When it comes to designing and decorating your home, you want to do it right the first time, and there is some advice given out often that, in my opinion, needs to be ignored.
It usually comes from a builder, a worker on your home, or a well-intentioned friend. Trust your gut, or better yet, hire a designer you can trust with one of the largest investments (your home) you will ever make.
So here goes…. A few pieces of friendly advice you should ignore:
1. Don’t paint your brick - If you have a new or cookie cutter brick home and you used the standard brick you see everywhere, painting your brick can be one of the best things you can do to make it look a little more custom. Yes, you cannot go back, but who would want to when it’s the mass produced brick you see so much of these days? Painted brick is so pretty to me and it is a great way to give your home a new, cohesive look. See how gorgeous this home is below?
It is the home of Milieu
editor, Pamela Pierce, as seen in Veranda
magazine. If you have not checked out Milieu, you must do so as it does not disappoint.
Pamela Pierce’s home as seen in Veranda. Image from decorator.com
2. Using 6″ recess cans throughout a space- Heard of a swiss cheese ceiling? Yep, this is exactly what I mean.
If you must incorporate recess, use the smaller ones that provide lots of light from a small bulb. Yes, the smaller recess cost more than the typical 5″-6″ builder cans often speced, but the look far outweighs the cost. Use dimmers to soften the lighting, and use a variety of different types of lighting to create warmth and layering. Table and floor lamps that direct light in the living areas is best. It allows you to see things better, puts a nicer light on your face, and illuminates the colors and textures in your furnishings better.
Image from Barry Dixon
3. Selecting granite over marble because you do not think marble is durable- This one is a BIG one and I am constantly having to educate my clients about this stone.
I can only hope I am aging as well as marble does, because to me, there is nothing prettier than a well worn piece of marble after several years have passed. I have had it in my house for almost eight years, and trust me, we
live hard in use my kitchen and bathrooms. And guess what? Do not tell my dirty little secret, but we are not the neatest group either.
The key is to choose a honed marble so etching wont take place if something hot is placed on it, and if you like red wine, don’t leave it spilled on the counter for days on end. If something does happen and the stain bothers you (which it shouldn’t- it’s called patina), the material can always be resurfaced.
4. Hanging artwork too high- Keep the center of your artwork at eye level or a little lower to create intimacy in a space. In a room where people will mostly be sitting, artwork should be hung a little lower.
Image from Dana Wolter Interiors
5. Arranging all of your furniture against the walls- You never want to create a furniture arrangement that makes conversation difficult. If you have a room that is big enough, be creative and float your sofa and add a couple of sitting ares to the space. A sofa can look great off of the wall, so use open spaces to be creative and create intimacy.