by Naomi Chadderton
Here at Raemona, we’re huge fans of doing whatever the heck you want. Whether that’s indulging in one too many desserts at brunch or skipping your morning workout session for an extra hour in bed, we always recommend that you do you. When it comes to interior design, though, there are certain ‘mistakes’ that don’t make a room feel rebellious – they make a room feel sad. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the most common of these mistakes you’re likely to encounter so that you can make sure you, well, don’t.
1. Using too many contrasting materials or colours in small spaces
Limiting floorplans can be a challenge for even the niftiest of interiors aficionados, and if your space feels cluttered or cramped, it’s the last place you’ll want to veg out in at the end of a long day. “I love embracing small spaces – they are bijou!” says interiors extraordinaire and founder of design firm Blush International Kate Instone. “If you want to create a dramatic space then stick to darker colours to create a space of sense and depth, but don’t go crazy with too many hues. By restricting your pallete you will create a greater sense of space.”
2. Hanging art at the wrong level
It might seem trivial, but hanging art even a few inches too high can ruin an entire design aesthetic. After all, who wants to strain their eyes to view a stunning portrait? But what’s the magic number, we hear you ask? The standard height for hanging artwork at eye level is 57” from the center of your photograph to the floor. And if this seems low to you, know that you can get away with hanging your art or photographs a little higher at 60”. There are exceptions, though. “The general rule of thumb for designers is to not hang artwork too high, but I believe rules are there to be broken,” adds Kate. “Dubai is slightly different to other countries in that we have a lot of double height spaces, so filling them with artwork not only provides a more homely feel, but can also be very impactful.”
3. Thinking everything has to match
Does your lovely blue sofa match your lovely blue rug that matches your lovely blue cushions that match your lovely blue piece of artwork? While it might seem easier to take a page from your favourite home store catalogue to guarantee everything in the room matches, there’s a case to be made that this approach lacks individual style and adventure. “The approach can work, in a bedroom for example, when you want to create a calming interior – going for a minimalistic approach can make it easier on the eye,” says Kate. “A non-matching interior style, however, is more in the maximalist style when you use contrasting patterns, materials and colours and the interior intentionally does not match. It results in a feast for the eyes!”
4. Having only one light source
Lighting can often be an afterthought for new homeowners, yet it has a massive impact on both the appearance and feel of a room. “Lighting absolutely transforms a space,” agrees Kate. The best use of lighting is to highlight moments, textures, artwork and objects, with every room having a mix of overhead lights, accent lights such as wall lights, and table lights and task lighting. “It’s with this combination of light sources that you create lighting scenes which will elevate your interior to the next level,” explains Kate. “By washing walls, lighting art, emphasising furniture and fabrics, not only will you lift your interior but you will lift your mood too.”
5. Choosing aesthetics over comfort
Whilst we’d love our houses to rival those on Selling Sunset, picking stylish furniture at the expense of comfort is best avoided unless you plan on never being home. “When designing a room, it is very important to balance comfort and style,” concludes Kate. “If your living room looks beautiful, but the sofas are uncomfortable and the chandelier obstructs the TV, then you will very quickly tire of the beautiful aesthetics and it’s unlikely you’ll want to spend much time there.” Try to get yourself down to a showroom if possible to test drive new furniture before making that purchase, and if you simply don’t have the time then ask someone to do it for you. Always try before you buy!