Making your house into a home can be a daunting task, and sometimes despite your best efforts it still doesn't quite evoke the feeling you want. Here are 5 common mistakes that may be coming between you and your perfect room.
1. Unflattering lighting
Nothing can take the down the atmosphere of a room faster than poor lighting choices. Consider how you feel in a discount store with fluorescent lights versus your favorite art gallery or boutique … totally different moods. Nobody wants to live in a Kmart.
Lamplight is more flattering than overhead lighting, and any overhead lighting should be on dimmers. Chandelier shades can cut down on glaring bare bulbs, and the type of bulb, lampshade lining, and placement in the room all affect the character of the light you will get. Choose wisely!
2. Stingy area rugs
When purchasing an area rug for your room, size matters! Remember that at least some if not all of the legs of each piece in a furniture grouping should be ON the area rug – it is the visual cue that collects the furniture into a group. Don’t go too small. (hot tip: sometimes turning a too small rug on the diagonal can connect all the pieces and save the day!) Rugs under dining tables should be large enough that the chairs don't catch on the edge when you pull them out.
3. Furniture lined up around the walls
Furniture lined up around the walls tends to look like a waiting room. Furniture belongs in “conversation” groups – think of it as extroverted…it wants to be able to talk to the other pieces without shouting across a vast expanse of empty space, so pull your furniture away from the wall and into groups so it can party on ... and the people sitting on it can too!
4. Poorly hung artwork
Almost inevitably, artwork is hung too high …. generally placed there by well intentioned tall people aiming for “eye level”. Artwork should relate in scale and placement to the furnishings below it, or if there is no furniture below it, then to the size of the wall. A too small lonely picture placed too high on a wall is just sad. Please don’t just hang pictures where there was a nail already … forge new and better arrangements that flatter the artwork and the room. Everyone will be happier.
5. Cookie cutter rooms
You liked the room in the store or catalog, so you bought all of it and dropped it in your house and now, even if you are lucky enough and it happens to be appropriately scaled for your space, you can’t figure out why it doesn’t feel like “home”. Home is an emotionally charged word – and to create it you need to curate rooms that reflect you and your family’s personality. Pieces culled from different sources and time periods keep a room from being static. Accessories and artwork, especially, should be unique and meaningful to your family. Take your time and put together a collected look from a variety of sources so that your room cannot be mistaken for anyone else’s!
What do you find most challenging about creating an inviting and comfortable home?
Let us know your biggest challenges and we’ll try to address them in future posts!