10 Design Mistakes to Avoid

Recently the Model55’s marketing team surveyed our interior designers to get a better understanding of how they create such beautiful spaces. The resulting list was honed down to the top ten “don’t do’s” recommended by our industry-leading design team. We decided to share them on our blog as guiding principals that anyone can follow when designing a model apartment, common space, or even their own homes.

#1. Don’t Over Coordinate:

Most people are afraid to mix furniture styles and finishes so they end up buying furniture sets. As long as the furniture has a common stain or finish, it will all work together. End tables, nightstands and table lamps don’t have to be in pairs. Mixing different pieces creates character and more of a design statement. The same goes for pillows, patterns and colors. Get creative with fabrics by coordinating colors but changing up the scales and patterns.

Avoid Unscaled Furnuture

#2. Don’t Disregard the Importance of Layering:

Your furniture should not all be at the same height: Make sure your sofa and accent chairs have different back heights, by at least 2-6 inches. You don’t want everything at the same eye level. Mix it up so that your eyes can take in more than one element.

#3. Don’t Neglect the Details:

Do not leave the bottom shelf of your end table or console empty. This can make the room feel empty. Add pottery, large picture frames, boxes or baskets to make the room look styled and finished.

#4. Don’t Overdo the Details:

Over accessorizing can make a room feel cluttered. Try to limit how many accessories you have on each open shelf or tabletop. Pick a few of your favorite pieces and layer them with simple accessories at varying scales.

#5. Don’t Forget to Scale Furniture Appropriately:

Scaling furniture at the wrong size for the space. This may seem like common sense to most people, but you would be surprised! If your room is smaller, avoid large scaled pieces of furniture and if your room is larger, try to find pieces that are taller and wider to take up more room. You can change the sense of scale by using the well-proportioned pieces because visually your eyes will focus on the outer edges, which widens the room instead of shrinking it. Also, you can find comfortable seating without using overstuffed furniture. This is where you spend most of your time when relaxing, so take the time to find a piece that fits you well.

#6. Don’t Select a Rug That’s Too Small:

People tend to choose rugs that are too small for their space. It’s a lot less expensive for a 4×6, but the design is suffering! Placing a 4×6 rug under a coffee table and not including the sofa and chairs on top is sacrificing the whole space, especially when the coffee table is covering most of the rug. We suggest minimally an 8×10 or 9×12 to make sure that the sofa and chairs front legs are on top of the rug so that the seating area is grouped together and feels whole. To accommodate round end tables, it’s best the entire end table is on top of the rug or not on it at all. For rectangular tables you can make it work with the front legs on and back legs off, all on/all off.

#7. Don’t Hang Wall Décor Too High Above the Furniture:

Hanging art and mirrors at the wrong height. We like to hang art and mirrors 66″ from their center point on the wall – which is average eye level for most people. Of course, this can vary depending on high or below average ceiling heights.

#8. Don’t Hang Pendant Lighting Too High:

Dining Room chandeliers being hung too high. Chandeliers or pendants should be installed so that the bottom of the fixture is 24-30″ above the tabletop. Being hung any higher will visually disconnect the fixture from the space.

#9. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your Personality:

Your artwork should have meaning, such as a framed photograph of your trip to Paris, an abstract you fell in love with or pottery you purchased from your favorite boutique. It’s important to purchase things you really like and connect with.

#10. Don’t Ask for Everyone’s Opinion:

You need to do your own research and really figure out what you like. If you are working with a designer, trust them. A trained designer will not steer you in the wrong direction. Show your designer pictures of rooms that make you feel good with the look you are going for.

So, there you have our top ten “don’t do’s” when designing a space for your home, or apartment community. If you’re looking for more advice from our designers on how to select appropriately scaled and targeted furniture and accessories for your next model apartment, be sure to send us a message online today!

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