Sunday, July 11, 2010

Guest Post... Top Ten Decorating Mistakes

While I'm traveling, my girlfriend Nikki is being ridiculously productive with DIY decorating projects at her adorable house in sunny South Carolina!

Seriously, I've never met someone so talented AND motivated!! So, spend one of these HOT days checking out her work and tips at her blog Design Blooms - She has lots of inspiration pictures, plus photos and tutorials of her own projects! But, in the meantime, soak in a little of her wisdom right HERE! (I even added a few photos of some of her projects throughout this post.)
I was so excited and honored when my sweet friend E asked me to guest blog for her while she’s on vacation. Our friendship goes all the way back to our days at Clemson. Five girls, living in the “blue house;" we were a pack. I loved those days, and I especially loved living with E…. So unbelievably organized, clean, and proper. I will be honest, I strived to be more like her: I started adding ‘as well’ to the end of my sentences, began wearing button up polo shirts with the collar flipped, and even tried to get those perfect “E bangs.” Plus, anytime I wrote something for school I had to get her approval… and Will (my husband) even says now when I write for my blog that I need to add all my apostrophes or it might irritate E! I could go on and on about that girl, but, unfortunately, that’s not what I am here for… I am here to share a little decorating advice!! Yayyyy!

I would like to share the Top Ten Decorating Mistakes people tend to make in their homes. Let me say, I do not mean to offend or step on toes…These are just common mistakes that can be simple fixes. At the end, I will give you links that provide sources for great prices in home decorating too.

Lets begin…
1.) Failing to research for the best prices on furniture, accessories, and fabric. I am a researchaholic. I have saved so much money by shopping around before purchasing. Hear me when I say, you can find designer fabric for $1 to $8 a yard here! A little example…. I love those ceramic garden stools that are so popular right now. Target had them for $100, ebay $150-$300, ZGallerie $120…… Big Lots $20!!!!! I shopped and waited and found the best price, and it looks just like all the others! I hate to see people pay way too much for things….research online, hit up Goodwill, yardsales, Big Lots, and hospice stores!

2.) Decorating an entire room at once. The most successful and pleasant rooms have furniture and accessories that have been collected and added over time. Unless you have a lot of money to blow, you shouldn’t buy it all in one day, or one week, or one month. Your home needs meaning and so do the things in it that make it a home. Finding a page in a catalog and buying everything from it may look good but it’s not unique or creative, which are two ingredients that a room desperately needs.

3.) Getting stuck and never updating. When we bought our house a year ago it was completely stuck in the 60’s. It had not been updated… But I saw right through it and saw the potential. It’s so easy to update. Let me give you a few examples of what I mean when I say update. You don’t need a “rug” toilet lid cover or a rug that perfectly fits around your toilet base anymore! Throw down a square or round rug...that’s an update. Ditch the fake flowers and plants; most of them are probably tacky and they collect dust. Live plants and flowers will freshen and bring life to the room-plus some even clean the air! Other examples: balloon valances, old light fixtures, outdated kitchen and bath hardware can all GO!

4.) Hanging curtains too low. For most windows (unless over a bench or in a kitchen) you should hang the panels at least four inches above the window trim. Most designers take the panels all the way up to the molding or ceiling. I buy all my panels at least 96” long. Longer curtains give the illusion of higher ceilings and provide a better statement for the room. (Ikea, World Market, sometimes Pier One, and the Pottery Barn outlet provide the best prices for longer panels).

5.) Bedding that is bought as an entire matching set. Try to avoid buying the duvet, shams, pillows covers, and sheets as a complete matching set. The bedding needs to coordinate, but it doesn’t need to all be the same. Find a color scheme that you want to go with, and that’s all you need. Checks can be matched with floral patterns, stripes with circles/dots, solids with anything! Have fun with it.

6.) Overloading on knickknacks and accessories. I know you’ve seen them, the shell collections (guilty!), the small porcelain figures, the dolls, the toys in boxes, and the list goes on. Accessories are very important in decorating but please remember to keep them in moderation. It can become overwhelming very quickly and make a room seem stuffy, or even scary.

7.) Fear of color. People, paint is one the cheapest and easiest ways to get a completely new look for a room. Please don’t be afraid, if you don’t like the color just try a new one. Paint square sections in different colors in the room, let them dry and look at them throughout the day to see how the light changes affect the color. I have painted my guest bedroom and bath three times in one year.…don’t be afraid to paint.

8.) Frames hung too high. Okay, I should have put this one first. This is my number one pet peeve (besides fake flowers). I know hanging pictures can be daunting or confusing. A good rule of thumb is around 66” from the floor. If you’re still confused, look through some decorative magazines, blogs, and websites. Look closely at where they have their frames on the walls, and how many they have grouped together to give balance.

9.) Squeezing in furniture. I wince when I see people on the HGTV shows and the homeowners are trying to sell their house with a living room packed with two sofas and four oversized Lazy Boy chairs. Yes, you want to have proper seating when you have guests; but you don’t want your room to look like a chair lot. Chairs can be pulled from other rooms for extra seating.
10.) Most importantly, find your style, not fads. It’s your home so make it YOU, not something that looks cool or popular because everyone is getting it. Fads are not meant to last, so try to avoid filling up a room that will look out of date in a few months.
Here are some great resources for finding bargains and finding decorative advice: Ikea, The Nest, ZGallerie, check out design blogs who constantly offer great ideas and inspiration. There are SO many
I mean, I'm not going to lie... I'm definitely guilty of #2, #5, and using fake flowers.  Thanks for the advice girl! Now, be sure to check out Nikki's blog here for more ideas and inspiration, and happy decorating to you all!

1 comment:

Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!

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