By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

#1 Copying Others

During the last 10 to 15 years, design influencers and manufacturers have been extremely successful in marketing their own unique “look”.

– Martha Stewart, Pottery Barn, West Elm, etc.

It’s great to use these for inspiration and even to use a few of their collection, but when you overuse them or copy them, you lose your own mark or statement.

Make it your own signature look, be creative, incorporating some of their pieces are also putting your own stamp on it.


#2 Over Doing It

We’ve all seen rooms where it is so overdone, where they may have tried too hard to put every imaginable design element into a room, and where they’ve attempted to put too much into the space. The results: busy and overdone.

In most cases, less is more. Use fewer things to make a bigger impact.

You can always choose to put more back into the room if you want.

Read related article: What is Lean Design?


#3 Choosing the Wrong Paint Color

If you’re wondering what’s wrong with a room that you’ve just completed, it’s often just a small tweak in the paint color. If the color is too light, too dark, the goal is to make it just right… the Goldilocks effect.

Try various paint colors on large sample boards.

Move the board around the room and look at the color at different times of the day.

Lighting has a tremendous impact on color and the overall finished look.


#4 Insufficient White Space


Leaving some white space is okay. Consider that an empty space or white space is actually another design element when it is used intentionally.

People are often tempted to fill every corner of a room.

Try to hold back from doing that. You can always add back in if you choose to.


#5 Random Furniture Placement

A good furniture floor plan or space plan is intentional.

Every good room design has a purpose.

Be intentional and have a plan and a purpose for every room.

FREE Download: Designer Bathroom Tips

Read related article: Top 10 Bathroom Design Trends to Avoid

#6 Not Enough Contrast

Contrast is intended to provide dimension to a room. When you don’t use contrast, everything blends in and can be boring.

Even in monochromatic color schemes, you can use lighter and darker shades of the same white or off-white.

Use contrast to make your room more interesting as subtle as the contrast might be.


#7 Wrong Scale for Size of the Room

Too large, too small, a room can look distorted when pieces are out of scale with the size of the space.

Don’t be afraid of using oversized pieces in a large open space.

That’s what the room is calling for. It helps to fill the volume of the large open space.

Conversely, don’t shy away from using smaller pieces in smaller rooms. You’ll discover that the right scale is a perfect complement to a smaller room.


#8 Trying to Achieve Perfect Symmetry

Trying to make a room look too perfect or too symmetrical is a design mistake.

Even if you love symmetry, try offsetting one or two pieces. Create a little asymmetry to help make a room more interesting.


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