Much like a mechanic might be more likely to notice an odd sound coming from a car, an interior designer will be more inclined to spot problems with the decor in your home. It’s what they do every day and is something they’ve been trained for.
Interior designers notice dozens of traits in a home – particularly the negative ones – including the following.
1. Poor Flow
While the first thing that you might notice about another person’s house is their taste in decor, one of the first things that interior designers spot is the flow of the space. How the furniture is placed impacts flow of traffic, and if your furniture is not arranged properly, it could interrupt how people are able to move around in a room.
This issue is more common with open floor plans which can cause some confusion with homeowners when it comes to placing furniture in appropriate spots. Adding pieces in the wrong places actually cuts off the open concept, which is the opposite of what this type of floor plan is supposed to offer. One major blunder that homeowners often make with open floor plans is putting a sofa against a wall in a large room, which can actually make a room feel smaller than it really is.
Sometimes there’s little you can do about a poor layout if there are architectural mishaps that make furniture arrangement difficult, such as the odd placement of doorways or overhead light wiring connections.
But there are ways to counter these issues with the proper placement of furniture, which can improve function and flow of a room. Avoid having too many pieces in the area, and arrange chairs and sofas in such a way that they face focal points – such as televisions or fireplaces – without you having to go out of your way to move around them.
2. Too Much Clutter
When it comes to improving the look of any room in the home, less is usually more. Too much “stuff” in a room can make it feel overly cluttered, and we’re not just talking about trash. Even your decor and accents can create a cluttered look in your home if there’s just too much of them.
Not everything you own or hold dear to you necessarily has to be on display. Too many little gadgets can create visual confusion and make a room feel uncomfortable. Instead, pick just a few pieces to keep out and make sure there is plenty of surface space between each piece.
3. No Theme
Every room should ideally have some sort of theme. Having a theme makes it easier to furnish and decorate a room to keep some continuity in line. Without some uniformity in colors or style, the room can feel a bit off-balance.
One way to avoid this issue is to pick one color – ideally a neutral hue – and build on that by adding just a couple of other more prominent colors that complement the base color to ensure some level of coordination.
4. Off-Scale Pieces
Whether you’ve got oversized pieces in a small room or many small pieces in a large room, failure to furnish according to scale can make a space feel a little bit off. Interior designers have an uncanny ability to spot rooms that lack proportion to the pieces within them.
Before you pick out your furniture and accent decor, measure the room they’re going to be placed in. It’s important to pay attention to the size of pieces relative to the size of the rooms they are being put in.
5. Bad Lighting
You could have the best layout and properly arranged furniture that’s to scale with the size of your room, but if the lighting is inadequate, your interior decor will suffer. Just because the room doesn’t have lots of natural light flowing in doesn’t mean you can’t adequately illuminate the space. With the right types and amount of lighting, you can make a massive difference to the look and feel of the rooms in your home.
Consider layering the lighting in each room of your home. For instance, your kitchen could have pot lights, pendants lamps, a central chandelier, and under-cabinet lighting, while your bedroom could have recessed lighting, wall sconces, and table lamps. Changing the ambiance and look of a room can be easily and quickly done just by making some adjustments to the lighting, but many homeowners often overlook this important design element.
6. Drapes That Are Too Short (Or Long)
Ideally, your window drapes should just graze the floor. Any gap between the bottom of the drapes and the floor itself make your window treatments look like they’re too short for the room. You might notice this design flaw, but interior designers definitely do.
The same can be said about drapes that are too long. Any more than a couple of inches of extra fabric can make your room look as though the ceilings are very low. To avoid this blunder, make sure you meticulously measure both the space between the floor and the drapery rod, as well as the length of the drapes themselves.
7. Wrong-Sized Area Rugs
This is an issue that interior designers see all the time and is a mistake that can compromise the decor of the room. No matter what size your living room is, an area rug smaller than 8 feet by 10 feet will make it look out of place. Anything smaller than this size will make it look as if you’ve mistakenly placed a doormat in the middle of the room.
A small rug might be fine in a foyer or at the foot of your bed, but it will take away from the esthetics of your room. Go for rugs that are big enough in surface area that they can easily accommodate an entire sofa.
8. Lack of Character and Personal Style
The way your home is decorated should say something about you and your personality. Designers are often able to get a sense of your personal taste and style by the way you’ve decorated and furnished your home. But simply mimicking what you saw in a magazine or furniture store won’t showcase your personality.
While interior designers certainly help their clients outfit their homes with stylish pieces, they don’t sacrifice homeowners’ own personality and tastes as a result. What an interior designer might like or dislike doesn’t matter if the end result is something that reflects their clients’ lifestyle.
The Bottom Line
If an interior designer visited your home today, would any of the above factors be a problem? If so, perhaps a call to a professional might be in order. You’d be amazed at what a few subtle changes in your home’s decor or furniture placement can do to the overall look and feel of your interior.