Column: Crimes against good design
I am not pointing fingers but could you be guilty of any of these crimes against the decorating world?
Do you have “stuff” tucked everywhere?
The eye needs an opportunity to rest when it enters a room so a space that is packed with accessories and photos – just for the sake of filling the space – looks cluttered.
To avoid the disharmony of too much stuff, identify things that really matter to you.
Now, remove all of the things that you can live without and arrange only the items of importance.
Have you ever painted without a plan?
When a color is selected arbitrarily from a color deck, opportunity with fabrics and furniture goes out the window. When redecorating, there will probably be only a handful of fabrics that take your breath away. If you have pre-selected wall colors, you have probably eliminated every one of the fabrics that you would have loved. Anything you choose after the fact will most likely be a compromise.
“Neutral” does not help as the colors that a typically considered neutral will do just as much to squelch your perfect room design as a strong color would
Do you have too many focal points?
If you have several strong focal points in a room, the eye will be uncomfortable deciding where to look. Typically a fireplace, a piece of art, or a window serves as a primary focal. Secondary would be strong colors on pillows or a chair or perhaps a colorful rug. The Primary and secondary focal points should work in unison to draw the eye gently around the room.
Do you buy cheap?
This does not mean that you need to purchase couture in everything that enters your home but it does mean that a cheap pillow from a discount store will look like a cheap pillow from a discount store. The adage “You get what you pay for” holds just as true in decorating as it does in the rest of life. Since it is a rare bird that does not have budgetary constraints, the best advice I can give is to do less but do it well.
Do you possess too large or too small furnishings?
When furniture is too large or there are too many pieces, the room looks crowded and uncomfortable. When it is too small, it looks as if Alice in Wonderland will enter the room at any moment and declare that the room has shrunk.
Scale and proportion are essential and are virtually impossible to gauge when considering furniture in a big box store with 30-foot ceilings.
Do you try to incorporate furnishings and fabrics with different moods?
Every piece of furniture and every single fabric have a mood. It might also be called a style. A playful cotton patterned fabric will look silly and “off” if used in conjunction with a sophisticated silk … even if the colors match.
Conversely, don’t match everything! If a store offers a bedroom “suite” complete with bed, night stands, dresser and chest, resist the urge to take the easy way out by purchasing the entire set. These are just options! Carefully blending furnishings create the most interest in interior design.
It is never too late to rehabilitate. If you are guilty of any of these crimes, remember this list when it is time to replace and redecorate. Sometimes your mistakes can be salvaged but sometimes it is better to confess and move forward with fixing your decorating malfeasance!