Welcome to 2018! This year we are starting a new feature called Interior Design Basics. In each segment we’ll tackle a different room or component of interior design to help you get your home on the right track. This week’s topic is How To Avoid Common Interior Design Mistakes.
Too Much Too Soon
Time and time again a common mistake homeowner’s make when tackling the interior design of their home, whether or not they are utilizing the services of a design professional, is to try and do do many things too soon after they’ve moved in. As much as you might want to make the space your own, take a breath and acclimate your family to the new space.
Gather favorite ideas, interior items, lighting, furnishings, colors and create a vision and let it percolate. Some of your dreams will work and others might be replaced with better ones.
How you actually live in a space can often differ from how you think you’ll live in a space. Homes cause people to change habits. Just because the laundry room was next to the kitchen in your last home doesn’t mean you have to move it in the new home. Your family will find their new groove, maybe a better groove.
There were things I swore we’d have to change in our home when we moved in, ten years later certain things remain unchanged because they just aren’t as big of deal as it was before we lived here. It happens to EVERYONE.
Which would you prefer, to spend the most money possible on decorating your new home or the least? If you would like to save money on your home, take the time to make a plan. I know it sounds boring but it works. The most consistent unsolicited comment my clients make is how much money I’ve saved them. It is because we create a plan and stick to it.
Without a room by room plan, impulse shopping happens, countless money is wasted and scatterbrained decorating is at fault. Decorating isn’t a hobby. The whole point of decorating a home is to make it work for your family and provide a revitalizing and relaxing retreat from the outside world.
Ugly disjointed interiors are the victim of uncontrolled shopping. Bad kitchen and bath design, poor interior flow and uncomfortable rooms all are the result of scatterbrained decorating.
- Focus – create a list of what you want to do
- Prioritize – arrive at a list of order of priority for interior items
- Create a plan with your spouse, develop a timetable if needed, make an appropriate shopping list and stick to it.
Getting overly focused on paint color is the fastest way to screw up a room. A gallon paint of $30 paint is the LEAST important thing in a room. Read that over and repeat.
Select everything else in the room BEFORE the paint color. Sure you may have color in mind, but until you’ve got the major, much pricier items, selected the final color can not be determined.
Keep the following in mind, wall paint is rarely the star of the room, if it is, you’ve made big mistake.
Money matters, however when it comes to building maintenance, code or structural integrity all of these items trump interior design. Interior design projects often uncover other items which need attention during construction. Don’t turn the other cheek just to avoid the work or added expense. While it might cost more or add on to the timeline, hiding or avoiding work never saves money in then end.
Most good contractors will hand you an estimate at the beginning of the project and add the caveat depending on what they find. This is a good thing. An honest contractor will let you know if they find some unforeseen item (leaking pipe, rotted floor, missing insulation, faulty wiring, etc.) and give you options to proceed. It is much cheaper to fix almost anything while a wall or floor is opened up.
Equally important for the DIY enthusiast, don’t tile over a cracked or uneven floor, or wallpaper over cracked drywall, fix it first. Out of sight, out of mind, doesn’t work on a home.
Rule of thumb for any homeowner, if you find a problem fix it, don’t cover it up or avoid it.
Here is what I can promise, every interior mistake you make will cost you more money, time, and discomfort down the road. If you avoid the most common interior design mistakes, you’ll create a happier home for you and your family.