The Ten Most Common Decorating Mistakes

Written by Kelly on December 17th, 2014

Recognizing the most common decorating mistakes and how to correct them, can turn a cramped and chaotic space into one that is organized and tranquil and can create a sense of order and balance. These invaluable lessons I learned from my teacher, mentor and friend, Lauri Ward, president and founder of Use What You Have Interiors® (UWYH).

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Lauri Ward revolutionized the interior design business with a simple idea – using what people already have in their home as the foundation to create a fresher, updated, more elegant look, without spending a lot of money.

This time of year, I like to look over my old notes and files for review and ideas for the coming year.  One of the most valuable lessons I learned from training with Lauri was The Ten Most Common Decorating Mistakes:

1.  Not Defining Your Priorities: Before you begin your room design, you should know what the room will be used for, which furnishings will be kept in the room and of course, your budget.

2.  An Uncomfortable Conversation Area: Can you and your guests have a conversation without straining your neck? A U-shaped furniture arrangement is best for conversation; least favorite is a L-shaped arrangement. And beware of the sofa/loveseat combination!

3. Poor Furniture Placement: Avoid placing all of your furniture up against the wall, but be sure there are open pathways to walk through the room.

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4. A Room That Is Off Balance: A room will look unbalanced if you have all of the taller, heavier furniture on one side of the room with smaller, delicate pieces on the opposite side of the room.

5. Furniture of Different Heights: If the seating heights of furniture are varied and/or artwork is hung at different levels, the effect creates a ‘roller coaster’ effect that causes the eye to travel uncomfortably up and down around the room.

6. A Room That Lacks Cohesion: A room without unity or a ‘pulled together’ look is easily solved using pairs of furnishings such as two chairs, two lamps and/or two end tables that will add symmetry to the room.

Kelly Bernier 5 14 bedroom 2

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7. Ignoring The Focal Point In The Room: Well-designed rooms have a focal point — the first thing your eye sees when you enter. Without it, the room lacks interest and direction.

8. Improper Use of Artwork: Hanging your artwork too high or scattering your artwork around the room is two of the most common ways artwork is displayed incorrectly.

9. Ineffective Use Of Accessories: As a general rule, less is more. Use larger accessories and keep the smaller pieces together as a group.

Kelly Bernier 5 14 detail 1

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10. Using Lighting Incorrectly: Every room should have general illumination, task lighting and mood/accent lighting. Lighting is one of the most important factors in a room and the right choices can make a great impact. Dimmers are invaluable!

These simple decorating principles are the basics in design to help find what is not working in your room and how to correct them.

If you would like to learn more about Lauri Ward and training for ‘The Use What You Have System’, read here.

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Beautiful Christmas

Written by Kelly on December 15th, 2014

I am not sure about you, but I have little time or desire right now to think of anything but Christmas:

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So… I thought I would share a few of my favorite images of this glorious Season:

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No thinking today, just looking at pretty pictures:

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puppy

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tree

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lights

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jesus

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Here are a few of my old favorites:

boxwood tree

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kbd christmas

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lipstick

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penguins

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And a few new favorites:

window

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dear santa

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wreaths

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silver

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adore

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tree3

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red barn

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christmas treea

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I hope you enjoyed! Merry Christmas my friends!  xo

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Christmas Decorating At The Condo

Written by Kelly on December 11th, 2014

I just wanted to share my little condo decorating for Christmas this year:

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Nothing special or fancy. This table was decorated around my pretty Christmas cactus that is blooming now (upper left of photo below):

Christmas 7

I just wrote a couple weeks ago how I do not do theme Christmas trees, but I found I picked up a lot of turquoise ornaments at the end of last years season sales, so I thought why not give it a try:

christmas tree

I love it! Here is a clever idea for a Christmas display:

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Take a tall vase, fill with silver tinsel and balls and mix in some colored balls:

Christmas Vase

Super easy and original!

Christmas vase3

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How are you doing with your Christmas decorating? Do you go all out every year? Or do you find yourself taking out less decorations each year? I am definitely in the lesser group. I still enjoy decorating but have toned it down a bit each year. How about you?

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Another Reason I Love My Large Color Boards

Written by Kelly on December 7th, 2014

maria color boards

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My 11” X 14” painted, sample color boards are an invaluable color tool for me and my business. Not only for myself to see the colors and undertones well, but also for showing the large samples to a client so they can see right there, right then that you are choosing the perfect colors for them. This weekend I had a color consult that the client requested a color palette of three colors that would flow together well on the first floor of their home.

Without my large samples, I would be showing the client this:

colors

Instead of this:

samples

So much easier to see how well the colors will work together on the larger boards! Another example:

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One more example:

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This was two of the larger sample boards, Coventry Gray & Stonington Gray, put together to find a third color that will work well with color flow.

Do you see how much easier it is with the larger samples? I think I would have been an average color consultant without my large samples. But with the large, painted color boards, I feel confident like a color superstar!

I can not say enough good things about the boards if you are serious about selecting the right paint colors as well as finding the right color flow. If you are interested in learning more about the color boards, read here.

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