Thursday, March 10, 2011

Design Do's & Don'ts

I just came across a list of design do's and don'ts that I made for my first interior design website 4 years ago. I feel like my style has changed and grown a lot in 4 years and I'm sure I could add many more do's and don'ts to this list, but it was interesting to see that I still stand firmly by all of my original design tips.

DON'T settle for poorly made furniture.
DO spend a little more on the key pieces that you want to last, stay comfortable, and still be in style for years to come.

DON'T underestimate the impact and importance of architectural details.
DO invest time and money into crown mouldings, proper window and door casings, substantial baseboards, decorative wainscoting, and high quality flooring. When you create a beautiful canvas, all other things that you bring into the space will automatically look more stylish.

DON't purchase furniture before double checking the size.
DO measure your space available and compare it to the size of the piece. If necessary, tape down the size and shape of your furniture piece before purchasing to be sure it doesn't stick out too far from the wall, and that there is adequate walking space.

DON'T be afraid to mix and match.
DO mix different styles of furniture, different patterns of fabric, different pitcture frames in a grouping, and different sources of lighting, etc. All of these things will add visual interest and create a look that is truly your own.

DON'T let other people tell you that something you love is out of style.
DO remember: if you love something, then it's always in style!

DON'T specify taupe walls, with tan window treatments and light brown furniture, on a neutral travertine floor.
DO add a little spice with contrast! Things like darkly stained wood furniture against white walls; or a bluish-gray sofa with chocolate brown pillows really add excitement and interest to a room.

DON'T go to a furniture showroom and purchase an entire living room or bedroom set.
DO take different pieces from different furniture sources (including antique shops and flea markets) to capture a designer look. You want the room to feel collected.

DON'T hire any random contractor for construction on your home.
DO get contractor referrals from friends, family members, or your designer. Ask them how well the contractor did at things like returning phone calls and completing the project on time.

DON'T feel the urge to always keep the same color scheme throughout the house.
DO make sure that the style is consistent from room to room. The overall design style is more important than color in making different rooms in a home feel connected.

DON'T wait until the last minute to hire a designer if you are planning to hire one anyway.
DO be sure to include your designer in the construction phase of the project; not just in the furnishing phase. Designers can help with deciding on the best layout for walls and cabinetry because they will relate this to where furniture will be placed during the last phase of the project. Also, your designer can help with decisions on what type of architectural details will enhance the interior and give you the complete result you are looking for.

What can I say? I guess I was wise beyond my years.

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