12 Deadly Decorating Sins
I’ve assembled 12 of those habits here. I’ve struggled with each and every one of them personally and feel I have come out on the other side a better designer for it. Although each lesson is valuable, in the hierarchy of habits to be broken, there is none more important than No. 12.
How to break this habit? Most of us with attached garages never use our foyers — and it shows. So use it. Showcase a favorite object that has a story behind it. This will immediately set a personal tone in your home.
How to break this habit? Vary the levels and sources of lighting in a room, and by all means install dimmers. In this multiuse dining room, pendant lights are focused on the table. Whether highlighting food or books, the proper lighting makes this room a place you want to be in.
Why break this habit? If it’s coziness you are looking for, a less sleek kitchen with free-standing appliances will give you that homey charm.
Why break this habit? There is a charming insouciance when the carpet doesn’t match the drapes — or, in this case, when the slipcovers don’t match the wallpaper. This dining room exudes a casual, welcoming air.
Why break this habit? Because a bit of color is a good thing. It is surprising and unexpected. Frankly, it just adds interest and personality. Just notice how fantastic this tomato-red cabinet looks.
Why break this habit? Floating pieces (placing them away from the walls) creates a more interesting room composition and places people closer together, which helps foster conversation. It also helps make a large room more intimate.
Why break this habit? When was the last time you smiled when you saw beige? Life is too short to swaddle oneself in burlap. Color makes us happy. Decorate your way to happiness.
How to break this habit? Set aside a space where your collection can be properly displayed and enjoyed, like the one shown here. Collect until the space is comfortably filled. Then stop or maintain a zero-growth collection policy: one item in, one item out.
How to break this habit? Choose a complementary auxiliary use, such as a library. I consider dining with books to be the ultimate luxury. Whether talk turns to travel or philosophy, reference materials will be close at hand.
Why break this habit? Hosting a cocktail party is not like running a drinking establishment. Your bar should be a personally edited version of you. So skip the liquor-warehouse look and impress your guests with a specially designed cocktail or a curated collection of alcohol.
Why break this habit? Showcase your personality by mixing together pieces that you truly love and want to live with, not just the items that a manufacturer says go together.
How to break this habit? Lighten up. Take my advice: A house is not a home without a spot of leopard!