DESIGN MISTAKES YOU’RE MAKING
MISTAKE #1: Improperly Hung Curtains
Most homeowners are making the mistake of hanging their curtains just on the window frame; when they need to be hanging them high and wide! See how different the following windows looks. I used the SAME size windows, and the SAME curtains (except for the length). Don’t the ones on the left look so much better?
*DESIGN TIP: HANG YOUR CURTAINS AS CLOSE TO THE CEILING AS POSSIBLE AND 10-12″ ON EITHER SIDE OF THE WINDOW!
If you want your ceilings to look higher, your windows to look larger, and your rooms to look bigger then you need to hang your curtains high and wide! TWEET the following if you are with me 😉
[bctt tweet=”I like my curtains high and wide! #childofthe80s #decor” username=”allthingsannie”]
For traditional curtains, hang the curtains one to two inches below the ceiling, and 10-12″ on either side of the window. I like to pull the curtains all the way to the sides so they just cover the window frame. This will make your windows look huge!
And for Roman shades, since it would look weird if you hung them wide, hang them as close to the ceiling as you can. See how my shade is literally an inch off the ceiling?
MISTAKE #2: IMPROPERLY SPACED FURNITURE
Are you pushing all of your furniture to the absolute wall? Even though we all want open and airy rooms with plenty of space for walking (and children to play), if you have too much space between your pieces of furniture (and all of it lined up against the walls) your house is going to feel like a junior high dance. In our living room (below) we have a grand piano in one corner and then the sitting area in the other. I also floated the sofa out from the window a good foot and a half to make the sitting area more intimate.
Our rooms are big, which is why one of the reasons why we loved this house. But, to make it feel more comfortable I created smaller sitting areas in the rooms. You want places that people can sit down and chat, and not feel like they are shouting to be heard. In our family room (below), I floated the sofa out from the windows a good foot or more, and brought the chairs right in close to each other.
*DESIGN TIP: THE IDEAL DISTANCE BETWEEN A COFFEE TABLE AND A CHAIR/ SOFA IS 18″.
Foot stools are a great way to break up large rooms, while providing additional seating in a pinch. They are small, unobtrusive and easy to move if necessary! I have four sets of stools! #stoolhoardingproblem (that sounds way worse than it is!)
For our family room, I floated the sofa off the wall a foot, and placed our Eames chair on an angle, and brought it out an additional 2 feet. It feels much less isolated and works better in the room!
MISTAKE #3: TOO MUCH CLUTTER
Both my parents are realtors, and one of the first suggestions they always make to sellers is to declutter (although they phrase it much more nicely!) Too much stuff out is going to read busy, and messy in a room! Plus, it’s easier to clean when there is less stuff out!
In our house, most of the table surfaces and counters are pretty bare. It keeps things from accumulating and is toddler-proof. I do have a couple high tables (like the one above) that are out of the reach of toddlers, so I place my accessories on that one!
Kitchen counters are the hardest to keep tidy but by keeping most of my stuff in our pantry, I am able to keep our kitchen looking clean and tidy!
MISTAKE #4: DIFFERENT LAMP HEIGHTS
You all know how much I love symmetry (it is one of my favorite designer secrets). And one of the keys to making a room look “right” is matching lamps. But, if you can’t get matching lamps, you are going to want to make sure your lamps are at the same height. And I will let you in on a little secret–when my tables aren’t the same height I make the lamps the same height by putting books under them! See it in the family room below (left side table)!
*DESIGNER TIP: USE STACKS OF BOOKS TO MAKE LAMPS THE SAME HEIGHT!
And then again in the living room (I used an old Net-a-Porter box) to bump up the lamp so it reads as the same height as the other one or my faux malachite box!
Alright, so you are with me? Let’s repeat them: (1) properly hung curtains, (2) properly spaced furniture, (3) declutter (4) same height lamps. I promise you, if you do all of these things, your house will look so much better! And if you love this post, then you will love my other Designer Secrets Series!
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