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10 Most Common Home Decorating Don’ts

Learn what not to do with your decor (and how to fix it if you already have).

Sure, your rooms look OK at first glance: You finally got rid of that lumpy sofa and own a set of kitchen chairs that don’t fold up. But what would an interior decorator have to say about the state of your home? If you suspect your attempts at “mix and match” just look messy or your furniture arrangements are a little too fussy, read on to see if you’re committing our experts’ top decorating faux pas—and learn what you can do to fix them.

Faux Pas #1: Ignoring Scale

Every piece of furniture looks great in the store—but chances are your rooms aren’t showroom size. “Measure your space and decorate accordingly,” suggests Kenneth Brown, a Los Angeles–based interior designer who sells home decor pieces through QVC. For smaller rooms, ignore your instinct to use a series of diminutive pieces; fewer large-scale pieces will make it seem less busy. On a similar note, consider filling a wall with a single large painting, rather than a group of smaller frames. “It will act as an additional window and draw the eye beyond the room,” says Brown.

Faux Pas #2: Relying on Recessed Lighting

“I’m so tired of recessed lighting,” says Brown. “It makes a room look like a football field.” If you have recessed lights, use them, but layer your lighting by incorporating additional lighting features. Consider table lamps and floor lamps, and highlight artwork with picture lights. “Your room—and everyone in it—will look beautiful,” says Brown.

Faux Pas #3: Buying the Entire Matching Set

Just because a store showcases a sofa, loveseat, chair, table and ottoman as a set doesn’t mean you have to buy every piece. The first piece Brown recommends leaving behind? The loveseat. In its place choose two chairs, which will allow you to mix and match colors and patterns. Another way to mix things up: Choose a traditional sofa in an unexpected, modern color.

Faux Pas #4: Picking Paint Colors in the Store

“Stores have terrible lighting,” warns Brown. If you choose a color based on what you see in the store, chances are you’ll hate what winds up on your walls. Before you have an employee mix a few gallons of paint, first consider the colors in natural light, and then again in your home. For the best perspective, Brown suggests poking a hole in a piece of white paper, holding the paint swatch behind it, then looking at the color through the hole. This will give you an unadulterated view of the color.

Faux Pas #5: Letting an Accent Overtake a Room

Too much of one thing, like an animal print, can look overdone. “You don’t want to live in a theme park,” says Brown. It’s fine to introduce an accent piece—a few pillows, a throw or this animal print bench. Just remember that a little bit of pizzazz goes a long way.

Faux Pas #6: Having Knickknacks Scattered Around

“Nothing’s worse than a bunch of tchotchkes placed randomly around a room,” says Susie Coelho, HGTV host, author and designer for Grandin Road. The most frequent offenders: angel statues, children’s pottery and mismatched candlesticks. Edit your collection as much as possible—consider showcasing just a few pieces and rotating the display seasonally—then put everything in a curio cabinet or on a corner table. By grouping like items, you make insubstantial pieces more significant.

Faux Pas #7: Displaying Greenery in Itty-Bitty Pots

“Plants should make a statement,” says Coelho. “Otherwise they should be left outdoors!” Yes, small planters were en vogue in the ’70s, but that decade has passed. The modern way to do it is to use one large tree in a pot. A series of small indoor plants is just going to make your space seem cluttered—and dated.

Faux Pas #8: Getting Overzealous with Wall Color

Walls covered in too many colors are distracting and create visual tension. “You want your guests to feel stimulated, but you also want them to feel relaxed, says Coelho. A yellow room followed by a turquoise room followed by an orange room looks tacky and badly planned. To ensure a soothing flow from room to room, focus on a subtle variety of colors or tones, such as coordinating shades of green or earth tones.

Faux Pas #9: Not Knowing When to Quit

People are inclined to add more furniture and more artwork and more stuff until they can’t move around in a room without knocking over a decorative table. “You may have some stunning pieces,” says Coelho. “But who can tell when they’re surrounded by average ones?” The current trend is toward simplicity. To make a statement, clear out clutter and let your rooms breathe.

Faux Pas #10: Selecting Busy Textiles

When you’re choosing window coverings, tablecloths and upholstery fabrics, steer clear of anything with heavy gathering, ruffles or too much fringe. “Cleaner lines are better,” says Coelho, “and they’ll collect less dust.” If you favor prints, keep them subtle so you can switch things up periodically. If you opt for a loud print, you’re forced to use that piece as the room’s focus until you get rid of it.

Blank Wall Solutions

Nothing says “we just moved in” more than blank, un-decorated walls (and maybe boxes!). Dressing up your  room’s vertical spaces will add interest, and make your home feel more lived-in. Here are 5 simple and stylish ways to decorate blank walls.

