Ten Top Interior Design Myths Dispelled - Dos and Don'ts For Successful Interior Decorating

Modern Day interior design success may require some basic dos and don'ts. While at the same time leaving an interior decorating plan wide open for personal taste and choice of expression.

The following are ten top interior decorating myths. Each dispelled with helpful dos and don'ts:

Myth #1 - a Decorating Plan Should Include all the Latest Trends

Don't create a decorating theme around the latest trends and fashions.

But do take the time to define your personal style preferences. Get ideas by looking through magazines, visiting home interior show floors, and viewing online resources to determine what styles and colors your most prefer.

For a well thought-out and successful home interior design, start with one room. Develop a floor plan on paper, complete with room dimensions and special features, such as closets or outlets, window size, window and door placement, etc.

Make a distinction between needs and desires. Depending upon room use, there are certain components considered essential; others considered suitable extras. In the kitchen - for instance - essentials might include cabinetry, counters, sink, stove, refrigerator, etc.

Elements considered extra include things like a work island, second sink (for rinsing and preparing fresh foods), corner breakfast nook area, etc. When working within a budget, essential room elements obviously take priority over any extras.

Choose a starting point for your room design with a decorating theme; select associated colors within that theme. This will help define the interior design style, such as Southwest dècor using a desert or cactus motif; not just “Southwest decor.”

Identify and select or add a special feature as a focal point in the room, to help accent your interior design idea. This could be an indoor water feature, the ultimate vista window, or a unique fireplace design.

Myth # 2 - Furnishings Should be Selected to Match Paint Colors

Don't go out and start choosing furniture to match interior paint colors that are already there. Do use your starting point to coordinate interior design color, furnishings, and accents to tie together your overall motif.

Identify the use and function of the room before selecting furniture and accents. If a room will be used for multi-purposes, include elements associated with each use.

After developing your motif, pick a signature piece that identifies with your motif; such as a picture, an antique furniture piece, a rug or even pottery. And then make other purchasing decisions centered on that.

Purchase large elements first. For instance, carpets or rugs, window treatment, and living room furniture or dining room furniture. Use style, textile design, and colors of the large pieces to coordinate the rest. Consider all unifying elements; including wood tones, fabrics, and even room trim colors to coordinate your motif.

Myth #3 - a Good Decorating Plan is Developed “as You Go”

Don't just start accumulating furnishings and accents on a “hit and miss” basis; “Oh. I like that dining room table! I wonder if it will go with the dining room colors.” Do develop a well defined home design plan and stick to it.

Define a perspective of how you want each room to function and make you feel emotionally. Whether a formal living room or a bed room. Also consider other family members; their interests, tastes, and likes as well as your own.

Consider the long-term house floor plan. You may want to incorporate a construction project to add more living space before engaging in a decorating plan.

Don't hesitate to enlist the service of an interior design professional to help define and develop your plan. Hiring a professional interior designer for either just consulting, or undertaking part or the entire project, can drastically enhance its overall success.

Myth #4 - a Good Decorating Project Should be Completed all at Once

Don't hold on to the notion that everything has to be completed all at once. Do pick one room and start with the basics; first the large elements and then keep adding to it until it is complete.

Develop a budget; consider what you can afford, and budget your purchases accordingly. While some homeowners have the luxury of being able to spend what they want when they want, and complete everything at once, most people have to complete decorating on a budget; on a “buy as you can” basis.

What is most important is to end up with a completed decorating project that is well developed and pleases you; regardless how long it takes.

Myth #5 - Inexpensive Furnishings Help Increase Scope of Project

Don't skimp just so you can do more. Do purchase as high quality furnishing and items as your budget allows. Keep in mind your lifestyle, and think long term; purchase well performing furnishings and fabrics that will last.

Pay special attention to quality of construction and materials best suited for long life and durable use. You don't want to have to start replacing poorly made furnishing after only a few years. So when money is an issue - first must cull through your list of possibilities.

Separate needs from desires. Purchase the best quality materials, furnishings, and essential room accents possible to bring your room design to life. And then if you're still within your budget - have fun selecting non essential items from your “desires list,” to tie everything together.

Myth #6 - Having “Vogue” Decorating Elements Means Having Elements I Might Not Like

Don't be afraid to emphasize your personal interior decor tastes or interests. Remember it is part of self-expression; your own personal style, which you began to define when developing your decorating plan.

Do recognize the difference between real-life design and dream design seen in magazines or on television. Be realistic about your expectations; real-life design takes much more planning, effort, time, and money than what is seen through the eyes of the media.

The bottom line is that it is your home; your dècor is supposed to make you feel good. If you don't like an element, don't buy it - find something else that fits in the space.

Myth #7 - a Good Decorating Plan Includes as Many Furnishings and Accents as Possible

Don't overcrowd a design with unnecessary clutter and too many furnishings and accents. Filling a room with excessive furnishings takes away from the overall decorating theme. Especially when inexpensive items are purchased just to have more.

Keep the dècor arranged so that traffic flow in and out of the room is open and unrestricted.

Don't create multiple focal points; it makes the room confusing with no real focus. Use symmetrical (balanced) arrangements for formal rooms; place furniture and accessories in an asymmetrical arrangement for casual rooms.

Don't cover every available bit of wall space or floor space with furnishings and accessories. Empty or “negative space” can be very effective to emphasize what is there. A very important home decorating tip is to remember that oftentimes “less is more.”

Myth #8 - Don't Worry About the Ceiling - It's Not Important

Don't forget the ceiling. White ceilings are about as interesting as a blank sheet of paper. Use any number of interesting options to dress up a ceiling; wood beams, wood planks, paint type, color, various dry wall texturing techniques, wall paper, upholstery, formed Victorian tin squares, glass or tile mosaic. The choices are only limited by your imagination.

Do use a variety of textures to add interest to the room, including wall texture. Use crown molding to define the edge of the ceiling and wall - and to add character.

Myth #9 - Keep Area Rugs Small, in Limited Spaces

Don't undersize an area or accent rug. It gives the impression of skimping. And don't line furniture along the walls, unless you absolutely have to.

Do arrange furniture groupings in the center of the room and define the space with an adequately sized area rug. Conversational furniture groupings should be in an area of 8 to 14-feet, with at least the front legs of the furniture on the edge of the rug.

Myth #10 - There are No “Pat” Rules; Anything Goes

Basic rules of house decorating can be strictly followed, or totally open to personal taste and interpretation.

However, one basic rule is to consider the locality and architecture of a home before developing a decorating design plan. A southwestern motif might be totally out of place in a New England Cape Cod style home, and vice versa for an adobe home in the desert Southwest.

Room use also is important to overall design. In the kitchen, for instance, the inclusion of the work triangle is critical for ease of movement and convenience. Regardless of room style and dècor.

But since the bottom line is that the homeowner is the one who needs to be happy with end results and live in their design environment, any successful design needs to be open to personal taste and expression.

In the final analysis, interior design is an art. The room being decorated becomes the canvas. And for the most part, the homeowner is the artist.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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