Of course, everyone is entitled to make their place look however they want. But just like that, other people are entitled to hate it as well.
There’s a Facebook group called ‘That’s It, I’m Home/Home Decor Shaming‘ and as the name suggests, its members are roasting design choices that they find tasteless and impractical. If you thought popcorn ceilings and shag rugs were bad, you’re in for a big surprise!
However, there’s also a chance that you might like some of these features. After all, beauty is subjective. So if that happens, consider it an exception to the rule.
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If you want to avoid ending up featured in a similar group, we can look at what the world’s top interior designers told Vogue are the most common mistakes they encounter.
The first one is putting all the furniture against the wall. “You should have a few pieces that float in the room to create variety and interest in the floor plan,” Young Huh of Young Huh Interior Design said.
“Sketch on paper how you might achieve this. One way is to have a chair or two floating in the middle of the plan into the seating arrangement.”
Another important issue, according to Alfredo Paredes of Alfredo Paredes Studio is bad lighting.
“[Lighting] plays a huge role in how people experience a space. For example, one paint color under an incandescent lightbulb might look very different from the same color in natural lighting. If your home feels dark, you can just change out some lightbulbs or install a pair of sconces to make a space feel brighter. It doesn’t always have to mean a complete renovation,” Paredes said.
“Making sure a room is properly lit is challenging,” interior designer Nicole Hollis added. “Lighting can make or break a space.”
“Using a professional lighting designer is recommended, but if doing it yourself, be sure to work on three levels of lighting: Ceiling lights to wash surfaces such as tables and artwork, floor lamps to provide ambient light throughout the room, and task lighting such as table lights or reading lights for specific tasks such as reading or working.”
Another thing to remember is that you have to properly measure the space before you start decorating it. You might roll your eyes, but experts say people often miss what’s obvious.
“Eyeballing seems like an easy skill (one for which Sister Parish had a famed and uncanny ability). That is until you can’t fit a sofa through your front door! It has happened to the best of us,” Alexa Hampton, founder of Alexa Hampton and principal of Mark Hampton Inc., said. “I also recommend going back to measure a second time; there is nothing like inverting a number or two to really hammer that point home.”
“A common interior design mistake is that people don’t bring designers on early enough in the process,” industry professional Mandy Cheng pointed out. “We should be there immediately after you say to yourselves, ‘We’re ready to make these changes,’ or, ‘We want to redesign or redecorate the house.'”
“Oftentimes, clients reach out after they’ve bought the house and launched the contractor to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms. A third of the way through construction, the new homeowners are overwhelmed with all the decisions they’re needing to make, plus the thought of furnishing it afterward. Reach out when you’re in escrow or have closed escrow, and don’t launch a contractor until you’ve spoken to a designer first.”
It’s also important to understand, which can be challenging even for seasoned designers. “One thing I see people do frequently is put something really tiny or really massive into a room that inhibits its functionality and dooms its aesthetic,” interior designer Martha Mulholland said. “If you know you need an enormous sectional for your Super Bowl parties, don’t forget to think about the size of the coffee table and rug that will accompany it. An 8′ x 10′ rug will likely look like a postage stamp paired with most modern sectionals, even though it may seem like a reasonable size for the room. (My general rule with rugs and sofas, specifically, is that a sofa should sit fully on a rug, leaving at least a foot of space on all sides, and rugs should either be centered in a room with at least two-thirds of each upholstered piece sitting on top of it, or be a small accent that sits in front of the sofa, with a coffee table on top.)”
While we like our place to look pretty, choosing aesthetics over comfort isn’t always the best course of action.
“Not understanding ‘the sit’ of furniture before you buy it; try to get yourself to a showroom and sit down / lie down on the upholstery,” interior designer Alexa Hampton added. “If you can’t do this, have someone sit in if for you to attest how it feels. These are expensive pieces that you want to enjoy comfortably. Try before you buy!”
Improperly placed artworks can also do more harm than good. “For some reason, most homeowners think they should hang art high and it, therefore, looks more important,” Young Huh said.
“Really, your art should hang at eye level so that you can really see the main portion of the art very well. Also, avoid placing one art piece per wall. This will look very static and uninteresting.”
But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take risks. In fact, Frances Merrill of Reath Design thinks it’s the biggest mistake people make when settling in. “They’re afraid to try something new or go for something they haven’t seen done before. This is one thing that leads to everyone’s homes looking the same. My advice is to take some time before you start, collect images and scraps of things you love, test paint colors and look at them at different times of day in different lights, maybe even different seasons. And then go for it!”
When you think about it, who cares what some anonymous people on the internet think of your place. Even if they laugh at it; it’s yours. And it’s not like your totally over-the-top chandelier is hurting someone. Just make sure that it doesn’t fall on someone’s head and you’re fine.