It’s always a pleasure to have our blog post on Livin Spaces – the platform’s content and outreach is amazing. We will be looking forward to having our blog posts featured regularly here. Our premier article for the year was written by a member of our design team and she talks about “8 Common DIY Interior Design Mistakes and how to avoid them”. We hope the article would inspire everyone and help us avoid mistakes when undertaking projects. Read below,
As professional designers we often get asked to fix
structural or simple design mistakes that could have easily been avoided. After
mulling it over, we decided to share – from our experience – some common design
mistakes and recommend some simple solutions; so you don’t get stuck.
So, whether you are a young designer, design enthusiast or DIY practitioner, here’s to spreading knowledge! Enjoy the read and let us know if you’ve had any similar challenges!
1. Not Budgeting before Buying
The Mistake: Many people don’t realize how important it is to have a budget before buying when designing a space. It is an investment and with any investment, it is important to spend wisely. The last thing you want is to get half way into your project and realize you would go broke trying to complete it.
How to Avoid: Have a complete checklist of the actions you want to
take and the products you intend to buy. Call artisans and vendors, do your
research in finding the cost estimates for services and products. Finally,
assign a cost for each service and product, not forgetting to include
transportation, shipping costs and contingencies.
2. Not Working with Measurements
The Mistake: People often miss the fact that the most important
part of designing is measuring your space and even creating a floor plan.
Getting a visual of a potential space will help you see what you need and what
furniture you can use in the existing space.
How to Avoid: Before you buy any furniture or before you start making any plans for furnishing and decorating, you need to measure your space! Measure everything once and save the measurements for easy reference when you are shopping later on. During Shopping, measure furniture and soft furnishing, compare these measurements with previous measurements of the space and make sure it can fit into the space before buying. This comes back to another important design rule — scale. Measuring will help prevent items from being too small or too big for your space.
3. Styling Bulky Furniture in a Small Space
The Mistake: Styling a small sized space can be a bit of a
challenge even for professional designers. Without guidance, a DIY design of a
small space can go wrong in many directions.
It is important to
know that bulky furniture have no business being in a small space, they take up
a lot of space and make the room look even smaller.
How to Avoid: In designing small spaces,simply opt for lighter furniture pieces instead of the bulky ones,
to lift the space. Choose color palettes that reflect light for walls,
furniture and soft furnishings. Using suspended shelves as opposed to standing
shelves can also give more room for leg space which contributes to making the
room look bigger.
4. Matching Everything
The Mistake: Yes, there was a day when matching furniture sets were
all the rage, but that is definitely not the case now. While furniture items
tend to be sold as sets in retail, sometimes this dulls the charisma of a
space. It can actually make your space look and feel like a catalog, more than
a lived-in place.
How to Avoid: Avoid matching
everything. A space needs variety in order to feel inviting and
comfortable. In terms of color, this usually means two or three tones used in
different amounts and in different ways. You can also play with a single accent
color using various different hues.
5. Not incorporating empty spaces
Mistake: Design theory
promotes the use of negative space (empty space) for elegance and ensuring a
quality user experience. Sadly, many people consider empty space wasted space.
They think it could be used to house more visual elements. When every space
contains something to look at, sensory overload occurs and the eye drifts
aimlessly without noticing individual objects.
to Avoid: The concept of
negative space pervades all aspects of design, whether in art, architecture or
interior design. One of the main advantages of negative space is its ability to
eliminate distractions from an outstanding feature and to enhance its effect.
Standing back and viewing a room from where it’s most frequently seen can often
reveal how an empty space could be used to highlight something you’d like to
6. Placing Furniture against the Wall
The Mistake: This is a common error that many homemakers end up making, perhaps because it seems like the logical thing to do is to place cupboards, chairs and couches against the wall. However, although this might give the impression of opening up a room, it can actually ruin the feeling of openness because you’re left with space in the middle of the room that goes to waste.
to Avoid: Placing chairs in
the middle of the room can make the room cozier and make people feel more
connected; a couch in a more central area of the room can be a focal point and
look homelier than if it is shoved to the side and out of the way.
7. Choosing Looks Without Considering Function
The Mistake: It can be very easy to forget about functionality when buying furniture or soft furnishing that is aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, not every beautiful product is highly functional or even functional at all. Designing functional living spaces means creating environments in which everything has its place and each function is accounted for.
How to Avoid: Before you buy something such as a sofa, a table or a lamp, don’t just look at its aesthetics. You must also take into consideration things like function or comfort. Take a minute to see if that sofa feels right when you sit on it or if that lamp is really what you need for your desk or reading corner.
8. Using inadequate lighting
The Mistake: Finding the right balance when it comes to lighting is difficult but also very important. You can easily use too much artificial light in a room or too little. Either way, the space won’t be comfortable. Relying on one source of lighting like a ceiling fixture, is never a good idea.
to Avoid: Different types of
lighting need to have different purposes: task lighting, ambient lighting and
general lighting. Evaluating a space and deciding on what type of lighting it
needs is an important design decision. In addition to a ceiling fixture, a room
needs mid-level lighting for warmth and tasks like reading. Some spaces way
benefit from ambient lighting that helps create a mood. Accent lights are
important for highlighting special accessories or art.