So let's get started:
1. FAILURE TO PLAN
Stop, before you buy that piece of furniture or pick up that can of paint, make sure you know exactly what you are going to do with it. Have you ever purchased a piece of furniture or piece of artwork because you had to have it only to get home and find that it doesn't fit or you have no where to put it? You are not alone.
Start by knowing the rooms dimensions and layout. Better yet, draw out a floor plan and rearrange the furniture on it. (BHG has a free arranging program here).This way you know the dimensions of the furniture when you go to the store and can avoid pieces that just don't work!
2. RING AROUND THE WALL
I like to call this next mistake the ring around the wall effect. For some reason we feel that we need to place furniture all around the perimeters of the room. But, if you pull the furniture away from the wall it will give it a more put together look and add more visual interest.
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The floating area rug is a common mistake. A rug should always be connected to the furniture in someway. Ideally, all front feet of the furniture should be touching the rug. Also, avoid using rugs that are too small for the space. Use masking tape and create an outline before purchasing or placing the rug.
4. A ROOM WITHOUT A PURPOSE
I think many of us have that room that is a guest room/playroom/study. While, I don't think it is wrong to have a room with multiple purposes. It is important to make sure that it is organized and doesn't feel cluttered. (Check out our tips on organization here). So, hide that computer in a great armoir and put the extra toys in the closet.
5. MATCHY, MATCHY
We have all walked into a big retailers showroom and seen the set-ups displayed. All of the furniture is from the same matching set. This makes for an easy sale because you don't have to hunt for coordinating pieces. To be honest, it is a bit boring. Any designer will tell you to mix it up. It adds interest and looks more professional.
6. ARTWORK NOT HUNG RIGHT
You shouldn't have to bend your neck either up or down to look at your artwork. As a general
rule of thumb, the center of a piece of art should be at eye level. If you are wondering "who's" eye level, figure hanging it for the average person that is about 5'6".
7. IMPROPER LIGHTING
Lighting is the emotion of a room and is responsible for creating the mood. Task lighting and canned lighting is great for kitchens, but too many can lights in a bedroom kills the mood and makes your ceiling look like Swiss cheese. Using lamps creates a mood in any room. Use soft lighting in bedrooms and other intimate areas, and brighter lights for working spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens.
8. KEEPING SOMETHING YOU HATE
Have you bought a piece of furniture because it was on sale or you inherited your in-laws old television stand, and you don't love it? GET RID OF IT! Sale it on craigslist or donate and get something that you love!
9. IGNORING WINDOWS
Proper window treatments are the jewelry to an outfit and the frame to a picture. As a general rule of thumb when hanging window panels: they should always reach the bottom of the floor, hang them to the top of the ceiling or at least several inches above the top of the window.
10. FOLLOWING FADS AND THEMES
While everyone wishes they were in a tropical paradise, save it for a vacation and not for your home decor. If you just love the tropics, the woods, cats or whatever use them sparingly as accents and not as a mecca.
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