8 Myths About Decorating the Inside of Your Home

Interior Design doesn’t have to be complicated, but their are a lot of myths out there about decorating and “rules” of how to do it. The key to interior design is following your own tastes while trying to incorporate current trends. Here are 8 common myths about interior design.

Myth #1 – The Rules of Interior Design Must be Followed

It should be clear if you watch any of the home improvement or interior design shows that are HGTV and DIY Network, that there are no hard and fast rules for Interior Design. Basic rules of house decorating can either be strictly followed, or left totally open to personal taste and interpretation.

However, one basic rule is to consider the locality and architecture of a home before developing a decorating design plan. A southwestern motif might be totally out of place in a New England Cape Cod style home, and vice versa for an adobe home in the desert Southwest.

Room use also is important to overall design. In the kitchen, for instance, the inclusion of the work triangle is critical for ease of movement and convenience. Unless you have extra rooms in your house, most rooms will serve a purpose (entertaining, eating, sleeping), so factor that into the design and allow for proper traffic flow and utilization.

Myth #2 – a Good Decorating Plan is Developed “as You Go”

The most common mistake that people make is that they just start buying furniture and accessories simply because they like them, and they don’t consider how they will work with other items in the room. Rather than just buying things as you find them, try to develop a clear design strategy that will allow you to search for items that will accent and highlight the other items in the room.

Don’t hesitate to enlist the service of an interior design professional to help define and develop your plan. Hiring a professional interior designer for either just consulting, or undertaking part or the entire project, can drastically enhance its overall success.

Myth #3 – a Good Decorating Project Should be Completed all at Once

Don’t hold on to the notion that everything has to be completed all at once. It is important to work on one room at a time, and start with the basics; but the overall design doesn’t have to be completed all at once. It is not uncommon to buy the larger ticket items first, then add the accent pieces later.

Develop a budget; consider what you can afford, and budget your purchases accordingly. While some homeowners have the luxury of being able to spend what they want when they want, and complete everything at once, most people have to complete decorating on a budget; on a “buy as you can” basis.

Myth #4 – a Decorating Plan Should Include all the Latest Trends

Don’t create a decorating theme around the latest trends and fashions.
It is important to incorporate your personal style preferences. Get ideas by looking through magazines, visiting home interior show floors, and viewing online resources to determine what styles and colors your most prefer.

For a well thought-out and successful home interior design, start with one room. Develop a floor plan on paper, complete with room dimensions and special features, such as closets or outlets, window size, window and door placement, etc.

Make a distinction between needs and desires. Depending upon room use, there are certain components considered essential; others considered suitable extras. In the kitchen – for instance – essentials might include cabinetry, counters, sink, stove, refrigerator, etc.

Elements considered extra include things like a work island, second sink (for rinsing and preparing fresh foods), corner breakfast nook area, etc. When working within a budget, essential room elements obviously take priority over any extras.

Myth #5 – a Good Decorating Plan Includes as Many Furnishings and Accents as Possible

Don’t overcrowd a design with unnecessary clutter and too many furnishings and accents. Filling a room with excessive furnishings takes away from the overall decorating theme and ultimately makes the room look smaller than it really is. Think about traffic flow in your design, and layout the room so that it is open and has a clear path for traffic.

Myth # 6 – Furnishings Should be Selected to Match Paint Colors

Don’t go out and start choosing furniture to match interior paint colors that are already there. Again, you should select a starting point and try to pick coordinating colors and fabrics that compliment whatever the starting point is.

Identify the use and function of the room before selecting furniture and accents. If a room will be used for multi-purposes, include elements associated with each use.

Purchase large elements first. For instance, carpets or rugs, window treatment, and living room furniture or dining room furniture. Use style, textile design, and colors of the large pieces to coordinate the rest. Consider all unifying elements; including wood tones, fabrics, and even room trim colors to coordinate your motif.

Myth #7 – Inexpensive Furnishings Help Increase Scope of Project

Don’t buy cheaper materials just so that you can remodel more than one room at a time. Try to purchase the highest quality furnishings and items you can afford, but keep in mind your lifestyle, and think long term; purchase well performing furnishings and fabrics that will last. Often what you will find is that cheaper materials will have a shorter lifespan, so think long-term in your design.

Pay special attention to quality of construction and materials best suited for long life and durable use. You don’t want to have to start replacing poorly made items after only a few years.

Myth #8 – Don’t overlook what is above you.

Another big mistake I see in novice interior design is the fact that they do not factor the ceiling into their design plan. White ceilings are about as interesting as a blank sheet of paper. Use any number of interesting options to dress up a ceiling; wood beams, wood planks, paint type, color, various dry wall texturing techniques, wall paper, upholstery, formed Victorian tin squares, glass or tile mosaic. The choices are only limited by your imagination.

By not trying to follow current trends, and going with what appeals to your own personal tastes, you will be well on your way to designing a home that you will enjoy for years to come.

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