Decorating Master Class: 10 Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them


THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON HOUZZ.

Didn’t get your decor right the first time around? No problem — you can turn your styling errors into successes

 

If you’re scratching your head over why the decor in some of the spaces in your home leaves you feeling slightly underwhelmed, a remedy — or at least an improvement — may be just a few moves away. Whether it’s a bland room, a paint color you’re not quite sure about or throw pillows that refuse to sit right no matter how many times you arrange them, here are the tweaks that can help turn your questionable decorating decisions into resounding wins.

 

1. Your Dark Walls Need a Lift

Inky indigos, gunmetal grays and midnight blacks have never been more popular. If you’ve been tempted by their elegance and drama but they’re making your room feel a little closed-in, here’s how to dump the dungeon feeling.

What to do: Good lighting is essential to reveal the tonal complexities in deep, saturated darks. Multiple light sources allow you to control the ambiance and light direction. Combine uplights and downlights and don’t let the ceiling disappear into gloom. The bedside lights shown here, for example, make the most of a sophisticated blue-black wall.

Also, bear in mind that an over-furnished room will seem more cave-like than one that’s simply furnished. Clear out clutter and nonessential furniture.

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,” Dostoyevsky wrote. Your bold move gives you the perfect excuse to indulge in rich, theatrical color contrasts. Play up dark wallswith jewel tones, natural wood, reflective metallics, greenery and dramatic artwork.

Far from restricting a color palette, dark walls come to life when used with shades such as pale aqua and mint, silver-gray, teal, mustard, dusky pink and pumpkin yellow. And you can never go wrong with white.

Once you’ve reduced your candidates to the beautiful and meaningful, let them shine. You might want to paint the back of the shelves to emphasize lovely shapes and colors among your chosen collection; white items against a dark shade really stand out. Avoid highly patterned or textured backgrounds since they can be confusing to the eye.

Rather than lining books up soldier-style, stack some to form bookends and mini shelves, choosing intriguing titles and spines that coordinate with your display.

 

 

3. Your Sofa Is Pale and Interesting but Totally Impractical

You somehow forgot that a dog, a cat, two toddlers, sticky fingers, raspberry cordial and pet hair just don’t go with light sofas.

What to do: Have the fabric professionally cleaned and treated. Be aware that no stain-proofing is infallible and that its effectiveness depends on the fabric. Modern formulas penetrate fibers and enable most liquid and other residue to be removed. DIY aerosol sprays are a short-term solution, but they only coat the surface and wear away after one cleaning.

We’re loving sofa throws at the moment. Drape them casually and pile on big pillows to deflect the worst of spills and grime. Another solution is to opt for slipcovers that can go in the washing machine when dirty.

If you want to leave sofas bare, vacuum often with a spotlessly clean brush attachment. In the event of a spill, blot carefully and never rub.

 

 

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