
Guests and family should be able to enjoy every phase of the meal from the food to comfortable seating.  The solution is to select dining chairs that have padded seats of some sort.

Frames mounted too high
Art should be enjoyed at eye level so that one’s neck does not have to be strained. The solution is to center the picture at eye level (66 inches  is standard).

Lack of traffic flow
One should be able to walk comfortably between and around furniture.  The solution is to place furniture in a formation that creates a flow leaving a minimum of 24 inches between most pieces (the sofa and coffee table) . A simple test is to determine whether vacuuming can be performed easily between the pieces of furniture.

Fake flowers
Fake flowers just collect dust.  The solution is add real flowers and plants that add beauty and life to a space.

badcarpetToo many pillows
If you are constantly moving pillows to use the furniture, then you have too many.  The solution is to add accent pillows  but not enough to get in the way of the function of the furniture.
Rugs that are too small: A small rug can make a room appear uncomfortable and the space more cramped.  The solution is a larger rug where the furniture can be placed on the rug or at least the front legs. This makes the room appear larger and seem more cozy for conversations with guests.

Keeping something you hate
Whether it is old green carpet one has never really liked , a gift that never really “fit,”or a hand me down that would  cause guilty feelings if it were passed down to the next “lucky” family member …the solution would be to just get rid of it rather than keeping it when it does not make one happy in one’s own home.

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