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Interior Design Blunders That Drive Me Crazy

In my day to day travels and interactions, I see a ton of interior design blunders that drive me crazy. I’m way too polite to speak about it at the time but not so polite that I won’t write about it now. Here are five interior design blunders that I encounter quite often. 1. Hanging Wall Décor Too High or Too Low. The top of any wall art or mirror should be hung anywhere from 66” to 72” above the finish floor. The idea is that the center of the art or mirror should be at eye level. For a taller person, the center may be a bit below eye level and for a shorter person, a bit above. Hanging too high or too low is just awkward and makes me wonder if the owner really intended for anyone to look at or in the hung object.

2. Buying without measuring. Unless you are an actual experienced design professional, thinking you can ogle whether something will fit in your space is a huge mistake. The story of Goldilocks is alive and well. Many homeowners buy furniture that is either too big or too small for the room where it will live. The best advice I will ever give to someone looking to become a DIYer is to measure. I can never say it enough. (Related: Measuring all doorways the furniture will have to travel through to arrive in the designated space, is never a bad idea, either.)

3. Not considering how you use your space. Furniture should be arranged such that it does not impede the flow of traffic. The color of paint and home furnishings should all be selected after considering the natural and artificial lighting in the space. If you live with small children or pets, select fabric and furniture treatments and colors that will wear well over time. Climbing over or around furniture to enter/exit is dangerous and realizing the paint looks completely different from the swatch once you put it up in your space is disappointing.

4. Too little or bad lighting. After you’ve taken the time to select a paint color and arrange your furniture, nothing discredits your efforts more than bad lighting. Bad lighting can make or break a space. In dim or low lighting, paint, fabric, and furnishings may look different than they did when you purchased them. I’ve heard the protest many times, “But I like dim lighting…,” which is all fine and dandy but it’s important to also have options. Your guests shouldn’t feel like they are visiting a candlelit cave. Layering your lighting will allow you to create the right atmosphere for all of your entertaining needs.

5. Bad paint jobs. I always appreciate when someone has stepped out on a limb and chosen a wild paint color; lime green, orange, turquoise, fuchsia, etc. What I don’t appreciate is when they’ve taken the risk and then done a terrible paint job. Paint on the ceiling, rough wall patches, cracks, splotches, etc. I’ve seen it all. Nothing makes a wild paint color look cheaper than an awful paint job. It’s what I call terrible follow through. The above five blunders are very common but they don’t have to be. Consider, measure, consult, hire. Repeat as necessary.

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