When it comes to home decoration, it is certainly important to make choices that reflect your personal taste and one-of-a-kind style. But it is possible to take your signature style a bit too far. Here are six sure-fire ways to lose your "decorator of the year" award.
1. Ignore the scale of the room. Nothing looks more out of place than doll-house sized furniture in a grand living room, or a baby grand piano stuffed into a cozy den. The furniture that worked in your old house or apartment may simply be out of scale for the rooms in your new home, so bite the bullet and replace those items with furniture that makes sense.
2. Hang all of your pictures too high. For some reason, most do-it-yourself decorators hang pictures at a height that only works for NBA basketball players. The focal point of the piece of art should be at gallery level, which is generally considered to be at eye-level for an average person who is 5 feet 7 inches tall. If you are hanging a picture to act as an accent piece for a table or lamp, the elements should be within 10 or 12 inches of each other.
3. Display every piece of bric-a-brac you own. In home decorating, more is not necessarily better. If you own a large collection of porcelain rabbits, it can be visually overwhelming to display them all together.. For some reason, an odd number in a grouping is more visually dynamic than en even number, so choose three or five of your favorites rabbits to display in a grouping, and send the rest of your collection into hibernation for awhile. When the seasons change, you can swap out the next group of bunnies.
4. Match everything. Have you ever walked into a room where the flowered wallpaper matched the flowered tablecloth, which matched the flowered seat napkins and the seat cushions? Did it give you a headache? If this scenario describes a room in your house, you may want to replace the busy flowered napkins with a complimentary solid color, and rethink the wallpaper altogether.
The same concept goes for furniture. It is better to have two matching pieces of furniture in a room, paired with a couple of complimentary single pieces. The very best room décor appears to have been carefully collected over a period of years, rather than purchased at Art Van in one fell swoop on a Saturday afternoon.
5. Make it precious. The last major decorating mistake occurs when home decorators try too hard. The result is a room that makes for a great photograph, but lacks any kind of warmth or human appeal. If your guests are afraid to move a sofa pillow for fear of upsetting the tableau, you need to reassess your decorating goals. Perhaps you can swap out the silk pillows for casual linen pillows and make sure there is a comfy place for guests to put their feet up.
By avoiding the five pitfalls described above, you can create a warm and inviting space in which to live and entertain your family and friends. Just remember, when decorating your home, the results should look more like you, and less like the JC Penney catalog.