Common missteps found in home decor

Every once in awhile I am asked to go to a client’s house to give them advice on their house. They may not be looking to renovate but just want me to look and tell them what they are doing wrong.

These are often uncomfortable appointments for me as I am hired to criticize my clients’ homes – what a strange situation to be in! Over the years I have made mental notes of interior design fails I have seen, if you recognize yourself in this list take heart – many people are guilty of these minor faux pas.

I admit that I have a few of these lurking in my new home but I’m not telling you which ones!

Often we don’t ‘see’ our homes.

We come and go every day and our space becomes very familiar to us, blinding us to the items that we should be taking into consideration.

Whatever you are doing, get up and go into your bathroom and look at your toilet – do you have a rug with the little cut out in it that fits over the toiler base?

Those are not decorative!

I understand functionality and even though the thought of a carpet in front of a toilet is kind of repulsive I can give a little knowing that people may want something soft under their feet but put it away when company is coming over so guests using your bathroom don’t have to step on it.

Misuse of scale is something I see in many people’s homes; furniture is too big or pictures are too small. Often when I question a client on their reasoning in hanging a picture I get the response, “There was a nail already on the wall.”

Cringe. Whatever is hanging on a wall should take up at least half of the space it occupies. If you have a bunch of tiny pictures then group them together in similar themes. Furniture is available in different scales and sizes and one size does not fit all with furniture.

You may have to use different configurations such as chairs instead of a sofa or smaller scale to fit the room. Just because you want a reclining sectional doesn’t mean the room can fit a reclining sectional!

How many toss cushions are on your bed or sofa? How many precious life minutes do you spend taking them off and putting them on and taking them off and putting them on?

You get the idea, some people suffer from toss cushion overload and have many and varied patterns which are taking over our lives! Sometimes we need to just say no to the pretty pillows that call to us and ask us to take them home.

Whether you have plastic runners down your hall or plastic covers on your dining room seat chairs, you may be a victim of a design faux pas. You might have too many knick knacks or maple leaf-shaped hand soaps that you got as a gift and don’t know what to do with or you may not have changed out closet door handles from when your son was in soccer.

We all have these elements in our homes and it is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to modernize the look of our decor.

Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.

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