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  • Anita Oakey

Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid!

Sometimes you can have a room that’s not quite right but you just don’t know why. A few small tweaks to your space might be just all it needs, but knowing what the problems are can be an issue. Once you look at a few do’s and don’ts rules of design, hopefully it will help you to identify how to create a sense of order and balance out of a chaotic space.


Furniture Placement

It’s quite easy to turn a room that once was well planned and thought out, into a dumping ground of collected furniture and accessories. Always ensure your furniture fills your room and creates a space that is both appealing and functional. Make sure there is enough space in the room to create movement and flow. A room should never look and feel cramped. If it does, try moving one piece to see if this helps. Sometimes it’s not a matter of too much furniture, but the placement of the furniture itself. If after moving a piece or two around, your space still feels tight, then remove a piece altogether. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Overly furnished rooms not only make your room seem smaller than it is, but can also make it hard to manoeuvre around.



Furniture size

Buying the correct size furniture is very important. Too small in the room and you make it look like a dolls house, too big and your room will feel unbalanced and awkward. When sourcing furniture whether it’s sofas, chairs, tables, dressers or beds – be sure to measure both the furniture as well as the room, for height, width and depth. Not doing so could end up being a very costly mistake, and furniture will always look disproportionate in the showroom to what it will look like in your scheme. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut newspaper to the furniture dimensions and place on your floor, this will tell you if you still have enough space around the item or too much.


Clutter

In terms of accessories less is more, as with furniture. A sense of order, balance, calm, flow and movement are essential to any well decorated space, and clutter will not bring calm to a space. Take a look at what you have and divide them into three categories:

1. The things that matter

2. The things that are important

3. Those things that you can do without.

Remove anything you can do without. then take another look,

if necessary repeat until you have removed enough items for order and balance to be restored to your scheme.


Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements of design, and should be considered as early as possible in the design process. Natural light is very important and shouldn’t be blocked by poorly placed curtains and blinds. The placement of mirrors directly across your source of natural light will allow the light to bounce around the room. You should have multiple light sources illuminating your room to create different ambiences for the different functions of the room. Ensure the lighting you have is bright enough for the function but not so bright that it jarrs. Dimmer switches are a great way to get multi functions from your lighting.


When to pick paint colours

Paint is available in every possible colour imaginable so choosing this first makes the design process more difficult. Try to match colours of fabrics in curtains, blinds, sofas, soft furnishings etc. and from this you will pick a colour for paint that will work with everything else. When shopping for fabrics and furniture, request to bring samples home to visually test the colour combinations in the room they are intended for.


Show off your windows

I often see as a common mistake curtain poles being hung in-correctly. Hanging curtain poles too low, too far past the window or not far enough past. Curtain poles should be hung in proportion to the window to allow the curtain to frame the window properly and not block too much natural light.

Create a focal point.

A focal point gives your room direction and order, and creates a statement in the space. Opt for something like a large bay window, fireplace or a wall of wallpaper. Use your focal point as the starting point for your scheme and build around this. Your room will look designed and well thought out. It is possible, and acceptable, to have more than one focal point.

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