As a professional designer, I am in and out of clients homes on a daily basis. There are three common mistakes that I see that are relatively easy to correct.
1. Incorrect Size of Lamps… I am not sure why but I don’t think people really understand lamps. They can be the most beautiful and valuable tool in a designer’s chest, however, homeowners seems to skimp out on them. Most often, I will see short stick lamps placed on larger tables. Stick lamps are small and skinny (and typically are inexpensive). I HATE (seriously, I do feel that strongly!)them and rarely find a good place for them.
Instead, if you have a larger surface, you want to fill it with a larger lamp. Bedroom nightstands need a larger based lamp because they are larger pieces of furniture. A dining buffet will be best with a taller, skinnier pair of lamp because it is tall and skinny. This does not mean cheap looking “stick lamps”, but instead an elegant lamp that is statuesque and has substance.
2. Too Many Picture Frames…People tend to think that if they put out a lot of picture frames that their space will feel more “lived in”, comfy and homey. So, they go on a massive search for a gazillion frames in an assortment of sizes and then spend an entire weekend clipping snapshots to put in them. The first thing I do when I go in to makeover a space is remove all of them! Yes, that is right, all of them! Then, I cull the group searching for a few special ones (usually they are from a wedding and are professional shots or some other momentous occasion that really counts). I examine the frames and if there is a common thread such as all silver or all gold or all a splash of color, I use those frames and reframe the photos. If there is no common thread (which is most often), I bring in new frames that have that thread.
I involve the client as this point and ask them to put all the snapshots in photo albums (either physically or scanned and stored on the computer) where they belong. Now, the photos that remain are important and you can actually see them. Often, too many frames just look like one big giant “clutter” so no one looks at them. If you cull them and go with just a simple few, then the selected photos will get more attention and become the special memory that was originally intended.
Here is a great vlog I did a while back demonstrating some different ways to create the look you want with less!
3. Too Many Focal Points or NO Focal Point…There can only be one WOW per room! Make the focal point (which is often obvious, usually a fireplace or bookshelves or some other big element in a room) matter by accessorizing it appropriately with a good combination of objects, art and/or accessories. If there are two or more large pieces in the room, they MUST pale in comparison to the Focal Point. IF you don’t have a focal point, then you must create one. How? First access the needs of the room. If it is a family room for example, then place a large entertainment center in the most prominent spot and center the furniture around it. The focal point is usually the spot where the furniture is centered so think in terms of the use of the space along with aesthetics.