Design means one of two things for us…
- Interior design, where we guide you through the selections, finishes, look and “feel” of spaces in your home that you desire to update…
- And the design work we do in our design-build remodels, where we guide you through all the structural and material changes as well as the interior design finishes for a project…and then we put it together in 3D renderings, technical elevations, and everything that our production team needs to do the construction and installation I your full renovation thereafter.
Because we see “design” in two related (but different) ways, the idea of classic “design mistakes” can really take either meaning…
- An interior design mistake can leave your area looking…well, ugly! And it could be a HUGE waste of your money.
- A design mistake in a design-build remodel could result in a layout that makes your life HARDER every day until the end of time…or until you gut the space and do it over.
We all make mistakes, and no huge project will every be 100% mistake-free. But you probably can’t afford to make any big mistakes in your home. So, keep reading to see some of the design mistakes we’ve seen…some of them MULTIPLE times!!
Interior Design Mistakes
Faced with SO many options and so much inspiration (pick your poison, Pinterest or Instagram), there are loads of issues that crop up when well-intentioned interior design goes wrong…
1: Having NO Idea What You Want Before You Shop
Going to the showroom without any plan—or even an idea what your priorities are, or what your style is—will end overwhelming choices and bad decisions.
Every other aspect of your home requires a plan, right? Your architect puts plans into blueprints…your production team has elevations and floorplans and specs docs.
If planning for an interior design project feels too “abstract” for you right now, just ask yourself these four questions:
- What do you want to FEEL every time you enter the space?
- How do you want to USE the space day-to-day?
- How do you want the space to PERFORM when you entertain?
- How soon would you consider doing the space again? (This tells you what quality of selections you should go for.)
Once you have these answers, a plan will be easier to craft! Give those answers to a professional interior designer, and the info will be pure GOLD for that designer to run with!!
2: Stuff Doesn’t Fit
This is a VERY common syndrome of mistake #1!
If you don’t have a plan, and WORSE if you shop without a plan, you risk getting furniture, rugs, chandeliers and more that are too big…or too small…for your space.
If you’re ever in a furniture store without EXACT measurements of your space in-hand, don’t buy anything.
…Have you seen those postage-stamp-sized rugs under a bed in someone’s home? They drive the eye nuts! Or how about the too-big chandelier in the dining room that can undo grandma’s hairdo if she gets too close to the table?!
The most common selections that are “mis-sized” for a space are furniture, but really this can happen with anything…
3: Shying Away from Custom Furniture
Speaking of furniture, some spaces REALLY require furniture of an exact size or shape to get the feel or performance you’re going for.
Some “looks” really require furniture of a particular fabric or color, too.
And really, why spend money on furniture that’s less than perfect? It is the most functional selection for almost every space. Furniture today is easier than ever to customize, too…just look at our Signature Furniture Line.
4: Going too “trendy”
Trends are spicy, they’re FUN, they might even be glamorous…but they last just about as long as that “beach-ready bod” each year by the time winter and the holidays roll around.
We ALWAYS recommend that clients go with timeless design selections because trends WILL look dated—and you WILL have to update a space faster if you choose what’s “on trend.”
If there is one current trend that you ABSOLUTELY love, then you can make that call for one fun accent piece…as long as you don’t overdo the space in selections that ultimately have an expiration date!!
Design-Build Mistakes in a Renovations
If you want your renovation to improve your home’s functionality AND aesthetic appeal, there are key design mistakes to avoid…these are as much about the finished result as they are the emotional roller coaster of the remodel process.
1: Thinking You Can Do It All
If you don’t have help (from experienced, insured, recognized professionals), then know what you’re biting off when you do a renovation on your own. Even if you aren’t the DIY type and plan on hiring a separate designer and contractor, managing your own renovation means:
- You have to figure out what’s possible (or not) structurally
- You have to figure out what’s possible (or not) with your budget
- You have to figure out the plumbing changes
- You have to figure out the electrical changes
- You have to figure out the layout changes
- You have to make all selections (and know what technical specs to heed)
- You need to know how and where to have everything delivered (and time it all right)
- You have to know who will be doing the actual construction work
- You have to know all the subcontractors you’ll need, too
- You’ll even have to know where all the trash will go over demolition and construction
- You’ll have to know how to handle problems when they come up, because they will
2: Missing That “Sense of Entrance”
At first, you might think this is really an interior design mistake. Isn’t a sense of “entrance” more about the chandelier in the foyer or the paint color on the walls?
Well…yes and no. This mistake is also common in bigger design-build renovations because there are endless things you can do to move doors and change the utility of a space, and that will shape the “sense of entrance” in a very meta way.
We’ve moved whole pantries to make the entrance to a space shows off what matters most…
Try this: walk into each space in your home and think about what people see first. Is it attractive? Is it relevant? Is it what you WANT them to see?
3: Shying Away from Custom or Quality
When it comes to the features of a space you’re really going to use, go for quality. If you spend a lot of time on the furniture in the family room, or LOVE soaking in the tub, or cook a LOT, then find options made with the highest standards of craftsmanship and materials…or the life of those selections will be unsatisfying and short-lived.
It’s not just about your money or the longevity of selections, after all…it’s about how much you get out of each space every day. If custom cabinets in the kitchen change the way you cook for the better, what price tag could you really put on that?!
Read about additional benefits you only get from custom cabinetry…
Custom and high-quality materials, appliances and selections also bring HUGE (and vital) perks when it comes to protection and warranties. For example, we provide five-year warranties on our renovations and have a one-year walk-through after each project is done to ensure everything is as beautiful as the day we left.
If you avoid these design mistakes, then we believe you should continue to get as much enjoyment from your project years later as you do in those first glorious weeks after work is done!
Have you seen any of these mistakes in someone’s home? Perhaps in your own?! We’ve seen (and made) our own mistakes and more, however it’s the plan you have in place and the advocates you have to guide you through that save you from making the same mistakes others have already learned from!