1. Display a collection of frames.

Whether you decide to use photos, artwork, or various mementos, displaying a few pieces in matching frames is a great way to tie the collection together.

Source: via Homefix Corporation on Pinterest

You can create a uniform assortment of the same frame in the same size in a row or square on the wall, or you can use the same frame in multiple sizes for an equally stylish effect. Some ideas of collections to display include:

  • Family photos
  • Maps of favorite places you have visited
  • Collages
  • Words or monograms on printed backgrounds

2. Brighten your wall with a mirror.

If you don’t have a photos or artwork to hang, consider hanging a mirror on the wall. Mirrors are not only great for making a space appear larger, they can also be inexpensive. A large mirror can take up most of the available wall space, or smaller mirrors with matching, pretty frames can be arranged much like a photo arrangement.

3. Create pretty organization with a shelf.

A shelving unit against the wall can be great for organization, and for display purposes. The same concept can be used for individual shelves hung on the wall.

Source: via Homefix Corporation on Pinterest

If you need the storage space, this is a great option. If you don’t want to add a nail for every photo that needs to be hung, you can also stand framed photos on the shelf, so that you can display multiple pictures without adding an additional hole in the wall for each.

4. Display your hobbies.

If you have a hobby that requires large equipment, such as surfing or skiing, you can prop these items up along the wall. A snowboard or surfboard will not only fix the “blank wall” issue, but will showcase your hobbies as well.

If you have a specific item that you collect, such as hats or sneakers, you could display these items as well. Use hooks or shelves to arrange the best of your collection along the wall.

5. Hang a curtain.

Whether your curtain frames a particular work of art or object, or the curtain itself is the decoration, hanging a curtain is a great way to add a pop of color or a pattern to a blank wall. You can hang a pretty curtain from the ceiling, and tie it to the sides if you have something in the center of the wall (such as bookshelf, television, or mirror), or you can hang a curtain straight across. This works especially well for curtains made of beads, old records, or other unusual materials.

Source: via Homefix Corporation on Pinterest

Written By: Homefix Corporation Publish Date: Monday, January 14, 2013 Publish Site:

How To Create an Art Gallery Wall

Make a Statement

Jen Bekman, founder of the popular online art shop, 20×200, finds that creating a gallery wall is the perfect way to make a personal statement at home. “This is your opportunity to make a statement about who you are and what you like. Mix paintings and photography, black-and-white and color and combine high and low pieces,” advises Bekman. Image courtesy of 20×200.

Have Fun With the Layout

Before placing your collection of pieces, Bekman suggests playing with a few layouts until you identify the best one for your gallery wall. “I recommend laying your framed work on the floor to try out a few setups. You can even use painters tape to outline the size of the wall to help you visualize. Take cell phone snaps of a few variations that you like as you go. To start, use two to four pieces hung in the center at the same height to establish your anchor or focal point and fill in from there.” Image courtesy of 20×200.

Think About Placement

As you are designing your gallery wall, think about the placement of each piece, particularly when you’re hanging art over a sofa or chair. “When installing artwork over furniture, leave at least eight inches between the base of the frame and the top of the furniture,” says Bekman. Be sure not to hang pieces too low or too high. Eye level is best. Image courtesy of 20×200.

Develop a Palette

You can showcase art with a variety of shades for a colorful display, or use works in a similar color palette that will complement the space that your art hangs in. Christiane Lemieux, founder of DwellStudio and curator of its new Art Shop, is a fan of a gallery wall with a specific color palette, “Design a whole room around modern abstract paintings. I’m loving working with the bold black and whites. It’s so graphic and chic — a palette that works all year!” Image courtesy of Dwell Studio.

Create a Wall Story

Gallery walls can also be used as a unique way to document and tell a story of your travels and experiences. You can include photographs from recent trips and prints and artwork that you bought while on vacation. Lemieux is a fan of identifying pieces that have a sense of story to them. “I’m always inspired by the vintage art I find while traveling and have developed a deep love of collecting pieces from flea markets and galleries all over the world. I love artwork that has a back-story. It’s a real conversation starter.” Image courtesy of Dwell Studio.

Frame Your Work

Your gallery wall is not just about the art on display, but also the frames that highlight the art. For a clean look, frames in the same color and style are the perfect fit. You can also mix and match picture frames so that you work feels like it has been collected over time. “Frame your artwork with unique frames. Go for something distressed for an old-world vibe. I’m always finding vintage frames at flea markets. They can add so much visual interest to the home,” remarks Lemieux. Image courtesy of Dwell Studio.

