Let’s face it – decorating a home is no easy feat. Even if you have a lot of great ideas or a magazine-worthy picture on hand, figuring out how to make that vision come to life isn’t always as simple as you might think. What looks stunning in print often falls short when stepped back and examined in your own home. Other times, it’s the little things that make or break the look of your finished space. We understand all too well that wonderful idea you have, but don’t know how to bring it to life. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 7 common decorating challenges with practical solutions you can implement now.
Establishing the function of the room
If a room doesn't have a specific function, then it won't be functional. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) In any case, one of the first things you want to do when designing a new space or getting rid of an existing space is to determine its function. If you're planning to use the space for more than one purpose, list out the reasons why. An ideal place should have a unique function. We need to surround ourselves with things that support our goals, not distract us.
Avoiding the “matchy-matchy” look
While it's true that all of the tables and chairs in a room need to go together, you do not want to stop there. For example, if you have three tables, choose side tables that are different than your coffee table. And for the love of all that's holy, don't put everything on them either. Mismatched accessories (even in numbers) look cool and help tie things together. Just don't mix metals or woods (you would match woods with woods and metals with metals); mix those up, too!
Ensuring the furnishings are in the right proportion and scale to the room
One of the keys to making a room look stunning is finding the right proportions and scales to the furniture. If you have too many large items in one room, it can make it seem clumsy and overwhelming. Even if you choose smaller pieces, they must be in the right proportion to each other or they’ll pull your eye every time you walk into the room.
Identifying the focal point of the room
Create a focal point for your room. A fireplace or other architectural feature, piece of artwork, or scenery can all serve as quality focal points. You’ll be able to improve your furniture placement once you identify the center of attention. You can place the main seating furniture piece such as a couch in front of the focal point and the chairs flanking the couch. The coffee table and end tables will be easy to situate. Match your appliances to decor (such as stainless steel, black glass, white, or wood-colored) Use multiple textures within your kitchen instead of just adding pops of color. For any open kitchen design you may want to consider installing an island with bar stools since it is something that provides additional seating and space for entertaining guests when compared to traditional sitting areas.
Overcrowding the room with too much stuff
You can have too much of a good thing. That may sound obvious, but I’ve been guilty in the past of overdoing it with accessories in my living space and made a number of mistakes. For example, when I moved into my apartment, I filled it with artwork, plants and decorative pillows galore. After moving in with roommate, she suggested adding more items than we needed to fill the space would dilute their time spent together during our weekly movie marathons. My advice: don’t crowd a room with too many accessories or too much artwork. You don’t have to fill every wall or accessorize every table. You need a place for the eye to rest. It’s called negative space. Too much stuff can make a room monotonous; your goal is to keep it interesting and appealing.
Keeping the furniture away from the walls
Can you hear me now? Do you feel like a caged animal because of the furniture in your living room? Maybe moving the furniture away from the walls or “floating” the furniture as long as you will have adequate lighting. Create a conversation area by using a large area rug to unify the furnishings. Doing this creates a better traffic flow in a room. Moving furniture around is one way to create different looks in any room, but of course if you’re not into getting that crazy, then switch up wall art or paintings and coffee table books. This will create a new feel and look without taking away precious space.
Selecting the right paint colors
In a perfect world, all of our homes would have that soft, dulcet glow from sunbeams shining through the window. In reality, sometimes it is too sunny or too cloudy to even see the sun. Your walls should never be the sunniest thing in your house. You want to choose paint colors that will pop with either lots of light or add light to a dark room. And then you want to match color schemes throughout your home so it flows seamlessly. Where did I get this fabulous decorating advice? Oh right…divas got back!