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Getting Design Advice From Nice People Can Ruin Home Decor


Yes, that’s a bit of a mouthful but it’s also a big reality.  People generally love talking about their own interior design project, but when the one begins listening to others the whole thing can fall apart.   Most people love to offer advice or an opinion but it is vital one sifts through the “advice” given to determine if it has any merit.  One of the most common mistakes decorator’s come across is people getting really bad advice from nice people when they are re-doing a room or home… then they follow it.  This is the oldest design trap people consistently fall for.

Wrong lighting in living room

Exterior coach lights in a living room?

It’s hard not to ask an opinion when one is uncertain or is looking for affirmation of a design decision.  The problem comes when one asks their mother, sister, best friend, teller at the bank, checkout clerk at the home store, cable guy, painter, handyman, plumber, gardener or worst of all children.  These are all nice and well intended people but this doesn’t make them qualified to give design advice.

Bad drapery

The drapery which ate the room.

My paint/interior contractor jokes about the amount of time people ask him or his crew about a paint color, wallpaper, lighting, furniture placement, carpeting, etc.  He has a very good answer, “I’m not a decorator, I know how to do what I do but not pick colors”, or any of the other items he’s asked about.  This is a fair and honest answer.  Tradespeople are experts in their field, not beyond.  Just because they might see a project on a daily basis doesn’t mean they can give appropriate design advice.

Interior Design gone wrong

Gorgeous floor but not for a small dining room or room with low ceilings.

Unless a person is part of project and understands the entire concept of the design plan for a room their input is subjective.  Different people have different style preferences and if asked their opinion they rarely give it without their own personal slant.  If your mom doesn’t like red it is unlikely she is going to say “yes get that red sofa, it will be wonderful.”  Even a designer can’t tell what color a room should be if they don’t know all the parts and pieces involved, direction, lighting and more.  Be careful asking contractor’s opinion, their answer might be their path of least resistance not yours.

Bad interior design

Someone spent a lot of $$ putting in a fish tank at doggy eye-level.

And as wonderful as one’s family and friends are, they have a completely different perceptive and often answer based on their personal likes or dislike which is not beneficial to another person’s home.  Now if your mom or BFF is a decorator and can be impartial, ask away.  Yes, I know we love our children but at 12 years old what do they really know about should one use a grass-cloth wallcovering in the front hall?  Do not consult children or teenagers on any interior design decision but their room(True story.)  Kids know what color they like, that’s all.  Would one consult a child on a checkbook?  Point made… I hope.

You can avoid this common interior design trap when working on your home decor.  When seeking advice for a home or any other interior, consult an expert on design.  Interior designers are happy to help.  Seek design advice from those who know the whole picture and can set their personal opinions aside.  Getting the right advice from the right people can cut the cost of a design project by hundreds and even thousands of dollars.  Getting bad advice from nice people can cost even more.

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