5 Mistakes the Interior Design Novice Makes

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Image: Dicorcia

Learning the basics of interior design can often prove difficult when you’re first starting out. In my experience, it takes awhile to learn certain fundamentals that only come with time and experimenting. You can try to read and research all you want, but you do have to get down and dirty with actual experience to know how to make everyday solutions. Here are a few pieces of advice that I would give to the novice interior designer.

5 Mistakes the Interior Design Novice Makes On the Interior CollectiveImages: (1) Savvy Home; (2) West Elm; (3) Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair; (4) Bliss at Home

  1. Not enough lighting. A rule of thumb is to provide three light sources in each room. When there’s not enough lighting, it can affect the body and ability to perform certain functions. Provide lighting sources at different levels so each function can receive adequate lighting. This could be a floor lamp or recessed lighting or table lamps. Here, there are floor lamps surrounding a fireplace to provide the proper amount of lighting.
  2. No conversation starter. A thoughtfully designed home has a conversation starter in each room. Yes, all the elements should blend well together, but there should be something that stands out so that it adds a focal point to the room. This can be a piece of art, furniture or rug. In this room, the conversation starter is the lovely piece of art on the wall.
  3. Furniture that doesn’t fit the shape of the room. One of my pet peeves is when furniture does not fit the space it’s occupying. If you do not have a large room, do not put in a large rectangular table. For example, if you have a small dining nook, like this one, use a smaller circular table.
  4. Artwork that is too small or placed too far apart. Artwork should be at eye level and should not be placed sparingly on a wall. It should also complement up with the other elements of a room. For example, if you have a credenza, place a piece of artwork above that is neither too big nor too small for the piece of furniture. If you have a lot of artwork, like this image, try a gallery wall, which solves the problem.
  5. (top photo) No greenery. A space functions so much better when it has something living. Try placing some sort of greenery in each room to breathe life into a space.

Are there any other mistakes you’ve noticed that are not on the list?

1 Comment

  1. I see artwork hung too high pretty often. Generally in rooms with standard 8-foot ceilings, hanging art so its midline is at or around 60 inches from the floor looks right.

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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.