Are you debating whether or not you need that wall that separates your kitchen and living room (nix it!)? Are you considering yet another piece of furniture from that big box store (there’s another way to buy unique pieces!)? Kristen Hancock of Guided Home Design outlines the five interior design mistakes you’re making right now and how to remedy them.
1 – Think outside the big box retailers. When shopping for home furniture, I find that many people don’t realize there is so much more out there than the common big box retailers. If you purchase most of your home furniture from these stores, I can almost guarantee your guests will be saying “Is that from…” or “I have that…”. I think it is important to be original where you can in your decor to give your house a personal touch and a great way to do it is to not be afraid to work with an interior designer or shop online for unique brands. Many interior designers have their own retail stores online these day, as do we. Stylemeghd.com is where we offer some of the products we install in our clients homes and other alternative unique style options. Some come at a splurge price and others at a surprisingly sweet cost compared to the average.
2 – Furniture placement is key. When laying out a room, make sure your are not blocking off the entrance to the space. If you can open the furniture up to the entrance of the space that will provide the most inviting layout. Avoid placing the back of a sofa toward the main entrance to a room. If you create an obstacle for entering a space, the space will not feel welcoming or appealing.
3 – Don’t be afraid to mix metals. Most of my clients ask me which finish they should use throughout their home. I always suggest mixing metals rather than sticking with one entirely throughout. This provides more of a transitional and timeless look. Everything in moderation is key to achieving a timeless space. For example: If you have selected your plumbing fixtures in one metal finish, do not be afraid to do your cabinet hardware and mirror in another finish. If each finish is tied in on multiple items throughout the space, it will look tastefully done. In addition, if you really want to stick with silver tones all the way through a kitchen or bath, it is not a problem if you mix brushed nickel, satin nickel, polished nickel or chrome. I would try to stick to two finishes if possible but you will realize in the large scheme of things the slight difference in finish can go unnoticed. In fact, when you change manufacturers of metals all of their “polished nickel” finished are going to vary anyway. The cabinet hardware manufacturers polished nickel might be slightly warmer or cooler than the plumbing manufacturers etc.
4 – Natural light is everything! If you have low ceilings or a space feels small, the impact of bringing in a solar tube/skylight will wow you! The solar tubs we install now have a reflective lease feature which evenly distributes the light throughout the space while resining at a cool temperature. The lease cover creates the look of a standard can light so it blends with the looks of the other lights throughout the space – just much larger, brighter and a pure white light. They are typically 10 to 12 inches which makes a big impact in a closet or kitchen etc. They are also make with a night light feature which is solar-powered as well – a solar bulbs charges during the day and light up at night giving even more of a can-light effect. If you don’t have the budget for a whole new or larger set of windows, these come at the low cost of apron $700 a piece and rarely even require drywall repair, paint or roof touch-up.
5 – When in doubt, take the wall out! If you are remodeling a space, think open floor plan. This has been a trend in the industry for a while now but I still see people adding walls to segregate spaces which don’t need privacy. The main spaces of your home should all be visible from each other, if possible. The kitchen, dining room, breakfast area, family room, bar. These are typically all entertaining or livable spaces which don’t require privacy. The office, bedroom and gym are a different story for obvious reasons. Just remember, when in doubt take the wall out! If anything poses a valid argument, consider it, but I will bet 90 percent of the time when that wall comes out your spaces feel larger, more welcoming and actually are utilized more often!