An example of flawless design by Tracery Interiors
If you’re planning to move or just want to give your current home a makeover, read on to make sure you don’t fall into any of these classic traps…
Failing to plan
When it comes to interior design, improvisation is not the way to go. If you don’t take some time to think about the look you want to create and figure out how to make that happen, you’re setting yourself up for a headache. Magazines, sketchbooks and design blogs are your friends, so make sure you get well acquainted!
Too much furniture
It may be a cliché, but when you’re furnishing a room, less is always more. If you’re the kind of person that loves buying things on impulse, it might be a good idea to stay away from your local antique or home décor store whilst your in the process of decorating. Even if every piece is gorgeous in its own right, one item too many could undo all your hard work, filling your room with visual noise and awkward obstacles that simply get in the way. Be selective, be disciplined, and reap the rewards.
Whatever the scale of your space, it’s easy to misjudge the balance of different design elements. If you’ve got a large sofa, the temptation might be put a big coffee table next to it. However, this isn’t necessarily the way to go; smaller items of furniture can provide an attractive counterpoint to larger pieces. Similarly, a big wooden floor doesn’t necessarily need a giant rug to fill the space; a few smaller rugs might create a more subtle and pleasant sense of proportion.
Whilst, like any aspect of design, proportion can be subjective, there is a principle that many professionals adhere to: the rule of thirds – split the space into thirds, and either arrange elements symmetrically or in blocks of two thirds and one third. As well as being a reliable formula for the division of space, this also works as a system for separating different colours and textures.
If you’re a fan of bright, bold colours, there’s always a chance your adventurousness could trip you up. Cleverly paired conflicting colours like mustard and pink can make a stunning statement, but get it wrong and you risk total design dissonance. Experiment with colour swatches and fabric samples before committing to any purchases you might later regret.
Lack of contrast
Whilst misjudged colour combinations can cause aesthetic havoc, playing it safe and going out of your way to make everything match is perhaps an even graver mistake. A room decorated in nothing but neutral colours won’t get anyone inspired. Filling it with furniture in exactly the same wood finish will turn it into a homogenous visual soup. Draw attention to different elements by creating dynamic contrasts between colours, textures, shapes and scales.
Putting art in the wrong place
This is such a common mistake, it’s probably keeping chiropractors in business. All too often, art is mounted too high, above the natural line of sight. If your neck hurts when you try to admire that picture on your wall, you’ve done something wrong! Also, smaller pieces of wall art often end up scattered around a room, when they would make a much bigger impact if they were clustered closer together. Again, the rule of thirds is a principle worth bearing in mind. Play with it by all means, but understand the rules before you break them!
Forgetting to create a focal point
Every room should have a focal point. The eye should be drawn to a particular element upon entering – this should help to set the mood and complement the overall design. This could be anything from a feature wall or a painting to a sculpture or musical instrument. Just don’t build your room around TV if you want it to feel unique.
Never underestimate the effect of a well-placed mirror or ten. A mirror will add light and dynamism to any room, and the right mirror will be a stunning feature in its own right. Whatever your sense of style, there’s always room for a bit of reflective glass! Check out this Pinterest board if you need some inspiration.
Absence of life
Whether you’re a fan of Scandinavian minimalism or English country-house chic, there’s no excuse for a home without plenty of plants and flowers, plus bountiful bowls of fresh fruit. As well as oxygenating the air and nourishing the soul, plants and other organic objects will add form, colour and texture to any space.
Overlooking the lighting
Poor lighting can easily undermine any interior design project. On the other hand, brilliant lighting can bring everything together and create a sense of atmosphere that can’t be achieved any other way.
Don’t treat lighting as an afterthought; build it into your plans from the beginning and make it an integral part of your design. That way you can avoid ugly trailing cables and get the right balance between form and function.
Downlights and uplights add ambience, spotlights accentuate key details and chandeliers add drama. There are endless ways to light a room; the main thing is flexibility – make sure you’ve got different levels of lighting to suit different times of day and different activities.
I hope you’ve found this post illuminating (sorry, couldn’t resist!) If you’ve got any tips to add, we’d love to hear them…
This is a sponsored post by Hannah at RugTraders.co.uk