What's the decorating mistake decorators see in people's houses that always drives them nuts?
Ten interior designers share their expert advice for what NOT to do.
Check out the entire online article here on House Beautiful.
1. "Decorating that doesn't match the personality and lifestyle of the people living in it. You wouldn't wear the same clothes as your mother, and you shouldn't decorate your home the way your mother would." —HEIDI BONESTEEL
2. "Karate-chopped pillows. That look would never occur in 'pillow nature.' Prominently placed family portraits. Best avoided if you're not royal or papal. TVs that are disguised. They've been around for decades, so just embrace your TV. Would you buy an armoire for your stove?" —STEVEN SCLAROFF
3. "The misuse or heavy-handed application of decorative painting. I saw a show house last weekend and it reminded me that you have to know when to stop. Brilliant painting is elegant and polished, but go too far and you end up with vulgarity when quality was the goal." —MARY DOUGLAS DRYSDALE
4. "There's nothing worse than bright overhead lights that make you feel like you're onstage. Lighting shouldn't wash down on you: It's harsh and unflattering. I use dimmers in every part of a house, including bathrooms. And soft white bulbs in lamps. The best light comes at you from shaded lamps." —BARCLAY BUTERA
5. "Candlesticks side by side. Candlelight, like open fires, has a certain allure — one of warmth and romance. To me, it's most alluring when the light is spread around the room. In other words, separate the candlesticks! It's also a more balanced aesthetic." —ALBERT HADLEY
6. "Lamps that are completely disproportionate sizes on either ends of a sofa — that makes me crazy. Also when people hang a collection of pictures in these sort of idiosyncratic ways and it's just a mess. Don't try to get too creative. Keep it simple." —DAVID KLEINBERG
7. "I'm often dumbstruck by the way people arrange their living room furniture. So much wide-open space, pieces plastered against walls, chairs too far apart. It's simple, really: The guiding principle should be to create intimacy. How can you have a good conversation when you have to shout across the room? I imagine the sofa talking to the chairs, the chairs talking to one another." —WHITNEY STEWART
8. "Regardless of how beautiful a room is, it's compromised by glaring or gloomy lighting. Don't rely on only one kind of light source. Mix a variety of overhead and floor or table lamps. And keep in mind that you're not obliged to illuminate every corner evenly. Warm 'pools' of light draw people in and create intimacy." —ALAN TANKSLEY
9. "Too many ideas — even good ones — in one place can add up to a big mess. Just pick one and go with it." —ALESSANDRA BRANCA
10. "I hate seeing seating and furniture pushed up to the wall like you're at a dance. I guess people are trying to make their rooms seem bigger, but if everything is too broad, too spread out, and too high, it's impossible to feel cozy. It's much more pleasant to break up space into smaller areas and give things a bit of air. Even in a narrow room, the sofa doesn't have to be slammed up against the wall. Pull it out six inches." —JACKIE TERRELL