Editor’s Note; Joseph Pubillones takes his leave. This column was originally published in 2018.
We’ve all been in plays that make us “ooh and ahh”. They delight us with the care and thought given to the installation of each piece of furniture, accessory and work of art.
These occasions are rare these days. Due to the many TV shows and self-help video sites, many homeowners see themselves as expert decorators, which they are not. These homes are often a collection of design errors – some offensive, some less so. Here is a list of common mistakes from top to bottom:
• If it takes half an hour to undress your bed, you are suffering from too many decorative pillows on a bed. Make your bed elegant, yet simple.
• Art that is hung too high. Imagine that the art has to be hung so that an average person can see it at eye level.
• Your selection of artwork does not need to match the colors of a room. Art is meant to stand out and be calming or uplifting.
• Refrain from hanging botanical prints. They are overexploited. Do not use a poster for decoration unless you are a student.
• Avoid pairs of everything except lamps, a pair of chairs or side tables. They tend to make a room too stiff and artificial.
• Never use two or more ceiling lights that are not identical; using a variety of light fixtures your home will look like a lamp store.
• Do not place your sofa diagonally. It was a favorite with decorators in the 1970s. Old sofa frames may look pretty, but are usually just as uncomfortable as your great-grandmother’s corset.
• Throwing it on the armrest of a sofa or chair has been seen and done.
• Too many pillows on a sofa hide the sofa and where you are supposed to sit. It makes customers feel like they’re wasting a room if they have to move them. Where to place them? The floor, another chair… where?
• Overdone curtains should never be used unless you are framing a scene. Window coverings must first and foremost be functional. When hung too low, curtain hardware can make ceilings appear lower. If in doubt, hang your curtain to kiss the floor or lightly sweep the floor. Remember that puddles are a thing of the past; and never, ever use short curtains. Looks like you expect a flood.
• Overly stylized bookshelves. Aren’t they for the books?
• Too many books on a coffee table make the table unusable.
• The overload of scented candles is a no; use one at a time, never in the dining room.
• Absurd amounts of flowers are a no-no; a little goes a long way.
• Coral branches as accessories. No. And avoid using collections of seashells as decoration.
• Changing the material of the flooring from room to room gives your home a hectic look. Stick to just one flooring for your main areas. You can satisfy your need for other flooring in bathrooms and / or kitchens.
• Never use rugs so white that they require you to remove your shoes when entering a room.
• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design company based in Palm Beach, Florida.
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