Go Off-Center

“Ideally you’ll have one picture to build from, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be centered,” interior designer Hillary Thomas advises. When building your gallery wall, try hanging pieces to the left or right of center for an arrangement that is less formal. Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs.

Mix It Up

Illustrations, paintings and a menagerie of distinctive pieces can all have a home on your gallery wall. “Do mix in drawings with photos and paintings. The more eclectic, the more you’ll get a ‘salon’ feel,” says Thomas. Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs.

Let Loose

The final and most important thing to remember when creating your gallery wall is that there is no specific formula for creating a great display. Thomas’s final tip: “Creating a gallery wall can be intimidating, but don’t overthink it. Just jump in!” Enjoy the creative process and have fun creating a unique gallery wall that you will enjoy over time. Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs.


Written By: Jeanine Hays of Afrochic Published Website:

How to Find the Right Canvas Wall Art for Your Room

Artwork is an important part of decorating your home. We use it to set a mood, add an accent or simply because we like it. Artwork can add a finishing touch to a space or it can be the inspiration for a design but it is important to know how to find the perfect piece of art for your room. In this case, we will be looking at canvas wall art and how to look for the perfect piece for any space in your home. Canvas wall art has become popular over the last few years and more and more people are taking the plunge and purchasing some truly amazing pieces for their home.

canvas wall art How to Find the Right Canvas Wall Art for Your Room

What makes canvas wall art so great is that they can be fairly inexpensive but give the appearance of an authentic piece since they are usually prints on canvas of an original. Using a print cuts down the initial cost, although you can purchase some that are very expensive, while it allows you to have some excellent artwork for your home. Choosing the right canvas wall art can be difficult at times but it only takes a few simple steps to find the perfect piece for your room.

Match the color scheme

The first step in choosing your canvas wall art is to really know your color scheme. The basic rule of thumb is to choose an art piece that will match your room without detracting from any of the design elements that are in it. If you find that your design style is filled with cool sleek lines and neutral colors, then a canvas wall art that adds a touch of color to a room is the perfect selection. If your room is filled with color, such as with a Middle Eastern styled room, then a simple canvas wall art that has minimal color will provide a nice break in the room.

When you go to purchase your canvas art, it is important to bring some swatches of the colors that are in your room. This allows you to find the perfect color and to ensure that the colors do not clash.

canvas wall art2 How to Find the Right Canvas Wall Art for Your Room

Match the artwork

Although you may think that I already covered this, I still want to mention a few things on the actual artwork. As with all other pieces of art, there is a range of styles that you can choose from. There are landscapes, flowers, abstract and many other prints that can be found in canvas artwork so you really need to make sure that the theme in the picture does not clash with the theme in your room.

For instance, a lighthouse landscape is not going to work in a room that has been decorated with an Asian feel and an oriental floral canvas art is not going to work in a room that was decorated with a nautical feel.
No matter how much you like a piece, if it doesn’t match your decor, then it shouldn’t be purchased.

canvas wall art3 How to Find the Right Canvas Wall Art for Your Room

Match the wall

The area where you will be hanging the artwork is an important part to choosing your canvas wall art. First, take a tape measure and get the dimension of the space that needs the artwork. Once you have those dimensions, you will have a better idea of what you would like in a piece.

Make sure that the canvas wall art matches the size of the wall. One of the worst things that can happen is going to the store and purchasing a piece that is too big or even too small. For the former, it may not fit, and for the latter, it may appear out of place in the room, as though the wall art is just floating there in the middle of lost wall space. When you go to the store to purchase your canvas wall art, make sure you bring the tape measure and the measurements to get the best match.

Choose the style

Okay, style differs depending on the room, the design and the individual but before you go out and purchase a canvas wall art, you should be aware of the style that you want. A large piece of canvas can really be a statement piece in an area with a large open wall but it doesn’t have to be the only way that you go. Panels are a great way to fill a room and it breaks up the pattern just enough to bring the eye to the artwork. If you produce a piece of art in panels, it is important to use the proper artwork.

First, most landscapes don’t work well in panels but if you do choose a landscaped piece, make sure that you use canvases side to side and not top to bottom. Second, larger pieces of canvas panels use the rule of three, especially if you are decorating a large wall space but it is perfectly okay to use more than three. Look at the art and decide on the best way to showcase it.

Make your own

The last thing that I am going to mention about choosing the right canvas wall art for your room is to make your own if you can’t find something you like. It can be very easy to make canvas wall art and if you don’t mind abstract art, most people can create some very interesting and one of a kind pieces with very little effort. Remember that canvas wall art should reflect your design and character so there is no need to stay with the norm. Branch out, explore and don’t hesitate when you find that perfect piece of canvas art for your wall.

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