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Most Common Interior Design Mistakes

I frequently get asked “What are the most common Interior Design mistakes I come across?”. It can be a great source of amusement at times but hey - that's why people hire me! So I thought I’d share with you the top 5 Interior Design mistakes I see in and amongst the homes I visit.

1) Poor colour choices

There’s a reason so many of us get nervous about choosing paint colours. Picking the wrong colour can make a room smaller, darker or even feel gloomy. By contrast the right colour can make a space look larger and brighter. It’s a fine balancing act. When selecting colours have a think about how you want the space to feel. Light, bright and airy? Or moody, intimate and dramatic. Without going into the whole “Psychology of Colour”, your choices can really impact how you feel within a space.

Also, it’s important to realise that the way a colour presents when on your walls may be significantly different depending on the amount of natural light in the space. A good way to test this is by purchasing test pots, painting large sheets of card in your preferred colours and tacking them up on the walls around your room. Leave them up for a day or two so you can inspect them at various times of day. And don’t assume that because a colour looks great in your friends’ house, it will work for yours. If in doubt, ask for expert help. It will save you money in the long run.

2) Crowded Spaces

Have you ever walked into a living room and thought “Wow, its busy in here, there’s lots of seats, but nowhere to sit!”. Trying to fit too many items into a room can make it feel cluttered and overwhelming. Its important when furnishing a room, to leave space to move around and breathe. When you work with an Interior Designer, they generally measure up the space and provide you with a space plan that considers your preferred design style, any existing furniture you’d like to include, how you use the room and the flow.

3) Neglecting light

Insufficient lighting in a space can make it feel dim and uninviting. Think about natural light – can we invite more light in? Solutions may include skylights, additional windows, enlarging windows, reglazing, glass doors, glass bricks or creating doorways. Do you have adequate task lighting – which enables you to functionally use the space. Does the room have enough general lighting – to allow it to transition well from day to night. And finally – its there an opportunity to accentuate any of the rooms features using well placed accent lighting? Lighting is a really inexpensive way to make an impact in a space. And a good Interior Designer will make sure you embrace the lighting opportunities.

4) Neglecting functionality

Sometimes we get caught up in the beauty of our furnishings and neglect the functionality. Like when we create a minimalist living space but then have nowhere to put our books and board games. Or when you buy the large modular sofa but have nowhere to place your cuppa because there’s no space for side or coffee tables. Part of our Interior Decorating process is to develop an understanding of how the space is used, who uses it (including pets) and what are the functional priorities. It’s so much more than just choosing a beautiful sofa.

5) Over accessorising

Less is more! Its really easy to get carried away in your decorating. People often think every surface needs décor and every wall needs a piece of art. This is simply not the case. Each room should have a focal point. Too many accessories can create a feeling of chaos and clutter. I love this quote by the Antoine de Saint-Exupery “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”.

So now you know the pitfalls. If you need help perfecting your space, ask me how.

Maz x

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